Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Signs for Life (and for ministry)"- a reflection & challenge

 Do you ever have THAT moment?  You know the one, where you are driving down the road and you are completely lost.  You are desperately looking for a sign, any sign. Something to tell you what is coming up next and also some hint of where you are.

I don't know about you but I have had those moments in youth ministry and in my career.   Whether it be in youth ministry direction,  family decsions ,  continued education or even church setting. If you are at the point, have been at the point, or will be at the point soon...Here a little food for thought.

God actually provides us with signs on our journey down the road of life.  We sometimes don't think about some of these signs as signs but He has given them to us.  Unlike the Israelites in the wilderness we do not get a pillar of cloud and pillar of fire, but we do get some really good help along the way.  I would challenge you to read through: I Thessalonians 5:12-28 for yourself, especially pray over verse 18, and then consider these 12 "Signs for Finding God's Will"...

1. God’s Word: II Tim. 3:16
2. Godly Mature Counsel/Teachers: Prov. 15:22
3. Friends/Relationship/Body of Christ: I Thess. 5:11-18
4. Prioritize/Kingdom First Thinking: Matt. 6:32-34
5. Involvement in Serving:  Gal. 5:13-16
6. Attitude/Thinking: Rom. 12:1-2
7. Prayer: Rom. 1:9-10
8. Circumstances: Phil. 4:10-13
9. Common Sense: Ecc. 10:3
10. Spiritual Discernment/ Wisdom:  Col. 1:9-10, Phil. 1:9-11
11. Experiences: Prov. 15:22
12. God’s Calling: II Thess. 1:11-12

Blessings on your continued journey and the road ahead.  My prayer is that you find "God's Good and Perfect Will" in your life and ministry.  Would love to know where you at and how we can pray for each other!

- DAN  Ps. 71:17-18

"Signs for Life (and for ministry)"- a reflection & challenge

 Do you ever have THAT moment?  You know the one, where you are driving down the road and you are completely lost.  You are desperately looking for a sign, any sign. Something to tell you what is coming up next and also some hint of where you are.

I don't know about you but I have had those moments in youth ministry and in my career.   Whether it be in youth ministry direction,  family decsions ,  continued education or even church setting. If you are at the point, have been at the point, or will be at the point soon...Here a little food for thought.

God actually provides us with signs on our journey down the road of life.  We sometimes don't think about some of these signs as signs but He has given them to us.  Unlike the Israelites in the wilderness we do not get a pillar of cloud and pillar of fire, but we do get some really good help along the way.  I would challenge you to read through: I Thessalonians 5:12-28 for yourself, especially pray over verse 18, and then consider these 12 "Signs for Finding God's Will"...

1. God’s Word: II Tim. 3:16
2. Godly Mature Counsel/Teachers: Prov. 15:22
3. Friends/Relationship/Body of Christ: I Thess. 5:11-18
4. Prioritize/Kingdom First Thinking: Matt. 6:32-34
5. Involvement in Serving:  Gal. 5:13-16
6. Attitude/Thinking: Rom. 12:1-2
7. Prayer: Rom. 1:9-10
8. Circumstances: Phil. 4:10-13
9. Common Sense: Ecc. 10:3
10. Spiritual Discernment/ Wisdom:  Col. 1:9-10, Phil. 1:9-11
11. Experiences: Prov. 15:22
12. God’s Calling: II Thess. 1:11-12

Blessings on your continued journey and the road ahead.  My prayer is that you find "God's Good and Perfect Will" in your life and ministry.  Would love to know where you at and how we can pray for each other!

- DAN  Ps. 71:17-18

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer Camp Game/Big Group Game: "Assassins"

A HUGE Hit last year at our JH/SH Camp! 

A Sneaky, Full Camp, All-Day or Longer Game That Includes Every Students.  

A Way to Get to Know Each Other While Also Finding a Way to ASSASSINATE Them!? 




Supplies:
- Small (pocket-size) inexpensive squirt guns: enough for every single student & leaders
- Print off of every student name on small strip of paper)

Game Play/Explanation
Simple explanation: every person has the name of another person that they must "assassinate" and to continue the game before they are assassinated.

