Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Review: "Adventure Bible Handbook"

Forget that dusty old Bible Handbook you got in college that is sitting on your office shelf!  
Zondervan and Zonder-Kidz has a New Bible Handbook written just for the young teens in your ministry!

The Adventure Bible Handbook is a fun and exciting update on Bible Handbooks.   It is written with pre-teens and young teens in mind. It is part comic book and part Bible study guide, using a comic book adventure to take young learners through the Bible from start to finish.  At first glance you might just think it a just a cute little comic book storybook, but after a closer look you will find out it is actually an informative guide for the biggest stories of the Bible.  Besides also including an overview  about each of the major stories of the Bible, it also offers maps and historical context information.

The Adventure Bible Handbook, part of the Adventure Bible Series,  is a great resource for your ministry's older students in late elementary through the Jr. high years.  With its comic book feel and format it is sure to draw kids in and then keep them engaged all the way through with the storyline that is weaved though out the book.  I would also highly suggested it for the guys in your group, who are often less likely to be readers.  It is a great follow up and continuation for those students who have enjoyed the other books and devotionals in the series when they were younger.

This book could be a stand alone book for students to pick up and read, but I appreciate that scripture passages are included throughout the book.  It is written in a way that will encouraging students to pull out their Bibles and want to look up scriptures on their own, digging deeper into the stories.

Written with younger Christians in mind this book is a great starter book for laying down the foundations of faith and for understanding the stories of the Bible. It will help students fit some of the individual pieces they have already, together to pull together a better picture of God's bigger story in our world.

  CLICK HERE (to find out more or purchase)


Free Resource #54: "5 Reasons Millennials Stay Connected to Church" (research)

Everyone has an opinion about why Millennials are leaving the church. It's a controversial topic, one that Barna Group's researchers have been examining for a decade.

"The topic was reignited this summer when blogger and author Rachel Held Evans wrote a piece about why Millennials leave church. Her editorial struck a nerve, sparking response pieces all across the web and generating more than 100,000 social media reactions in the first week alone.

Yet whatever one’s personal view of the reasons behind Millennials staying or going, one thing is clear: the relationship between Millennials and the Church is shifting. Barna Group’s researchers have been examining Millennials’ faith development since the generation was in its teen years—that is, for about a decade. During that time, the firm has conducted 27,140 interviews with members of the Millennial generation in more than 200 studies.

And while Barna Group’s research has previously highlighted what’s not working to keep Millennials at church, the research also illuminates what is working—and what churches can do to engage these young adults...."    (READ MORE)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Game #41: "Pumpkin Pandemonium Quiz" (Powerpoint Trivia)

Here is a quick little 10 questions trivia game we are using as part of our "Pumpkin Pandemonium Night"!   We are using it as a small group challenge/big group game.  Hope it helps and can save you a couple of minutes in your preparation!?

(*Sorry for formatting, "slide share" reset some of the fonts and sizing)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

News U Can Use: "Excercise Can Improve Teens Grades?"

Regular exercise boosted teens’ exam results in a U.K. study, findings that suggest getting the recommended hour of daily physical activity might increase grades by one level.

The more children exercised at age 11, the better they did at school at English, math and science, not only at 11, but also at 13 and at 15 to 16. Performance at age 15 to 16 rose for every extra 17 minutes of exercise for boys and every 12 minutes for girls, according to the research, published today in the British Journal of Sports Medicine...  (READ MORE FROM BLOOMBERG)

Monday, October 28, 2013

MMVI & Teaching Clip: "A Chosen Generation"

Top 10: JH/MS Youth Group Lesson Topics?





10. Money/Materialism

9. Parents/Family

8. Self Esteem/Self Image

7. Prayer

6. Serving Others

5. Good Choices

4. Studying/Understanding God's Word

3. Friends

2. God's Love


*any you would add to the list??

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Review: "Case For Christ For Kids" (90 Day Devotional)

The Modern Day Christian Classic "Case for Christ" Returns for Pre-Teens, Now in a 90 Day Devotional Form...

Lee Storbels along with the help of Jesse Florea, in the recently release Case for Christ For Kids (90 day devotional), bring a modern day classic to pre-teens. While the title contains "...for kids", this is instead is a great book for pre-teens through the middle school/Jr. high years.  

