Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Game #62: "Beach Umbrella Topsy Turvy Toss"

Another Completely  Ran-Dumb, Funny and Ever So Easy Quick Summer Time Youth Group Game For Your Next Youth Night, Event, Picnic, or Evening at the Beach??

- 2 Large Umbrellas (*preferably "beach umbrellas or golf umbrellas", but any umbrellas will do)
- 20-30 water balloons

Set Up:
Fill up 20-30 water balloons is the only real pre-set up.

Explanation/Game Play:
- Brief Explanation: teams will be tossing water balloons into a large upside down umbrella held over a partner's head.
- Ask for 2 teams of 2 to come volunteer.  When they are in the front of the group hand one player an umbrella and the other a container with 10-15 water balloons each.
- Ask the umbrella players to step back to a pre-determined distance and then instruct them to open the umbrella and hold upside down over their head as best as they can
- Explain the idea of the game and the rules.
- On "Go!" have the water balloon throwing players start throwing water balloons to their partner.

Rules & Points:
- Teams must try to catch as many water balloons as they can in their upside down umbrella.
- The winning team is the team that has the most up-popped water balloons in their umbrella.

*Alternative Non-Water Balloon Version:
- Use a variety of pool/beach toys of different shapes and sizes instead of water balloons.  Points given for each toy that is caught and kept in the umbrellas

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

News U Can Use: "Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Pre-Teens?"

" The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics state infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010). Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences (Kaiser Foundation 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012). Handheld devices (cell phones, tablets, electronic games) have dramatically increased the accessibility and usage of technology, especially by very young children (Common Sense Media, 2013). As a pediatric occupational therapist, I'm calling on parents, teachers and governments to ban the use of all handheld devices for children under the age of 12 years ..."

READ MORE (at Huffington Post: Parents)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Free Media #57: "Death to Stock Photos"


(to check it out)

Hint/Help #11: Ways to Include Your Spouse in Your Ministry

This started off as a more serious "Top 10" idea but then I decided to make it more of a Hint/Help, because I felt it deserved to be in a category where it might not get missed in my more humorous posts!?

My wife is super involved in what I do.  I am blessed in that she is as called to youth ministry as I am.  She loves what I do and is with me as a team mate and partner.  She is not the "up front" or "in the office" person, even though she is willing and does here and there fill those roles at times. 

No matter your spouse's role, commitment, or even calling.  They still deserve to me invited and included in your ministry.  Here is just a couple quick ways, I would suggest to "Include Your Spouse in Your Ministry"....

10. Communicate with them about what you are doing and what is coming up. It will save your marriage and ministry (*

9. Invite them to come to planning meetings, events, and regular youth ministry nights. They don't have to always come or ever come but at least they know they are invited and welcome.

8. Ask them for their thoughts, perspective, and ideas.  They may have a fresh set of eyes, ears and thinking they you don't!

7. Include them in lessons or talks when in comes to marriage, dating and purity. It will add value and earn you a "right to be heard" with your students while also affirming your spouse.

6. Have a leader meeting or training as your home. With seasons of life sometimes a spouse can't show up to youth ministry, but is a simple way to bring some of youth ministry to them.

5. Take your leaders and their significant other out to lunch/dinner, bring your spouse.  Food, fellowship,....Win always!

4. Have them give their testimony as part of a lesson, retreat, or event.

3.  Talk about your spouse (and brag on your spouse) as part of your teaching. In appropriate, honoring and respectful ways. ( *Skip the my "my spouse is hot" comments)

2. When you buy something for your leaders (youth group logo t-shirt, mug, bag..) get one extra for your spouse. They can wear it/use it at their jobs or else where and talk about you/brag on you in return..see #3.

1. Honor Their Calling! if it is music allow them to help with the music, if it is cooking ask them to help cook on a retreat, if is working with younger kids have them help you leader the VBS on your missions trip...if they are called youth ministry, MAKE THEM A YOUTH LEADER/SMALL GROUP LEADER!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Game #61: "Feed the Baby Bird"

An All-Time Favorite, That Your Students Are Going to be Laughing about and Talking About....

- 2 Cups
- 2 Packages of Gummy Worms
- 2 Chairs

Set Up/Game Explanation:
- Simple Explanation: players will be eating gummy worms out of their partner's mouth...sort a baby bird.
- Fill 2 cups full of gummy worms
- Have 2 teams of 2 come up to the front
- Have one person sit in the chair
- Give the seated person the cup full of gummy worms, tell them they are going to have to lean back and put the cup in their mouth facing up.
- The standing player have them stand behind the seated player, explain that they are going to have lean over and eat as many gummy worms as possible in the time allowed.
- On "Go!" seated player will quickly put cup in their mouth (no hands allowed) and the standing player will then have to using ONLY their mouth (no hands allowed) stuck pulling out gummy worms and eating them as fast as they can.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lesson Series: "COME IN" (*9 lessons based on the tabernacle)

A nine lesson series based on the part of the Old Testament tabernacle.

