Thursday, February 28, 2013

Youth Ministry Meme #22


JH/MS Ministry App? #4: "Frame Blast"

"FrameBlast is a simple video app that helps you tell your stories. Think. Shoot. Create. Share. 

FrameBlast magically brings your stories together, creating high quality videos that you can save for yourself or proudly share with the world."

                                               - From The Frame Blast Site

 
 

Only available for the I-phone, but I am sure it will be out for android soon enough.  A quick easy edit away from creating and posting up a quick highlight of what is going on in your ministry or video updating people at home when you are away on your next trip, retreat, or event?

CLICK HERE (to find out more)
CLICK HERE (to go directly to download)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lesson Series: "Holy-Stir" (Theology: Holy Spirit)



A 4-5 Week Jr. High/Middle School "Basic of Belief" Series on who is the HOLY SPIRIT!? 

Including PDF Outline, Word Outline, Lesson Graphics, and Logos!






-Lesson 1: Holy What? (understanding the trinity & the Holy Spirit)
-Lesson 2: Righteous Name Dude! (names and pictures of the Holy Spirit)
-Lesson 3: Get a Real Job! (works of the Holy Spirit)
-Lesson 4: Get a Real Job Too? (Holy Spirit as our Conscience)

Outlines Include: Full Lesson Outline, Scripture References, Illustrations, Video Clip Suggestions, Activity Ideas, and Additional Resources/Tips.

CLICK HERE (for Outline and Note in PDF)
CLICK HERE (to download full collection of the below lesson graphics, backgrounds and logos)



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Object Lesson/Illustration: "What Kind of Bulb?"




  Originally posted here in May 2012 as "WHAT KIND OF LIGHT ARE YOU?" and was part the series on our relationship with God and others,  "CONNECT".  It is now featured in this month's (Mar/Apr 2013), GROUP MAGAZINE!
      If you are looking for other great ideas, resource, inspiration and just plain help in youth ministry check out GROUP MAGAZINE!!  It is well worth the price of the subscription.  I have been a long time reader and it has helped me more that I could have say.  I am so happy to be able to throw my 2 cents in here and there with them!! 

News U Can Use: "Sport Rectruiting Based on Character"

Coaches must evaluate character too in recruiting


The high school janitor could be one of the most important people in college football recruiting.
Coaches must evaluate more than just 40-yard dash times and tackling technique when they decide whether to offer a scholarship. A player's success often rests as much on whether he works hard in practice and stays out of trouble off the field.

"It's a big deal because the character and quality of the person directly correlates to how much better that guy will get in your program," Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said.
And the people who offer the best takes on that guy's character may be the folks he passes in the hallway every day.

"We obviously want kids who can play, but we'd much rather have a little less talent and more character," Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze said.

On Wednesday, high school stars around the country will sign their letters of intent to play college football, as fans breathlessly await the final decisions and pore over the rankings. Yet look back four or five years, and many of the highly rated recruiting classes will have produced more busts than All-Americans.
Sure, in some cases it will turn out that the player wasn't fast enough or strong enough to thrive in big-time college football. Coaches watch video, attend games and hold summer camps to try to determine that.
A hazier task is seeking to predict how a teenager will mature over the next several years. And coaches lament that they don't get to spend much time with recruits to gauge that.

"If you have people involved, there are going to be mistakes and errors," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said recently. "You're projecting young people, and young people change. You take them and put them in a different environment - some of them adjust, some of them don't. Some take the next step, some of them don't. Some of them lose their focus and get distracted. There are girls and there are parties."
The NCAA recently loosened its rules to allow coaches to communicate more with prospects through phone calls and text messages, with the changes taking effect Aug. 1. Assistants can also now spend more time visiting high schools.

But a proposal was sent back for review that would have let coaches start contacting recruits beginning July 1 between their sophomore and junior years. The current rules don't permit regular communication to begin until after 11th grade.

Coaches are still not allowed to make any contact during certain periods and are limited in how much time they can spend with players in person. The head coach gets only one off-campus visit with a recruit.
So they have to get creative.

"You go into the schools - I'll go to the janitor and I'll ask the janitor about the young man," Freeze said. "I ask the cafeteria workers and the guidance counselor. And you get a good feel when you have a year to recruit a kid and you see him in every different type of environment, whether it's in the home setting or on our college campus. It's all types of scenarios.

"If you have a year to recruit a kid, you've got a chance to be pretty accurate in the evaluation of his character."

Flood will talk to the athletic director's secretary, a teacher - even a random student in the hall. He'll pull aside a kid and ask if he knows the recruit: "What do you think? Is he a pretty good guy?"
"Find the people that aren't associated with athletics," Flood explained. "You'd be amazed. They give you their opinions pretty quickly. You can usually read their body language."

Schools like Rutgers that recruit more regionally than nationally may have a bit of an advantage when it comes to getting to know a player, Flood said, because the local kids are able to make more unofficial visits. But even from afar, modern technology can tell you quite a bit about a person.

Take heed, Facebook-frenzied teens. College coaches are monitoring your social media feeds.
"You can find out a lot about these young people," Flood said. "They're not as guarded as you think they should be."
___
AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo and Sports Writers David Brandt and Pete Iacobelli contributed to this report.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Top 10: Similarities between JH/MS Students & Toddlers

       BEING A DAD AND ALSO A JH/MS YOUTH PASTOR, I HAVE SAID IT FOR YEARS.  MY STUDENTS AND MY KIDS WHEN THEY WERE TODDLERS ARE ONE IN THE SAME. EACH ROLE HAS PREPARED ME FOR THE OTHER.
        HERE IS THE FIRST 10 SIMILARITIES THAT CAME TO MY HEAD (be looking for part #2 coming soon..)




10. Will put anything in their mouth?...did you get that off the floor??!

9. Always want a snack? ...you just had half a pizza, a bag of chips and 2 liter?

8. In a constant state of mood swings?...why are you crying and laughing at the same time??

7. Think that farting and burping are the funniest things ever?...stop that I am trying to talk to you?!

6. Are always in need of a bath? ....here is a can of Axe and some deodorant! 

5. Give them something that makes noise and they will never put it down?...would you mind putting down the pop can, we are praying?

4. Will jump off anything?.. the pulpit in the sanctuary is not a diving board!!

3. Yell random things at the most inappropriate moments?...Ham and Cheese Sandwich!!?

2. Never want to go to bed, but then fall asleep at odd moments during the day?...Real example from this last weekend- Front row at a JH/MS event with 6,000 students-sitting right in front of  the speakers-while the praise band plays-the crowd is on their feet jumping--- one of my 6th boys is sitting in his chair DEAD ASLEEP!!?

1. When caught red-handed doing something wrong will still try to lie straight to your face...Did you eat the sprinkles out of the church food pantry? 
(*see video below- Is this not exactly what your students would do??)

Monday Morning Inspiration: "Best Advice for Leaders"

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ran-Dumb Youth Ministry Meme #21


Free Resource #41: "Commentary on Phillipians" (e-book)

From BibleDude.net- "It was developed through an online group study on the epistle, in which we worked through the entire book one passage at a time. Bloggers and writers from various backgrounds led us through the discussion as if we were sitting in someone’s living room together talking through this amazing piece of Scripture. In this book, we’ve pulled together these posts and enhanced them with some Greek and English keyword studies. These are designed to help you get the most out of reading Paul’s letter to the church of the Philippians."

CLICK HERE (to get it)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Game: "Slim Jim Shish-Kabob" (up front game)

  
A quick cheap up front challenge.  The idea is simple- Using a Slim Jim "Giant Stick" shish-kabob as many FunYuns as you can in a minute!




Supplies:
-2 Slim Jim Giant Sticks
-2 Snack size bags of FunYuns
-2 Plates

Set Up: 
Sort through your bags of FunYuns, find only complete, unbroken rings, and place an equal amount of rings on each plate.  Place each plate on a table or elevated surface.  Unwrap your Slim Jims and place them next to the plate.

Play/Rules:
Bring up 2 volunteers, and on "Go" they will have 1 minute to collect as many FunYuns as they can on their Slim Jim.  Players however must have the Slim Jims in their mouths and can not use their hands at any time.

The winner is the player that has got and kept the most rings on their Slim Jim.  The rings will continue to fall off as players try to collect more than one, so it does take some skill!!?

Enjoy and Fun

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lesson Series: "The Original Superman" (Theology: Jesus)

A 5-6 Week "Basic of Belief" Series on who was and is Jesus Christ- THE ORIGINAL SUPERMAN!

-Lesson 1: Who Was The Original Superman? (Make the Connection)
-Lesson 2: Welcome to Smallville (Jesus Was a Teen Like You)
-Lesson 3: The Original SUPER-Man(Jesus Was and Is God)
-Lesson 4: The Superman We Were Looking For? (Prophecies)
-Lesson 5: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane…? (Super Names & Super Powers)



Outlines Include: Full Lesson Outline, Scripture References, Illustrations, Video Clip Suggestions, Activity Ideas, and Additional Resources/Tips.

CLICK HERE (for Outline and Note in PDF)



News U Can Use: Helicopter Parents and Their Kids Future

We all have them in and around our youth groups. Here a quick "News Can Use" for yourself, to pass around, or maybe even to hand out at your next parent meeting? Might make for some really interesting and MAYBE even helpful discussion!?
Even though this is from Canada, it sounds pretty close to things down here in America... 




Helicopter parents infiltrate college, the workplace and beyond



Walking into a job interview with a Canadian architectural firm, a young candidate brings something unexpected: mom.

An employee with the British Columbia company says it was the first time she had seen a parent shadow the hiring process, describing what ensued as “a bit of an awkward situation.” But she adds that there have been at least five or six recent occasions in which a mother or father sat with their grown child in the waiting room before an interview.

According to experts, this could soon become commonplace.

From policing college grades to calling in sick for their adult children at work, helicopter parents are keeping a closer and closer cruising altitude over emerging adulthood – that post-high school period at which previous generations began fending for themselves.

“This is a different planet now,” said Tim Blackmore, a professor of information and media studies at Western University in Ontario. “It’s Planet Mom and Dad. And mom and dad need to seriously consider what it is to be an adult, and what kind of citizens they’re bringing into the world.”

Over roughly 20 years of teaching, Blackmore says he has witnessed an escalating trend toward interference, with parents arguing their children’s grades, monitoring their college performance and even contributing to students’ coursework.

“Some of these students are on an extremely short leash,” said Blackmore, recalling a recent situation in which a student was protesting a poor mark with a fellow university staffer. “The student gets on the phone and says, ‘Mom, she won’t raise my grade’ and then hands the phone to the counsellor and says, ‘You talk to her.’”

Linda Duxbury, a professor at Carleton University, cites a saving grace in privacy legislation that bars teachers from discussing adult students’ grades with outside parties, including their parents.

Duxbury believes the phenomenon of coddled 20-somethings is “the downstream result of our fertility decisions and economic issues.” She notes that older Gen X’ers waited to have kids due to delayed career starts and financial instability, and ultimately had fewer children – leaving them more time to obsess over the youths’ personal successes and failures.

“I absolutely think many millennials just want their parents to butt out,” said Duxbury.

New research by Brigham Young University finds that about one-quarter of college students say their parents make important decisions for them. And about one-third of parents report doing so.

The researchers link intrusive parental behaviour with students skipping class and turning in late assignments, and less school engagement. They conclude that helicopter parenting may be robbing young people “of the experiences necessary to develop skills that are essential for success in marriage, careers and adult social interactions.”

Ben Trahan, who works in the Canadian transportation industry, has no trouble rattling off instances in which the blurred lines of adulthood have hit the job site.

“I have guys get their parents to call in sick (for them) all the time, or parents asking why supervisors yelled at their children – even though they’re in their late twenties,” said Trahan, who is based in Edmonton. “Even had a mom ask if we knew her son’s whereabouts on a weekend because he hadn’t been home straight after work.”

Entrepreneur Scott Paras recalls an incident in which an employee’s mother called to say her son wouldn’t be coming into work that day because he had injured himself with a pellet gun. Paras asked if modified duties would be required and she said her son would follow up personally.

