Friday, February 22, 2008

The Harry Potter Handover

This year for youth group, the main theme has been "How to live as a believer in an unbelieving world?" Our first step was to spend time studying how to study the bible. Our next step involved going through a study on the book of Daniel written by yours truly.

Our final step is a series on engaging culture by analyzing movies and music: teaching the kids not to be oysters (and suck everything in), but to engage with ideas presented, evaluate them biblically, and hold fast to Jesus. Well, one great joy as a teacher has been seeing a 'student' begin to teach.

I gave some framework to a youth and let him 'run with' the discussion on Harry Potter V. He did quite well. There is something beautiful in seeing information, passion, and skill passed on to the next generation.

The Harry Potter 'Handover' happened because I hadn't seen ANY of those movies. I just watched the fifth one. While I enjoyed it, I wasn't quite 'qualified' to lead the discussion, seeing as I couldn't remember any of those weird names.

But for our next movie, I'll be intentionally allowing another youth to lead the discussion. Hopefully I can train up some new youth leaders who can continue the process in due time. Allowing new people to lead does a few things.

First of all it allows me to see if they are 'getting it.' A seminary professor once said, "You don't really grasp the material until you can teach it." Whether in a classroom, discussion, or one-on-one setting, I think he's right.

Next it gives youth more responsibility and ownership. If we don't push them and expect anything out of them, we'll see very little out of them.

Finally, giving over control of the these lessons, trains new leaders. It's what Paul did to Timothy. But Paul did so with the expectation of him continuing the process of raising up new leaders (II Tim 2:2). In other words, do everything you can to make yourselves expendable. You won't be around forever. One of the goals of a pastor or any elder or lay leader in a church should be to do all he/she can to work himself out of a 'job' and make himself more and more expendable. Strange goal, but I think a good one.

No comments: