If anyone has gone deep in student ministry, it’s Dr. Duffy Robbins. A longtime friend of Orange, he serves as Professor of Youth Ministry at Eastern University and has a 35-year-history in working with teenagers. Duffy’s warm, conversational style and quick sense of humor have placed him in high demand for everything from Bible camps to music festivals. In fact, his resume spans so many publications, conferences and even international locations it might just give your brain whiplash. But what matters most to us at the Phase Project? Duffy Robbins doesn’t just work with teens—he truly loves building relationships with them.
In Deuteronomy 6, Moses addressed the nation of Israel and made a passionate plea to “impress” on the hearts of children core truths that relate to God’s character. Some translations use the phrase “teach diligently.” The phrase can also be translated to mean “to cause to learn.” He wasn’t advocating a lecture-based, Torah literacy program where a teacher’s responsibility ended once they presented the content.
What Moses knew was this. The role of a leader is not to simply present accurate information. The role of a leader is to keep presenting, to keep translating, to keep creating experiences until someone has learned what they need to know.
So your job is simple.
Know what can be expected of them and know how they think so they will hear what you say and know what to do.
ZERO TO ONE
Mental: The brain has 100 billion neurons (roughly the number of stars in the Milky Way), more than at any other time in life
Physical: Double their birth weight and learning to roll over
ONE & TWO
Mental:Understands roughly 70 words and learning to walk
Physical:Has grown to half their adult height and can follow two-part instructions
If no volunteer can ever know what a parent knows, when why recruit anyone to help with kids and teenagers?
It would definitely make things easier if you could just tell parents, “Since you know more than we can ever know, and you have more time than we will ever have, and you care about this more than we ever will, this is really up to you as the parent.”
You could also misquote Deuteronomy 6 to convince parents it’s their job alone, not the church’s to raise their kids. Just skip the part of the text where Moses speaks to every leader in the crowd (not just parents).
Moses was actually the first guy with the idea, “It takes a village.”
Sure, parents should be the primary influence in their kid’s lives.
In the elementary years, a child develops skills and competencies that equip their future. The way a child resolves the “Do I have” questions of these phases provides them with critical knowledge and resources.
It shapes their perception of personal ability, comparative value, and resilience. Through these phases, kids shift from wanting to be seen by adults to wanting to be seen by adults and peers. The best way to resolve a kid’s relational questions is to engage their interests. However, it’s difficult to engage, when you don’t know what questions they’re asking.
Here are three questions that all elementary-aged children are asking:
Over 7,000 youth ministry leaders and volunteers gathered together at Orange Conference last week to hear from inspiring speakers, share stories about ministry programs, and feel renewed in their calling to serve on their church’s youth ministry team. The 3-day conference featured 7 main stage sessions— with speakers such as: Reggie Joiner, Andy Stanley, Cheryl Bachelder, and Perry Noble—and had over 200 breakout sessions.
Click here to read the notes from our Just A Phase breakouts!
The common thread through all the hours of powerful content? Monday is coming. Sunday can’t be the end of the road for us. We should do everything we can on Sunday to set kids, students, and families to win Monday and every day, not just in our programs or ministries on Sundays.