Monday, August 29, 2016

Top 10: JH/MS Boys Who Are In Your Group?

10. Lego Logan- He is your super sweet new 6th graders, that still plays with "toys".  If you ask him, he will show you his pocket full of legos.  You might even catch a couple of his friends discussing their latest creations.  The problem is he has no clue on deeper spiritual things, because his parents have babied him for so long in every way.

9. GI Joe Joe- Joe comes in full camo even on Sunday morning.  He even owns a camo tie.  He is the first one to sign up for paintball and will probably the first one to sign for the army.  He occasionally will give you a "HOHA!' after a correct answer?  You say "Onward Christian Soldiers" he is combat crawling out the door?

8. Ball Boy Billy- He is your sports guy...every sport ever invented.  If it is involves a ball, he is in it to win it. The problem is dad thinks he is going to go pro by 9th grade.  Not sure what sport, but he will be drafted directly out of middle school, so that means he is not at church often.  He is at practice, clinics, games, and traveling teams.  His parent's just took out a second mortgage to pay for all of it, but Billy is really the one paying for it in the end?

7. Corner Connor- Connor comes in find the farthest, darkest corner and sits down.  He is not a problem it is almost like he is not there.  He in some ways really isn't. He sits and soaks in silence.  No one knows who he is, what he is thinking, and what do with him. 

6. Preacher Boy Paul- Born, Bred, and Bible fed y'all.  With his 10 pound study Bible, freshly pressed pants and tie he is ready to go.   First one with the verse, and his hand up with the answer.  He has memorize the book of Lamentations for fun? He knows the answer to the questions, but doesn't know what it means.  He just told you his plans for seminary and he hasn't even completed 7th grade.

5. ADD Alan- Which one will show up tonight.  Alan with drugs or Alan without drugs? He is the kids that actually does chase squirrels..literally!  On drugs he will sit and drool, off drugs he is hanging from the rafter...once again literally.  He is the reason your trustees want to do away with the exposed beam industrial look in the youth building?

4. Rocker Rocky- Please no piercing during youth group!  Your Mohawk must be short enough to fit in the door.  If you are wearing leather pants with studs you can not play the game tonight AND many other rules were made because of Rocky.  May not get it all, but loves to worship and plays a mean electric guitar in the praise band.

3. Christian School Chris- Spends some time on and off with Preacher Boy Paul. Like Paul knows the answers and has the knowledge, but is not as willing to share it.  He has 'heard it all" and "knows it all" but could honestly care less? He comes every other week or so, because even his parents feel he "gets enough God all day at school"

2. Clowning Carl- The life of the party and is absolutely hilarious.  You love him to death...when you are not teaching.  Big personality and Big love for Jesus to, just gets a little lost in being popular, fun, and everyone's friends. 

1. Questioning Quinton?? Always has a questions and wants to know and challenge everything.   He grew up in a good Christian home, but now wants to really know if what he believes is true.  May drive you nuts, but in the end he is willing and open to learn.  On top of everything else he wants to live his faith out and wants others to too.  He is either going to be an outstanding witness in this high school and college years or he will walk away completly from church frustrated.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Free Media #93: "300 Pro Titles Collection"

A Quick FREE Resource to Create A Fast Opening Slide, Announcement Slide, and More a Collection of 300 Pre-Made Ready to Roll Titles That Can Be Quick Inserted into Your Presentation and Media Backgrounds!

CLICK HERE (to get them free!)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Your Cheating Heart (Emotional Affairs with Your Ministry?)

An emotional affair is defined as, "A relationship, which excludes physical intimacy but includes emotional intimacy. A relationship.... other than with ones’ spouse that has an impact on the level of intimacy, emotional distance and overall dynamic balance in the marriage.”

Does that sound at all familiar to you? How about if I was not talking about another person? Reread that description and apply it to your ministry. How about now? 

You would never imagine cheating on your spouse. You love them and care for them deeply. You have made conscience choices to protect yourself from sexual sin or from putting yourself in situations with the opposite sex that would even appear to be inappropriate. You have guarded your heart and you have done your best to "flee from lust and temptations". You cannot imagine having an affair, sexually or physically with another person. However how about emotionally with your calling and ministry?

Focus on the Family describes "The Truth About Emotional Affairs" this way:
- You share personal thoughts or stories....
- You feel a greater emotional intimacy....
- You long for, and look forward to, your next contact or conversation...
- You start changing your normal routine or duties to spend more time with....
- You spend significant and meaningful time with....

The fact is many of us in youth ministry have begun to cheat on our spouses (and our families) emotionally with our ministry. We do not think of it that way, but it may be truer than we would like to admit. Our emotions, self-worth and maybe even our spiritual identity are not connected to who we are as a husband/wife but to who we are in our ministries. Consider the following three areas where you may have let yourself begin to slip into an emotional affair with your ministry.

How much time do you spend with your ministry? I am not talking about not working hard and putting in your time for a normal youth ministry schedule. What about your quality time? Are you putting longer and longer hours in the office or out with students at the expense of spending time with your family? 

When your time schedule consistently becomes unbalanced, giving more and more time to students, you may be walking a dangerous line. Be aware, be organized, and be scheduled in your time so that your spouse gets quality time as well as quantity time with you.

