Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Game #83: "One-Legged Shoe Hockey" (classic!)

A classic that lives on and on! Like Jason at halloween, this game continues to live on in youth ministry! 

If you have never played, here you go! A classic that I just brought back to life with my new group that my students continue to love!

- a small ball (tennis ball or tennis ball size work great)
- 2 goals (small goals/hockey goals or 4 cones)
- An indoor playing area, preferably with no windows.

Quick Explanation: 
Everyone takes off one shoe, the shoe then becomes the hockey stick for a game of "one legged shoe hockey".  Usually rules and safety applies for old school "gym class floor hockey".

Set up:
- Create or place a goal on either end of the playing area, for larger groups consider creating 4 goals in the corners or on the sides.
- You can also plays this game outside on a parking lot or a field if you would like.
- Divide the groups into equal teams assign a goal to team

Basic Rules:
- Usual rules for floor hockey apply, for the most part.
- Keep pushing and body checking to a minimum, based on your group
- With people bent over trying to hit the ball with their shoe, there is no such thing as "high sticking" or "slashing".
- Ball can not be kicked, grabbed, or thrown.  All contact with the ball must be with the shoe.

- A regular shoe works best, flip flops are useable but not as great.
- The best way to use the shoe as a hockey stick is to grip it by the toe and hit with the heal.  Students will to swing their shoe by it laces or put their hand inside, but it will not work as well.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

News U Can Use: "Brutal Truth Behind Every Instagram Picture?"

"Instagram isn’t real. Between the filters and plethora of photo-editing apps out there, everything on your newsfeed is edited to exclude the uninteresting but honest stuff. Even pics that boast a #nofilter hashtag are cropped to perfection.A new project from Bangkok-based photographer Chompoo Baritone reveals the uncensored truth behind Instagram photos. Take a look below and keep these images in mind the next time you’re mindlessly scrolling through the app.... READ MORE AT MTV.COM

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Video Idea: "Youth Group Rules Using Commercials"




Quest/708 Youth Ministry Rules 2015 from Quest/708 Student Ministry on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

16 No Prep Games (from "Stumin Games" )

"These games may be fast and easy, but they are still packed with plenty of fun. We know that life is busy, so we have included 11 interactive games and 5 of our favorite PDF Downloads. So the next time your short on time, check out this list of 16 NO PREP GAMES from the awesome people at...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

News U Can Use: "How Much Sleep to Tweens Actually Need?"

"Teens are notorious for wanting to stay up late and for not wanting to get up early. If your teen is no exception, find out what's behind this behavior and how you can help him or her get better sleep — starting tonight.

A teen's internal clock
"Everyone has an internal clock that influences body temperature, sleep cycles, appetite and hormonal changes. The biological and psychological processes that follow the cycle of this 24-hour internal clock are called circadian rhythms. Puberty changes a teen's internal clock, delaying the time he or she starts feeling sleepy and awakens.

Too little sleep
Most teens need about nine hours of sleep a night — and sometimes more — to maintain optimal daytime alertness. But few teens actually get that much sleep regularly

Monday, September 21, 2015

Top 10: "Other" REAL Reasons to Go into Youth Ministry?

These are REAL conversation I have had with REAL students, people interviewing, or fellow youth workers over the years for why they want to, are going to, or are in Youth Ministry?

10. Didn't know what else do with my life?

9. Because all you do is sit around, pray, & read the Bible all day

8. My career as a rock star didn't work out

7. My mom/wife/dad wanted me too

6. It seemed like the easiest major in college

5. It seemed like an easy, fun job

4. All the free stuff & great pay.

3. You are so cool, so I want to be cool too

2. My dad is the Sr. Pastor.

1. I had a great spiritual time in my youth ministry growing up, and just 
didn't want the great spiritual times to stop in my life? 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Free Media #82: "Movie Clips: Movie Moments" (Collection of Teaching Clips)

Racking your brain for a movie clip or teaching clip for your lesson this week.  Can't find the right clip scrolling through one of the Christian teaching clip/sermon clip websites? (check out my helpful list of those sites) Or maybe you have but they are charging you more than you want to spend on a clip you are only going to show one time.

