Archive for the ‘Programming’ Category

Youth ministry is a VERY busy job. Meeting with students, watching their sport/activities, planning, writing, recruiting, training, and the list goes on. Not to mention family time. It’s hard to write 2-3 messages a week. That’s one for Jr. High, one for Sr. High, and one for Sunday mornings. So, I’m always looking for good curriculum to use. One that allows me to easily modify it to fit my needs.

I love the resources that have come out with, like the youversion bible. While poking around their stuff I came across their Open resources. They have a ton of stuff for speaking to teens. It comes with messages, videos, graphics, even small group questions. I recently used one of their series called “Greater Than” to try out this resource. I have to say…INCREDIBLE. Loved using it. I could easily make it my own. I didn’t have to reinvent graphics. It made my life a lot easier. I highly recommend that you check it out and give it a try. After all…it’s FREE!


It’s that time of year where most people are fighting some sort of sickness. That’s the case for me. Tonight for youth group I couldn’t lead worship and teach. My body and voice wouldn’t make it all the way through. So, as I was thinking about what to do for worship I needed a creative way to run it. As I was picking up my son from his friends house it hit me. Let’s do something new with the technology that is at our fingertips. The answer is

I made 3 free text polls that were projected on the screen…one at a time. One poll said, “God, to me you are…“, “God, thank you for…“, and “God, I pray for…“. Kids texted in their finished sentences and it was projected on the screen…live. While they were texting I had music playing in the background.

Very cool to see what kids responses.

Our regular fall schedule started up again last week. Personally, I felt we did great attendance wise. 20+ each night. (See, we have Jr. High meet on Wednesday nights and Sr. High meets on Thursday nights.) I felt the desire to start out with talking to our regulars. They are the ones that start out with us right away. Then, hopefully, we grow a little. So my messages were geared toward those who have a commitment with Jesus.

In Jr. High, I started out talking about evangelism and how to do it. It seems, now correct me if I’m wrong, that Jr. High students are more bold about talking about faith, Jesus, and church than high school students. I think they took my challenge. Guess what happened? The next week, we had almost doubled our attendance!!!

You might be thinking, “It’s not about the numbers.” YES IT IS! That’s more souls we can reach for Christ. More lives we’ll hopefully see in heaven. That’s more people we can turn from darkness to the light. Don’t tell me it not about the numbers.

I’m super excited to see what God is going to do in our ministry this year.

I wanted to take something old and put a new spin on it for our fall kick-offs. What a better way to make something new than to add black lights! It was too much money and too time consuming to change all the lights in our “gym” so I found a place where you can rent them. I rented 2 from Blank Extreme Entertainment.

Friday Night – we rented laser tag! Games2u is a great company that will work with you. They brag about having out door laser tag (which we’ve done a couple of time…very fun.) but we asked about doing indoor and they were able to accommodate! Kids loved the laser tag in the black lights.

Saturday Night – I bought Finger Rockets from Buckets-O-Fun. Great product and lasted the whole night! I’ve played with other brands and in one shot they brake…not these! I put a strip of neon tape so that in the black light it looked like tracer bullets flying through the air. We played a variety of different games, but ended up in an all out war, every person for themselves!

All in all, a great weekend for kicking off the school year and our fall ministry.

So It Begins

Posted: September 8, 2011 in Balance, Events, Leadership, Programming, Youth Ministry

This is the time of year where my ministry runs in overdrive. We’ve got kick-off events, retreats, regular youth group nights coming, leadership training & recruiting, and a TON of planning. It doesn’t seem like it will get all done, but it has to and it will! This is just the ministry side of things.

On a personal note, my two boys just start school. #1 son started all-day kindergarden and #2 son started morning preschool. Add that into the mix and there is no rest for the weary.

With the peddle to the metal, we’re off!

From yesterdays message that I gave while at Trout Lake Camps, I discovered this morning that even though I felt like I didn’t present the message clearly, each cabin had good discussion from it. I guess that goes to show that God can work in spite of our weakness or faults.

Tonight I gave as clear a picture as I could in presenting the Good News: what Jesus did and why he deserves our life and our worship.  The response was bigger than I thought. I led them through a prayer at the end of my message to let Jesus in their life allowing Him control of it. I asked them that if they prayed to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior to make eye contact with their counselor. WOW! There were a ton of heads that turned. PRAISE GOD! There are angels rejoicing in Heaven today! In fact, a few students came up to me later in the evening to tell me that they turned their lives over to Jesus. That was so cool to hear. What a blessing to be a messenger of God’s Word and Good News for all.

I’ve asked to hear some stories, so I’m excited for the new day to hear what campers and counselors have to say.

This week I’m speaking at Trout Lake Camps. When I’m speaking, especially in a camp setting, I want my talks to create great discussion when they leave. At this camp they have cabin discussion time right after chapel. I wonder if they are going to discuss what I taught on. You might be asking yourself…”Self, What did he teach on?” I’m glad you asked. I spoke from Matthew 5, 6, & 7, aka The Sermon on the Mount. My overall theme was ‘Jesus was weird’. Weird is being different than normal and that’s exactly what Jesus was and taught. I think most of us have discovered that normal doesn’t really work anyway. After all, Jesus want’s us to live a life to the full, so I’m sure his teachings are going to lead us in that direction. I picked three specific things to talk on and encouraged them to read the rest of the 3 chapter. The three I dove into were money, lust, and judging. All three, I believe, are things teen and young teens wrestle with the most.

What do you think? Do you think those three topics would cause a good discussion in their cabins? We’ll see. I’ll ask the counselors in the morning.