First Third Conversations

Life Teams Part III by Jerry Watts

I thought I was just going to dinner with my wife and kids at the Chili’s by my house one night. As the hostess seated us, we walked past a table, and there sat an adult and a student from our church — one of our Life Teams. There they were, just having dinner, catching up, getting to know each other even better, doing life together. I can’t tell you what an exciting moment that was for me. It made every ministry struggle that I’ve had around the shift from group to maturing Christian faith worth it.

They said that no one would follow through and do this -- and there they were. They also said that I’d never find enough adults, and in the first two years, God has provided.

So now in year two of the vision we have paired 7th graders with Life Team members who agree to partner with them through high school (I’ve shared about that recruiting task in another post) and nurture natural relationship building by moving our confirmation meeting across the street to Wendy’s once a month for one-on-one Life Team-guided conversations over a frosty. They share about their lives, they read a devotion together, pray together. The weird factor is lessened for both the adult and the youth because they see a restaurant full of their friends doing the same thing.

Jerry Watts serves as a youth minister in Plano Tx.  He's been at it for about 17 years, depending on what you count. You can catch him blogging about all things youth ministry at

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