3 tips for improving your student ministry’s worship media

3 tips for improving your student ministry's worship mediaThe following guest post is contributed by Jason Stemm.

Is your student ministry leading students into the presence of Christ? As a youth leader myself, I know the demands that are placed on us to do a good job with the teenagers. I’ve noticed in many student ministries the need for effective media in their meeting times. This is one small way to make a huge difference in what your groups accomplishes. I’ve put together a list of things that may help you in getting your student ministry media looking fresher and better organized and why it may benefit your ministry. In a world of cool motion graphics and HD television, sometimes integrating the visual element in your group’s workings can help your ministry, hopefully leading more people to Jesus Christ.

Tip #1: Animation is Key

I’ve heard it said at times that PowerPoint is an effective teaching tool and I have to respectively disagree. PowerPoint has its uses, but a lot of times it is used wrong. Bad animations and outdated graphics can turn off kids because of its dated approach. Find out what worship software your church uses and, if your group has a student band, look into putting animated backgrounds and elements in your worship. Maybe even get your group’s logo over an animated background. This can create excitement and class to your student worship experience. There are lots of good worship software out there for all budgets. I would suggest Worship Him for low budgets, EasyWorship and MediaShout for bigger budgets. Get away from PowerPoint, it was cool at first, but there are things so much better to bring your church and student ministry great worship. These types of software are easy to train your kids on as well, and it’s a skill that will enable them to serve in God’s Kingdom after they leave your group. Your church doesn’t have to be 2,000 strong to enjoy great worship media.

Tip #2: Transcend Stereotypes

An old stereotype of Christian media is that it’s corny and irrelevant. God gave us the gift of media to teach, inspire, motivate, and worship. Use media that generates excitement and enthusiasm for what you’re trying to accomplish in your student ministry. Great Christian media is focused, creative, and powerful. And this type of media, when used in the right way, can do great things for your students. It’s the shock and awe of this type of media that often shows kids that the church is not a boring place and that Jesus’ message is real. I’m so glad Christian media is getting better, in many places becoming cutting edge. But many youth groups haven’t tapped into the potential of this. Often times by not tapping into the benefits of Christian media, you miss out on the increasing number of creative students that grace the streets of our culture.

Tip #3: Become the Innovator

What separates one youth group from the next group down the road? What are you doing they are or are not doing? Are your students serving more? Worshipping more? Giving more? Hanging out with each other more outside of group meeting times? The point is clear, separate your student ministry from the rest with relevant media, but don’t get lost in it. Have the media work around the strengths of your group. Use illustration videos that are relevant and teach. Use media to motivate your kids to serve on the mission field. Use media to motivate parents into integrating Christian principles into the family. Use media smartly. Don’t invest in media just because it’s a cool toy to add to the student ministry worship hour. Integrate media to innovate the way your student ministry operates and gets the Gospel to those who desperately need to hear it. Use these tips as a starting point to better integrating media into your student ministry’s worship or youth group meeting.

Jason StemmJason Stemm is a husband of one wife, father of three boys, and associate minister at his church in southern Iowa where he currently leads the worship and student ministries. He is also the founder of, a new company that sells video backgrounds and other church media resources. Jason can be reached at

Posted on September 28, 2009

  • I struggle with the way #3 begins… who cares what the church or youth group down the street is doing? Be stinking faithful to what God has asked of you and let that be enough. And while media has it's place, it's never a competitive tool.

    Man… really? Is someone out there really thinking this?

  • Hi Tony. I appreciate your comment. I really didn't intend to state that it is a competitive tool. I was just saying in other words to be original and in your words…faithful to what God has called us to. Media enhances that calling and can communicate that to your kids.

  • I'm sure deep down that isn't your value, Jason, so thanks for clarifying it. But the way the article is stated it is misleading… and since most youth workers already feel like they have to deal with proving their job to their church (job security, etc), this only feeds into the mindset that we need to have the best show in town. That's the job of the circus… and while youth ministry feels that way at times, I'd love us to err on the side of simplicity-and-creativity in tension – creativity that honors that Creator (i.e. the points you make), but simplicity in that we are never creative just to be creative; rather, it's to put as much of a spotlight on Jesus so that the people never applaud the media but the One behind it.

  • @ Tony I agree with what you're saying. Jason, I too, believe that it isn't a core value of yours deep down – to make student ministry into a competition. But at first glance the statement does come across that way so thank for clarifying.

    My thing is that instead of competing we should be sharing in ministry with those churches around us who are like minded. One of the things that I think the body of Christ is missing out on is unity. I realize there are all sorts of theological implications here (ie. how do we work with those who hold different doctrinal points than us? can we work with them? should we? in what situations would we?) – which could be another topic for another day. We should be striving for unity and togetherness with those who are like minded in faith. The unfortunate thing is that there aren't many churches around (at least in NW Iowa) that are willing to partner and do things together. This is a shame since it's something Jesus prayed for in John 17.

    • Chris, that's one of the things I like most about the community where we serve — us youth pastors work together, support each other, and communicate pretty well. We meet every week, pray for each other, share issues and struggles, celebrate together, and bring our youth groups together sometimes. The kingdom mindset is so great!

  • That's great to share with other ministries and work with them. I'm not denying that. I actually agree with everything you guys have said. Within the context of the article I'm stating not to be worried about what they are doing down the road, but to let media help you in communicating the vision God has set forth for your ministry in His Kingdom, but don't get so enamored by it that it drowns out your message.

  • Stephen

    I fully agree with Jason. I can see how some misunderstood but it was all about context. Thanks Jason!

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