Originally taught for a summer camp setting and theme.

Lessons Overview:
1. “Come See” (Enter the Gate)

2. “Come Clean #1-“Clean Me” (Brazen Altar)
3. “Come Clean #2”- “Washed Clean” (The Lavar)
4. “Come Live #1”- “Live in the Presence” (Bread of Presence)
5. “Come Live #2”- “The Bread of Life” (Table of Shewbread)
6. “Come into the Light #1”- “The Light” (The Golden Lampstand)
7. “Come into the Light #2”- “Connecting to the Light” (The Golden Lampstand)
8. “Come Be Free #1”- “What is Inside?”(The Ark of the Covenant)
9. “Come Be Free #2”- “See Your Need?” (The Mercy Seat)
(*Lesson include brief outline for each lesson, along with scriptures. Also included is some additional suggested ideas, illustrations, games, and resources accompany the lesson)

CLICK HERE (to get the FREE PDF)
CLICK HERE (to get the FREE collection of title graphics)

News U Can Use: "Young Millionaire Made His First Million by the Age of Nine"

 "Back in 1994, at the ripe old age of 9, Johnson launched his first business out of his home in Virginia–making invitations for his parents’ holiday party. Word of his skills spread, and by the seasoned age of 11, Johnson had saved up several thousand dollars selling greeting cards. He called his company Cheers and Tears.

But the little guy didn’t stop there. At age 12, Johnson offered his younger sister $100 for her collection of 30 Ty Beanie Babies, all the rage at the time. The young entrepreneur quickly earned 10 times that amount by selling the dolls on eBay . Smelling potential...."


* Continue to Consider With Me the Fact that Pre-Teen, Young Teens...Those in the "Middle Year" Hold the Keys to the Kingdom- BOTH in Our World and in Our Churches.  Check Out My Original Post and Thoughts.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Top 10: Reasons I STILL Love JH/MS Summer Camp!??

In the new era of youth group missions trip and services projects combined with the ever increasing personal schedule of our young people, going to a week of camp is quickly losing it popularity and support.  This summer with my transition from one youth group to another almost exactly half-way through the summer.  I got to go to TWO weeks of summer camp!!  It reminded me why camp is still great and why we need to still included in our youth ministry's summer!! Call me old fashion and out-dated but... Here are the way I STILL Love going to Summer Camp....

10. Freedom to Worship, Sing and Celebrate!- No where else but at camp can you sing as loud and as wild as you want with all your heart...with Hand Motions!! (* come on Tomlin, Crowder, Hillsong--help us bring back worship hand motions? :-) )

9. Being Out in God's Creation!- You want to get close to God the creator, go hang out in what he has created for awhile?

8. Interacting with New People and Making New Friends!- Only at camp can you really interact, bond and make real friendships with people from other churches and places that will last a lifetime.

7.  History, Tradition and Legend.- Conferences and Mission Trips have just not made it there yet.  When you go to camp you are walking on "holy ground" of generations of people before you who gave thier lives to change the church and the world because of time they spent at that place.

6.  Random Silliness and Campy Humor! We all need some good clean fun sometimes.  Christianity and church has all got a bit to somber, serious, and stuffy.  We were created with a sense of humor and the ability to laugh...Skit Night! Flag Pole Songs!! Singing for Seconds at Dinner Time!! Stupid Human Tricks for a Letter from Home!! Where else do you do that???

5. Camp Snack Shack/Bar/Stand/Shop.... Think of it as a Crash Course in stewardship and money management! A tasty....tasty lesson in life skills!

4. Growing Up Time Away from Mom & Dad.  A week away from home and from parents for the first time! Besides a couple sleepovers at grandmas house, it is the first REAL time away and on your own! Sorry it is "helicopter-free" fly-over air space moms and dads!

3. Eight to Ten Chapel Times inside of 5 days!  For young people who between vacations, summer sports, summer activies, and just outright being part of families who just take the summer off from church and God...Call it Make Up!!?

2. Morning Quiet Times By The Lake/Pond/Creek/Other Body of Water! John 4:14?? Something spiritual and significant??

1. End of the Week Camp Fire! You can argue it and debate the emotion of the moment but how many of us are in ministry because of the end of end week camp fire moments!!?

Friday, July 4, 2014

See You in 2 Weeks...New Job Update and New Ministry Partnership!

Yep, taking another 2 week break from posting because....BIG Things are happening!!!

God is working in crazy and amazing ways in my life right now! I wanted to give everyone a bit of an update about all that is going on both with accepting a new JH position at a new church and also being invited to partner with a great ministry on the national youth ministry scene!

