Dodgeball, Steve Harvey, and the Art of Engaging Students

The XP3 blog is all about community. We are a community of student pastors and leaders sharing ideas, strategies, victories, and struggles. That’s why we’re starting a new blog post series focusing on you, the student ministry leader. Once a month we’re asking you questions about student ministry and sharing your answers with the XP3 community. If you would like to contribute in a future post, send us an email.

By Reggie Anderson

What unexpected resource have you stumbled upon that’s been a huge help to you or benefited your students?

As the leader of “Merge,” our middle and high school ministry here at Voices of Faith Stone Mountain, I am beyond thrilled with the partnership we share with Orange! Orange has been both a powerful and unexpected resource to me over the past year and a half. It is more than just curriculum, graphics, and videos for our ministry. It is a network. A network that I have personally fallen in love with because Orange Specialists have been there for me whenever I have needed help, advice or even ideas on how to pull certain things off. Without Orange our ministry would be limited in just how awesome we are for Jesus!

 


 

What’s been one successful, special event that you’ve pulled off in the past year?

Recently, our MergeSBATL16 Tour (Merge Spring Break Atlanta 2016) has been our most successful event yet! The goal of this trip was to build community among our students and allow them to get to know their Youth Pastor outside of the walls of the church. It was quite interesting as we accomplished five events in four days! Events such as bike riding down the famous Atlanta Beltline, unlimited bowling, laser tag, and gravity ropes course at Main Event, Get Air Indoor Trampoline Park, Atlanta Hawks vs. Toronto Raptors NBA Game, and experiencing Medieval Times! Our students experienced a fun, memorable, and crazy week as they witnessed me playing dodgeball on a trampoline and riding a double seated bicycle!

 


 

What’s one win you’ve had recently in your student ministry?

As great of an experience as this was, I cannot forget God’s amazing Grace before this unforgettable event took place. Once a quarter I am given the opportunity to preach to our entire church body on what we call our “Fantastic 4th Youth Sunday!” In my last time up before God’s people I spoke on the topic “I Believe I’m Made For Greatness!” from the perspective of Joseph’s mindset before he became famous. During this time, announcements had previously been made concerning our MergeSBATL16 Tour and after service on the following Sunday, one of our members approached me and said, “I am proud of what you are doing with our youth, and I would like to sponsor two students for the MergeSBATL16 event. Do you know of anyone in need?” This was a huge win because the sponsor did not have any students in the ministry, and did not know that the sponsored students would have stayed home if it were not for his donations. These two students were not related – one male one female – and both thoroughly enjoyed the trip. They haven’t stopped laughing and talking about their experience with their peers! Events and testimonies like these are only possible because of what God has been doing in our weekly Merge youth services.

 


 

What recent XP3 series have your students responded to and why?

Partnering with Orange has given me an outline to go by in creativity, relevance and thinking outside the box. This past February we used the XP3 series titled Dateable. Now, I changed some of the lessons and examples given, in order to fit the needs of my urban youth group, however the titles and bottom lines I kept the same. Nevertheless, my students enjoyed it and when we broke into small groups they were a lot more engaging than normal. Small groups were new to our ministry seven months ago and since then we have been meeting consistently in small groups once a month. The other reason why the small group was a success during this time was because of the topic “Becoming The Right One is greater than Finding The Right One.” This statement alone hit home with many of our students as they are either single or transitioning into or out of a relationship.

 


 

What’s one great (PG) YouTube video that gets constant laughs in your student ministry?

Not only are the curriculum’s from Orange well thought out, but they are also exciting! I look forward to the new series that come out each season and how God will lead me in communicating His Truth to His Students. One thing I do every Wednesday and Sunday with our youth is give them an appropriate and comical YouTube video to break the ice at the beginning of the service. Students deal with a lot of stuff and laughter is a great tool to soften their hearts to The Word of God. Here’s one of our favorite videos that we show from time-to-time to remind students that we all have “dumb moments” and to express the value of paying attention. Enjoy!

 

Reggie Anderson lives in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He’s married to his beautiful wife, Vittoria Anderson and they have an amazing son, Reggie “Trio” Anderson III, who is active and loves to play sports. Reggie is the “Merge” Youth Director at Voices of Faith in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Their tagline for Merge is “Merging how we live with what we believe.” This ministry caters to both middle and high school students and families as they seek to answer the question “Why should I believe in Jesus now?” Reggie’s life verses are found in 1 Timothy 1:5-6 NIV: “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk.” To get in touch with Reggie you can send him an email or follow him on Instagram.
Orange Conference 2018