Thursday, December 29, 2016

See You in January!

Be Back Around in  January....

Taking some time to hang with family, celebrate the holiday season, after a wild ride of a year in ministry. 

I will also be doing a bit of writing and creating elsewhere again for a few places.

- Parent Ministry (writing the NEW set of online parent classes, so join now!) 

- Youth Worker Journal (Upcoming Article for New Issue & Fresh Blog Posts, subscribe now! New and exciting things coming in the new year!!) 

- International Children Ministry Network (3 New Game "Books", coming in early spring. Register for the conference in FLORIDA to get my last game book for FREE!)

- Download Youth Ministry (new group of crazy games!!) 

Also make sure, to grab the newest Group Magazine, after the new year, for a new RanDumb Youth Ministry Top 10 List- "Top 10: REAL Reasons for Being Late for Pick Up".  Be looking for a new post for Youth Specialties Blog after the new year as well!

Finally, coming up right after the new year, January 19th-21st, I will be speaking at Clark Summit University and the Vision for Youth: National Youth Ministry Conference there, so I will be preparing for that as well.  If you are on the east coast, you should jump in.  It is an affordable, relaxed time for youth workers AND their spouses!  Melissa and I would love to meet you!

ALL OF THAT, in addition to my REAL MINISTRY, serving at my amazing "new" church (*as of Sept) Victory Church in Lancaster, PA!  If you are ever in the area/region come check us out.  If you happen to be around not on a weekend, let me know you are near by, I will buy you a FREE cup of coffee!

Blessing on your 2017!!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

News U Can Use: "Learning and Technology for Younger Teens"

"Pens and notebooks, you may be on the way out as the main tools of classroom learning. At least according to one study, technology is catching on in a big way.

New survey data out Thursday from online-learning site Quizlet shows that teachers and students have a largely positive view of tech in the classroom.

In November 2016, Quizlet surveyed 12,525 students and 10,800 teachers in the US and found that 69 percent of students say devices help them learn and 66 percent said apps help them learn. And when comparing Generation Z (those born after 2000) to millennials, the newer batch of students are 28 percent more likely to feel that tech helps them learn more quickly than the old familiar tools like worksheets and lectures.

On the whole, teachers came across as more enthusiastic -- they're 32 percent more likely than students to say learning tech is a good use of classroom time. They also think it's more fun for students. Eighty-three percent of teachers surveyed by Quizlet think devices make learning more fun, compared with 63 percent of students.

Quizlet doesn't see any drop-off ahead...." 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Free Christmas FREEBIE Resource Collection 2016






Media Freebie #95: "Sweet Donuts" (Font)

What is Sweety Donut - Fun Typo?

Fun Sweety Donut Font is a fun font inspired by a tasty donut / doughnut. You can use this font as layer or individual. You will get Basic Character as you see on preview. All Files in .TTF and .OTF Hopefully you love it :)

This free font comes with our Premium License which allows Commercial and Personal Use. You can find the license here:

CLICK HERE (to get it Free!) 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Teaching Clip #71: "The True Story of Christmas?"

Do Your Students REALLY Know the Story of Christmas Clip #2? 

"Kill Frosty" (Winter/Christmas Group Game)- Updated!

Winter Time Fun Game Take Two Classic Favorites, Capture the Flag and Dodgeball and Puts Them Together in One Crazy Chaotic Game... 

Indoor Version (or non-snow outdoor version)

- 8 white buckets
- Black & orange circle mailing labels
- 6-8 Dodgeballs (or similar balls)
- Large indoor playing area, that can be divided in half.
- A way to identify teams (bandanas, string...)
- Optional: "Red Christmas Garland" (for "guts" and brains") 

Set up:

Divide the playing area in half creating 2 distinct team zones, similar to capture the flag. On the far end of each playing area stack 4 white buckets on top of each other creating a small "Frosty the Snowman". Using the black and orange mailing labels, create coal and nose for your snowman, "Frosty". If you would like to create a little extra fun fill snowman with  "bloody brains and guts" (see above)  Place your dodgeballs (snowballs) at the center dividing line, similar to dodgeball.

