Monday, September 30, 2013

Top 10: If JH Boys Made Smart Phone Apps?

What Would Happen, If Our 6th-8th Grade Boys Were Let Loose on the World of Technology?  What Inspirational and Innovated Things Would They Create?  How Would They Change the World?  
The Not So Brilliant, Yet Wonderful...

TOP 10: Smart Phone Apps, If MY JH/MS Boys Were in Charge?

10. Spitter

9. Plop Box

8. Rype

7. Potty-Fy

6. Call of Dooty

5. Turds with Friends

4. Flick-Ster

3. Toot Ninja

2. Temple Runs

1. Angry Turds  (what else?)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review/Game Resource: "LIAR, LIAR PANTS ON FIRE"

Here is a quick little game resource that I found while hanging out with my own personal kids in the kids section of my local bookstore.

The book contains thirty-three, seven question true and false question quizzes.  After each quiz is the facts and information explaining the "truth".  It is fun and informative, but more importantly for us in a Middle School/Jr. High Ministry context, it quickly and easily can translate into information to create your own upfront "powerpoint game" similar to the "power plays" (group/simply youth) or for an upfront trivia face-off or hot seat game.  If you want to go even more classic using the old stand by...use if for a version of "2 lies and a truth" kind of game.  If want to involve the whole group use it as part of an icebreaker time and have people share their name and whether something is true or false, and go through the questions, having people meet 7 different people?

However you use it for around $9.00 you can get yourself quick easy to use resource that you can throw on your shelf, for that last minute game idea or time filler.

CLICK HERE (to buy to take a peak inside)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Game #38: "The Carmel Onion Race" (upfront game) AND A LESSON!

This is a classic that has been floating around for years.  I know I have used on and off for a while.
It is so funny, but is also make a great illustration and point.
- 2 apples
- 1 onion
-  Camel Apple Supplies (caramel, sticks...)
-  3 plates

Set Up:
Set up a table upfront with 3 plates and 3 caramel "apples". Ask for 3 volunteers that love caramel apples.
Game Play/Rules:
Explain that it is a race, but please chew and don't choke! The person that has the most of the apple eaten at the end of 1 minute wins.  On "Go" people will start eating.

The person with the onion, more than likely at the first bite will spit it out and may stop all together.  Let the minute run through.  Give a prize the winner and ask the player with the "onion" why they didn't finish.

 - You need to peel the onion before dipping it in caramel
- Make sure to thoroughly cover your onion with caramel, maybe even add an extra layer, so the smell does not come through.

INWARD vs. OUTWARD- I Sam. 6:11:
"...Don't look at his appearance or his height, for I've rejected him. Truly, God does not see what man sees, for man looks at the outward..."

CLOTHES vs. CHARACTER- I Peter 3:3-4        
" Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious."

TRENDS vs. TRUTH- Matt. 7:15

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Quick Hint & Help #5- "THE KNARP"

 It depends on the group and even the leaders that I have had over the years, but pranking especially at camps and retreats can quickly get out of hand!  I have heard various theories and debates over whether to allow or not allow pranking, but either ways here might be a great alternative?

What we did it a few years ago, and are re-introducing it again, it is "THE K-N-A-R-P"!! If you can't figure it out real quick it is the "Prank" spelled backwards.  KNARP-ing is challenging your students and even your leaders to start doing the backwards pranks!  Instead of doing something funny or even mean to another student, small group, cabin, or the other gender challenge them to do something nice instead.

You might think students won't get into it, but you would be surprised, as guys cabins to a "sneak attack cleaning", pick flowers, or even leave encouragement notes (*as encouraging as a MS/JH boy can be).  We have done this a few different times with a few different groups over the years as pranks have started going a little to far and each time it has gone really well!  Students have really bought in and the leaders as well, and it also creates great "teaching moments",connections, and even some fun stories without the mess or hurt feelings.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Top 10: Things to Do with Your Old Church Bus?

You know them...You have a love/hate relationship with them.  The are a necessary evil,  but mostly they are just evil. They are the CHURCH BUS!!!  More often then not, they are just an eye sore sitting in the parking lot, sucking up the church's money and causing you head-aches.  Why not get creative with that hunk of junk!?

Here are 10 things you to do with that old Church Bus....

10.  Paint into a Giant Billboard for Your Youth Ministry

9.  Remodel it into an Apartment for Summer Interns?

8.  Change it into a Mini Dance Club?

7.  Use it as a Green House for a year around Community Garden?

6. Target Practice for Hunting Season?

5. Make it into a Coffee House?

4. Line the Inside with Plastic and make a Lap Pool?

3. Fill it full of Little Plastic Balls and Make it a JH/MS Ball Pit?

2. Park It Down Town and Have Your Own Taco Stand!??

1. On a Summer Day While Your Boss is Gone, Crash it into a Bridge and Watch it Burn? (* I Don't Care?!)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Youth Ministry Invention #10/Ran-Dumb Game: THE HUMAN SLINGSHOT

PRO OR CON? Is this an awesome new youth group game/youth ministry invention OR...Is this just a lawsuit and hospital visit waiting to happen?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Book Review: "Youth Ministry is Easy and Nine Other Lies"- Aaron Shaver

Youth Ministry is Easy…and Nine Other Lies, is a new book by first time author, Aaron Shaver. In this quick 72 page, easy to read book, Shaver tries to take on the nine classic misconceptions and downright lies of the youth ministry profession. As youth pastor himself, Shaver, dives head first into the greatest hits on the youth ministry playlist of things we hear all the time. He addresses things like “Parents are Your Worst Enemy”, “Great Youth Pastors Go Solo”, and “Losing Cool Points with Teens is Fatal, just to name a few.

The book’s heart and intention is great- keeping youth ministry workers paid, unpaid, and underpaid going, by debunking the common lies of the youth ministry world. It is written in a laid back style with a mix of advice, interviews, and helpful hints. As the author even states the at beginning of the book, this is not intended to be deep doctrinal thesis on youth ministry, it an antidotal practical guide to help the average in-the-trenches youth worker, parent, and lover of students.

I downloaded this book, because the title caught my attention and for the affordable Amazon price of $4.99. It is a great book for those new to youth ministry and a great give-away for those veteran youth workers helping along those who are new. I know I will be personally using it in some current youth ministry coaching and encouraging I am doing.

CLICK HERE (to buy or download)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Game #37: Spatula Hockey (big group game)

The Oh So Very Inspiring Kroger's Clearance Section, Right after Summer Sale!! Brings You a Quick Cheap Idea for Your Next Youth Group Night! It is...SPATULA HOCKEY!
Simple Basic Idea: play the usual game of floor hockey or even field hockey using spatulas instead of hockey sticks.

Supplies:- 14-20 Spatulas (get some cheap plastic ones like ones above $1-$2)
- 1 street hockey ball or tennis ball
- 2 goals (either actual hockey goals, or 4 cones/4 chairs)

Game Play/Rules: The usual youth group-style hockey game play...and enjoy! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lesson: "Surviving the New School Year" (One Hit Wonder)

Here is a quick "one hit wonder" lesson. I taught it on a Sunday Morning, in between summer ending and the new youth group year starting.  I used it as a "Back to School Lesson", but it could easily translate into a "New Years" lesson, as well.  Hope it helps.  I did not create a download for it, just a quick easy outline and some suggested video clip illustrations using the movie "Castaway" with Tom Hanks.

- Opening Icebreaker Questions: (*find someone you haven't talked to yet) If you were stranded on a desert island, all by yourself, and you could only have one thing with you...what would it be?

- Opening Clip: Castaway: "opening the boxes, that floated ashore"

- Discussion Questions:
  * What are some of your favorite "survival shows" on TV?
  * What are the things you need to physically survive? (*see below)

- Lesson Outline:
Idea/Thought: The things you need to survive physically, the things you need to survive spiritually?
  •  Water
    • Clip: "trying to get something to drink from a coconut
    • Verse: John 4:11-14
  • Food
    • Clip: "trying to catch fish, and trying to eat a crab"
    • Verse: Matt. 4:1-4
  • Shelter
    • Clip: "going into the cave during the storm"
    • Verse: Ps. 46:1-7
  • Fire
    • Clip: "making fire"
    • Verse: Heb. 12:28-29
  • Clothes
    • Clip: "making shoes and stealing the dead pilots shoes"
    • Col. 3;14
- Closing Challenge: "Don't Just Survive - THRIVE This School Year...SPIRITUALLY!!"
* Bonus: "Survival Shows":

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Morning Video: "NUMB GENERATIONS"

"We are in danger of losing a new generation to the numbing agents of electronics. Dr. Kara Powell, executive director of Fuller Youth Institute wonders what it means to raise children in a digital age. She argues that stewardship of technology doesn't start with kids; it starts with parents. If parents are addicted to technology and are not fully present as a result, that's the posture children will mimic."

CLICK HERE (to see the video)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Top 10: Games I Will Never Play Again? (maybe)



10. Smear the Christian?

9. Dodge Wrench?

8. Chubby Bunny? (because it just had to make the list)

7. Live Goldfish Eating?

6. The Paper-Cut & Lemon Juice Challenge?

5. The Old Card Passing Game? (*better known as the 'kissing game'?)

4. Red Rover? (one too many clotheslines and a 911 call later...)

3.  Four Way Tug of War with the Sr. Pastor? (*long story...)

2. Best Christian Pick Up Line?


Thursday, September 12, 2013

JH/MS Website/Blog of the Month: "UTHMIN.NET" (launching Today!)

(click to find out more)

Free Resource #53: "Fall Music Preview: 52 New Albums to Watch"

What will your students be listening to this fall?  Who will be influencing their thoughts, style, and maybe even their beliefs?  Who is literally going to be in their ear when the "rise and when the lay down"?

"Summer's over and that means fall 2013's slate of new albums is heating up. From Avicii to Lady Gaga, Eminem to Pearl Jam, Enrique Iglesias to Miley Cyrus and Keith Urban to Cher, Billboard spotlights the hot hip-hop, pop, rock, R&B, latin, and country releases that will define the season. Which albums will reign supreme in autumn 2013? Here are the 52 contenders we've got our eyes on."

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Event Idea: "The Pizza Taste-Off"


The idea is simple and tasty.  You are going to create a pizza buffet of the all of the supposedly best pizzas in town and then have your students decide on the winner and "Official Pizza" of your youth group/church. Plus, it is FREE PIZZA for your group, at least once?!

Get all the students in your group to vote for their favorite pizza place and pizza (style, topping...).  Once you have collected all the votes over a set period of time.  Contact each of those places, plus add on a few more places that might be new or smaller in the area.  Maybe you can end up supporting a local business owner!?

Call each of the places and tell them that you would like to sponsor them and make them the OFFICAL PIZZA of your group.  If they are chosen by your students you will set up an account with them and they will get ALL of your pizza business for the year (maybe permanently).  Tell them you will make a plaque (or a small banner) that you will reward them with that they can hang up in their shop.  If they are willing to donate one cheese pizza and one specialty pizza to your event.  Make sure to ask them to "square cut" the pizza so that there will be smaller "sample" size pieces, also so your kids can taste all or at least a bunch of the pizzas.  Give the pizza place a time and date of the event, so they can deliver (*that is kind of a hidden test just for you as well?)

