Youth Specialties Blog
By YS on August 19 2008 | 2 CommentsTic Long is the President of Events for YS. So if you've been to NYWC, The Core, (YS One Day) DCLA, or one of our other events you've been to one of the events he oversees. Recently, I had the chance to talk to Tic about his time in youth group. What was the name of your youth group? We didn’t have one it was just good old youth group. Do you remember the first time you went to youth group? What was it like? I totally remember my first experience with a church youth group as a perfectly happy with where I as pagan kid. My older sister (by 11 years) had become a Christian and was now interested in my spiritual state. She got me invited to the youth groups Halloween costume party. I was in 9th grade and went with my girlfriend and we did not know anybody. As a freshman I was the shortest guy in at my high school standing a whopping 4’11” and weighing in at a good, lets say about 85lbs…what a specimen. Anyway, all three of my older sisters were cheerleaders in high school so there were all kinds of cheer outfits around the house. So with their help (and they were way too eager) I went to the party as a girl cheerleader with wig, makeup, the whole deal. I was sure I was going to win one of the prizes for the best costume. We had a fun time and everyone was really cool and it was way more fun than I expected for a “church thing”. Well it ended up the whole evening until the point where I pulled off my wig everyone thought I WAS a girl! I didn’t win squat because everyone thought it was lame for a girl to wear her cheerleading outfit to the party. Well I was pissed and left with my masculinity a bit shaken as well but had a good enough time to say yes when my sister arranged for me to go on a ski trip (outreach weekend) that winter that changed my life forever but that is another story Tell us about your youth leader. I loved my youth pastor. He poured his life into me and others. I was a wild child and really put him through the ringer but he never gave up on me. My dad was not involved in my life and he really became a father figure to me. He saw things in me that I could not see in myself. He trusted me and developed me as a leader. Our youth group was amazing with lots of folks becoming Christians (like I did) and many people going into full time ministry during his time there. Even after I left if he said jump I would say how high, he was so important in my life. Here is the wild thing, later I learned that he was really a sociopath who had sexually abused his own children a few years after I had left and had affairs in his next 4 churches where he served and in the end murdered his wife about 10 years ago, but again that is another story for another day Share a memory of an activity you did as a group. We generally had about 50-60 students at out midweek bible studies, or youth group meetings or events and often had many more. One of our favorite things to do (and I just a couple months ago saw a youtube video of people doing this a grand central station in NYC) would be to spread out and walk through a restaurant, airport (obliviously before today’s security) really almost any crowded public place and as we were walking on signal (usually a false sneeze) all of us would freeze and stay as perfectly still as possible, trying to be mannequins, which by the way is what we called this little game. After 2-4 minutes and again on a signal we would resume walking as if nothing happened. It would just freak people out. What’s one thing that you learned in youth group that has stuck with you since graduation? The power of a loving community, the power of seeing people actively live out their faith in healthy relationships. That was what drew me to Jesus. I encountered this group of students that I could see had something I did not and lived n was I did not. Their lives and the way the loved one another not only caught my attention but drew me towards them to find out why. If you could relay a message to your old youth pastor, what would it be. I will never understand what happened to you but I will always be grateful for what God did in my life through you.
By YS on August 19 2008 | 2 Comments
By YS on August 18 2008 | 0 CommentsJust make sure you ask the trustees before you schedule this event in the Swiss Alps, OK?
By YS on August 18 2008 | 0 Comments
By YS on August 17 2008 | 8 CommentsYesterday on Twitter a fellow youth worker mentioned that he was taking his wife on a date for the first time in a month. When I asked him why it had been so long he replied back to say they had been low on money. Now, let's face the fact that just about every youth worker is low on cash. Let's also face the fact that our significant others are very important. Maintaining a healthy balance in our lives is crucial to being the best possible youth worker! With that in mind I went on a mission to discover cheap dates that anyone, even a youth worker, can afford. The following suggestions came from Holli, Tic, Dave, and Adam:
- Your Favorite Book: Head to your local bookstore and browse for your favorite kids book or the craziest book cover, weirdest title, book you wish you would have written, or corniest Christian book. Set a time limit or just let it happen naturally.
