Dan is the Junior High Youth Pastor at Berean Baptist Church in Mansfield, Ohio and has been married to his wife and ministry partner, Melissa, since 2000. They have two children: Jenna and Kaleb. He has done ministry for 19 years in a wide variety of churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Louisiana, and Wisconsin. Dan is a regular contributor, curriculum creator, and writer for Group Magazine, Stuff You Can Use, Youthworker Journal, and juniorhighministry.org., and he blogs about Middle School Ministry at jrhighuthguy.blogspot.com. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Yesterday, I introduced the educational concept of “constructivism.”
In case you missed it, “constructivism” is an understanding of how a learner builds knowledge for themselves through the building blocks of discovery, hands-on, experiential, collaborative, project-based, and task-based learning in order to engage knowledge.
But beyond these educational building blocks, what are the spiritual building blocks that will help us (as communicators) construct teaching that is B-U-I-L-T to last?
We all want the things we are teaching to last longer than the back door of our youth room. We teach lessons that need to last and become foundations for life.
In order for us to do that, we must create youth ministry environments and lessons that give students the building blocks to construct for themselves the truth that will last for a lifetime.
I am not talking about a “pick and choose what I like and don’t like” model of teaching truth. I am rather talking about an intentional approach that is less “preacher” and more “teacher.” It is an educational model and approach that allows us to come beside, lead, and teach while handing off the unchanging truths.