I was eating today at a japanese restaurant. I had not planned on eating at the grill for one simple reason: I had seen all his tricks before. It made me think, how often do students say the same thing about our program : “I’ve see this trick before”. It could be that we beat a game to death, sing the same songs, preach in the same way or on the same subject. Magicians have the same trouble. They do the same tricks for a year and then work on new material. You wouldn’t pay to see the magician do the same tricks over and over would you? Magicians and Hibachi Chefs and Youth Pastors need to learn a few new tricks or at least customize the old ones. I mean, I have been bored with my own program and I’m the one leading it. Anyone feeling me out there?

Doing tricks on a hibachi is great for a large table of people, with kids. Even if you have seen the tricks before you get a kick out of watching the kids reaction who’ve never seen this before. There were two of us sitting at the hibachi table. He did the same tricks: The onion volcano choo choo, the egg role (Ha ha) etc. There were two of us. But see, he was stuck in a rut. He was trained to cook the same way for every customer. How about you? Have you quit customizing your program and turned it into a one size fits all? Don’t be shocked if kids quit coming because they’ve seen that trick before.

Watch this to see what I mean Amazing Hibachi Chef

Did you see anything amazing? Probably not. You probably have a chef in your town who does the same tricks. I’m not taking anything away from the guy, he has skills.

But, what if my hibachi cook took the time to know me and when I came in he said, “I have been working on a new trick just for you that you have never seen.” You bet I’d be back more often to see it. Our kids need us to think, pray, and create more ways for them to see, understand and receive the gospel. Jesus only did the mud in the blind eyes thing once. Why? If he had done it all the time he would have lost the crowds. The crowds said of Him, “All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!” Luke 4:36. Jesus brought something new to the table that the crowds had not heard or seen.

So, What if..

1. You met somewhere different

2. You didn’t preach that night (someone else did or no one did)

3. You had a foot washing service.

4. You had communion.

5. You knew your audience better.

6. You scaled down or up accordingly.

7. You did something specific with a kid or a group of kids in mind.

8. You had a prayer line or just a night of prayer.

9. You anointed kids with oil for service.

10. You told new stories (instead of those old ones over and over)

11. Students led the service.

12. You got better at communicating or chose a different communication style

13. What if you used art to tell your message.

14. You changed the way you call kids to the altar or close the service.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Variety is the spice of life. You don’t have to change every week, just enough that keeps your kids from guessing your order of service every week.

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2 Comments


  1. Good thoughts. Also, something that can get overlooked too often, the youth want to get “real meat” from lessons too. Too much “razzle-dazzle” can leave them felling like we are trying to entice them or win them over.
    Helping them learn core doctrine of the gospel and how to stay close to the spirit helps them the most when they are challenged in the world about their beliefs. Should be worth having a once-a-month “straight talk” evening or session. Social media, advertising, TV, movies, etc are all trying to convince and entice; we need to be able to help them understand “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). His life and teachings are that bread.
    Keep sharing Paul!


  2. Thanks Tony, I’m a meat and potato’s kind of guy. I have to force myself to do dessert LOL. Thanks for the encouragement.

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