Friday, March 31, 2017

The T-shirt of the Month: "Jesus Saved My Bacon"

This is a simple fun shirt for fans of both Jesus and Bacon! 

Jesus in fact saved our "bacon" both spiritually and physically. He saved us from "frying" for eternity but also because He came, he changed the Old Testament law, so we can now eat pork....BACON!!

Funds from this shirt will help me launch the new "MIDDLE YEARS MINISTRY" website a website dedicated to providing a variety of much needed resources to pastors, teachers, and other
leaders working with "middle years" students (5th-9th graders). 

Ran-Dumb Youth Ministry Meme (Classic)

(*originally posted here in 2014, has been shared and reposted numerous times since!)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lesson Series: "YRU" (Why Are You Here?)

A 4 lesson series about Finding Your True Identity and Purpose in the World! 

  • Lesson 1: "YRU:Here"
  • Lesson 2: "YRU: U"
  • Lesson 3: "YRU: There"
  • Bonus Lesson: "YRU: Family 

  • Lesson Slides: Numbered in Order and with Titles for each Lesson (jpg). 
  • Video and Movie Illustration Suggestions Positioned in the Presentation with Links
  • Series Title Slide (jpg)
  • Additional Blank Lesson and Verse Slides (jpg)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Game #167: "Eggs-Rays" (Easter Game)



A Silly fun Easter time big screen game. Everyone loves the surprises hidden inside an Easter egg! Take a good look at the silhouette in each of these Easter eggs to try to figure out what or who is hidden inside.

This Resource Includes:
• Complete PowerPoint game file
• Individual (10 Q&A + instructions + sample Q&A + bonus Q&A + Bible verse) game slides (jpeg files)
• Title Slide (jpeg file)



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

News You Can Use: "Shark Tank & Frito Lay Challenge Pre-Teens to Invent"

Frito-Lay Variety Pack has teamed with “Shark Tank”’s Robert Herjavec to launch an inventions contest for kids seven and up, with a grand prize of $250,000.
Families can enter the “Dreamvention” contest by coming up with a “fun” invention idea, creating a simple drawing and short explanation of it, and uploading them to by April 24. 
Five finalists will be announced in September. U.S. consumers will vote to determine the winning invention, with that decision announced in December. The invention will be brought to life by product development firm Mako Design + Invent. 
Herjavec kicked off the contest by helping kids come up with inventions during a Frito-Lay-hosted “Invent-athon” for Bay Area fifth graders held at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. ... READ MORE AT MEDIA POST 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Top 10: Reasons I STILL Love Summer Camp!


* ORIGINAL POST (July 2014) 

In the new era of youth group missions trip and services projects combined with the ever increasing personal schedule of our young people, going to a week of camp is quickly losing it popularity and support.  This summer with my transition from one youth group to another almost exactly half-way through the summer.  I got to go to TWO weeks of summer camp!!  It reminded me why camp is still great and why we need to still included in our youth ministry's summer!! Call me old fashion and out-dated but... Here are the way I STILL Love going to Summer Camp....

10. Freedom to Worship, Sing and Celebrate!- No where else but at camp can you sing as loud and as wild as you want with all your heart...with Hand Motions!! (* come on Tomlin, Crowder, Hillsong--help us bring back worship hand motions? :-) )

9. Being Out in God's Creation!- You want to get close to God the creator, go hang out in what he has created for awhile?

8. Interacting with New People and Making New Friends!- Only at camp can you really interact, bond and make real friendships with people from other churches and places that will last a lifetime.

7.  History, Tradition and Legend.- Conferences and Mission Trips have just not made it there yet.  When you go to camp you are walking on "holy ground" of generations of people before you who gave thier lives to change the church and the world because of time they spent at that place.

