Monday, December 21, 2015

Back in January 2016

News U Can Use: "Young Teens Can't Tell The Difference Between Google Search & Ads"

The familiar narrative of teens and technology is one of natural proficiency — that young people just get technology in a way that older generations don't. But research suggests that just because children feel at home using smartphones, it doesn't mean they're more aware of the nuances of how the web works. In a new report published by the UK's telecoms watchdog Ofcom, researchers found that only a third of young people aged 12 to 15 knew which search results on Google were adverts, while this figure was even lower — less than one in five — for children aged 8 to 11.

"The internet allows children to learn, discover different points of view and stay connected with friends and family," Ofcom's director of research, James Thickett, told the Financial Times. "But these digital natives still need help to develop the knowhow they need to navigate the online world."


Top 10: "Rudolph Was a Jr. High Boy Reindeer?"

10. Wild Young Buck? 

9.  Clumsy Playing Games with Others?

8.  Shy and Struggled with the Girls, But Still Tries to Show Off Anyway? 

7.  Mood Swings with Fits of Rage and Depression?

6. Bullied by those Who Were Cooler and More Popular?

5. Group of Weird, Misfit Friends? 

4.  Tried to Run Away from Home? 

3. Girlfriend's Dad Thought He was a Freak and Made Them Break Up? 

2. Weird Red Thing on the End of His Nose that Almost Glows!?

1. Grew Up and All the Things That No One Got, End Up Being a Part of His True Calling!?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Free Media #93 :"DownLoops" (motion backgrounds)

27 FREE Motion Loops, great for worship backgrounds, announcements, welcome loops, or even a lesson background!!

ENJOY!! (Click Here to Get them) 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

News U Can Use: "30 Most Influential Teen 2015"

Teens today might have a mixed reputation, but there’s no denying their influence. They command millions of fans on Twitter and Vine, start companies with funds they raised on Kickstarter, steal scenes on TV’s most popular shows, lead protests with global ramifications, and even—win Nobel Peace Prizes. But which ones rise above the rest? Time analyzed social-media followings, cultural accolades, business acumen and more to determine this year’s list (ordered from youngest to oldest).

CLICK HERE to check out "TIME'S 2015 LIST"! 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Teaching that is Built to Last (Part 2)

Last Week, I introduced the educational concept of “constructivism.”
In case you missed it, “constructivism” is an understanding of how a learner builds knowledge for themselves through the building blocks of discovery, hands-on, experiential, collaborative, project-based, and task-based learning in order to engage knowledge.
But beyond these educational building blocks, what are the spiritual building blocks that will help us (as communicators) construct teaching that is B-U-I-L-T to last?

B: The Bible

The Bible, of course, is our foundation for truth and our lessons, but are we successfully handing Scripture off to our students? We prepare “talks” for our middle schoolers and, well, that is what they are – us, talking. Be aware how easy it is for us to drift toward delivering sermons instead of actually teachingIt is easy to be a preacher at the front telling students what the Bible says. It’s more difficult to help students discover for themselves what the Bible says. In order for our lessons and the truth of God’s word to last, it has to become personal and real to them.

U: Unity

Collaborative learning is the basis of how are students are educated at school, and for good reason! This method needs to be a building block in our ministries as well. The majority of youth ministries have embraced small groups, because students need to be in a place where adults lead students in working together to discover truth. This is not about defining their own truth or learning truth from the biggest mouth in the room. Instead, it’s about being allowed to take the pieces they have been given and, together, form truth for themselves. We are the “body” and we need to allow each part to work to strengthen the others.

I: Intelligence

Initially, it may seem like “intelligence” isn’t a spiritual issue but an educational one. But we are created in the image of God, and that includes our intelligence and the stewardship of our intelligence. If we want to help students build something that is going to last, we must incorporate high-end thinking and processing into what we do. The middle school years are the years of transition intellectually. Our students are moving from concrete to abstract thought. They need to be challenged to wrestle, question, think, and then apply.

L: Love

If we are talking about building a building, love is the cement that holds it all together. It is the old adage, “They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” After the specifics of exactly what we’ve said are forgotten, the relationships and love behind it will remain. When we not only teach our middle schoolers, but cement our teaching with love and relationships, the things they learn will go deeper.

