Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ran-Dumb Youth Ministy Meme #54 (*Pop Star Edition 3)

Free Resource #61: "The Storyline Productivity Scheduler"

This one-page planner from Donald Miller and the People over at "STORYLINE" will help you overcome procrastination, focus on what’s important and get more done. 

Here’s what you need to do:
1. Download the Storyline Productivity Schedule, hole punch it and put it in a nifty binder of your choice.

2. Read the brilliant essay explaining the psychology behind why you're about to rock.

3. Use the SPS for 30 days and change the way you do your work forever. And when you go back to old habits, print another one out and do it again.

OVER TO STORYLINE (to get started for FREE)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Game #49: "GIANT PERFECTION" (up-front, teambuilding, illustration)

Another Childhood Classic is Reborn and Coming to Youth Group!! It is "Perfection " Played in a whole new, BIG Way!!

- One Large Twin Size Sheet
- 25 Cut-Out Shapes
- Black Permanent  Marker
- One Minute Time (egg timer or media countdown)

Set up/Making:
Section off 25 equal size blocks and using your permanent marker make 5 x 5 gird of squares.  Take your cut out shapes, draw an outline of the shape in the center of each square.   You have created a large version of the classic "perfection" game!
Game Play/Rules:
The simple rule are player or players have to perfectly match up all the shapes before the 60 second timer goes off and all the shapes go flying.   All the shapes have to not only be in the square, but matched up to the outline.

Start the game by asking 4 leaders to come up and stand by each corner of the game.  Have a couple players then come up to play the game.  You can go single player competition or have students play as a team. 

Set your time for 60 second and have your leaders kneel down and hold onto a corner, but don't lift it off the ground yet.   On "Go!" player(s) have to start matching up all the shapes perfectly.  When the timer goes off, the leaders yell and yank their corner causing all the shapes to go flying just like in the original game!

Additional Idea/Help:
- I used a red sheet and yellow shapes so it would match up with the original game.  I also used our shape cutting machine that our church had and then laminated the shapes so they would last. I also used some yellow spray paint and stencils to spell out "perfection" across the top. You really don't have to be that fancy, you can use a simple white sheet and cut out construction paper shapes.

- Timer Hint: Find a louder time or countdown with something nerve racking!
- Shape Hint: You can get a little more advanced (see below) with your shapes and also add on a bit more time for players to match everything up.

** Team Building: Use this as a team building game. Do not use a timer at all,  make players play as a small group without being able to speak and see who can complete it the fastest

Illustration/Lesson Tie-IN!- "Perfection": Godliness, Righteousness, Holiness,...
- The idea of trying to live up to God's standard!
-  Fitting into the unique shapes that God has created for each of us!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

News U Can Use: "Teen Brain & Rewards"

"Teenagers often do things if the payoff is great, and the reason may come down to how their brains respond to rewards, a new study suggests.

When teens receive money, or anticipate receiving it, their brains' pleasure center lights up more than it does in adults... "

(READ MORE at "Live Science")

Monday, February 24, 2014

Video Inspiration: "Finding Youth Ministry Mentors"

Top 10: REAL JH/MS Prayer Requests

10. My lizard is shedding and in a lot of pain?

9. Pray for my mama hen that she is in heaven, she died last night?

8. Pray that my parent get me the new I-Phone?

7. Pray that my parent will let me see Thor 2, this weekend?

6.Pray for my ________sports team, that they win on ____________! 

5. Pray for my ____, I think my peircing is infected?

4.  Pray for the Packers, they are playing the Bears monday night!

3.  Pray for my Sr. high girlfriend, she is really wants to get married! 

2.  Pray for my leg, I shot myself the other night!

1.  Pray for Tim McGraw, he was suppose to do special music this morning in church, but he got arrested.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ran-Dumb Youth Ministry Meme #53 (Pop Star Edition #2)


Lesson Series: " LIGHT & LIFE"

Series Overview and Idea:
We are God's presence in the world, we are called to be LIFE and LIGHT in the darkness our this planet.
This lesson series will over 5 lesson and 5 week lead students on a journey from living in darkness to living a LIFE that is in and about being the LIGHT!

The Series Outline Includes:
- key scripture passages
- big group activity
- upfront illustration
- video clip suggestions
- small group/discussion questions
- lesson related games & activities
- and MORE!!