Set up:
- Print off and cut into small strips of a paper every student and leaders name, putting them all in a container
- Put all the small squirt guns in to a large container
- At breakfast or the first thing in the morning have every person get a squirt gun and grab one slip of paper with a name on it (they can not get their own name)
- People should not tell anyone whose name they have

Game Play: 
- Once everyone has a gun and a name they game will begin.
- Player will have the rest of the day to try to assassinate the person they have without anyone seeing using their little squirt gun.
- Once they have assassinate their target the target must they hand over their slip of paper and the game continues.
- The person who was assassinated it now out of the game, the assassin continues by now working the assassinate the next target.
- The game continue all while the assassin is themselves being hunted as well.

Rules/Helps:
No Assassinations during worship/services times or during "small group times/discussion times"
- The assassination weapon is ONLY the little squirt guns.  Other squirt guns, hoses, buckets...do not count.
- There can be NO WITNESSES to the actual assassination shot. If someone sees the actual shot, it does not count and the assassin has to try again.  (*examples: if someone can sneak up behind someone in line and shot someone before someone see- it counts. if someone can shoot someone under the table at a meal-it counts. ) People can be around and it can happen in a public place or in a crowd, the shot and/or gun just can not be seen.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

News U Can Use: "Changing Minority & Majority Ratio in Pre-Teen/Early Teens"

"Generation Z, or the post-millennial generation, are only barely a majority white, according to new Census Bureau estimates of the U.S. population that include details on race and ethnicity.

Kids 15 and under are 49 percent minorities, according to the figures released Thursday by the bureau, which called them part of the "most diverse generation."

The youngest cohorts are majority-minority: Babies who hadn't yet had their first birthday were 51 percent minority. That was true for all the ages up to 5.

The post-millennial generation, at nearly half minority, is significantly more diverse than millennials, who are 55 percent non-Hispanic white.
.. " Read More at "Washington Examiner" 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Top 10: Simple REAL Hints & Helps for Youth Ministry Interviews

10.  If they take you out to eat, don't order anything you have to eat with your hands (and/or something messy)

9.  If they take you out to eat someplace "nice", don't order the most expensive thing on the menu. 

8.  Dress business casual.  Don't overdress but also don't underdress, even if they say it is not a big deal. 

7.  Bring extra paper copies of your resume. 

6.  When answering questions, look the person asking the question in the eye. 

5.  Wear deodorant-antipersperant....seriously! (*Axe does not count, even if you are interview of a Jr. High/Middle school job) 

4. Brush/Comb your hair.  Don't wear a hat. (or bandana)

3. Have a 1 page statement of your "philosophy of ministry" and a 1 page "brief statement of belief" 

2.  Show up at least 5-10 minutes early, don't show up late! 

1.  INTERVIEW THE CHURCH BACK! MAKE SURE TO ASK QUESTIONS TOO! 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

10 Different Water Balloon Launchers (summer help)

FROM THE "HATIVE" WEBSITE... "Balloons are always welcomed by kids. Kids would love to spend hours launching water bombs and have fun and cool experience for quite a few summer days. Parents may have been wanting to figure out how to make a really awesome balloon launcher to fire the balloon with a far reach. We’ve collected some awesome water balloon launchers for your inspiration. Some of them have step by step instructions to follow and are easy to do it yourself. Some of them can be bought in store. Set up your water balloon launcher, and you will surely have a lot of summer fun with your kids...." 

CHECK THEM ALL OUT (CLICK HERE!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ten Bus Games for Summer Youth Trips (summer help)

Sitting "a bored" the bus trying to come up with ways to kill time with your students on your long summer trip to camp, mission project or conference?! 

Your arms are getting sore from playing "punch buggy".... or "stab cab" (*Tim Hawkins) ?? 

Here are a couple of game I have played over the years with my ministries.  Hope they help ease the pain and bore-dumb!  


10. "Statue Charades"- 2 teams divided up by sides. One person comes to the front of the bus and is given something that they have to get their team to guess by simply "striking a pose".

9.  "Seated Relay Races"- Classic "stand in a line" relay races just seated.  Like:  "Over Under"- hand something back alternating between over your shoulder or under the seat.   

8.  "Speed Dating" (on the way)/"Speed Break-Up" (for on the way home)- Every 2 minutes the people seated on the aisle has to rotate clockwise to the next seat.  On the Way--In the 2 minutes the pairs have to introduce themselves and tell each other interesting information about themselves.  On the Way Home: In 2 minutes the pairs have to re-introduce themselves and tell each other all the reason why they shouldn't be friends when they get back from the trip-- In a Funny/Silly way, not serious at all, but really interesting way to get people to get to know each other.