I have used the student version of Case for Christ, and have found it very helpful in teaching and also in giving out to my older more mature 8th graders.  This book however is what has been needed for late elementary years into early 6th and 7th grades.   It is also is great for young teens who have just excepted Christ and are just beginning their faith journey.

Each of the 90 easy to read devotionals are one page front and back. They are quick, interesting reads written in a form that will draw students in by starting off with an informational story about our world.  From how hot dogs are made to baseball to silly warning labels each devotionals starts off with some real from their world. The devotionals then lead to the "examine the case" section where the young reader is challenged to examine the real Christ.    The devotionals are connected together by the book's systematic flow of information creating a smart "case for Christ", that makes sense while slowly guides young minds from just facts to real faith. 

This would be a great book to pick up for your MS/JH ministry, but also might be a great book to pick up for Children's ministry to be given out to students the year before they enter your youth program.  Once again, I reiterate even though the book might appear to be written "...for kids", it is an excellent book for students that might see themselves moving beyond that label.   However you choose to use it, I would suggest pick up a couple copies to have around to give out students and parents in your ministry setting. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall "Advance" Week....

It is my "Fall Advance" week in my JH youth ministry. It is the week that is completely consumed by getting ready for our Fall "Retreat" this weekend.  It's a huge weekend for us around here.  It is the unofficial real kick off for the new youth group year, with it being the first big event after all the fall sports ending!  
This year's theme is a 'rip off' of "American Eagle" (as you can tell). We are talk about Is. 40:31 and some of the proceeding verses.  The three main session are: Faith, Fall, & Fly.   I am actually really excited about the idea and lessons, I have worked on.  I hopefully will be posting up the full outlines, logos, game ideas, activities and extra odds and ends so come on back soon.
All that to say...I am not posting anything new this week and maybe even the week after.  As always feel free to look around use whatever you can find that will help you in your JH/MS ministry.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Free Media/ Resource #49: "FREE HD COUNTDOWNS"


They are offering up 35 free high definition countdowns for your event, youth group, conference or even adult worship!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Game #40: "Pooper Shooter" (upfront game)

Quick, Cheap and Completely Ran-Dumb MS/JH Humor Kind of Game!  It is Called:

- 2 Whoopee Cushions
- 6 Small Tootsie Rolls
- 2 Chairs
Set Up:
Unwrap all 6 tootsie rolls and then mold them  into a longer "poop" shape.  Insert the first 2 tootsie rolls into the end of each whoopee inflated cushion.  Place the 2 chairs it the front of your room/space/stage.  Face the chair away from the crowd. Place a whoopee cushion facing the crowd/group, so that the tootsie roll is shooting out toward the crowd.
Call up 2 volunteers to be your "shooters".
Taking turns each player will sit down as hard as they can on their assigned chair and whoopee cushion.   They will be trying to shoot the tootsie roll as far as they can.   The player with the longest distance after 3 turns will be the winner.
As you can imagine this is a big hit and hilarious based the sound and visual of the game.
- Prize Suggestion: consider reward the winner with a "Big Ripper"/Mega Cushion" or a Large can of baked beans.
- The self inflating whoopee cushions work really well, as you or a helper will have to re-inflated and put a new tootsie roll each turn.
- Do not push the tootsie roll in too far into the whoopee cushion, I would suggest just about half way (see photo above)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

News U Can Use: Tween Girls and the Obsession With The 'Thigh Gap'


" It's the latest weight loss craze among American teens striving to emulate the models they see in magazines: the "thigh gap", in which slender legs, when standing with feet together, do not touch.

Experts say the cost of what teens see as an ideal body shape -- but really is for most unattainable -- is self-esteem problems that can lead to eating disorders, depression and even suicide.
On Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook, "thigh gap" photos abound...."

Read more:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Top 10: Things You Don't Want to Hear Your Worship Pastor Say...

