Three key tasks of a communicator are to convince the listeners you care about them, to convince them you know what you're talking about and to convince them that what you are saying is worth listening to.
The last two are easy....simply know what you're talking about and communicate in an engaging way!
But the first one is a tougher challenge. How do you let listeners know you really care about them? How do you, in essence, gain the trust of your audience? You can begin earning the trust of your students in a few fairly simple ways:
- Be yourself...students can smell a fake.
- Be consistent...students can smell a flake.
- Be vulnerable...students trust people who are willing to share failures and struggles.
- Be fair....life isn't fair, but young teenagers think it should be.
- Be involved long-term...students in 8th grade will more quickly trust leaders they've known since 7th grade.
As you begin to build more and more trust, your students will more easily believe you truly care for them, and they will be more likely to pay attention and put your bible studies and lessons into action.