Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Interview: A simple yet powerful tool that produces a great intergenerational win

We have an intercom system in our offices, but it's often a "Hey, come look at this!" moment that starts the creative process in our student ministry.  It was such a moment that began one of the coolest Fall High School Class Series--and it was Intergenerational!  The below slides contain a quote from MikeYaconelli (Getting Fired for the Glory of God, 108) that inspired the "Hey, come look at this!" moment and series.

We teach a lot on what it means, looks like and takes to be "different" from the surrounding culture--ad nausem--in our student ministry.  Still, we grieve like Yaconelli, that many of our student's behavior is often similar to that of the non-christian world.  Knowing that nothing beats the power of a good story, the decision was made to share the stage this fall.  Making use of the marathon metaphor (nothing original here--the title 26.2 was cool),we asked older runners (older, faithful Christians) if they would be willing to be interviewed and speak on the ups and downs of their running with Jesus.  We had no trouble enlisting the help of our Senior Pastor (who has just run his first marathon), Small Groups Minister, One of our Elders wives, a Senior Staff member, our Pastoral Minister and a retired Fighter Pilot/Author (check out  Depending on the conversation, we branched off of these basic questions:
  • How long have you been running with Jesus?
  • Have you ever wanted to quit the run?  Why/Why not?
  • What has been your greatest obstacle(s)? Success(s)?
  • What advice would you give young runners?
The simple questions were asked and the magic happened--generations of Jesus followers connected.  Some speakers had better "stage presence" than others, but ALL grabbed the attention of the students.  They spoke with passion, honesty (like a veteran speaks to a rookie) and loving recognition of the different challenges today's students are facing.  It was an awesome experience.

Question for Student Workers:  Interview formats are one of the easiest ways to bring an intergenerational aspect to the classroom/stage.  What ways have you incorporated "older-wiser" voices into your teaching? 

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff. I am working on this very project for 2012 with our church. If you have any more tips to offer, let me know. I would love to hear about them.

    Ross Harmon