6.  Random Silliness and Campy Humor! We all need some good clean fun sometimes.  Christianity and church has all got a bit to somber, serious, and stuffy.  We were created with a sense of humor and the ability to laugh...Skit Night! Flag Pole Songs!! Singing for Seconds at Dinner Time!! Stupid Human Tricks for a Letter from Home!! Where else do you do that???

5. Camp Snack Shack/Bar/Stand/Shop.... Think of it as a Crash Course in stewardship and money management! A tasty....tasty lesson in life skills!

4. Growing Up Time Away from Mom & Dad.  A week away from home and from parents for the first time! Besides a couple sleepovers at grandmas house, it is the first REAL time away and on your own! Sorry it is "helicopter-free" fly-over air space moms and dads!

3. Eight to Ten Chapel Times inside of 5 days!  For young people who between vacations, summer sports, summer activies, and just outright being part of families who just take the summer off from church and God...Call it Make Up!!?

2. Morning Quiet Times By The Lake/Pond/Creek/Other Body of Water! John 4:14?? Something spiritual and significant??

1. End of the Week Camp Fire! You can argue it and debate the emotion of the moment but how many of us are in ministry because of a end of the week of camp, camp fire moments!!?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Free Lesson Help & Teaching Clips: "The Bible Project"

"The Bible Project creates videos that show the Bible as a unified story that leads to Jesus. The Bible is literary genius and has divine wisdom for the modern world."


- Resources (Notes, Handouts Posters...)
- Bible Reading Plan
- Podcast

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

News U Can Use: "Age 10 is the Mobile Device Sweet Spot"

"Given the ubiquity of smartphones among today’s kids, gaining insight on usage patterns and mobile motivations is an ongoing endeavor—and one that Nielsen has undertaken in its most recent Mobile Kids Report.

Released today, the Q4 2016 study examined smartphone usage among US kids ages six to 12, as well as their parents’ attitudes towards mobile devices and wireless services.

Among the findings is the fact that age 10 appears to be a sweet spot for mobile service adoption (22%), followed by age eight (16%). Ages nine and 11 are tied at 15%. Just under half (45%) of US kids receive a service plan between the ages of 10 and 12....

Monday, March 20, 2017

Quote and Thought of the Week

I have been around many pastors, churches, and people that talk a lot about being "deep".

I have heard from many youth pastors, talking about their students, parents, and leaders telling them they need to go deeper with lesson or ministry. But what is "Deep"?

Deep Theology is about Swimming in the Deep End of the Pool of Living.
Not Sitting on the Deep End of the Pool Drowning Because You Tried to Drink the Whole Pool.

Here is how my current Sr. Pastor explained it....

Top 10: Easter-Time Dodgeball Games!!


10. Dodge the Easter Candy (Chocolate Bunny or Jelly Beans!?) 

9. Dodge the Peeps (marshmallow, but is you really want to do it right get REAL LIVE peeps?)  

8. Dodge the Easter Baskets (* those soft sport-shaped ball ones might work great?) 

7. Dodge the Cadbury Egg (Explosive sticky little Easter grenades of fun!??) 

6.  Bunny Hop Dodgeball (tie everyone's ankles together) 

5. Dodge the Easter Eggs (*hard boil some, But not all!!? OR you can just wimp out and use plastic ones?) 

4. Dodge Judas (secretly pick out one person on each team to be the "betrayer" and at some point they will turn on their team) 

3. Dodge the Easter Bunnies (replace the balls with cheap stuffed animal easter bunnies) 

2.  Easter Bunny Hunting Dodgeball (dress one player from each team up in as an easter bunny or at least give them bunny ears, their team has to defend them if the other team hits them their team loses) 

1.  Resurrection Dodgeball! (kind like doctor dodgeball, if player gets hit they sit down and someone comes around and "Resurrects" them....) 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Two Churches, Two Trees, Two Gospels

I have worked for two different kinds of churches over the years of doing youth ministry, in now my 7th church.   Each kind of church had at the center of its garden of vision and expectations its own tree.  The two different kinds of trees produced their own particular Gospel as its fruit. 

