Sunday, September 28, 2014

Returning Soon....

Hello Everyone! 
This is just a quick note to say I will be back soon, but I am taking a  break from posting for a while.

As I announced a few months back I have recently taken an amazing new position at Burke Community Church in Burke,VA (just outside of Washington DC) as their 7th & 8th grade pastor. I am absolutely loving it and feel extremely blessed at how God has shown me again He is not done with me yet in youth ministry and specifically in JH/MS ministry!

Also you might have seen around the same time I took on my new position at my new church, I also took on a new role working with an outstanding organization, Parent Ministry. Net.  Once again, I just feel privileged and blessed to be given an additional opportunity to serve students, fellow youth workers and families!

As of November, it will be 20 years I have been doing youth ministry. It is part of the reason I created this space just around 3 years ago just to share whatever I have, I am doing and just a bit of ran-dumb silliness. As I say in the side bar, I don't claim to be an expert or a guru, I am just a guy still in the trenches doing day to day life with students and others in ministry.  In the 3 years of doing this blog, I have been given so many different opportunities to share, write, and coach, which is very humbling.

All that to say:
1.) I am not done, I am just taking a little break so I can give my absolute best to my new church and also to my new ministry partnership.

2.) I will leave everything up, all 900 plus posts for you to use.  Also know while I am not posting "new" stuff I will be going back through the old stuff- reorganizing and reformatting as I have time. Hopefully soon when I do start back up reposting you will also find everything has been overhauled a bit.  Especially the "Lesson" section, it will be hopefully be easier to use and download stuff from.

3.) Even though I am not posting here, it does not mean you can not still email, comment, or message me with your questions, comments, prayer requests, or just plain requests for youth ministry encouragement!!

4.)  Thank You EVERYONE! Thanks for using my stuff, thanks for sharing and reposting, Thanks for sending encouragement, Thanks for allowing me opportunities to write for you, review your books, hang out with you, and become your friends.  Thank you for your close to 130,000 visits here over the last 3 years.

See You All Soon! 
--- DAN (the JH Uth Guy) 
                      Ps. 71:17-18

Friday, September 26, 2014

Youth & Ministry App: "Kurbo Health" (Weight Loss help for 8-18)

"Kurbo Health .... has come up with a weight loss app designed for kids ages eight to 18 that focuses on good food choices and overall activity rather than calorie counting and specific workouts. The idea being that young people shouldn’t be worried about things like tallying calories, and should instead focus on building good eating habits in a broader sense.

Kurbo’s system is based on a traffic light-esque category system where green foods like fresh fruits and vegetables are the best and red foods like high-calorie snacks and candies are to be avoided. This is combined with a personalized coaching program that ranges anywhere from one week (for $20) to three months (for $180), and provides one-on-one guidance.

All things considered, the Kurbo program is simple and straightforward, and according to testimonials—which Kurbo is all about promoting—the app seems to be effective if used as intended. Kurbo reports an 85 percent success rate, where success is defined as a reduction in a child’s BMI and weight loss is maintained...."  (FROM: "Daily Dot"

CLICK HERE (to check it & share with your students)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Free Resource #67: "Your Brain on Porn" (e-book)

From: Covenant Eyes, Internet Filter & Accountability

Download this free e-book, Your Brain on Porn, to learn the 5 proven ways pornography warps your brain, including how porn:decreases sexual satisfaction
lowers one’s view of women desensitizes the viewer to cruelty

You’ll also learn how the gospel, obedience to God’s Word, and quality fellowship renews your mind and moves you toward freedom from porn and sex addiction.

CLICK HERE (to get it FREE!)

Free Media #64: "Generic Series Package" (graphic, motion, countdown)

 A Free set of generic graphics which can be used for a wide array of message series. Included in this bundle are background images with source files, a background video, and a countdown video. Download All Files: PSD, JPEG & MOV

CLICK HERE (to get it)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Game: 3-Way Dodgeball (or "Girl's Revenge Dodgeball")

Simple classics with slight tweak and additional new challenge are always a favorite around our ministry.  Also just like you I am sure you are getting tired of plain old dodge-ball all the time. 

It is a simple very easy "change up".  It is "3 Way Dodgeball".  Nothing to complicated here, instead of having 2 sides have 3 sections.  The middle section of course is throwing out against the 2 ends, and the end sections can choose to either throw at the middle team of the other end team. The middle section of course is "meat grinder" that is why we also sometimes turn it into "Girls Revenge Dodgeball", by dividing up girls in 2 teams on either end area and put all the guys in the center section. First time out don't let the guys know, but tell the girls to throw only at the guys not each other.  The JH/MS girls love it, because it an opportunity to even out the playing field (Literally) for them.  Just a fun simple idea to "freshen it up" to old dodgeball routine! Enjoy!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Top 10: Reality Shows That COULD be About JH/MS Ministry?

