10-Second Tip: Meet One-on-one

Jacob Eckeberger
July 14th, 2016

At the NATIONAL YOUTH WORKERS CONVENTION, we stopped youth workers from all across the U.S. and asked them to share a 10-second youth ministry tip.


Meet one-on-one with students. Anytime, all the time, every time, they are different one-on-one.


One-on-one conversations with students are key to discipleship and mentor relationships. Outside of your church’s individual policies about meeting with students one-on-one, here are a few key guidelines to make the most out of these one-on-one conversations:

1) Make it regular.

Whether it’s you or another volunteer, having a caring adult connect individually with a student on a regular basis will create discipleship opportunities that can’t happen in a large group setting.

2) Start where you left off last time.

Be sure to build off the momentum of the last conversation you had with the student. Recap what you’ve talked about before and ask them how things have progressed since then.

3) Prepare some open-ended questions before you meet.

It can be hard to think of good questions on the spot. One of the best ways to avoid questions with “yes” or “no” answers is to think ahead about ways to ask more open-ended questions. Here are a few ideas:

Instead of asking: How is school?
A better question: What is 1 thing you’re excited about in school and 1 thing you’re not excited about?

Instead of asking: Did you enjoy youth group yesterday?
A better question: What stood out to you about youth group yesterday?

Instead of asking: Did you read John chapter 1 for Sunday school?
A better question: In your own words, what do you think is the main point behind John chapter 1?

4) Remind them of their gifts and talents.

One-on-one conversations are a great opportunity to brag on the student and remind them of all the amazing things you see in them. Overtime, these kinds of reminders will impact their own understanding of who they are and how they can serve others.

5) Leave space for them to be honest about anything and everything.

It’s always important to at least ask the question, “Is there anything else that you feel like I should know about?” Most of the time, there won’t be anything serious. But just in case there is, you’re creating every opportunity for them to share it with you.

6) Don’t forget to laugh.

There are few things that break through conversational barriers like humor. So even if you need to come prepared with some dumb videos (Parry Grip videos are my go-to) look for opportunities for a good belly laugh.

Join us this year for the National Youth Workers Convention in Cincinnati, OH for way more tips and ministry ideas from the 50+ seminars and training opportunities. Register early for NYWC to save BIG: NYWC.COM.

JACOB ECKEBERGER is the Content Manager at Youth Specialties, an itinerant worship leader, the spouse of a church planter, and a long time volunteer youth worker. You can find him blogging about social media and digital strategy ideas at JACOBECKEBERGER.COM.

Jacob Eckeberger

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.