Lessons Overview:
Lesson #1: "God is Light"

Lesson #2: "Reflect"
Lesson #3 "Shine"
Lesson #4  "Glow"
Lesson #5 "Radiate"

CLICK HERE (for preview and also download the FULL series)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Game # 48:"Run and Gun" (Group Game/Travel Game)

"Run and Gun" is a quick non-stop game that you can play during youth group nights, at events, or on your trip...
- A Football (of any size or type)
Set Up:
- Zero, it is on the spot in the moment just "Go!" kind of game.
It is a non-stop, "no-touch" game of football, played wherever, whenever, with whoever.  The basic rules are there are only 4 downs, so each team only has 4 chances to score a touchdown from end zone to end zone. There is no running once the ball is caught. Once the ball is caught that is the next line of scrimmage and position of play, so there is no tackling or touching necessary. Once the ball is caught, everyone quickly gets on either line of scrimmage, the ball is hiked and the next plays starts.   At the end the 4th down, if the team has not scored a touch down, possession changes and away you go again.  If a touchdown is scored, the opposing team starts at the end zone and tries to work its way to the other end zone.  
 End zones are whatever and wherever you choose based on where you are and the space you have.  It can be played in a youth room, gym, outside, at a rest stop, in a hotel room... maybe even in the church sanctuary (just not during service times....maybe??)
Choosing teams is simple and easy, just quickly take a group split them into 2 equals halves using as many students have you have or want to play-then assign them a goal line and go!
Passing, receiving, coverage is all the same as regular pick up football.  Interceptions is just like passing, play stops, possession changes and then go!
Once your students know what is it and what is going, you can just yell "Run and Gun", make teams and play.   Great for boring down times, waiting time, and especially great for rest stops on long trips.
Girls like it because it non-contact, Guys like it because it is football.
The biggest key is to hurry and rush everything, don't let it stop. Keep moving as quickly as possible in every moment, don't let the game every slow down.  Just think go...go...go- RUN AND GUN!!  It is a blast and might just become a group favorite?!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"10 Trends in 2014 in 2 Minutes" (& Youth Ministry Thoughts?)


- Immersive Experiences (Does this change our worship and missions experiences?)
- Speaking Visually (How will we teach and announce things differently? )
- Age of Impatience (Communication, follow up, and continued discussion of the lesson?)
- Mobile as a Gateway and Telepathic Technology (Websites, apps, social media uses? )
- End of Anonymity  (Do our students want us to know everything?  Do we respect that?)
- Remixing Tradition (YIKES! What do we need to consider re-mixing?  What "sacred cows" are hanging around that need to be killed?)
- Proudly Imperfect  (This might mean we need to admit the church, Christians, even we as leaders are not perfect!!?)
- Mindful Living (Hmm...isn't that the Christian life?)

IT MIGHT JUST BE A GREAT NEW YEAR AFTER ALL!!!   What do you think? What are your responses and ideas based on the 10 Trends in 2014??

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Top 10: Things Not To Say To a Church Usher...

10. Smoking Section, Please?

9. Can You Find Me A Seat By Someone Spiritual?

8.  Is This The Matinee Showing of "Saw 5"?

7.  Can I Get a Piggy-Back Ride to My Seat?

6.  I Would Like to Request a Wake Up Call in a Half Hour?

5.  Do You Have Bulletin With the Notes Already Filled In?

4.  When Does The Drink Cart Come Through?

3.  I Have a Pizza Coming in 20 Minutes Or Less?

2.  Wait, Where is the Metal Detectors?

1. Hey,"DJ Got Us Falling Love" Was a Great Jam!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ran-Dumb Youth Ministry Meme #52

* Hey Vertical Church Band....Thanks for your awesome song- "JAILBREAK", Our group loves it!

Youth Ministry Invention #17: "USB Rechargeable Batteries"

Away on that retreat, trip, or missions experience and of course you are no where near a store to pick yet another set of batteries for your microphone or other such essential tool for ministry? 
Consider having these along..."USB Rechargeable Batteries"
(CLICK AWAY to find out more)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

No Supplies, No Prep Time...No Problems: 5 Quick Easy JH/MS Games

1.Traffic Jam
Divide your group into 4 equal groups and assign them a corner. The goal is for everyone to go the opposite corner from them, currently where another team is, as fast as they possibly can. The last one across the "line" in each group is out. They however will not just be running straight across you will be announcing the way they must travel in order to get across. Here are a few example: running backwards, skipping, "basketball defender slide", bunny hop, crawl, piggy-back ride on a friend….

2.Tunnel Rats
Divide your group into 2-4 equal teams, line the teams up in a single file line facing forward. Give every player on each team a number from 1 to how many you have. The point of the game is when the player's number is yelled, the team must spread their legs creating a tunnel, that player then must run to the back of the line and like a rat crawl through the tunnel and out. First person to win the race each round get a point for their team.