Gameplay & Rules:

The goal is to completely knock down the opposing teams "Frosty". Completely means that all 3 part of his body are on the floor and no longer standing in an "upright position", even the bottom bucket. The way this is accomplished is through the opposing team using their "snowballs" (dodgeballs). They must make it over without getting tagged and knock down "Frosty".

The rules are a combination of dodgeball and capture the flag. Player can choose to throw the ball across the dividing line getting opposing team players out, similar to dodgeball. Same as dodgeball they have to be on their own side, throwing. They can not throw the ball at an opposing player once they enter the opposing team's area. If a player gets hit they must go out of the game. Players that are out of the game can come back in after a player on their team catches a ball or a "all back in" is called.

Players can also use the ball as a "snowball" to knock down, "Frosty" involving a the capture the flag element. Balls can be ran across the line, passed back and forth, in order get a closer throw. If the ball hits the ground or if the player is tagged, they lose the ball and must return to their side. The player that tags them, gets the ball. There is no "jail", just go back to your side and start over without the ball.

The game is played until one of the team's "Kills" the other team's "Frosty" 

Outdoor Versions (snow versions)
Similar rules and idea of the above game applies. Create a "Frosty" out of buckets once again but this time use real snowball and not dodgeballs to knock over "Frosty". All the same rules apply other than, everyone can make onesnowball at a time and you are not limited to just the 6-8 dodgeballs, however if you are tagged you must drop your snowball, go back your side and make a new one.

The "dodgeball" part of this version is somewhat more a snowball fight idea. If you get hit by a snowball you are out of the game, with similar rules and idea.

Outdoor/Snow Real Snowman Version:
There is no dodgeball element to this version, it a more straightforward "capture the flag" style game, with a bit of violence? (sort of) Instead of creating a snowman out of buckets you will create 2 real, large snowmen on either side. This time around, "Frosty" will be killed through players tackling, punching, and kicking him. If you are tagged on an opposing side you are out of the game until an "all back in" is called, this will thin out the game and slow play down a bit as well.

Straight Dodgeball Version:
Skip the "Capture the Flag" part of the game and just play regular dodgeball "Killy Frosty" style.  Regular rules and play applies, other than if a team can complete kill the other team's snowman they WIN! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

News U Can Use: "Tween Girl Bringing Diversity to Books!"

"Marley Dias is the 12-year-old creator of the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign. In an effort to provide more diversity in books for younger children, for almost a year Dias has been collecting books with black girls as the main character and donating them to school libraries. She recently spoke with American Librariesregarding her progress with the campaign and what she has planned next.

How many books have you collected so far?

I’ve collected 7,000 books and donated them to six different cities since November 2015.

How did you start the campaign?

In my 5th-grade class, I saw that books like Where the Red Fern Grows, the Shiloh series, and Crash all weren’t featuring black girls, and those were the books being assigned. So I told my mom, and she said, “Well, what are you going to do about it?” So that’s really how the campaign started. I wanted to collect 1,000 books where black girls are the main characters and donate them to the high school in St. Mary, Jamaica, that my mother attended, so I would be able to give back to her community...." 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

20 Christmas-Time Movies for Youth Groups

So many people have loving and found the past Youth Group Night Movie Night Lists helpful
"20 Funny Youth Group Movie Night Movies" 
"20 More Series Youth Group Movie Night Movies"
"15 Youth Group 'Appropriate' Halloween/Fall Movies" 

Here are 20 Christmas time movies for your youth group movie night! A few classic and the usuals, but hopefully some church appropriate ones that your students have not already seen a million times?  As always, pre-watch the movies. Hope you find the list helpful! 

20. A Christmas Story (*classic, surprised at how many of student haven't seen the whole thing?)
12. Four Christmases (*PG 13)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Game: "The Price is Nice"

A quick silly whole group game for the Christmas season.  Testing your Christmas shopping skills.  Players or teams are shown a SILLY Christmas time gift item and a price, then have to decide if the price is Naughty (to high) or Nice (to low or a good deal)! 

CLICK HERE (to get it!)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

News U Can Use: "American Wasted a Ridiculous Amount of Food over Holidays"

Here’s a sobering statistic that’ll wake you up out of that lingering food coma.