7.  "Pass the Story Along"- Every seat/pair gets a piece of paper and pen. On the top of the paper is written "Once upon a time...". The first pair must decide on a opening sentence to a story, and then pass it back to the seat behind them.  The next pair and the following pairs must add to the story.  Once the paper has made it all the way back.  The leader can read the stories aloud.

6.  "Have You Never"- The classic game with seat-switching if you "Have Never..."

5.  "My Mom Has a Restaurant..." - A spin on a the classic "alphabet games".  Each person has to complete the sentence "My Mom Has a Restaurant..." with a food or edible item that starts with the last letter of the previous person's answer.  No repeat answers.   (*example: chips=salsa=apple=eel....)

4.  "Rap Battle"- Using your bus's PA and sound system have a rap battle either using just a beat soundtrack and players have to come up with their own rap OR just have players try to rap along with a clean rap song (LaCrae, Trip Lee, KJ-52....)

3.  "Adjective & A Noun"- Person on the aisle is "adjective person" and the person on the window seat is the "noun person".  They can not discuss or come up with their answers in advance.  Pairs randomly selected must yell out first the adjective and then the noun.  (* just be careful, some of the results may be interesting!??)

2.  "Goatee, Mustache, Beard"  (Click here!) 

1. "Hot Dirty Underwear" - Like "hot potato" just with a pair of underwear. players toss a pair (or pairs) of boxers around until the music stops.  Player holding the "hot dirty underwear" are out.  Use CLEAN, NEW underwear please!! (*this game was invented by accident and 'on the spot' a few years ago!) 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

News U Can Use: "Teen Kik Users Spending a Hour A Day on App"


Kik users are spending at least an hour a day on the app. Kik’s infographic outlining data on their 300 million users’ messaging habits reports they have about six different chat sessions daily, and spend an average of 12.7 minutes within each. The average timespan varies significantly by gender: teen females spend about 35% more time with the app than teen males. Then there’s the teen “super user”—10% of the overall user base—who has an average of 10 chat sessions and can spend more than two and half hours on the app daily. The messaging app hopes the data will provide useful insight to brands creating chat bots. 

READ MORE AT Adweek 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Top 10: Ran-DUMB Summer Boredom Busters for Youth Pastors

10. Fill your office with sand and build a sand castle!

9. Take a swim in the baptistery! (*may not work if your not Baptist? )

8. Turn on all the stage spotlights and work on your tan!

7. Bungee jump off the balcony in the sanctuary! (*church roof will work if you don't have a balcony)

6. Make a Slip N Slide in the hallway!

5. Strap a surf board to the top of the church van, have one of the Jr. High boys drive and go surfing! 

4. Light a match in your Senior Pastor's Office...play in the sprinklers!

3. Super-Soaker war with the main office staff members!

2. Make a "Swimsuit Calendar" of yourself as fundraiser for your up coming mission trip! 

1. CALL A BUNCH OF STUDENTS AND ACTUALLY GO SPEND TIME WITH THEM!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Game #92: "Switch-Eroo Dodgeball"

ANOTHER QUICK TWIST AND PART OF THE GROWING LIST OF "OTHER WAYS"  TO PLAY THE YOUTH MINISTRY CLASSIC- DODGEBALL! 

Supplies:
- Dodge Balls
- Cones or a way to divide the playing area in half

Quick Explanation/Game Play:
Players play a normal game of dodgeball, except for one change.  If a player gets hit instead of leaving the the game, they continue to pay but must join the other team.   Game continues until there is only one person left on a side.  They are the WINNER! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

News U Can Use: "How Social Media Affects the Teenage Brain"


"A new UCLA study used brain scans to show what really activated teenagers' "reward" center in their brains, the same part that's activated when something good happens, like winning the lottery.

It turns out, it's those sweet, sweet "likes" on social media.Teenagers feel rewarded when their social media posts are liked, and it doesn't even matter who does the liking, as long as they like it.

Researchers told a group of 32 teenagers ages 13 to 18 at UCLA's Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center that they were there to try out a new social media app similar to Instagram — a clever lie. Because what the researchers really wanted to know was how their nucleus accumbens (basically the primary part of the brain's reward system) would react to social media validation. The teens viewed 148 photos, 40 of which were their own, while hooked up to equipment measuring their functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI. Each of these photos were shown with a number of "likes." The more "likes" the teen's photo had, the more their reward centers showed activity..." 