Each determined the kind of youth ministry I was supposed to provide and lead.  Each kind of church, tree, and gospel led to an ultimate ministry direction.  Consider these 2 verses, as you determine where you may be serving current in your youth ministry, before considering my reflections below. 

GAL. 1: 6-7, "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ" 

GEN. 2:8-9,
 "Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." 


      LIFE.                    KNOWLEDGE. 

Living The Word.                           Studying the Word Only
   Doing Ministry.                              Knowing Ministry.
Focus on Reaching.                         Focus on Teaching.
Appeal to the Heart.                       Appeal to the Head.
Faith and Hope.                            Fear and Doom.
             Love Leads to Being Obedient.       Obedience Leads to Being Loved.
Worship Services.                          Wisdom Seminars.
Humble & Holiness.                        Pride & Piety. 
Internal Desire.                                External Duty. 
Go & Do For the World.                Stay & Be For the Church.
       What is Right with God.             What is Wrong with the World.
      Living the Kingdom.                      Waiting for the World to End
Seeking Godliness.                        Seeking to be "like" God. 
Eternal Life.                                 Earthly Knowledge. 
Look at God.                                        Look at Us.
Love.                                              Legalisms. 
Centered on God.                           Centered on a Man.
Knowing the Hope of Life.            Knowing only Good & Evil.
Walking with God.                             Hiding from Sin.

The list and comparisons could, of course, go on.   I write this not as a critique but rather a challenge. It came out of something my present pastor said this last Sunday during the introduction to his series on the book of Galatians- "Satan did not appeal to Eve's desire to be sinful.  He appealed to her desire to be like God."  It began to make me reflect and consider some things about the ministries I have served in over the year, the churches I was raised in and also my own heart.  

We have a different hope, perspective and "Good News". For some reason, however, even after all these years since Paul's writing to the Galatians, churches are still choosing a different kind of gospel, a different kind of fruit, and choosing to be a different kind of church.   We in youth ministry, especially those of use doing ministry in the pivotal 5th-9th grade years of faith, must choose  every day to offer our students the fruit for the tree of LIFE over the deception of just offering them simply more knowledge. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Game #166: "Big Bowl of Irish Stew" (Upfront St. Patrick's Game)


- 2 big mixing bowls
- 2-4 gallons of milk (or water)
- 2-4 boxes of Lucky Charms cereal
- Green food coloring
- 2-4 teaspoons
- 2-4 small bowls (cereal/soup size)
- (optional): drop cloth
- (optional): stopwatch or digital screen countdown clock

Game Play: 
Quick Explanation: Players will have to retrieve marshmallows out of big bowl of Lucky Charm cereal.

Before the Game: 
- Pour the milk (water) and the green food coloring into into one large bowl. Wait until right before the game to pour in cereal.
- Place bowl in the front of the room on the floor of a stage or place it on an elevated surface (table)

- Choose 2-4 volunteers to come to the front
- Hand each volunteer a spoon and a smaller bowl
- Pour in the cereal, as you give the "quick explanation"
- Have each player put the spoon in their mouth.
- Explain scoring: marshmallows count for 2 points, regular cereal subtracts 1 point.
- On "GO!" players have 60 seconds to retrieve as many marshmallows as possible and put them in their bowl
- After 60 seconds, tally up the score of each player

Winner: Is the person that has the most points.

Group Game (alternative): 
Make it into a relay race, by creating 2 big bowls of "stew", dividing into 2 teams, and giving everyone a spoon.  Have teams race down to a bowl, retrieve a marshmallow and bring it back to their team's bowl.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Top 10: "A White Youth Pastor Blinking..."

10. Hearing Someone Say That They Didn't Know What They Wanted to Do With Their Life, So They Went into Ministry?  

9. Hearing a Parent Say They Wanted to Teach Their Kids About Keeping Their Commitments, So They Are Choosing Their Commitment to Sports Over Their Commitment to Christ? 