Over Thanksgiving, Americans wasted about 204 million pounds of turkey, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a nonprofit conservation group.

Considering that the signature Thanksgiving bird weighs about 30 pounds these days, that means more than 6 million turkeys essentially ended up in the trash.

The United States is battling a major food waste crisis, and the issue tends to become even more pronounced around the holidays.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans generate an extra 5 million tons of household waste, according to advocacy group Worldwatch Institute.

And when we talk about the “waste” generated by a family after a holiday meal, we’re not just talking about the leftover turkey that lands in the garbage ― there’s also the considerable amounts of time, labor, money and water that went into raising that bird and getting it onto the table, writes Dana Gunders, senior scientist at NRDC, in a recent blog post..... 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Top 10: Reasons To Take a Christmas Break!?

Christmas AND New Years land on Sundays this year with a Wednesday night in between them.  Every year there is a debate online and some personal guilt about taking a break from youth group over the holiday.   

Students are off from school, so obviously it should be our responsibility to keep them "entertained" for the full week with a Christmas party on Monday, Star Wars movie days on Tuesday, Regular youth group on Wednesday, Service project day on Thursday, Bowling on Friday and New Years Lock-in on Saturday into Sunday?  Does that sound about right for some of you? 

Here are 10 Reasons to TAKE A BREAK this year during the week between the holidays...

10. Your Own Personal Children. Remember them, the little mini version of you at your house.  They are off from school too, they would like to see you!

9. Your Spouse. The love of your life, the light of your world.... They would love to celebrate the holidays with you too.  Hot chocolate, a movie, a cozy blanket, see where the night goes!? (hint: see #10)

8. Your Assistant/Leaders/Volunteers. They need a break too.  If you take it, they get to take it, so they can see their spouse and children too!

7. The Custodian (s).  Give them a break.  After Spam-Fest, Choc-Tobetr, Thanksgiving Gravy Slip N Slide Night and Winter Wonderland Indoor Snow Party, they might just want to not come in for like a day or two!?

6. The Parents. No not your kid's parents, your own parents.  Go see them or have them come see you, without running out the door to another event.

5.  Your Sr. Pastor.  If he is taking a break over the holiday week, it is okay for you to take a break also!  Even if he isn't make a kind request.  I am sure like the custodian, he might be grateful not to have to clean up your messes for a week!?

4.  The Budget.  The church accountant and the credit card company called, they both would like you to give them a rest.  The new year is coming and they are trying reconcile their books.  They are still trying to figure out if the 5 cases of Spam should be under "game supplies", "lesson illustrations", "food and fellowship", or "professional development"?

3.  Your Personal Health.  Mental, physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual.  Go home, hangout, rest, eat some health conscious Christmas cookies.  Lay off the Red-Bull and Starbucks quad-shot drinks for a week.  Get health!! (at least for a week a year)

2.  Your Calling.  God has called you to disciple, teach, and love students. While it sometimes gets mixed up with being a babysitter, entertainer, and activities director.  Take a break over Christmas from having to run programming to make sure you keep your focus on your true calling.

1. JESUS! Yes, He even got away from the crowd, the feeding of thousands, miracles, and religious leaders who were always trying to catch him doing something wrong (___"insert the name here"_____).  If Jesus rested and took a break you can too, let's be real you have the cool beard, insist on wearing sandals even in the winter months and all, but you are NO Jesus!)


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Christmas Game: "Santa Rudolph Frosty" (Updated Graphic)

It's a Christmas version of "Gorilla-Man-Gun" It has been a great hit with my MS/JH over the years, and is again with my 2 new groups (5th/6th grade and 7th/8th grade) that I lead. 

  • Two people line up back-to-back. On the count of 3, they turn around and 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. 
  • Santa, of course, beats Rudolph with a whip...Rudolph beats Frosty, because he kicks him over....Frosty beats Santa, well...just because.
  • Loser sits. Winner finds a new partner and the rounds continue eliminating people until there is only one person standing. 
It is great time killer and filler. Our group really gets into it, especially the junior high boys! Feel free to "right click" and save the graphic above or create your own! 

* Written a long while back for Youth Worker Magazine