- Plan a surprise progressive dinner. Plan out a series of stops at your favorite spots for each dinner course. You could even do this by planning out different courses at friends houses! (Make sure to let them know you're coming, a little hint from Tic.) But we think this date should definitely end by splurging on ice cream.
- Scavenger hunt. Bet you never thought this youth group favorite could be romantic, did you? Set up a scavenger hunt to have the lady in your life discover flowers, a card, or another small gift.
- Fashion show. Head over to the mall or a specialty boutique and try on some expensive clothes. To play it up even more take along a camera and pose in each outfit. You won't have to spend a dime and you'll have fun looking like a million bucks. An alternative to this would be to head to a jewelry store and do the same thing. Holli suggested this diamond ring from Tiffany & Company. Hint: Skip the jewelry shopping if you aren't married or not ready to get engaged. Taking your girlfriend to look at diamonds sends a certain message.
- Introductory lessons. You'd be surprised how much fun a "free lesson" could be. Sign up to take a cooking class, dance lesson, or even a trip to the local fitness center. This is guaranteed to be a fun night out.
By YS on August 17 2008 | 8 Comments
By YS on August 16 2008 | 3 CommentsLet's hope this video makes you think about your ministry. Most youth workers roll with the punches really well. But are you thinking ahead to the consequences of your plans enough to prevent unintended disasters like this one? Share your thoughts. What are some secrets you've learned to developing a great back up plan? Got a story of a back up plan gone horribly wrong or wonderfully well? Post a comment and let's learn from one another.
By YS on August 16 2008 | 3 Comments
By YS on August 14 2008 | 0 CommentsEvery time I hear David Crowder’s voice I chuckle. It’s because earlier this year, I got to visit with David and his wife in their very cool house out in Waco. We were filming for the NYWC website (shameless plug.) He’s just such a cool dude with a great sense of humor, it was most definitely worth the drive with the crew in the Mystery Bus (think Scooby Doo). And he’s got some fun stories that include his neighbor Ted Nugent. But enough about David, let’s talk about the band and their cool new DVD/CD. So the David Crowder* Band, which you probably have heard of, is near and dear to the YS hearts. They have joined us for the last 9 years on the NYWC tour (another shameless plug here) and just seem to electrify the main stage. During their Remedy Club tour they did some filming and on the 19th their new DVD/CD releases. But what’s even cooler is that DC*B is going to be in theatres for one night only. Picture this: David Crowder’s goatee – 20 feet high – in full High Definition Digital resolution, it can’t get better than that! Below is the list of theatres, if there’s one by you then you’re in luck… if you notice there aren’t any showings in California…hmmmm do I hear road trip? There’s a promo video to get you stoked and a link to order the DVD/CD. So that should be enough information to get you started and on your way to total DC*B overdrive, but if you need more you can always ask us. Have fun! Current List of Movie Theaters Showing Remedy Club Tour...AUGUST 18th – according to David’s camp they’re adding new theatres all the time so you may want to go to his website for an update. ALABAMA Auburn, Carmike Wynnsong 16 Birmingham, Lee Branch Decatur, Carmike Century Cinema 8 Huntsville, Valley Bend Stadium 18 Mobile, Carmike Wynnsong 16 Montgomery, Carmike Eastdale 8 ARKANSAS Little Rock, Colonel Glenn 18 COLORADO Colorado