“I didn’t hear back from him. Ever,” said Paras, a business owner from Spruce Grove, Alta. The employee never came back to face the music. “With this new generation, you expect a lot less out of them, unfortunately … Some won’t even phone in sick; they’ll just text to say they’re not going to make it.”

Jean Twenge, author of Generation Me, says it’s hard to disentangle the responsibility of young people from that of their parents.

“What you have is a generation who expects their parents to do things for them. And they expect that because their parents have always done things for them,” said Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University.

“Kids didn’t wake up one day and expect their parents to fight all their battles. It’s happened slowly over time.”

Twenge cites two key undercurrents: Peer-enting, in which parents position themselves as friends instead of authority figures, and a hyper-competitive culture in which it’s presumed that a child’s success demands constant vigilance and intervention.

“If you’re doing your eight-year-old’s homework, you’re going to end up doing your 18-year-old’s work,” said Twenge.

Reginald Bibby, a prominent Canadian sociologist, says critics are giving parents too hard a time. In fact, the University of Lethbridge researcher’s extensive longitudinal data paints a picture of ties between parents and kids being the best they’ve been in decades.

A national study released in 2009 found nine in 10 young Canadians felt their mothers had high influence on their lives, while more than eight in 10 said the same of their fathers. Both figures were up roughly 10 percentage points over the 1980s.

“While (parents’) improved focusing on their children may be resulting in some parents hanging on too tightly, too long, there’s no reason to believe that such parental interference is a prevalent problem,” said Bibby, author of The Emerging Millennials.

Others aren’t so convinced.

At the B.C. architectural firm where a parent sat in on a candidate’s interview, a staff member – and a mother herself – says she would have been “mortified” had she been in the young person’s shoes.

“I wonder what would happen if we all stopped pushing our kids to succeed and just let natural selection run its course? Sort of like the housing bubble: let the whole thing burst instead of running around to tutors, afterschool programs, language lessons, and lining up to register for sports programs,” said Helen, who asked that her last name not be used.

“Of course, that’s never going to happen.”

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Top 10: Things to Never Say Again "From the Front"?

YOU SAID WHAT? We all have those moment or those things we say from "up front", that get us in trouble or make a few jaws drop.  Here are 10 things I am going to try to never again when I have the mic...




10.  The Word "Pimp"- noun, verb, as a  description of fellow staff member or talking about the church bus. Nope never going to use that word again

9. "God Made Love..."- true as it might be, it is really is not what I meant...

8.  "Adam and Eve where naked in the garden just hanging out..." Hmmm, yes...yes they were...

7. The Word "Sucks"- ala Doug Fields trying to get me to use the word "sips" just not the same, but after a very rated R phone call from a parent describing what that word means to them not longer able to say it.

6.  "Girl be dressing like a Hoochie Mama..." just going to avoid this one as best as I can, just because.

5. "I think my is wife is hot, and your mom is too"..."to your dad" is the rest of the phrase, if you get it out fast enough?

4. "Holy Shi'ite Muslim"...insensitive and misheard, slightly funny for like 2 seconds, sure to get you a phone call or 2 tomorrow morning when all your guys start saying it for the next 2-3 weeks?

3.  There are a lot of big "buts" in the Bible... like-"...BUT, for by grace are we save...".

2. Go home and tell your parents we talk about "tittles"... If you are an NIV church trying to teach from the KJV- IT STILL DOES NOT MATTER, still not as funny as you think it might be??

1. The Word "Gay- (seriously)  for any other reason than in the context of lovingly talking about the lifestyle.  This is one I have refused to say for a VERY, VERY long time.  Standing rule in my ministries, no one uses it as a replacement for stupid, wimpy, or anything else negative

What God Is Teaching Me!! -JAMES 1:9- "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.."
------------------------------
Good Luck!! If you have a "Doozy" that you have said or that has slipped out.  Would Love to Hear them?? Comment Away...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Event/Activity: "The Cereal Bowl"


The CEREAL BOWL is taking two classic church and youth group activities and combining them into a fun NEW event. 