10. And Now... Our Kazoo Ensemble. 

9. What Are Your Thoughts on the Polka?

8. I am Think About Starting a Gregorian Chant Team!

7.  The Choir Is Doing a Cover of "Living on a Prayer" This Sunday!

6.  I Really Think the Next Big Thing in Worship is Going to be Clogging?

5.  The Praise Band was Playing that New Club Downtown Last Night And...

4. What Do Think of My Sweet New Baton?

3. Good Morning, Let's Give a Big Welcome to our New DJ, My Wife on the Turn Tables!

2.  I Got the New Miley Cyrus Worship Album...

1.  I think I am going to replace my guitar with my TUBA...

Monday Morning Video Inspiration: "Myths of Creativity"

Friday, October 4, 2013

Review: ZonderKidz New NIV Pre-Teen/Teen Bible Series

“Turn to…”, is a phrase I still use with my middle school/Jr. high ministry, but it is less and less being responded to with the quick turn of pages and the sound rustle of paper…

The growing response I now hear is a beep or chirp. The old black leather bound Bible neatly tuck away in the crocheted cover grandma made last Christmas just isn’t cutting it any more in our highly multi-sensory world. The contents of course, of God’s Word doesn’t change, but it’s about time the package and presentation certainly does. Zondervan & Zonderkidz has taken that idea to heart with their newly designed series of pre-teen/teen Bibles!

"Motivating children to read their Bibles can sometimes be a challenge,” expressed Annette Bourland, Senior Vice President and Group Publisher of Zondervan,“so our intent is that using creative covers on the outside will encourage kids to explore the amazing, life-affirming content on the inside. That is exactly what they have done with this their new cover designs. I know personally, when I open the package containing these new Bibles, my own two children were immediately drawn in, as they excitedly look at each one. My daughter a ‘girly’ girl loved the pink leopard print Bible from their “Animal Print” collection that also included zebra and blue giraffe. My son being a huge Lego fan started to rearrange and created his own design with the new “Flexi-Bible”, which comes in both blue and pink. The new series also include two other collections. The “Sports Collection” highlighted by a soccer, basketball, and football designs are slight larger in size than the rest, which are perfect for pre-teen and teens boys. The “Clearly U” Bibles are fun with a clear plastic cover includes four different interchangeable covers that any girl of any age will love. The Clearly U Bibles are also perfect for creating your own design or holding pictures. Any of these 4 different collections are great for pre-teen/tween/middle school/Jr. high…or however you define that age in your ministry, but because of the imaginative designs they can be used by younger and older students as well.

Each of the Bibles in the collection contain the new NIV inside with headings, highlighted text, and more with a convenient 'lay flat' design. The point of the new series is not to add new content inside, but to pull students back into picking up a physical copy of the Bible again. "The Bible is a great read, and kids and teens can enjoy the stories as much as they would a book series like Harry Potter because the Bible has it all--- action, adventure, love, and, of course, the greatest story ever told." This is the vision behind these new collections and that has truly been accomplished with these cool, inventive and very affordable Bibles!

Ran-Dumb Youth Ministry Meme #46

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Teaching That Is Built to Last (Part 1)

We all want the things we are teaching to last longer than the back door of our youth room. We teach lessons that need to last and become foundations for life.

In order for us to do that, we must create youth ministry environments and lessons that give students the building blocks to construct for themselves the truth that will last for a lifetime.

I am not talking about a “pick and choose what I like and don’t like” model of teaching truth. I am rather talking about an intentional approach that is less “preacher” and more “teacher.” It is an educational model and approach that allows us to come beside, lead, and teach while handing off the unchanging truths..... (READ MORE)

October MS/JH Website: "Middle School Ministry.Com"

Middle School and Jr. High Peoples Unite in Celebration!! Our Virtual World Continues to Grow!!

Here is another great blog and website resource for those of loving and ministering to 6th-8th grade students.  The site includes lesson ideas, games, resources, updates on technology, and more!  Well worth a couple minutes of your time to check out all it has to offer.  All of it coming from the twisted mind that brought you TOP TEN AWESOME THINGS YOU CAN BLOW UP IN A MICROWAVE! Eddie Witkowski, The Middle School Pastor at Hermitage Church of Nazarene.
  CLICK HERE (to start your magical journey)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

News U Can Use: "7 Things Teachers Want You To Know"

Award-winning principal Eric Sheninger shares his secrets on how to make this year the best school year yet.

"Don't you wish you had a crystal ball that told you what your child's teacher felt was important for you to know? I sure do. In more than 13 years as a teacher, administrator, parent and coach working with thousands of students in New Jersey, I have dealt with almost every teacher/parent/student issue imaginable — and even I am still learning about what parents need and want from teachers. As the new school year starts, I'd like to share what I have discovered and share wisdom from some of the most innovative educators across the country. Together, let's make this the best year yet for our students."

CLICK HERE (to keep on reading at USA TODAY...)