1. Preach Context
Taking a verse or passage out of context has the potential of distorting the meaning and even truth of Scripture. This can lead to students wondering why the ‘truth' you spoke last youth service didn't ‘work for them'. Preaching context allows the student to understand the backdrop of a passage or verse. There's a difference between, "Let's eat grandpa" and "Let's eat, grandpa." Context is everything.
2. Creatively Use Illustrations
Speaking a message on sin? Bring in a can of smelly garbage. Doing a message on one of the books Paul wrote? Build a prison cell and preach from it. Talking on compassion? Have someone dress as a homeless person and stand outside your church as the students come in. Communicating a message on worship? Sacrifice a bull. Well...3 out of 4 ideas work! The point here is to not just think outside the box, but to think outside the room that the box sits in.
3. Prioritize Small Group Discussions
Nothing will help your students understand your message as much as being able to ask questions and talk about what's been said. Base your small groups off your message, giving students a chance to discuss it. Putting together questions from your sermon will help you communicate the points you want communicated better as well.
4. Teach Them How to Use the FIRE Bible
What's the saying? "Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and never see him again." Or something like that. Anyway you get the idea. Spend a couple of weeks teaching your students how to use the study notes, concordance, articles, cross-references, and helps. This empowers them to be students of the Word. You can order a FIRE Bible: Student Edition at http://youth.ag.org/resources/.
5. Take Your Students to Israel
No, I'm not crazy. Yes, I am serious. Did you know we have student trips to Israel? The sole purpose of these trips is to help make Scripture come alive in the hearts and minds of students. The Emmaus Experience is a 3-D version of the Bible...something you and your students will never forget. Find out more at http://holylandsstudies.ag.org/StudyTours/Upcoming/TourCategoryDetails/YOUTH-PROGRAMS.