Published on Nov 19, 2015

Presentations - the first in a series of posts challenging and encouraging those who minister to 10-14 year-olds to refine their messages, focusing on developing more engaging presentations.



Photo by Tom Coates

Apple Keynote

You can feel the tension in the air as technophiles hang on every word of an Apple keynote presentation...hoping it will end with those wonder-filled words: "one more thing."
Photo by marcopako 

Pixar Film

Children of all ages purchase tickets and flood theaters to experience the annual animated magic known as a Pixar film.
Photo by mcarls

TED Talk

Whether you pay big bucks to experience them live or simply log on and view from your desktop or mobile device, TED talks present, in their words, "ideas worth sharing."
Photo by Oznog Racing

Engaging Presentations

Each of these are examples of engaging presentations. In middle school ministry, we need to be refining our message to be as effective as possible at helping students meet and follow Jesus. A key piece in that is our presentations.


I will admit at the risk of turning you away due to my geek-factor, that presentations are a hobby for me. But they are a hobby that have helped me so much in my ministry with preteens and middle schoolers that I knew I needed to share my observations, thoughts, findings, resources and even questions with you in not just one post, but in a series of posts.

20 Minutes

Think about it. People criticize sermons or lessons that go longer than 20 minutes. Yet those same people praise a two-hour keynote presentation by Apple.
Photo by Wiedmaier


Critics of youth ministry complain that we entertain kids too much. And then they sit for two hours with their kids watching a Pixar film in the theater before watching it on an endless loop at home later.
Photo by Anirudh Koul


Sometimes we are our own biggest critics and start to believe the lie that learning isn't fun and we need to do more games and less teaching to keep students, especially ten to fourteen year-olds, engaged. And then we click on a link and are drawn in to an education from ideas presented in a TED talk.
Photo by stars alive

Untitled Slide

The core of what we present to students is the Bible. As far as content is concerned, that can't be topped. We may add side-dishes of personal illustrations or examples from popular culture. But the main dish will always be the Word of God.

Untitled Slide

However, I have learned from the culinary arts that presentation can make or break a dish. The same is true for us. Presentation can make or break a key component of our ministry with students.
Photo by QuintanaRoo

Untitled Slide

I invite you to join me as we learn from the masters of the art of presentation. Study with me as we take notes on key concepts, philosophies and rules in creating and delivering captivating presentations. Wrestle with some of the thoughts that challenge what I've "always done" in over a decade of ministry. Explore with me new resources, companies and people helping to shape presentations now and for years to come.
Photo by deovolenti


And always keep in the back of your mind this truth. Apple has a team of great people working tirelessly to deliver two or three keynote presentations per year. Pixar has an incredibly gifted variety of individuals and technology working for years to deliver one two-hour movie. And people go to great lengths, even hiring presentation creating companies, to help them prepare for a TED talk.
Photo by EricaJoy

One Week

We have less than a week to get ready for our next presentation. We need to get going...
Photo by wka