Reality shows crack me up! I have always said they should make a reality show about youth ministry.  We have all the best stuff from every reality show all rolled into one job.  Dramatic relationship break ups, crazy game challenges, trips around the world, throw downs, fashion disasters, cooking challenges, remodeling spaces, and so much more?!! 

But even the names alone of some of the popular reality shows, could easily be about JH/MS ministry if you thing about it?  SO...Here this week's ran-dumb top 10 list of names of reality shows that could easily be about JH/MS Ministry??

10. 19 Kids and Counting?  

9. Dirty Jobs?

8.  Flipping Out? 

7.  Preacher's Daughters? 

6.  Running Wild? 

5. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? 

4. The Bachelor/Bachelorette? 

3. What Not To Wear? 

2. Impractical Jokers? 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Free Media #63: "Free Resource Collection" (New Spring Network)

The New Spring Church of Anderson, SC is offering FREE sermon series resources (e.g., sermon graphics, audio, message outline, & service outline and more) as well as  
    administrative forms and manuals!!!

CLICK HERE (to check it all out and and send them a lovely fruit basket/edible arrangement for all their hard work and sharing!!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Game: "Scoop-Ball Lacrosse" (Big Group Game)

Supplies: "scoop ball" sets, 2 goals, a way to identify teams and large play area

Basic Rules: Pass the ball teammate to teammate and try to score a goal for your team (lacrosse-style)

Explanation: All you need is a bunch of "scoop ball" sets.  You can pick up a set for $1 or even less this time of year!  You will need at least 6 sets, so you have 2 team of 6 players. If you have more students and a larger area you can make the teams as big as you want. A team identifying suggestion is to buy 2 different colored scoops.

You will also need 2 goals. You can use anything you like for a goal. I would suggest something upright to throw though, not into. We use an ultimate Frisbee circle (see above). A hanging hoola hoop, hockey goals or even basket ball hoops are a few other options.

The Rules
 The rules of the game are very simple each team is trying get the ball into their goal. The ball is passed from person to person using only the "scoop". You can play full running style similar to a real game of lacrosse and the ball is scooped, passed, and shot with no real stop in the game. A second safer option is to play "ultimate Frisbee-style" where each player has 2 steps to either pass or shoot. If the ball hits the ground team possession changes. Both version it also optional if you want to have a goalie or not. One other suggestion to keep things from getting out of hand you can also include "fouls" where team possession switches for unnecessary roughness or contact.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

News U Can Use: "Technology Is More Important Than Clothes?"

" For some teenagers, wearing last season’s jeans will always be unthinkable.

 But a growing number consider texting on a dated smartphone even worse. 

 For teenage apparel retailers, that screen-obsessed teenager poses a big threat in the still-important back-to-school sales season. 

 Muscle shirts and strategically ripped jeans no longer provide an assured spot for retailers like Hollister and American Eagle Outfitters in the marketplace of what’s cool at an American high school. The social cachet these days involves waving the latest in hand-held technology....


Monday, September 15, 2014

Top 10: Things to Ask When Interviewing a New MS/JH Ministry Assistant?

10. What is your preferred dodgeball brand?

9. Here is a can of Spam, what is the first game idea that comes to your mind?

8. Chubby Bunny: For or Against?

7. The Message or KJV1611?

6. WPMT? Words per minute typing...No? It stands for "Waterballoon Per Minute TIED!

5. Do You Have Bus Driver CDL?

4. If the the Sr. Pastor Were to Come By, During My Nap Time, What is the Correct Answer to "Where is He?"

3. Is It Okay If We Pay You in Rolls of Quarters from the Pop Machine? 

2.  How is Your Aim with a Nerf Gun?

1. Would You Mind Smelling This Pile of Lost and Found Clothes From the Boys Retreat Last Weekend? How Do You Feel About the Job Now? 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Free Media #62: Teaching Graphics & Worship Motion Collection (NLC Creative)

NLC CREATIVE is an extension of New Life Church of Arkansas. 

They are offering up all a whole collation of motion backgrounds and sermon series graphics for Free! 

CLICK HERE (to get in on the freebies...and send them a lovely thank you note or some flowers)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Back to School Lesson: "PACK YOUR BAGS" (Free)

A Quick FREE"One Hit Wonder" for the Back to School Season, to Challenge Your Student to Pack Their Bags Both Physically and Spiritually. 