3.Light Saber Wars
Simple game that has been around for a while that my group loves. Everyone find a partner and clasp hands so their pointer finger is sticking out toward the other person, creating a “light saber”. On “go” players try to be the first person to touch the other player. Losers sit down, winner finds another partner and so on until everyone is eliminated and one player is the “Jedi Master.”

4. Shape Shifters
Form a couple large teams and have them stand together. The goal of the game is using all the players on the team shift and create an assigned shape that is announced. The team can stand, lay down, or do whatever they need to do to create the assigned shape. Some simple examples can are a geometric shape (circle, square, star…), a letter or number, or basic item (cross, smiley face, hashtag…) More advanced and challenging examples might be an animal (dog, cat…), a full word (creating letters), or other objects (tree, car, house…)
The best way to judge a winner might be in an elevated position on a stage, chair of even a ladder, as a “bird’s eye view” might be needed.

5. Santa-Rudolph-Frosty
While this is a Christmas-themed game, my student love to play it year around. It takes the youth ministry classic, “Gorilla-Man-Gun” and gives it a new updated, fun twist.

Two players line up back-to-back. On the count of 3, they turn around mime, "Santa," "Rudolph" or "Frosty."
- For Santa, you make a beard with your hands under your chin.
- For Rudolph, you make reindeer antlers with your hands.
- For Frosty, your make a carrot nose with your hands.

Here is how the winner-loser cycle goes: Santa, of course, beats Rudolph with a whip. Rudolph beats Frosty, because he kicks him over. Frosty beats Santa, just because.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

News U Can Use: "Keeping JH/MS Students Safe on Instagram"

" Instagram is a popular photos and video sharing and social networking site with millions, including tweens. It's all photos, right, so keeping kids safe on Instagram isn't a concern, right?
No. While Instagram is hugely popular among tweens and even elementary age kids, and many use it without incident, there are issues and parents absolutely need to be aware and informed.. Aside from the stated age requirement of 13, parents must know about privacy, cyberbullying, and content concerns about Instagram.... (READ MORE AT "TWEEN US")

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Top 10: If The Rest of the Church Ran Like the Youth Ministry? (no seriously...)

Recently, I was challenged by the book Inter-Generational Youth Ministry by Mel Walker.  In it, he points out that youth ministry can be a model for the whole church.   It got me thinking about what are some things that would change or what would it look like IF THE REST OF THE CHURCH RAN LIKE THE YOUTH MINISTRY....

10. The Sr. Pastor would regularly show up at the biggest employers in town to have lunch with his members, and their friends, to build relationships.

9. Twice a year, the weekend services would shut down and the majority of the church would go away for a weekend retreat.

8. One week a summer, the whole church would go away for a week of worship, discipleship, teaching (and fun) at a camp or conference.

7.  Every summer the bigger majority of the church would spend a week or more serving the poor, doing work projects, and running vacation Bible schools both in our country and around the world.

6. Any major trips or events for discipleship or missions (see # 7,8,,9) would have to be paid for through fundraising, not out of the church budget.

5. Worship music would reflect the current culture of what people actually listen to in their day to day lives-out in public, in their work places, with their friends, and current media.

4. Every 8-10 people would have 1-2 older more mature adult that would meet with them regularly to discuss the sermon, disciple them, keep them accountable, and call them if they missed church (*continuing to caringly call them until they returned)

3. On a regular basis in service people would have to do an icebreaker where they would have to ask people their name and one question, forcing them to get to know others around them beyond a quick handshake.

2. There would be an ongoing emphasis to dedicated the rest of your life to Christ and 'grow up' in your faith beyond where you are currently at.

1. There would be a defined, specific scope and sequence that would cover at least the next 6 years of what was being taught, how people were being disciple, and what direction the ministries were going to take? (and why?)
What would you add?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Youth Ministry Invention #16: "Skateboard Decor" (youth room ideas?)

Four quick inventions that are real purchasable products, that you could easily make on your own for your youth room, for way...WAY cheaper than what companies are charging!!

1. Skateboard Sconce

2. Skateboard Stool

3. Skateboard Mirror

4. Skateboard Light

Free Media #52: "Steve the Screen" (Fun Game Edition)

Steve the screen is an interactive “countdown” to lead into your service. Steve’s personality will overtake your screens and have your audience laughing, engaging, and in this edition high-fiving those around. Steve is a fun and different way to countdown to get your service started.

CLICK HERE (to get "him" free for your group)

From: "Creative Sheep" and "Worship House Media"

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"I WILL CATCH YOU: The Strength of 'Nets' in Youth Ministry"

Would you ever venture out on a tightrope without a safety net below? 