First off, I just want to say how amazing God has been over the last couple years with my family, in the JH ministry I have been part of for 9 years and even here through this little online space.   I am just continued to be overwhelmed by how God has opened new opportunities over and over again.  I am just seriously humbled to be able to continue to keep doing what I have been doing for almost 20 years in the church, and to be invited to connect, write, speak and coach in various ways beyond the walls of my church.

The BIG Move!!! Yes, we are moving.  I have been a 6th-8th grade pastor at Berean Baptist Church in Mansfield, OH for 9 years.  As of July 3rd, I have stepping down to take a new position as the 7th/8th grade pastor at Burke Community Church in Burke, VA.   The church is just outside of Washington DC.   It is an outstanding opportunity and an wonderful church.  I can not express how excited I and my family are for this move and position.  I am further excited by the fact that I can continue to do what I love to do, being a "JH UTH GUY"!!    Of course as a side note, to the new position I can still continue to write and share here from a place of being a "day to day" average in the trenches youth pastor!  Please be in prayer for me as I make this move and settle in to our new church.   Thank you already for all your kind words, emails and facebook messages of encouragement.

  The OTHER News!! Besides also taking on a new church position, I was additionally invited to take on a new role and partnership on a national level with Jeremy Lee and Parent Ministry. Net Beyond continuing to work with some other great people and  partnerships (see the right side of the page >>>) I have been asked to come on board with Parent Ministry.Net's already great team of people as part of their "Youth Content" doing some writing and a few other things.  I have loved and appreciated Jeremy and his outstanding work over the last couple years on a national level as one of the driving forces behind better ministry to parents and for parents.  I once again am just humbled to be asked to join up with the already great work that is being done!

If you have not checked out Jeremy and my recent podcast conversation about "How to Create Content That Helps Other Ministers"... Please Do! (click below)


All that to say...I have a couple things going on in the next couple weeks, so I am taking another 2 week summer break from posting to settle in to new home, church, and life while also taking on some "after hours" parent ministry projects. As always feel free to look around, find what helps you and your ministry to Pre-Teen/Middle School/Jr. High students. You are always welcome to share, repost, and do a bit of "borrowing" is OK!!

Check back in around July 21st for some fresh content, ideas, and of course some beautiful "ran-dumb-ness"!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lesson/Teaching Clip #21: "A Teenager's Message to All Christians" (w/outline)

A used this clip somewhat recently, as a final video wrap up of one of my lesson in my end of the year series on "Going Worldwide" about our faith and witness as Christians.  You may have already have seen this somewhere along the way, if not... enjoy!

Here is a quick brief outline of my lesson that I used to go along with this video...

Lesson Title: "GO! WORLDWIDE"
Key Verse: Matt. 28:19-20
Therefore GO! and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

1. As You GO! Therefore GO! and make disciples of all nations...
    - Romans 12:1-2
2. BE Identified ....baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..,
   - I Peter 2:9
3. DO What You Know ..and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
- I John 2:4-6
4. SEE God's Presence .... And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


Free Resource #65: "McAfee: Teens and the Screen" Study



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Game #60: "Shish-Kabob Slob"


- Shish-Kabob Skewers
- Variety of cut up fruits and vegetables (*pineapple works great)
- Bowls
- Goggles (eye protection)

Game Play/Set Up
- Simple Explanation: partnered teams will be throwing pieces of fruits and vegetables to one of the partners in order for them to try to catch it on the skewer.
- Create teams of 2, as many as you like
- Give each team a skewer and bowl full of cut up fruits and vegetables
- Have players line up across from each a few steps away
- The "Catching" player will place the dull end of the skewer in their mouth, having the sharper end facing out and put on their goggles/eye protection.
- The "Throwing" player will have the bowl of food
- On "Go!" one by one piece of food will be thrown.
- "Catching" player may not touch the food until is has be "skewed", then the may slide it down in order to catch the next item

Sloppy/Gross Versions
1. Use additional food items:
- Chunks of spam
- Sardines
- Pieces of Gefilte fish
- Etc....

2. Cover the food items in sauce.
- Teriyaki
- Chocolate
- Ect...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Guest Blogger: Kellen Roggenbuck- "The Skinny on Disciplining in Jr. High Ministry"

Disciplining can be one of the toughest parts of Jr. High Ministry, but not disciplining is a great way to destroy any hope of educating your youth. Without the right balance of structure, trust, respect and fun, education with Jr. High youth is almost impossible. So, since we want to avoid the Catholic school nuns slapping knuckles with rulers and definitely want to avoid a youth group version of Lord of the Flies, here are a few tips to finding that sweet spot right in the middle.

Be Upfront. This is not a geographical suggestion, though I usually teach from up front so everyone can see. Be upfront with discipline issues. Address issues. Ignoring a behavioral issue is passively saying that it isn't an issue. When someone does something wrong, let them know they've done something wrong. Ignoring it, avoiding it, pretending you didn't see it...they are all ways you communicate to the offender that they can continue doing what they are doing without reprimand.

