Your Context Matters – How to Contextualize XP3 for Your Ministry

Our mission at XP3 is to provide student pastors with relevant, Biblical content for their ministry. We’re all about the messaging. But it takes more than great messaging to create an effective ministry environment.

Think about it this way. XP3 is like the toolbox in your garage. The tools are valuable and helpful and can help you make your home better. …But only if you know how to apply them the right way. A tool is only beneficial if you know how to use it in your home. And the same is true for XP3 messaging. XP3 provides a bunch of tools, but they’re only beneficial if you know how to apply them in your unique student ministry. In ministry we call this context.

Context matters. Your ministry’s context is important to consider as you utilize XP3MS or XP3HS on Sunday morning. Knowing your context will help you tailor an XP3 teaching script. It will help you tweak small group questions. It will guide you as you encourage and equip your small group leaders every week.

You know your ministry. You know its quirks, its strengths, its areas to grow, its student dynamics… You’re the expert in your ministry, not us. That’s why we’ve come up with eight helpful questions to guide you as you learn your ministry’s context. We’ve grouped the questions into three categories.

First, know the landscape of your student ministry.

1) What are the student groups in my ministry?

  • What types of groups gather at your church? How many different student groups come to your church? What groups will you initially target when you teach?
  • Typically, a student group is a homogeneous group of 5-10 students who act, behave, talk, and dress the same. Invest time in understanding what they love to do, listen to, and watch.

2) What makes my ministry unique?

  • What makes your student ministry different? What does your youth group tend to focus on? What does your youth group do well? What traditions does your ministry have? What makes your group of students remarkable?
  • How can every XP3 bottom line connect with the mission, uniqueness, and values of your student ministry?

Second, find your own voice.

3) What makes my teaching style and personality unique?

  • Embrace your uniqueness! God made you, so be yourself. It’s difficult at times, but don’t try to be someone else when you teach. It’s easy to look at influential speakers and try to emulate them. Resist! Your students need you to be you.

4) What are my strengths and weaknesses as a speaker?

  • Have a few of your ministry colleagues or adult volunteers give you constructive feedback on your delivery.

5) What stories do I have to tell?

  • Rely on your experience to personalize a message. Allow your students to get to know you through your story telling.
  • You’ll find that XP3 provides stories in virtually every teaching script. But those stories are meant to be prompts for you to know what kind of story might help to illustrate the point the script is trying to make.

Lastly, speak to the real needs of your students.

6) What are the top issues that students are dealing with in my ministry?

  • Think through the five social areas students live in: Family, School, Church, Friends, and extracurricular activities (like sports, theater, clubs, and band).
  • Observe, talk to, and perhaps even survey your students. They will tell you their needs.
  • Cruise around on social media in order to gain an understanding of your students’ worlds.

7) How can I touch on my student’s real needs in the Tension section of the teaching script?

  • Highlighting the top issues in the Tension section of a script can help engage students and keep their attention.

8) How can I adapt the Application and Landing sections of the teaching script to address the real needs of my students?

  • It’s more productive to contextually deal with your students’ needs than sticking to the script verbatim.

Adapting and modifying XP3 messaging to fit your unique ministry will go a long way in creating an effective ministry environment. XP3 is the toolbox, but you’re the craftsman. We provide the content, but you provide the context. And context matters.

Orange Conference 2018