Key Verse: Luke 2:48-52
Object Lesson: Book Bag, A Cell Phone, Books, A Lunch Box/Bag, and Bible


  • 1. Your Phone (Social Life)
    • Question: "What Are The 'Social Applications' on Your Phone?
    • Question: "What Are The 'Social Application' of Your Faith at School?
    • Study: Luke 10:25-28
    • Study: Matt. 5:14-16
  • 2. Your Books (Mental Life)
    • Study: Prov. 1:1-7
    • Question: What is the Difference Between Knowledge and Wisdom?
    • Illustrations (Pictures)
      • Pants: know what they are vs. the wisdom of putting them on when you leave the house?
      • Fork & Outlet: know not to put a fork in an outlet vs. wisdom of not doing it?
      • Yellow Snow: know what yellow snow is vs. wisdom of not eating yellow snow?
  • 3. Your Lunch (Physical Life)
    • Illustration (Pictures: Funny Lunch Boxes from Google Images)
    • Study: I Cor. 6:19
    • Study: II Cor. 4:7-12
  • 4. Your Bible (Spiritual Life)
    • II Tim. 3:14-16
Small Group/Discussion Time:

  • PHONE (social)??? 
    • What do you think the Bible means “Love Others as You Love Yourself? 
    • If you did that how would that change the way you interacted with others this school year?
  • BOOK (mental)??? 
    • How would you explain the difference between knowledge and wisdom? 
    • Do you think you are a knowledge person or a wise person? 
  • LUNCH (physical)??? 
    • How can you using your body to represent Christ this school year? 
    • Why do you think your physical presence as a Christ-Follower in the world is important
  • BIBLE (spiritual)?? 
    • The Bible is our “Map for Life” so why do you think people don’t read it more? 
    • If your read the Bible more, do you think your school year would be different? Why or Why Not?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

News U Can Use: "Summer Camp Helps Tweens Be More Understanding of Others"

"A new study found that tweens who spent five days at an outdoor camp, unplugged and media-free, were better able to understand emotions than their peers, who stayed home and continued their usual media diet...." READ MORE AT "NEWSWEEK"

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Top 10: Jesus Was a MS/JH Youth Pastor?

10. Could feed a crowd on a limited budget?

9.  Sandals and a Cool Beard....Hello!

8.  Hated having fundraisers at church?

7. Loved a good object lesson.

6. Single and lived with His mom until He was 30?

5. Was dared to jump off the roof of the church?

4.  Said things that were completely confusing to the older members of the church.

3.  Hung out more outside the church building than inside it.

2. Students kept falling asleep when He prayed for too long?

1. He only had 3 years with His students (..and then they still went and changed world!)

* AND....Looking at Matt. 17:24-27 and Considering Jewish Culture of Being Chosen to Follow a Rabbi at 12 years Old...11 out of 12 of of His Disciple Really Might Have Been JH/MS Age?!! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Free Media #61: Teaching Graphics Collection (CCV Resources)

CHRIST CHURCH OF THE VALLEY offers up all their gently used sermon and teaching graphics for you to use for FREE!

A great collection of adult, youth and children's ministry graphics, of easily download to use as is, or to edit for your ministry!

CLICK HERE (to check out the collection) 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Game #64: "Head Bangers Bop" (upfront challenge)

Dizzy Rocking Upfront Fun For the Old School Headbangers in Your Group!

So Crank Up the Demon Hunter, Its About to Get Crazy!!

- 2 "Punch Balloons" (balloon with rubber band)
- 2 Bandanas
- A sound system
- Your favorite "metal", "hardcore" music (*Demon Hunter...)

Simple Explanation: 
Players will have to "head bang" with a balloon tied to their forehead to see how many times they can hit themselves in the head with the balloon.

Set up:
Other than fully blowing up your balloon and having your music ready to play there is not real major set up. Have a judge for each player to be their "counter"/

Game Play:
Ask two volunteers to come up the front.  Sting the rubber band of the balloon through their bandanas and tie them tightly around their head.  (*old school Bret Michaels!).  On "Go!" the music starts and players start head-banging as fast as they can to get as many "hits" in one minute.  Winner is the player that has the most hits.

Swinging the balloon around the head does not count.  They have to be able to create a "balloon punch" style motion.

Have Fun and Rock Out!! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Top 10: REAL Classic Moments from JH/MS Summer Mission Trips....

10. Coming Out in the Morning to Find That the Church Bus Has Been"Tagged". 

9. Girl Yelling "Hey I Found a Bag of Oregano!" While Doing a Street Clean up.

8.  Pulling Up to a Ministry Project Location To Find a SUV Engulfed in Flames in the Street. 

7.  Having a Very Nice Man in a Very Nice Car, Tell Me "If Anyone Messes with Your Group You Just Tell Them You Are Under My Protection."

6.  One of My Boys Lean out a Bus Window and Ask a Guy "Are You in a Gang!?"

5.  A 7th Grade Girl Walk Up to Me Holding a Malt Liquor Wrapped in a Brown Paper Bag, That She Was Given as a Thank You Gift! 

4.  Someone Stealing the Air Conditioner Unit From the Side the Building the First Night of a Trip.

3. Leader Trading His Lunch for a Flat Football and a Kiss! 

2. Deciding it would be a Good Idea to Use a Couple Gallons of Gas and a Match Instead a Weedwacker to Clear an Area of Grass! 

1. Students Packing "Home Sweet Home" Napkins in Bag Lunches for the Homeless.