Session 3

Introduction to Programming

This third session focuses on how to program for Youth Ministry. Since Youth ministry is a teaching ministry that often happens in groups, it can be helpful to know what to do when the group gets together and why. It’s also important to build for yourself a “toolbox” of techniques, resources, and other things you need to have available for teaching. Use this page as a “starting place” for being the great teacher of youth that you might not already know you are.

Session 3: Introduction to Programming

Big Idea: Exploring how we teach, what we teach, and ways teenagers and others learn.

Session Video Lectures

How Curriculum Works
Effective Teaching Techniques
About Experiential Education
Introduction to Stunts and Challenges

Suggested Resources

When you can, please give attention to these suggested materials: is great place to get a variety of media and other files for use in building teaching tools. (See the Jesus Video series as an example).

Youth Ministry Conversations is a great all-purpose site for youth ministers and networking (Disclaimer: we have a connection to them)

Youth Ministry 360 has a number of good resources, including this guide to playing games during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A secular guide to games to play during the pandemic.

A page for low-prep youth group games.

Two retreats for you to adapt for your own use:

Life Weaving

Peace Herding

After the Session: Research, Action, and Reflection

Below are suggestions for further research and activities to engage in as you look to start a project for you group. There are no grades! We want to encourage trying something new and learning from mistakes and successes. Let us know how it goes. Feel free to use the public question board to post your reflections or send a private note to the leaders.

Create a vision statement for the youth ministry at your church. Have others do the same. Share them with each other. Compare and contrast.

Find one challenge you would like to do with your teenagers.

Ask three of your teenagers to describe a time they felt a strong emotion dong something with the youth ministry. Reflect on their stories.

Sara Clarke Turpin


Rev. Sara Clarke Turpin is Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Buechel Park Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, where she has served since 2013. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from BSK: Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, along with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown College with majors in Religion and Business Administration: Management and minors in Church Music and Psychology. She has been both a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) Scholar and Fellow and served on the CBF Kentucky Coordinating Council and Execitive Committee. Before coming to Buechel Park, Sara served as the Youth Minister at Melbourne Heights Baptist Church in Louisville for four years.

Andrew Noe


Andrew Noe serves at East Leonard CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigian as the Pastor of Faith Formation. He is a proud graduate of the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, is passionate about bringing creativity to ministry, and enjoys working with teenagers. He is married to the wonderful Hannah, and they have two spectacular kids – Gwen and Benjamin. His side passions are comic books, lego and video games.

Justin Sizemore


Justin Sizemore is the Minister to Youth at Calvary Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. He is a graduate of the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University and a proud Georgetown College Tiger! He has been involved in Youth Ministry as a volunteer, assistant, chaperone, and now minister for over 14 years. Youth Ministry is his passion and calling.

Justin is married to Abby Sizemore (The FABULOUS Director of Admissions for the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky!!!) and they have two wonderful daughters, Ann-Thomas and their most recent addition, Edith (Edie).

Questions, Comments and Ideas

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flourish courses

Flourish courses offer great learning opportunities around key topics designed to help equip church leaders for vibrant ministry. These short-term courses are offered online and are affordable.

upcoming courses

Additional Flourish Courses are coming! Plan to register for Essential Topics in Youth Ministry, coming Spring 2021.