Make a ballot, or use mine (below). Set up a couple long tables, put out the plate and napkins.  You have yourself the "First Annual (insert your group name) Pizza Taste-Off".  You can make this a stand alone event, with other games and even a lesson or includes this as part of another event (lock in, party, retreat.) or even just make it a special night at youth group!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Morning Video: "I AM DIFFERENT" (Duck Dynasty Daughter Devo)

A YouTube Channel for the girls in your youth group.  It Sadie Robertson (*of Duck Dynasty) and her best friend Kolby Koloff, presenting a weekly devo-vlog for girls called "I AM DIFFERENT". Hopefully being posted every Monday!   Share it with your group, or use it as part of your girl's small groups.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Top 10: "You Might be an Over-Protective Youth Group Parent"

I will not tell you which one of these are real and which ones I made up?!!  You will just have to guess.  Hint: Truth is Stranger Than Fiction!!  Feel free to use this at your next parent meeting or parent counseling session...maybe even your own personal counseling/therapy session!


10. You Want to be a Youth Volunteer, because Your Daughter Might Get Pregnant During Youth Group?  (during the lesson or game time???)

9. You Cut Up Your 8th Grade Daughter's Hot Dog into Non-Choke Pieces at the Pool Party (umm... we have a blender in the youth kitchen?)

8. You Have Ever Asked About Bullet-proof Vests During a Missions Trip Meeting? (nope only the leader's get those?)

7. You Realized The Church Bus Doesn't Have Seat Belts, so You Tied Your Child to the Seat with at Rope!! (super glue might work as well?)

6.  Instead of Packing Sun-Screen for Camp, You Packed a Pint of White House Paint? (one of our leader could just follow them around with an umbrella?)

5.  Your Child Showed Up to the Slip N Slide Night, with a Helmet, Knee Pads and Elbow Pads? (next year we will not set up the slip n slide in the trees?) 

4. You Insist that Your Child Wear His Catcher's Mask to the Baseball Game Outing?
(A line drive to the head?  Actually that might help?)

3. You Were Offended That the Medical Form Asked Your Child's Sex? (it is his Senior year, it might be time to tell him about the bird and bees and it that is not what it meant!!)

2.  You Have Ever Asked for a Copy of the Youth Ministry's Pandemic Emergency Plan?  (hold let me find that for you, I will be right back?)

1.  You Heard the Term "HELICOPTER PARENT" and Decided to Rent a Helicopter to Occasionally Fly Over the Fall Retreat Location?   

Friday, September 6, 2013

"The Youth Group Rules: Meme Collection"

SurgeJH's The Rules Memes album on Photobucket

Free Resource #53: "Digital Deception Study: Pre-Teen and Parent Disconnect"

"Despite this parental trust and their awareness of potential threats, many young people choose to take risks by posting intimate, personal information and/or questionable commentary online, often without parental awareness. This behavior begins in the tween years, gathers momentum among teens, and becomes relatively common in young adulthood."- From Study Summary
CLICK HERE (to download)

Thursday, September 5, 2013


As we roll out of summer fashions and into back to school fashions, even as I go shopping with my 9 year old 4th grade daughter I have been asking myself a question, “Is Modest Really Hottest?”  Honestly is dressing modestly, really the hottest way to dress for girls, or even women.  I know we want to wear the cute little message t-shirt and teach the youth group lesson series.   It seems all “Christian-correct” to say that and kind of believe that, but I really don’t think so.  Modesty is NOT hot and it shouldn’t be.

Before you get all worked up and start thinking up a heated comment for below or fire up the I-pad for a “tweet beat down”, let me explain.   I don’t believe that our girls should be seeking to be hot.   Especially if they are single, not married, and under the age of being married there is no need for them to be dressing or seeking to be hot.  Women of any age, really, should not be seeking to be hot, modest or not…publically.   True “hotness”, as the American culture tries to define it, should be reserved for private times inside marriage.   By its very definition, “Hot”, is referring to something that belongs inside of marriage, so once a girl is married hanging out (literally) with her husband she can/should dress immodestly, be as hot as she want!