Consider the "Movie Clip:Movie Moments" YouTube Channel". Type in your word (fear, faith, God...or whatever) in the search bar and you just might find a great clip! Or if you do have a clip the another site or book has suggested search for just the movie and they might just have the movie and clip you are looking for!  Just be careful this is obviously not a Christian site and not all clips are youth group edited appropriate.

CLICK HERE (to go right to it!) 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Game: "Rubber Chicken Basketball"

A Classic That I Have Been Playing For Years With My Groups... Because When All Else Fails Add a Rubber Chicken to Your Game!??

- 1 rubber chicken (*preferably one with a noise maker)
- Basketball court with 2 hoops (OR 2 large clean trash cans)
- Whistle
- 2 large sticks (broom stick or something similar)

Quick Explanation:
You will be playing basketball using a rubber chicken, which seems kind of obvious considering the name!? You will split into 2 equal teams. The point of course is to score points by getting the chicken through the hoop. You can not of course dribble the chicken so the game becomes a game of passing and keeping possession of the chicken.

Basic Rules: The rules are similar to those of Ultimate Frisbee (*see Ultimate Frisbee in 10 Simple Rules)
- Passing: players only have 2 steps and then they must pass of shoot

- Shooting: the chicken must touch the hoop in order for it to count as a "shot".

- Scoring: it is 1 point if the chicken goes through the hoop and gets stuck. 2 points if the chicken makes it through both the hoop and net. A long whistle blow will signify a score.

- Possession: players must pass to each other after only 2 steps, if the chicken touches the ground it changes team possession. A whistle is blown when possession changes.

- Boundaries: there are no out of bounds, unless you would like to make them for your group.

- Fouls: (HA!..because it is a chicken!?): there is no grabbing, pushing, or tackling. There is to zero physical contact otherwise there is a "jump chicken". A "jump chicken" is called when there is a foul or 2 players of the opposing team are in possession of the chicken. The chicken is tossed up between the 2 players in order to regain possession for the team.

- Large stick or Brooms: to help you knock down stuck chickens

You get the idea...create rules that best fit your group, area, and time. If you don't have a basketball court or basketball hoops. Use large buckets, boxes, or even clean garbage cans. It can also be played outdoors on a larger field more similar to Ultimate Frisbee, just with the goal being a large container or something similar!

Enjoy and Play Safe!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

News U Can Use: "Tweens and Middle Schoolers Are Not Watching TV"

" TV networks lost significant viewership over the past year -- especially that of younger adult viewers.

Looking at live program plus seven days of time-shifted viewing from July 2014 to June 2015, viewership at 11 TV networks groups witnessed young 18-34 viewers taking the biggest hit -- down 14% -- 1.2 million fewer viewers, according to MoffettNathanson Research.

For the entire year, TV networks groups sank 7% in overall total average viewership -- a decline of 3.4 million.

After 18-34 viewers, teens 12-17 declined the most -- off 16% (437,000), followed by kids 2-11, which were down 10% (502,000). In terms of the absolute number of viewers, 35-49 viewers declined by the second-highest amount -- 736,000 or 7%. Viewers 50 and older gave up 504,000, down 2%...


Monday, September 14, 2015

Top 10: Kinds of Youth Pastors...

With some fun reactions to my previous Top Ten Lists: "10 Kinds of Ministry Leaders" and "10 More Kinds of Ministry Leaders" I figured I would take a fun swing closer to home with 10 Kinds of Youth Pastors? Which one are you? 

10. The Jock- They are all about the game.  Whether it is a sport, dodgeball, or something they just made up, it is on! They dress like your gym teacher and kind of act like them too.  Lesson? Oh yeah we will hit that up at half time!

9. The Preacher Boy/Girl- Straight out of the Ralph Lauren spring catalog and the spring semester of seminary. Good looking, well dressed and ready to exposit and exegete the word.  Just looking for that well placed stepping stone to the Sr. Pastor's office. I guess youth ministry will do for now?