THE BIG IDEA:
Have a bowling night with a "breakfast for dinner potluck". Line up a bowling night like you normally would reserve lanes, cut a deal, and rent a "party" room. Instead of ordering up the old pizza, ask every student to bring a box of their favorite cereal to share (ala pot-luck).  You provide the bowls, spoons, and milk.  It is a blast and what MS/JH student doesn't love cereal!?

ADDITIONAL FUN
1. Have fun cereal based prizes to give out for best game, worst game, first strike and so on.  Things like cheesy little kid themed cereal bowls, cereal themed t-shirt (walmart, target...), find some crazy big spoons, or even a big bag of just the "cereal marshallows" (find them at your local bunk food store).

2. If you are allowed, instead of showing music videos or something else on the bowling alley tvs, make a loop of new and old classic cereal commercials. 

3. If you or one of your leader is brave enough have someone dress up like one of the cereal mascots: Tony, Luck, Toucan Sam, Trix the Rabbit....OR get 3 people and dress up like Snap, Crackle and Pop!

4. Create a cereal trivia quiz and have students see how well they know their cereals and history of cereal.
Or use these:
- http://www.rd.com/slideshows/the-great-cereal-quiz/,  
- http://www.squiglysplayhouse.com/games/Quizzes/General/Cereal.html
- http://www.funtrivia.com/playquiz/quiz20107717063e0.html

5. Outreach/Serving Option: Encourage the kids bring extra boxes of cereal and also as the group has dinner tell them to only open the boxes they are actually interested in eat out of.  Realistically you will have way more cereal than you can eat either way.  Take the unopened & extra boxes to your local food pantry or homeless shelter and bless them with a "food shower" of cereal!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lesson Series: "The Bunny Trap" (Easter/Lent)
















As part of another great NEW partnership with  JUNIOR HIGH MINISTRY.ORG,   I have just written this original 4 week Easter/Lenten season series just for them (and for you)! I am excited to see how the Terry Goodwin, Nick Diliberto and their creative team have taken it made it into an amazing resource for Pre-Teen, Middle School, and Jr. High ministry.  Hope you enjoy it and it is something that can help you in your ministry during the up coming Easter/Lenten season!
****************************************

About The Bunny Trap Series:
A Lenten/Easter season series allowing students to reflect and prepare themselves for the time of year leading up to resurrection Sunday, by taking some of the usual parts of Easter and infusing them with new meaning.  We believe that our middle school students can enjoy and learn as they have fun with Easter games and activities, and they can also learn from the scriptures discussed in this series.
We are trying to take this series to a new level as we have given you opportunities to be creative with video clips and in-depth small group time.  We want to allow you to present the message of Easter to your students in a way that makes them want to keep coming back for more.

Each Lesson Includes:

  • Editable lesson in Word Document and PDF.  You get to choose which one works best for you.  Edit as needed and easily share with your volunteers.
  • Complete PowerPoint slides. (and lessons with notes for PowerPoint)
  • Artwork that you can use for promotional purposes (flyer, web banner, handout, etc.)

Format of the Lessons:

  • Opening game – because junior highers have tons of energy
  • Teaching
  • Small group discussion questions
  • Additional video/visual illustrations
Series Overview:
Week 1:  Empty Your Basket Philippians 2:6-8
Week 2:  Coloring Your Life  1 Peter 4
Week 3:  A New Easter Outfit  Colossians 3:12-14
Week 4:  The Easter Hunt  John 20; Matthew 7:7-8
  
DOWNLOAD A PDF SAMPLE LESSON OUTLINE (*Sample lesson does not include powerpoint slides, which are included in the purchased version.)

CLICK HERE (to purchase the full series)

News U Can Use: "Report on 'Religious Nones' "