T: Time

Only time will tell if what we try to teach our middle schoolers will really last, but how we spend our timeright now will also be a good indication. I’m not just talking about the time we spend in the office preparing what we’re going to teach, but also the time we spend outside the office and down in the seats. As much as we can’t rush through our teaching outlines, or hurry along a discussion in a small group setting, we must put in the time to teach by being present and patient in the lives of students.
My prayer for you is discovery of your own style as you make this your own. Beyond educational theories or thoughts are flesh-and-blood students with hearts seeking truth. That is what’s going to last a lifetime, and into eternity.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

News U Can Use: "Chelsea Clinton is Already Concerned About Middle School?"

" At one year old, Chelsea Clinton’s daughter Charlotte is barely talking, but her mother is already concerned with her tween years.

“I am so worried about middle school,” the Clinton Foundation vice chair told the audience at a Thursday evening panel discussion on women in technology co-hosted by the Foundation and SELF.

From kindergarten to third grade, girls have the same sky-high ambition as boys: “They want to be presidents, inventors, astronauts,” Clinton said. “They want to build stuff, invent stuff.” At about the fourth grade, however, this begins to deteriorate, and by eighth grade, “the schism is immense...." 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Top 10: MORE Things They Can't Teach You? (youth ministry edition)

10. How to be a part of a staff. 

9. How to lead a group of volunteers.

8. When it is time to move on from a ministry. 

7. How to raise your children, so they love Christ, the church, and ministry. 

6. How to find a circle of trusted friends outside of your ministry that can encourage you, be honest with you, and keep you from quitting. 

5.  How to be humble and listen.

4. When to know you are on the edge of burn out.

3.  The way to adapt your teaching on the spot, as you are teaching to reengage students who are not listening.

2.  How create a vision and plan, specific to a group, area, church, and history

1.  How to handle both failure and success well! 
(*see the first set of 10 HERE)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Free Media # 91:"History of Motion" (80+ Countdowns!)

An eclectic collection of 80 PLUS Countdown Clocks including a collection of very cool CHRISTMAS TIME countdowns perfect for this time of year! 

CLICK HERE (to get a look!) 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Teaching that is Built to Last (Part 1)

We all want the things we are teaching to last longer than the back door of our youth room. We teach lessons that need to last and become foundations for life.
In order for us to do that, we must create youth ministry environments and lessons that give students the building blocks to construct for themselves the truth that will last for a lifetime.
I am not talking about a “pick and choose what I like and don’t like” model of teaching truth. I am rather talking about an intentional approach that is less “preacher” and more “teacher.” It is an educational model and approach that allows us to come beside, lead, and teach while handing off the unchanging truths.


Allow me to bore you for a moment with a brief explanation.
“Constructivism” is a philosophy of education that tries to define how knowledge is constructed in the mind of a learner when new information comes into contact with existing knowledge that had been developed by previous experiences. At the core of constructivism is the idea that a teacher must understand the way knowledge is created in order to adapt it to the world of the student. It’s based on the idea that a teacher uses “constructs” (or building blocks) of discovery, hands-on, experiential, collaborative, project-based, and task-based learning to engage knowledge.
It is not that we do not do this already, but we need to fully name and claim this in our Middle School and Jr. High ministries. After recently finishing a master’s in middle school education, I more completely understand and embrace this in my approach in my teaching and lesson preparation.


Here’s how to do it. Begin to ask simple questions of what you are about to teach, like:
  • What do I want my students to discover on their own, and what do I want to teach from the front?
  • What are the ways I could teach the contents of this lesson kinesthetically, through a physical activity or game that would further solidify this information in my student’s minds?
  • How would I like my students to experience this truth both during the lesson and teaching time and later on in the ministry year? (Like with retreats, events, trips…)
  • When would be a good time for me to stop or pause in teaching, to allow students to collaborate in “teaching each other” this truth?
  • How am I taking what I am teaching and allowing students an opportunity for “high end” thinkingthrough direct application in projects, tasks, or other ways of practicing this idea?
There’s much more to talk about here. But we’ll save that for Part 2. In Part 2, we will explore 5 pieces that play into a youth ministry-based model of teaching that is “B-U-I-L-T” to last.