Springs, Carmike Chapel Hills 15 Fort Collins, Carmike 10 CONNECTICUT Lisbon, O'Neil Lisbon Landing Cinema 12 Lisbon, Showplace East 18 Westbrook, Westbrook 12 FLORIDA Bradenton, Carmike Royal Palm 20 Cape Coral, Coralwood 10 Daytona Beach, Ocean Walk 10 Pensacola, Pensacola 18 GEORGIA Albany, Carmike Wynnsong 16 Columbus, Carmike 15 Dalton, Carmike 9 Savannah, Carmike Wynnsong 11 Snellville, Carmike 12 INDIANA Cedar Rapids, Carmike Wynnsong 12 Des Moines, Carmike Southridge 12 Sioux City, Carmike Southern Hills 12 ILLINOIS Bloomington, Parkway Cinemas Champaign, Carmike Beverly Cinemas 18 Decatur, Carmike Strand 10 Elk Grove Village, Classic Elk Grove Theatre Peoria, Rave Grand Prairie 18 St. Charles, Classic Charlestowne 18 Bloomington, Carmike Parkway 8 INDIANA Evansville, R&M Showplace East 18 Fort Wayne, Carmike Carmike 20 Plainfield, Metropolis 18 KENTUCKY Glasgow, Highland 8 LOUISIANA Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge 16 Lafayette, Carmike 10 MICHIGAN Birch Run, Emagine Entertainment Cinema Hollywood Canton, Emagine 18 Fort Gratiot, Carmike Birchwood Cinema 10 Grand Blanc, NCG Trillium Cinema 14 Grand Rapids, Loeks Celebration North 17 Kalamazoo, Rave Cityplace Stadium 14 Lansing, NCG Eastwood Cinema 18 Midland, NCG Midland 10 Mt Pleasant, Loeks Celebration Cinema 11 Muskegon, Loeks Carousel Cinema 10 Novi, Emagine Novi 18 Portage, Loeks Celebration Cinema Crossroads Saginaw, Carmike Fashion Square Cinemas Traverse City, Grand Traverse Cinemas MINNESOTA Apple Valley, Carmike Wynnsong 15 Oakdale, Carmike Oakdale 20 NEVADA Las Vegas, Rave Town Square 18 NEW HAMPSHIRE Londonderry, Apple Tree Cinema 12 NEW JERSEY Toms River, Marquee Orchard 10 NEW YORK Brooklyn, AIX Pavilion 9 New Hartford, Marquee Orchard 14 NORTH CAROLINA Asheville, Carmike 10 Greensboro, Carmike 18 Greenville, Carmike 12 Morganton, Mimosa 7 Raleigh, Marquee Wakefield 12 Raleigh, Carmike 15 Statesville, Marquee 10 Wilmington, Carmike 16 NORTH DAKOTA Bismarck, Carmike Midco 8 OHIO Columbus, Polaris 18 West Chester, West Chester 18 PENNSYLVANIA Gettysburg, Gteway 8 Greensburg, Carmike 15 Reading, Reading Movies Wilkes-Barre, Wilkes-Barre Movies 14 SOUTH CAROLINA Charleston, James Island 8 Columbia, Carmike 14 Myrtle Beach, Carmike Broadway 16 Spartanburg, Carmike 7 TENNESSEE Chattanooga, Rave East Ridge 18 Franklin, Carmike Thoroughbred 20 Gallatin, NCG Gallatin Cinemas 10 Kingsport, Fort Henry 11 Knoxville, Carmike Wynnsong 16 Murfreesboro, Carmike Wynnsong 16 Nashville, Carmike Bellevue 8 TEXAS El Paso, Carmik
By YS on August 14 2008 | 0 Comments
By YS on August 09 2008 | 6 CommentsPer capita, no group of human males has a higher percentage of goatee wearers than youth workers. And we've found a great product for helping you keep that goatee looking sharp. Let us introduce you to GoateeSaver. (check out tour dates) At just $20 this gem fits into any youth workers budget. Enjoy! Question: Who has the most famous goatee in the world?
By YS on August 09 2008 | 6 Comments
By YS on August 07 2008 | 0 CommentsIf you aren't a part of Youth Ministry Exchange, make sure you head over there and create a free account for the forums. There are some great discussions going on that you'll want to jump in on. Here are three:
- Messy Game Ideas. What youth worker doesn't need more ideas for messy games in the summer? See what's working and share your own creative ideas.
- Getting over the 25 student hump in youth group. Totally relevant to a lot of us out there. We get to 25 and then run into problems and plateau. Check out members ideas and submit your own.
- Small churches and "success." A very cool discussion on the health of churches under 100 people.
By YS on August 07 2008 | 0 Comments