In U.S., Rise in Religious "Nones" Slows in 2012

The 17.8% who reported no religious identity in 2012 is on par with 2011


PRINCETON, NJ -- The percentage of American adults who have no explicit religious identification averaged 17.8% in 2012, up from 14.6% in 2008 -- but only slightly higher than the 17.5% in 2011. The 2011 to 2012 uptick in religious "nones" is the smallest such year-to-year increase over the past five years of Gallup Daily tracking of religion in America.
Trend: What is your religious preference -- Protestant, Roman Catholic, Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, another religion, or no religion?
To measure religious identity, Gallup asks respondents this question:
What is your religious preference -- are you Protestant, Roman Catholic, Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, another religion, or no religion? (If respondent names "another religion," ask:) Would that be a Christian religion or is it not a Christian religion?
Religious "nones" are those who respond "no religion" as well as those who say they don't know or refuse to answer.
The rise in the religious "nones" over time is one of the most significant trends in religious measurement in the United States. Virtually all Americans in Gallup surveys conducted in the 1950s and 1960s -- albeit in response to somewhat different types of questions -- had a religious identity. The percentage who did not report such an identity began to rise in the 1970s and has continued to increase in the years since.
Gallup Daily tracking, which started in 2008, encompasses about 350,000 interviews a year, and each of those interviews includes the question about religious identity. These unprecedented large samples produce annual estimates with very low margins of error, and thus the ability to look at year-to-year trends in granular detail.
Across the past five years, the biggest jumps in "nones" occurred between 2009 and 2010 and between 2010 and 2011 -- an increase of 1.1 percentage points each between the two years. In absolute terms, 15.3% of the population had no explicit religious identity in 2009, compared with 17.5% in 2011.
The rate of change between 2011 and 2012, however, slowed to a 0.3-point increase -- from 17.5% to 17.8%. These estimates are based on 353,492 interviews in 2011 and 353,571 interviews in 2012.
It is not clear what this slowed rate of change in no religious identity is attributable to, or if it signifies a lasting shift in the trend. There are a number of broad changes taking place in American society, including the inexorable aging of the huge baby boom generation born between 1946 and 1964, the ebbs and flows of the economy, changes in demographic patterns of immigration, migration among states, fertility, and marriage, and more abstract changes in the culture. All of these patterns are related to religion in some way.
The complete responses to the religious identity questions over the past years are presented on Page 2.
Asians, Young Adults, Those in the Pacific Region Most Likely to Be "Nones"
Religious "nones" differ from those who do have a religious identity in a number of ways, as detailed in the book God Is Alive and Well.
Those most likely to be "nones" include Asians, young people, those living in the Pacific and New England regions, political independents, and men. Those least likely to be "nones" include Republicans, older Americans, those living in the South, blacks, women, and Hispanics. These demographic and socioeconomic differences are consistent with other general measures of religiosity.
What is your religious preference -- Protestant, Roman Catholic, Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, another religion, or no religion? 2012 yearly numbers by demos

Bottom Line Americans' expression of an explicit religious identity in response to a survey interviewer's question is one of many measures of religiosity, although by no means a definitive measure of a person's religiousness or spirituality. The rise in "nones" partly reflects changes in the general pattern of expression of religion in American society today -- particularly including trends towards more "unbranded," casual, informal religion. And, although this "rise of the nones" has increased dramatically over recent decades, the rate of increase slowed last year, suggesting the possibility that there may be a leveling off in this measure in the years ahead.

For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Top 10: Stuff JH/MS Workers Like...

 A tip o' the hat to Jon Acuff and your super awesome "Stuff Christians Like" book, blog, world tour and ....album coming out soon "Songs inspired by "Stuff Christians Like" featuring the new song by Lecrae -"Booty God Booty"?






10. The words "Dude" and "Girl".  Both have saved me a million times when I blanked on a name

9. Parents who show up early to drop off, and late to pick up their kids from an event.  Seriously it is 2:00 am, we got home an hour ago.

8. Marko's Beard. Is there really any explanation needed.

7. Free T-shirts. Get a bunch of youth worker's together and it is like standing in the middle of Time Square. Standing there surrounded by giant billboards selling something while you try to sip your coffee.

6. Spam. It is a game supply, it is an object lesson, it a prize, it might even be dinner tonight.  It is like ministry gold in a can!

5. Energy Drinks.  In a can, a cup, or an IV, bring them on! How else is a 38 year old man going to keep up with the make up/break up story that. that over animated 7th grade cheerleader is tell you?

4.  Hoodies. Much like the free t-shirt without them our wardrobe would be sparse and our head  would be cold.

3. Dodgeball. The modern day equivalent to a public stoning, we just can't get enough of chucking a rubber ball with all our adult might at that little 6th grade boy with glasses in the corner...crying.