8. The Stand Up Comedian- If Tim Hawkins and Jimmy Fallon had a baby, they would be it.  They can find the funny in any verse and situation.  Their opening monologue and routine..I mean lesson will leave you in stitches.

7. The Buddy Buddy- They are not the authority man, they just want to be your friend.  They dress like you, act like you, talk like, you an even smell like you.  They are more like a cool older brother or uncle then a pastor.  Yeah they might be an age of an adult, with a spouse and kids, but they will still be creeping in the student section at the game this weekend.

6.  The Hipster- Tats, gauges, and ironic facial hair.  If Starbucks could brew humans they would be a grande with extra foam! Tonight's devotional will be based on my latest Hebrew tattoo on my ankle.

5. The Old Dude- With DC Talk and Audio Adrenaline stickers on his walker and orthopedics in his chuckies, he rolls in straight out of 1987.  They would like you to ask "What Would Jesus Do?", no really what would He do because their memory is starting to slip.  It must be that Geritol and Red Bull smoothie they have been chugging every morning?

4. The Copy Cat- Fresh off of their world tour of the biggest youth groups in America and the latest youth conference, they have a suitcase of books from all of them.  Guess what youth group is about to change...again! They have a whole pile of ideas that are working, everywhere else.  They know you are in the midwest in a small town church but what works at that west coast mega church will work here too!

3. The Missionary- Living simply and organically, they have a Toms youth group fundraiser coming up soon to help those without shoes in Africa.    They are raising goats in the back parking lot to mail to war torn somewhere.  Even though it only September, they are already planning next summer's mission trips.

2. The Geek Freak- Roll the dice, and put on your favorite Lord of the Rings T-shirt and come join the group for this month's all night Star Wars vs. Star Trek discussion.   They know the girls are not into it and no one ever invites friends, but what matters is they are into it and it gets them out of their mom's basement for the night?

1. The Regular- Nothing flashy here... Just a heart of a "pastor/teacher/shepherd".  They come in two flavors: paid and unpaid.  They may not be the cutest, coolest, hippest, or even the most up to date on culture, but they are in love with Jesus and students.   After the game is forgotten, media presentation is over, and the program is dead...long after the newest and greatest in youth ministry book is forgotten, there they are still sitting one on one with a student sharing life. They are not concerned about attract kids to themselves, they are more concerned about attracting kids to Christ!!
(*1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Game #82: "Lunch In Lockdown: School & Prison Lunch Tray?" (Powerpoint Game)

A quick silly upfront, big group game where  teams, small groups, or the big group decides whether the cafeteria 10 lunch tray that are shown are from a school cafeteria or a prison cafeteria!


Click to get the "Lunch in Lockdown" game now! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

News U Can Use: "Understanding Your Middle Schooler: 4 Tips for Success"

" Understanding those on the verge of or in the trenches of middle school can be like finishing a complex puzzle only to realize there is a single missing piece -- just when you think you have them all figured out, they pivot and leave you just as confused as you started. They sometimes feel like a walking contradiction: they want your love, but would prefer you did not show it in public; what makes them laugh one day, brings them to tears the next; going to school used to be the best part of their day, now they dread it. Whatever the contradiction is in your household, it is important to remember that the journey that these soon to be adults are traveling is a difficult yet AWESOME one. They are in a constant state of learning and discovery and as parents and guardians, we GET to be along for the ride!

Combine students' physical and emotional changes with new school environments and increasing independence, and unique challenges for parents and children develop. Adolescence is a time of development, discovery and transition for kids. It is a key time for us to better understand how we increase motivation, build persistence, support the transition into a more independent experience, and prepare for future success.....

Monday, September 7, 2015

Top 10: 5th-8th Grade Years Transitions

10. One Classroom to Multiple Classrooms. 
Going from the elementary school, one maybe two main classroom setting to the middle school/Jr. high setting of a homeroom and changing classrooms for every subject. 

9.  Stable to Emotional.
With changes all around them and internal, hormonal changes.  Middle year students may go from being stable, consistent emotionally to having ranging emotions from highs to lows often inside a short period of time without much real cause or warning. 