8.  Hearing Someone Explain Why the Ministry Needs to Do Less Outreach and Serving Those Outside the Church,  to Spend More Time, Money, and Efforts Entertaining the People Inside the Church. 

7.  Having Someone Ask You about Your Week of Vacation, After Returning from a Missions Trip.

6. Hearing A Youth Pastor Talk About Needing to Spend Less Time with His Wife and Family, In Order To Spend More Time with Students. 

5.  Listening to a Youth Ministry "Expert" Talk About What is Wrong with The Church and Youth Ministry, After Admitting They Only Working in Youth Ministry for a Couple Years at Just One Church, Before Quitting to Become an "Expert". 

4.  When A Parent Tells You about How Their 7th Grader is Mature Enough to Have a Committed Long-Term Dating Relationship. 

3.  Trying to Non-Chalently Let One Slip, While Sitting in Staff Meeting.

2.  Trying to Listen to a Middle School Boy, Tell You a Joke While Missing the Punch Line... for the 3rd Time! 

1.  Having Someone Try to Explain the Difference Between Gossiping and Sharing a Prayer Request? 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Free Media #97: "101 Low Polygon Backgrounds"

"This free and versatile pack of 101 low polys includes all different styles to help complement your designs. From subtle white glossy polygons to interesting vibrant variations, this original Media Militia pack is truly awesome; and exactly what you have been looking for. As with all of our packs, the files weigh in with gigantic dimensions and are always 300 DPI plus. We can’t wait to see what you create with our polygons."

(to get if FREE from Media Militia)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

News You Can Use: "Finstagram: Fake Instagram Accounts for Teens"

" For a certain generation, Instagram has become a calling card, a life résumé of sorts: “This is me. This is my life. Jealous?”

A scroll through a typical feed is likely to reveal improbable images of just the right artisanal pizza, attractive couples drunk in love and eyebrows “on fleek,” all captured in perfect light and enhanced with various editing tools.

Life becomes a never-ending junior varsity “Vanity Fair” shoot, and the pressure among Instagram’s regular users to present idealized images of themselves has only increased as celebrities have inundated the platform with their own envy-evoking posts.

But life isn’t all rooftop parties and 45-degree-angle selfies. Some young adults, weary of trying to live up to their annoyingly perfect online avatars, have created “finstagrams,” or fake Instagram accounts, that present truer versions of themselves than their main profiles. These locked, pseudonymous accounts capture something rarely seen by people who follow these same users on their main accounts: reality.

What Are Finstagrams, Exactly?

Created mainly by teenagers and 20-somethings, finstagrams are intimate online spaces intended for an audience of friends, with the number of followers purposely kept in the low double digits.... "

Monday, March 6, 2017

Top 10: RanDumb March Holidays to Celebrate in Your Ministry

Trying to figure out something fun and different for your youth group in March besides St. Patrick's Day!??

Here are 10 OTHER Holidays you can celebrate instead!!

-March 6th: National Oreo Day (*check out the "twisted Oreo trivia game"!

-March 9th: National Popcorn Day 

-March 13th: Open an Umbrella Indoors Day

-March 14th: National Pi Day

-March 15th: (*Wednesday) True Confessions Day

-March 16th: Lips Appreciation Day

-March 22nd: (Wednesday) National Goof Off Day 

-March 23rd: National Chips and Dip Day 

-March 25th: International Waffle Day 

-March 28th: Something on a Stick Day! 

Friday, March 3, 2017

March Youth Ministry T-shirt (Available Now!)

"Great for your volunteer team, staff, pastors, and even students. Mission trips, service projects, or just week to week serving in your church."

Product: Hanes Tagless Tee - $21.99

CLICK HERE (to get one now)

* Available for only a few days!! 

RanDumb Youth Ministry Meme #114