Fluff is effortless. It is so easy to just do sweet, easy, fluff when it comes to conversations, messages, events, planning, etc. The challenge comes when you have to add content.
I am the type of person who can work a room. On youth group nights I will have short 15-30 second exchanges with 60 different students, make them smile and laugh, and never talk about anything deep or serious. I can talk with someone all day long, but when it comes to confronting someone or dealing with deep issues that is a completely different story. Why? Because content is difficult and the same goes for the way we run our ministries.
The fact is, the content is what really matters. Which means we need to be serious about our content. We can put a pretty facade around what we do but if our content isn’t strong, it doesn’t even matter.
Take this delicious candy for example…
Looks yummy right? Can you believe people actually buy and eat these? (Possible youth group game anyone?)
But the point is this, who cares that it is covered in candy, the content is what counts and the content is a bug. Deep down, the real content is a gross, nasty, bug and it doesn’t matter how much fluff (candy) is around it, it is still gross.
We need to review our content and evaluate in these areas….
1. Our Why
Does your why (the reason why you do what you do) and your ministry’s why (the mission) have a basis of content or fluff? Is it just because it is fun, easy, not held to a standard, a paycheck, etc. Or is yours, and your ministry’s why based on content?
2. What we teach
Do you teach the Word of God? Or do you teach fluff? Because while fluff is easy, fun, and feels good, the message we have is of extreme importance and to fail share it is to fail our calling. Are you teaching the Word? Are you giving real application to students so they can truly apply it to their lives or are you just teaching concepts and stories?
3. What we stand for
What mission, vision, and values are we modeling and passing along to our students? Students are watching what we stand for, how well we practice what we preach, and what we hold in high regards. Are we giving them fluff or content? Are we exemplifying what we value or what God values?
4. How we love
This can be a harsh reality check, but are we simply loving students on a surface level in a fluffy way? Or, are we truly loving students unconditionally? Are we there for them beyond weekly youth group, guiding them to truth, and solidly caring about them?
Content is much more difficult than fluff but content is so much more rewarding. We must strive to elevate our content and check ourselves. Think about it and evaluate yourself. How are you doing in these areas as far as content is concerned? Content matters. I hope you were challenged today and are ready to continue pouring into students lives!
Todd has been in youth ministry for 10 years and has a passion for reaching lost students and training youth workers to do the same. He is the founder of Stoked On Youth Ministry, a speaker, author, and pastor. When Todd is not writing or speaking he enjoys surfing, baseball and most importantly hanging out with his awesome wife and three beautiful daughters. You can connect with Todd on Twitter @TheTodd_Jones, Instagram @Todd_Jones or for speaking inquiries visit TheToddJones.com