8.  Dependent on Parents to Independent of Parents.
Middle year students with the various changes in schedule and personality will also move from childhood dependence to a maturing need for more freedom. 

7.  Arranged Friendships to Chosen Friendships
Friendships go from parent arranged "play dates" to students choosing their own peer groups based on mutual preferences and interests.

6.  Innocent to Knowledgable.
With social education, media access, and parent's having "the talk" the middle year are marked by a stage from a more innocent view of the world to a more knowledgable, realistic view of life. 

5.  Fearful to Risk Taking 
Along with the move from innocences to knowledge and the transition from dependence to independence to knowledge the middle year are time of being fearful to taking risks socially,  emotionally, and even physically. 

4.  Sexually Unaware to Sexually Aware 
More specific in the innocents to knowledge transition, these are the years of becoming aware of sexuality, others and their own.  Often leading to some questioning and identity awareness. 

3.  Concrete to Abstract Thinking 
A black and white, right and wrong simplicity of thinking moves to a processing of grey areas and synthesis of understanding and thought. 

2. Child Body to Teen Body 
Growth spurts, puberty, and sexual discovery are the physical transitions in the middle years that move a child into being a teen/young adult. 

1.  Family Faith to Personal Faith 
Where the role of middle years ministry and importance of a church providing a solid middle year specific ministry becomes so paramount.   Belief moves from what parents believe and teach to what a student personally discover, question and claim as their own.   The reason we do what, we do as 5th-8th pastors/director/leaders/volunteers!!! 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Youth Ministry Invention #33: "EverBlocks" (Youth Room Idea)

" EverBlock Systems offers a modular building system of oversized plastic blocks that facilitates the construction of all types of objects. It's quick and easy to build nearly anything, by stacking and organizing the universal blocks in nearly any shape, pattern, or size.

Anything you've constructed can be taken apart and re-assembled again, and the pieces can be re-used to build other objects, making EverBlock a unique green building method.

We offer rentals and sales of EverBlock™ as well as design and installation services. We can consult with you on large scale or complex projects and provide customized solutions to meet your needs. 


Check out these affordable ($7.00 and under) "lego-like" building blocks that could really be a great way to keep your youth room/area fresh and new through continuing to build and rebuild different things as needed! 

CLICK HERE (to check them out) 

Teaching Clip #43: "God Where Are You?" (Lesson Introduction)

Bonus Teaching Clip (Lesson Wrap Up?)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Game #81: "Puppet Master Charades" (Upfront/Group Game)

- Note Cards
- Egg Timer or Countdown Clock

Quick explanation: Players will be using their partner as a puppet to play charades, to get their team to guess the answer in the time allowed

Before the Game:
- Write down a variety of clues or go and purchase a pre-made charades/charades-like game

Game Play
-Divide the group up into 2 equal teams
-Explain the simple rule…
   *Partners will come to the front. One person will stand behind the other and use them as a puppet
    to act out the assigned charade clue. Their group will have only a certain amount of time (30-60
    seconds?) to correctly guess the clue.
- Switch back and forth between teams.
- Play as many rounds as you like and time allows for


- Usual charades rules apply (
- No speaking
- No acting out letter of numbers

- List of Charades ideas online:
 - Switch around having child puppet parents at some point during the game.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

News U Can Use: "For Steps to Choosing Your Major, Even in Middle School"

".... Two friends were equally lost, so we started on a road trip of self-discovery, seeking out people who had found something they loved and asking them how they’d done it. That trip turned into Roadtrip Nation, a career exploration organization that produces, among other things, a curriculum for middle and high school students and a long-running public television series about finding meaningful work.

After 15 years of talking to everyone from C.E.O.s to camel ranchers, what we’ve learned is comforting: Most people are unsure when they’re starting out. Where they end up isn’t a direct result of their major; it’s the result of a meandering process. Their major — whether they stuck with it or applied it in new ways — was the start of channeling their interests, values and skills into work that made the struggles and hard work it took to get there worth it. Here are steps to help you do the same.... " READ MORE AT "THE NEW YORK TIMES"