Separate, Don't Exclude. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to separate the offender from the situation that lead to the infraction. Those are some fancy words for “getting the kids away from the bad stuff,” because all kids are angels, right? Honestly, sometimes even your best youth will find themselves in situations that will test them. So, don't fret about asking someone to switch seats or to change teams. Think of it as you facilitating the success of that youth. What you don't want to do is have the youth sit out, go to time out, sit in the hall or leave. While that solution does separate the youth from their negative situation, it also excludes them from youth group. It is important to teach the youth that there is a better way to react in the game, lesson or activity they were misbehaving in, and they aren't going to learn that from the hallway or home. Is there a time when you may have to ask a teen to leave the room or go home? Yes, but that is the most extreme of cases. Don't let your anger or frustration cause you to overreact.

Patience, Patience, Patience. It's important to remember in this conversation that you are working with early teenagers. They are goofy. They are crazy. They make bizarre, horrible decisions sometimes for no reason. Be patient with them. They are still learning social cues, so they may still need reminding that talking while you talk is wrong. Gently do so. They are still learning about fair play, so they may need reminding that cheating is wrong, or that everyone gets a turn. Remind them gently. Some of them may still be acclimating to their growing and changing bodies. They may need reminding that they are bigger or stronger and to be careful. Remind them extra gently. It is easy to fly off the handle, to holler and yell, to belittle or poke fun, but all of those things hurt your ability to teach the youth you are working with. Because everything you do, everything they do, and everything they experience is teaching them about life and themselves, not just the lesson portion. You are teaching them about communication, about social graces, about manors, about fair play, about leadership and about being an adult Christian, all in addition to your lesson. Be patient and remember you were a crazy, goofy, bizarre, horrible decision-maker once, too.

Be Prepared To Follow Through. This one is one of the hardest lessons to learn as a disciplinarian, but it is one of the easiest ways to lose credibility and control of your group if done incorrectly. If you make a rule, you have to follow through. If you make a consequence, you have to follow through. If you don't, the rule or consequence isn't real and your authority is gone. This is hard, because for whatever cosmic reason, as soon as you make a rule with a strict or serious consequence, the one youth you never have issues with accidentally breaks it. It's tough, but you have to do what you say you will do. Follow through is important in every aspect of your ministry, and failing at it in one aspect will reflect on the others. So, take in consideration all of the different scenarios before setting a rule. Ask yourself if there are any situations in which this rule could be broken, if the consequence is equal to the infraction, and if you are willing to enforce this rule no matter what, with any of your youth. Based on those answers, craft the rule accordingly. This doesn't mean there can't be grace present in your youth group, but remember that God's grace came as forgiveness of our sins, not as validating them as not sins. Model that behavior if you believe the situation needs some grace from you. Acknowledge that the infraction was wrong, make sure everyone knows it was wrong, then address the consequence.

Don't Need Discipline. Yes, I did just suggest that. Let me explain – I don't really find times in which I have to discipline youth anymore. They listen when they are supposed to, they go where they are supposed to, they follow the rules and guidelines of the games we play like they are supposed to, they even laugh at all my jokes like they are supposed to. How did I get such a great group of youth? By establishing a culture of mutual respect. By using the tips listed above, over time they became more theoretical, because the culture shifted. It took about 2 years, but by being consistent, following through and respecting my youth, we are now at a place where the expectations of the group are set by the senior members of the group. Visitors are quickly corrected by those that brought them when they get close to breaking a rule. Incoming 6th graders are told the rules their first time, and then follow the example of the 8th grade class. If you can create a culture of respect, you will find that there is little discipline needed, which leaves more time for education and fun. So get going, and be patient. Creating a culture or changing a culture often takes years, and in the case of changing an existing culture, it gets harder before it gets easier. Be patient, pray, take a deep breath, and get going.
Kellen Roggenbuck is the Director of Youth at Community UMC of Elm Grove, WI. He's an avid ukulele player, in spite of his large stature and people's insistence of calling it a "mini-guitar". Kellen enjoys writing blogs, devotionals, books and on the occasional bathroom stall.

News U Can Use: Tween/Pre-Teen Girl Home Sales Company: WillaGirl

" In February, four-year-old Willagirl, which has three full-time employees, pulled its skin care line off the shelves at more than 300 stores nationwide, including Target. Its current strategy is to recruit its teen and "tween" customers to sell directly to their friends, and friends of friends...." (READ MORE AT THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

* Check Out Willa and Willa Girl Company

Another great example of how more and more companies and of our society is looking the "The Middle Years" to shape culture, trends and even faith!

Read More of My Thoughts in These Two Posts and Check Back for The Remaining Post SOON!!