Lesson Series: "FIRST PLACE" (What is winning in your life?)


A Three Week/ 3 Lesson Series  with complete and ready-to-use presentations on "Seeking God First. Based on Matthew 6:33, "...Seek First The Kingdom of God..." 



LESSONS
  • Priorities (what is winning in your life?)
  • Time (what is winning in your schedule?)
  • Integrity (what is winning in your character?)
INCLUDED: 
  • 3 Complete, Ready-to-Use Powerpoint presentations (flattend JPG format)
  • Includes Video Illustration suggestions with YouTube links

CLICK HERE (to download it at Ministry Marketplace

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Lesson: "Mirrors" (Reflections of God)

Quick Ready-to-Go Single Lesson & Presentation about
"Reflecting God".

Includes:
- 15 Slide Powerpoint presentation (flattened JPGS)
- 3 Video illustration suggestions with YouTube links

CLICK HERE (to download it) 


Game/Youth Ministry Invention: "American Angleball"



"Angleball was created during World War 2 by D1 College Hall of Fame football and basketball coach, Rip Engle, as an awesome way to keep American service men and women, students and athletes, fit! You can find a historical newspaper article where Engle talks about creating the sport, here. But American Angleball's history goes even deeper than that! American Angleball is inspired by North America's oldest sport, anejodi; learn more, here!

Today American Angleball equipment is used for NFL player conditioning in the NFL and for fun and fitness by schools, camps, and all age and gender groups across the US, Canada, India, Africa & Asia; American Angleball plus all International Affiliates form the aptly named, International Angleball. You can see NFL, and other professional endorsements for American Angleball here, and information about Africa's first angleball club, sponsored by American Angleball, here." 


CLICK HERE (to find out more and see the rules) 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

News U Can Uses: "13, Right Now" (growing up in the age of 'likes', 'lols', & longing)

" She slides into the car, and even before she buckles her seat belt, her phone is alight in her hands. A 13-year-old girl after a day of eighth grade.

She says hello. Her au pair asks, “Ready to go?”

She doesn’t respond, her thumb on Instagram. A Barbara Walters meme is on the screen. She scrolls, and another meme appears. Then another meme, and she closes the app. She opens BuzzFeed. There’s a story about Florida Gov. Rick Scott, which she scrolls past to get to a story about Janet Jackson, then “28 Things You’ll Understand If You’re Both British and American.” She closes it. She opens Instagram. She opens the NBA app. She shuts the screen off. She turns it back on. She opens Spotify. Opens Fitbit. She has 7,427 steps. Opens Instagram again. Opens Snapchat. She watches a sparkly rainbow flow from her friend’s mouth. She watches a YouTube star make pouty faces at the camera. She watches a tutorial on nail art. She feels the bump of the driveway and looks up. They’re home. Twelve minutes have passed. Katherine Pommerening’s iPhone is the place where all of her friends are always hanging out. So it’s the place where she is, too. She’s on it after it rings to wake her up in the mornings. She’s on it at school, when she can sneak it. She’s on it while her 8-year-old sister, Lila, is building crafts out of beads. She sets it down to play basketball, to skateboard, to watch PG-13 comedies and sometimes to eat dinner, but when she picks it back up, she might have 64 unread messages.

Now she’s on it in the living room of her big house in McLean, Va., while she explains what it’s like to be a 13-year-old today...." 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Top 10: Your Youth Pastor is SO Old....

10. They remember when this "#" was called a... pound sign!

9. They used to play "Chubby... Dinosaur!"

8. They almost got fired from their first Youth Ministry job for using the NEW...  KJV 1611!

7. They use to drive a 15 passenger...carriage!

6. They invented Dodge...Rock!

5. Their lesson notes are on a tablet...a Stone tablet!

4. They were your Sr. Pastors... Youth Pastor!  

3. They have a picture of Jesus in their office... Autographed! 

2. The last time they tried being hip...they Broke their Hip! 

1.  They are the real...WALKING DEAD! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Lesson: "No More Cheesy Christians" (Free)

Quick Single, Stand-Alone, One Hit Wonder Lesson

Main Point: "A Cheeseburger without a burger is just cheese, like a Christian without Christ is just plain cheesy!"

Lesson:
- Introduction
- Key Verse
- Video Clip Suggestions
- Illustration Suggestion
- 4 Point Outline
- Small Group/Group Discussion Questions