2. Bodily Function Humor. The comedy sweet spot for anyone working with JH/MS boys and maybe even girls.  YouTube clips of farting twilight stars, preachers, & various woodland creature...shooting tootsie rolls our of whoopie cushions...and anything else we can think of that involves chocolate pudding or smelly socks.

1. The Stop-n-Stare Down. That super deep moment when you are about to make your final point and the group of boys in the back isn't listening. You come to screeching halt and just stand there and stare, while everyone else in the room suffers through the 3 minutes of uncomfortable silence...

Monday Morning Inspiration: "Importance of Team"

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Free Resouce #38: Youth Ministry Toolbox: Lesson & Game





Jamie Starrett and Buck Baskin offer up a whole website of resources: lesson, administrative tools, small group studies, powerpoint games, and more at their site "YOUTH MINISTRY TOOLBOX", AND Right now, they are also offering TWO FREEBIES!!

1. A 4 WEEK LESSON SERIES:











2. A POWERPOINT GAME:










CLICK HERE (to get your freebie on & check out their site)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Game Resource: Epic Game Show Night


Here is a crazy ran-dumb video bumper to help you create your every own cheesy 70's style game show!  Let your imagination run wild with gross games, silly challenges, and surprising prizes for the winner.  
 SO, Come on down and check out this fabOUlous freebie

CLICK HERE (to download) 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

4 Ideas To Make Your Youth Group Smile! (*News U Can Use)


  
Here are 4 positive ideas on college campuses that could translate down into Jr. High/ Middle School world whether at your student's schools or inside your ministry setting? 






FROM: "4 ways to make your campus smile"
By Tyler Calder, For USA TODAY:COLLEGE

1. “Before I Die” wall
Losing a loved one caused Candy Chang to think about all of the things she wanted to accomplish in life. To reflect this state of mind, she began a public art project in New Orleans called the “Before I Die” wall, which involved the creative use of chalkboard paint. Chang used a stencil to create the “Before I Die” title and columns of the phrase “I want to” on an abandoned home in her community so that people passing by could use chalk to finish the sentence with their goals, dreams and aspirations.

This empowerment project has caught on with students who have used Candy’s model and a toolkit to bring this project to Rutgers University, Stevens Institute of Technology, the University of Arizona and, most recently, George Washington University (GW).

“I think the project will allow the GW community to reflect on their own lives and think about their own aspirations and dreams,” said Brian Doyle, the student who led the charge to bring the wall to GW, “and in turn it will give us a public space to express them and learn from the diverse perspectives of others. I think the student body will enjoy seeing such a beautiful piece of collaborative artwork on campus that serves as a community builder and a conversation starter.”

2. Facebook compliments pages
In September 2012, four undergraduates at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, found a way to use social media to bring happiness and praise to their peers. Rachel Albi, Erica Gagne, Jessica Jonker and Amanda Smurthwaite saw the need for a happy distraction and created a Facebook account called “Queens U Compliments,” which encouraged Queen’s students to message them with compliments to recognize their friends and peers at the school. They would then post the compliments they received on the Facebook page to create an aggregated feed of anonymous compliments about students at the school.

By November, the idea had spread to over 50 colleges and universities including Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Princeton University, Washington University in St. Louis, Wesleyan University, Trinity College and Hamilton College.

3. Happiness clubs
In 2008, Northwestern University student Ben Larrison and his friends identified the need for a morale booster on their campus. This prompted them to unofficially create a “happiness club” in an effort to show that small acts of kindness can improve the spirits of individual students and the greater university community.
While the idea first started on Facebook, the students soon realized that they could combine personal interactions and social media support to create a student organization on campus. Through the organization, they’ve been able to remain true to their philosophy of bringing people together and making them smile by hosting events focused on translating simple acts into contagious happiness. The first event they hosted, “Free Hugs and Hot Chocolate,” took place outside the library during final exams. Since then, they’ve hosted events from pumpkin carving to laughter yoga to the Post-it project, which involved writing positive sayings on sticky notes and posting them all over Northwestern’s campus.