Where are your thoughts, creativity, and dreams? When you are at home or out on a date night, are you still thinking about ministry? Are giving your mind fully over to concentrating on your spouse as they share about your day or are still working on your lesson mentally while you pretend to listen?

When your daydreams and thinking is consumed with ministry, students, and your program, you are not giving your mind and heart back to your spouse the way you should. Refocus your mind and leave the church at the church, as you drive home. Once you have walked in the door your thoughts should be on your family and spouse. Share about your day, so they feel included in what you do, but then move on. 

Who or what gets the best of you? Does your spouse or your ministry have your energy and effort? Are you coming up with over the top games or lesson illustrations while you exert little or no energy on making your spouse feel loved? On your day off, if you even take one, are you completely empty because you have already given away your best to your ministry?

Be very careful, when your time, thoughts and then your best efforts are given away to ministry leaving your spouse with a shell of who you are. This is the moments, when ministry and calling can easily become a quiet dangerous mistress.  

We all hear stories of people in ministry failing all the time. We hear the stories of those who have fallen into some sort of sin or moral failure. We hopefully have made discerning choices to avoid some of those obvious pitfalls. This may not be something as obvious, but maybe even more dangerous. As we give more time, creative thoughts, and our best efforts, we will be applauded, called successful or hard working. While we are being loved and adored in our ministry, our level of real intimacy with our spouse suffers, emotional distance forms, and we lose the balance with our other lifelong calling and commitment to our marriage.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Game #93: "Giant Uno Get to Know" (Icebreaker)




        A full deck of Uno cards

Quick explanation: Every person will be given an Uno card.  They will be matching up with other students based on assignment, and then doing a “Sharing Assignment”

Before the Game:

      Write down a few sharing assignments if needed (*suggestions below)

      Pass out an Uno card to every students

      Give “Quick Explanation”

      Start announcing “Group Instructions” and “Sharing Assignments”

      Repeat as many times are you like

      There is no winner, everyone wins because they have got to know each other better

Card Sharing Assignment

      Red Cards: Share something you love

      Yellow Cards: Share something that makes you happy

      Green Cards: Share something you like to do outside

      Blue Cards: Share something you like to do with water

      Wild Cards: Share something about you that not many people know

Grouping Instructions: (“Find someone_______, share your name, and share your “Sharing Assignment” …)

      Find someone with the same color, wilds find wilds

      Find someone with the same number or type of card (reverse, skip..)

      Find someone with a different color than you

      Find someone with a different number or type of card
If you have a number card find someone that is one card above your or below you. If you have a non-number card skips find a reverse and pick 2 find a wild card


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

News U Can Use: "Target Uses Kids to Make Thier Newest Commercial"

" Before kids step into their first day of school outfits, zip up thei r backpacks or sit down at their desks, the Target team is putting pencil to paper, thinking up the best ways to celebrate kids’ potential all year long. This time, to help youngsters and parents gear up for the coming school year, we're tapping kids to steer our entire back-to-school campaign.

“Kids and families are incredibly important to Target, and just as parents recognize the potential in their kids, Target does too,” said Jeff Jones, chief marketing officer, Target. “We were inspired to work even more closely with kids after seeing the difference they made in the development of our new Cat & Jack and Pillowfort lines.
Now, we're taking things a step further, allowing kids to put their mark on Target’s community giving and marketing campaign for the back-to-school season. Both are not only inspired by kids, but completely created by kids...."


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Top 10: JH/MS Girls Who Are In Your Group?

 10. Home-School Holly- Sheltered not allowed out of the house unless she is going to church.  Has memorize huge amounts of scripture, but has no idea what it means...

9. Boy-Crazy Brianna- She shows up just for the guys. Is a constant flirt and has a new "boyfriend" every week.  Will be on Facebook or Twitter tomorrow upset because her latest guy dumped her

8. Shy Savanna- Sweet and will do anything for anybody, but good luck trying to get her to talk to anyone.

7. Jock Jenna- She is a fun, great leader...when she is there. Which is only a few weeks in-between sports or summer traveling teams

6. Preppie Princess Paige- Mommy and daddy have money...or at least they think they do.  Always has the latest fashions on.  Tries her hardest to act just like a Kardashian.

5. Outgoing Olivia- Try to get her to stop talking.  She will tell you about anything and everything.  She is the life of the party and some times too much? 

4. Emo Emily-  Dress all in black and hurting.  Headphones on and hood up.  Quiet and distance, but listening hard to everything you have to say, to see if you are just "another adult" or someone that really DOES cares.

3. Rebel Rebecca- Hangs with Emily sometimes. Grew up in the church and is bored to death with it all.  She is only there because mom and dad make her...and she is going to make sure you are going to pay for it.  If she has to be there you are going to know it!

2. Serving Sarah- Never really up front, and never really outspoken.  Turn your back and next thing you know chairs are stacked, pens are put away, and the staff bathroom is sparkling clean (*alright maybe not the bathroom thing, but you get the idea)

1. Missionary Megan!!- has her Bible and it is ready.  Even though you are not suppose to 'play favorite', she is yours.  Always ready to serve, share, witness, and the first one to sign up for the summer missions trip. You might just find her going door to door around your church asking people to come to youth group.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Free Media #91: "Pokemon Go: PS Template"

Edit EVERYTHING and create your own handout, signs, lesson or crazy spin-off game for your group this week!

CLICK HERE (to get your Pokémon ON!)