If you would, you are a braver person than me! I like my safety nets and for that fact my legs and face intact!    Isn't that sort of what we do in youth ministry.  We put ourselves on a tight rope, up high in front of everyone.  Everyone watching our every step and move, as we try to balance everything, holding tight to whatever we are trying to use to keep us up there.  

If we are honest and real, those watching us, are also waiting to see if we fall.    Just another person in ministry falling into whatever issue that trips them up and knocks them off the high place they have put themselves in.

In this role, we have been called to there IS danger and also excitement.  We have been given a special skill, place, and opportunity.  If we are smart we will not go it alone and we will not do it without some well place nets to catch us.  Here are 3 "nets" that we can use to catch us in our ministry walk in front of others.

    Before you jump to the immediate conclusion and assumption, that I am going to launch into another tirade about pornography or social media, I am not.  I am actually going to go a different direction and talk about the positive for a change.    The inter-NET provides us, as youth workers, a good and helpful resource in being accountable, finding friends, and connecting with others who are doing the same thing as we are.

    Through Facebook, Twitter, message boards, and blogs, we find others who are there with us in the day to day struggle and walk in ministry.   Youth ministry is a lonely place sometimes, especially if you are not blessed to have others on staff or in your area that you can talk to.   All be it virtual, you can find great relationships, connection and a safe place to land, when times in ministry get tough.

*Check out places like...

      It may seem like that guy down the road or the other side of town is the competition, or even dare I say the "enemy", but I have learned that getting together personally with others in ministry in your area is an awesome thing.    I have been a part of local area networks for 15 out of 19 years of youth ministry in some shape or form.    It honestly took my current area about 4-5 years since I first arrived to get to the point we are at now.  The men (and woman) of our local network are now some of my closest friends.  They are probably also my truest friends, people who I can be more transparent and real with pretty much anyone else other than my wife and family.  I can say with confidence that they have been and will be there to "catch me" if I fall or begin to lose my balance in the midst of the crazy circus act that is sometimes ministry.

     I would strongly suggest finding or creating a local network in your area.  It will not only help you it will help others.  It will offer real in-person accountability, encouragement, and support with people how honestly "get" your area.    No one else is going to quite understand the struggle and challenge of your specific town or area like other trying to do the same thing locally.

* Find a Local Network or if there a Network Near You by Checking Out- National Network of Youth Ministries- 
    The end of the day, you need to understand as much as it feels like you are "out there all alone" you are not.  You are not doing this thing alone and you can't do this thing will never do this thing alone!  Your value and mission is not in what you do, but what is done through you.  Your focus can not be on your little "k" kingdom of your ministry and church.  You focus, vision, and direction is found in the worth of the big "K" kingdom of God that you are called to.   You know this, you teach this, but do you honestly believe it!?

   What is going to catch you or cause you to fall ultimately in your ministry is how you define your NET-worth- Your "total value minus outside liabilities...".   Your value must be found not in your prideful self-sufficient, I-can-do-it-all attitude, but in the person who saw you and called you out onto the tightrope in the first place.  He see you can do it, despite your flaws.  He watches you and continues to call you forward   The "Net" that will catch you in ministry is securely in the hands of the one who will always catch you.  We lose sight of that and we will fall! When we lose sight of Christ and the worth we have in Him, that is when each one of us begin to slip, our ministry's lose balance, and we will come crashing down in front of our family, church, and our students.

I beg you--do not work without "Nets" to catch you, as you live up front and out front in youth ministry.   Find strong nets of people and continue to rely on the net that Christ always provides.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

News U Can Use: "The Barbie Plastic Surgery Game App"

"The game, which launched last week and was rated for children 9 and older, walked players through the graphic steps of liposuction that must be performed on an "unfortunate girl" to make her "slim and beautiful." ....

Monday, February 3, 2014

Top 10: Non-Youth MInistry Books JH/MS Youth Pastors Should Read? (a serious one)

Here are 10 books, that are not defined as 'youth ministry' books, but Jr. High & Middle School Youth Pastors should consider reading.  Each I think will help you better lead and minister in your role working with young teens and pre-teens.

10. Leading from the Second Chair- Mike Bonem

9. Good To Great- Jim Collins

8.  Barbarian Way- Erwin Mc Manus

7.  Primal- Mark Baterson

6.  The Great Emergence- Phylis Tickle

5. Organic Church- Neil Cole

4.  Weird- Craig Groschell

3.  The Next Christians- Gabe Lyons

2. Who Do You Think Your Are?- Mark Discoll

1.  Effective Teaching Methods- Borich

Monday Morning Video: "Spiritual Parenting and Family Ministry"