Larrison and his freinds were even able to establish a campus-wide Happiness Week that included theme days for facepaint, bubble blowing, temporary tattoos and childhood favorites such as hopscotch and Play-Doh.

4.Chalk-ins
Students have been able to optimize the nostalgic and colorful nature of chalk to create chalk-ins, events designed to promote creative expression and de-stressing.

The Happiness Club at Northwestern University facilitated a chalking event where students chalked encouraging expressions, fun pictures and inspirational quotes on a mile-long stretch of road that students normally use to get to class.

At George Washington University, chalk-ins are facilitated by student groups in conjunction with the University Counseling Center. For one day in May, the school shuts down a single city street at the center of campus to facilitate the annual event. Last spring marked the 32nd annual chalk-in on campus and, as is tradition, it occurred during final exams.

The goal in timing the event to coincide with exams is for students to slow down and take a few moments to let their academic minds rest while they put their creative geniuses to work.

 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Top 10: SPAM Games for JH/MS Students!?



 Like the mana and the quail from heaven.  God provided us with SPAM.  Much like the word "mana", the name Spam is loosely translated in the Hebrew as "What is this stuff?"
What it is, is JH/MS ministry gold!! It has been my go to gross food item for 18 years.  I even took a youth group trip to the Spam Museum a couple years ago!
So, here you go for your weekly dose of Top 10 Ran-dumbness...

TOP 10: SPAM GAMES FOR JH/MS STUDENTS:
  


10. Bobbing for Spam. Chunks of Spam floating in a delicious liquid like Kool-Aid or chocolate milk!

9. Jello Spam Jam. Little cubes of Spam suspended beautifully in a lime Jello mold!

8. Spam Shake. A couple cans, a blender, some water, and a straw...

7. Spam Sculpture. A bowl full of little square of Spam, a box of toothpicks and 5 minutes

6. Spam Snoot Shoot. Forget those little cute marshmallows.  How far can one of your guys shoot a nostril size piece of Spam across the room??

5.  Spam Slide and Glide. With that amazing jelly like substance that surrounds it, Spam slides and glide with easy.  Have a student lie on the floor at the other end of the table.  Slide and glide a few slices down and off (like the old western saloon) into their waiting mouth.

4.  Bucket O' Spam. Tie a bucket to the top of someone special's head.  Toss a few slices Frisbee-style and see how things go...

3. Spam Slam. A wiffle bat and a pile of spam balls.  See who can go the distance?

2. Spam-A-Lot.  Monty Python, A Musical and what else a Catapult. Grab a spatula, an edge of a table a white shirt with a bulls-eye and a friend. 

1. Spam Chow. When all else fails, actually make them just eat it!  Classic that never gets old.  A plate, a hunk of Spam, no hands...Chow Down!

Monday Morning Video Inspiration: "A Message from Matthew West"

Because it IS Monday and you need to keep doin' your Thang, here is a bit of Monday Morning Inspiration.
(*sorry for the "commercial thing at the end)

Friday, February 1, 2013

JH/MS Ministry App?! #2: "GIF-STORY"


" Often a photo is not enough to capture a moment. Opt for a GIF! Share your life in a new way, more dynamic and immersive than ever before! With the Gifstory app short animated stories are fun and easy to create, edit and share. Sign up now to be the first to learn of the release of Gifstory and receive other news and updates." - From the GIF-STORY Site






Good Stuff that can be come Great stuff if it is used for God Stuff!? Here is something new that might just be a sweet "JH/MS Specific Youth Ministry App"!? 

A quick fun app to spice up your text message update, reminders, and announcements.  Maybe use it to send a quick encouragement, greeting, or birthday wish to a student.  Create a mini movie contest, or use your creativity!! 
 
CLICK HERE (to get it, or find out more)

February JH/MS Featured Blog: "The Tween and Me"


       A mother (Paula) and her tween daughter have created a cute little online space for tween girls and their moms.  The site is full of tips, resources, shopping deals, reviews, news and more.  It not necessarily a "christian" or "religious" space, but because of the positive, clean, and upbeat content I have made this my "Featured MS/JH Blog" of February!! 
      Check it out for yourself and let the moms and girls of your ministry in on this hidden little online gem!