True modesty, as the Bible defines it is more about the attitude and relationship with God.  Modesty, by it very definition and idea, is the opposite of hot.  If we are teaching our girls correctly, we should be teaching our girls to dress beautifully and Biblically.  This may seem boring and almost old-fashion for a moment, but then take another moment to actually look around at fashion, clothes, and our culture.   It is absolutely very possible to dress extremely “fashion forward”, and “on trend” while still dressing beautifully and Biblically.   We like to create a “straw women” when it comes to this issue and beat her to death  Never in the history of the world has more clothes, accessories, and fashions have been available to our girls.  On top of that, currently there are more fashionably acceptable styles to choose from than ever.   In order to dress Biblically and modestly, does not mean you have to go Amish, not at all. 

Finally, the flip-side of the issue is our guys.  By creating a message (once again literally) that “Modest is Hottest”, we are also telling our guys to look at a girl no matter how under or over-dressed she is and try to see her as “hot. Isn’t that kind of defeating the purpose in a way? ”.  To be somewhat frank, it is not that hard for guys. If a guy’s heart and relationship with God is not right, a girl can be wearing a tarp and he will still “see” what they want to “see”.  Why not once again teach our guys some fashion sense?  Encourage our guys to notice, appropriately that a girl is dress beautifully and nice.   As slightly superficial as it sounds for a second, get our guys to notice in a good way the outward appearance, in order to appreciate the inward.   Teach our guys to see that a girl has made an effort look nice and chose wisely something that reflect her Godly personality, character, and who she is.   That way both the guys and girls of your group will begin to understand the goal of modesty is not hotness after all?
Just a quick passing thought and idea?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Game #36- "Tummy Tunes" (upfront/team game)

Hilarious, Quick Upfront Game With No Real Set Up or Supplies, That Will Keep Your Group Laughing!?

- A mic and a sound system?


-  It a simple, silly upfront version of "name that tune", except the upfront player has to play the tune by beating out the tune on their tummy and try to get the rest of their tea to guess.
- Can easy be playing as whole group, big group game, as a ran-dumb small group game, or travel time-killer.

- Make sure that is people lift their shirt to go "bare tummy" everything stays modest.  
- Use simple songs that your group will know the tune of, maybe even choose a few praise and worship songs that you use in your group or in adult church. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lesson Series: "RESTORED" (The Church)

A 5 Week "Basic of Belief" Series on What is the Church and Who Do we Reclaim, Revive and Rebuild What it is Suppose to Be? 

-Lesson 1: "Restored"-Talk about Church?
-Lesson 2:  "What is Church?"- What is Church Really?
-Lesson 3:  "Defining Church"- What are the Names for the Church?
-Lesson 4: "Who is Leading this Thing?"- Who are the Church Leaders?

-Lesson 5: "Restored by Remembering"- How can we remember what church is?

Outlines Include: Full Lesson Outline, Scripture References, Illustrations, Video Clip Suggestions, Activity Ideas, and Additional Resources/Tips. 
CLICK HERE (for Outline in PDF)


SurgeJH's Restored album on Photobucket

Monday, September 2, 2013

Monday Video/Teaching Clip)-"Sheep Protest Rally"

* Consider using this hilarious clip for a lesson on "Sheep" or "The Good Shepherd", with passages like Ps. 23, John 10, Eph. 4, I Peter 4 & 5, or even Heb, 13!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Top 10: Expectations For Your Youth Ministry Volunteers...




10. ....Show Up on Time! 

9. .... Be Positive and Supportive!

8. ...Follow Up and Build Relationship With Students!

7. ... Communicate with Students AND Their Parents!

6. ...Not to Date Students! 

5. ...Dress Modestly and Appropriately!

4. ...Not To Drink, Smoke, Swear, or Do Drugs in Front of Your Students!?

3. ... Attend Your Church and Be a Part of the Adult Ministries!

2. ...Not Post Inappropriate Things on Social Media, including Pictures!

1. ...Get Your Humor, Laugh at All Your Jokes, Including All Your Weekly Top 10 Lists!  (*or at least pretend really well!?)
* We give out a full list of expectations for our leaders every year, that we handout before we start our year.

CLICK HERE!! (to check out what we give out and what we expect in our ministry)