Youth Specialties Blog
By YS on September 04 2008 | 14 Comments
Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church has cut its budget, laid off a half-dozen staff members and is being bombarded with requests for prayers by members faced with losing homes and jobs. linkThis story is not isolated to the San Diego area. Chances are most churches across the country are struggling to meet their annual budgets as families feel the squeeze economically. Chances are, the church or ministry that funds your ministry is struggling. So, we're curious. How are you doing? Have you had to take a reduction in salary or benefits to keep going? Has your ministry budget been reduced? Have you scaled back some of your efforts or programs? Is there general stress on your staff about the financial situation?
By YS on September 04 2008 | 14 Comments
By YS on September 03 2008 | 1 Comments10. Three minutes into your talk, someone stands up and shouts… “Time to break into small groups!” 9. They are listening to Rob Bell’s podcast on their iPods during your talk. 8. The kid in the front row is piecing together a craft of some sort out of fingernail clippings, hair, and carpet fibers. 7. When you start speaking, the kids start chanting ‘Bring Back Mable,’ the guest speaker from last week who used flannel graph. 6. At least 17 kids spontaneously need to leave for the bathroom when you are introduced (which is really weird, because there are only 14 kids there). 5. As you begin your talk a student stands up and asks, “In the next 30 minutes are you going to be saying anything important?” 4. You hear loud snoring in the back row… and it’s your spouse! 3. When you ask everyone to close their eyes for prayer, you notice that the request was unnecessary. 2. You hear that several of the ADHD kids are using your podcasts as tools to help them go to sleep at night. And #1… In the middle of your talk the janitor takes out the garbage in the back of the room, and three people accept Christ. Jonathan McKee will be teaching two seminars at the YS conventions this fall, including the workshop, Using 10-Minute Talks: Speaking to a Generation with a Short Attention Span. President of The Source for Youth Ministry, Jonathan is the author of numerous youth ministry books, including 10-Minute Talks, Do They Run When They See You Coming?, and the award winning Getting Students to Show Up. He speaks and trains at camps, conferences, and events across the U.S., and provides free resources for youth workers around the world on his Web site, TheSource4ym.com.
By YS on September 03 2008 | 1 Comments
By YS on September 03 2008 | 2 Comments
I love it when local churches partner together for the sake of reaching students in their community. That's exactly that is happening in Boerne, Texas on September 13th. Ryan Nielsen, of Pastor2Youth, has helped put together a one day training session with the collaboration of several churches in the Boerne area. Here's how he describes the event:
Have you ever led a super-hyper small group and wondered how to get the students to calm down? Has a teen ever approached you with a difficult problem and you weren't sure how to respond? Are you new to youth ministry? Have you been working with youth for a number of years, but feel like your well has run dry? Would you like the opportunity to fellowship with others who work with youth? Whether you have been working with youth for 5 months or 15 years; are a professional or a volunteer this conference is for you!
Collaborative Youth Ministry in conjunction with Cibolo Creek Community Church, First United Methodist Church, St. Mark Presbyterian Church, and St. Helena's Episcopal Church offers you the opportunity to learn, grow, fellowship, and have fun during this one-day conference, Saturday, September 13th at St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Boerne, TX. There will be one general session with 12 elective sessions available for leaders to attend. The four youth pastors leading this event, Ryan Nielsen, Adam Jacobus, Tim Day and Glenn Meschko have over 60 years of youth ministry experience combined.
If you are in the San Antonio area and are interested in attending, check out this flyer for more information.
By YS on September 03 2008 | 2 Comments
By YS on September 02 2008 | 1 CommentsMark Oestreicher (everyone calls him Marko) is the President of Youth Specialties. As you would suspect, as the President he's technically in charge of everything we do here. The best way you can follow what Marko is up to is to subscribe to his blog, ysmarko.com. Recently, I had the chance to hear a little bit about Marko's experience in youth group. What was the name of your youth group? we didn’t have a name! I don’t think any youth groups had names back in the dark ages. But I do remember that the basement of the church, occasionally flooded and always moldy smelling, was where we met, and was called “The Hub”. It was filled with groovy carpet squares on the floor (easy to replace after the next flooding) and youth-created psychedelic painting on the walls. Do you remember the first time you went to youth group? What was it like? my older sisters were in the youth group, and I couldn’t wait to get in it. When I was in junior high, we weren’t part of the youth group (that changed when I was in high school, and my church hired a full-time junior high pastor long before that was a normal thing to do). The youth group really became the social center of my life. All my friendships and activities revolved around that group (and my high school choir!). Tell us about your youth leader. my high school pastor had a huge impact on my life. His name is steve andrews, and he’s the pastor of a large church in the detroit area now. He took a personal interest in me, and invested a lot of time in me. There’s no question that I’m in youth ministry, all these years later, in great part because of steve. Many of my friends have similar stories. Share a memory of an activity you did as a group. I’ll never forget the awkwardness of a junior high retreat that was all about sex. It was extra uncomfortable for me, because I had a massive crush on a girl who attended who was obviously more, uh, advanced (shall we say) than I was. I remember walking down the railroad tracks with her, and casually asking her, “So... What do you think about what the speaker’s talking about?” What’s one thing that you learned in youth group that has stuck with you since graduation? I’ll never forget when Terry Prisk, the youth pastor when I was in junior high (and now a pastor of a church in brighton, MI), stopped me in the hallway of the church and said, “Oestreicher, you’d make a great youth pastor someday.” I remember the exact spot, and can perfectly recreate it in my mind, even though that building has since been leveled and turned into a strip mall and condos. If you could relay a message to your old youth pastor, what would it be? thanks for believing in me, and holding onto the hope and belief that God was at work in my life, even when outward evidence may have been to the contrary.
By YS on September 02 2008 | 1 Comments
By YS on August 31 2008 | 2 CommentsCheck out this video. Tic explains a new wrinkle for our Veterans and First Two Years in Youth Ministry cohorts. Not only do we want you to join a track at the convention, we want you to let us know you'd like to be in that cohort and we'll assign your cohort a curator. To join a cohort, drop an email to email@example.com. Make sure to tell us what city you're attending and what cohort you're interested in.
By YS on August 31 2008 | 2 Comments
By YS on August 30 2008 | 0 CommentsTic talks about our new social networks that we've created for NYWC. Want to take a look under the hood and see what Carpool looks like? Sacramento Carpool Pittsburgh Carpool Nashville Carpool
By YS on August 30 2008 | 0 Comments
By YS on August 28 2008 | 5 CommentsOkay so you’ve got to check this out – we’ve been playing with some really cool stuff in the Wonderful World of Web Department and we stumbled on this… It’s our first ever digital catalog. This thing is cool, just wait you’ll get hooked on flipping little digital pages like Adam has. Our web team even turned it into a contest, you know how we love contests, to see who can flip it faster. Now it’s your turn to play with it. Just go to the digital catalog and it will take you straight there. The paper version of this thing hasn’t even hit the streets yet and we can already bring it to you through the miracle of modern technology. To show we’re cooler than the people who print stuff on paper – we’ve also got a deal for our people who like to play on the web. So, in addition to a 20% discount on all titles, if you place an order of $75 or more by September 8th you’ll get a free copy of Kara Powell and Chap Clark’s newest book, Deep Justice In A Broken World. We know you’re getting ready for back to school, so we hope this helps. And hey, don’t tell the people in marketing we don’t want to make them cry. Since this is brand new we'd love your feedback. Got a suggestion for making the digital catalog better, leave a comment and let us know.
By YS on August 28 2008 | 5 Comments