Youth Specialties Blog
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
By YS on August 06 2008 | 0 CommentsCarrie is all things The Core at YS. The Core is our one-day training event for youth workers around the country. So if you've ever been to one, Carrie is the person who coordinates locations, speakers, and all those other details you don't have to worry about. Last week I had a chance to hear her youth group story, here it is. What’s one thing that you learned in youth group that has stuck with you since graduation? I learned two things… 1. A youth group trip is a less than ideal moment for your first kiss 2. Every person is God’s creation and deserves to be treated as such What was the name of your youth group? Rancho Bernardo Presbyterian Church Youth Group (no new-fangled fancy names for us) Tell us about your youth leader I had four memorable youth leaders (the group went through a lot of transition in my years there). · Barb was a strong and faithful woman. Her influence on me then still impacts who I am now. · Nick was fun and dedicated. I lost track of him a number of years ago and still wonder where he ended up. · Rob was a rebel and a rock musician. I learned a lot about singing as worship when Rob was in charge. · Rich challenged my faith in ways I had never experienced. 11 years after he had been my youth pastor I stumbled upon the Church he is pastoring in San Diego completely by accident. Small world! Do you remember the first time you went to youth group? What was it like? Since my brother had already been in the group for about 5 years, and since I had been watching him with extreme envy all of those years, my first time at youth group was a glorious realization of a dream. I have no recollection of what we did that night… I just remember that I LOVED every minute of it. We might as well have dissected frogs… I would have loved it no matter what. Share a memory of an activity you did as a group We once launched a full scale attack on the youth group of La Jolla Presbyterian Church in the middle of their Wednesday night meeting. We all dressed in black and ran screaming and yelling into their meeting. We kidnapped their youth leader (in the middle of his talk), left a ransom note and took him to local diner. The La Jolla youth group had to figure out where we’d taken their leader and meet us there. It was fun for all and made for a great bonding moment between the two youth groups. If you could relay a message to your old youth pastor, what would it be? I would thank them for the love and energy they poured into the group. I followed their footsteps into youth ministry because after watching them for 7 years I couldn’t imagine a better, more worth while job.
By YS on August 06 2008 | 0 Comments
By YS on August 05 2008 | 0 CommentsDenise Wilson is the Youth Director at Cabot United Methodist Church in Cabot, Arkansas. When she moved to Cabot (30 minutes north of Little Rock) she spent some time arguing with God about taking her children out of their Christian school and enrolling them in the public school system in her new town. As she shared her disappointment with God, He shared His vision with her for her ministry in Cabot. Not only would she minister to the students at her church, she'd try to bring others together. "What was it that they [Christian schools] had that public schools lacked? God, of course. But more than that, it's a sense of Christian family, no matter denomination, we had the one common denominator, Christ! That's it, It's Christ love in us all ...and really why can't that be in public schools? So I thought a little longer, we needed to form a group of kids willing to put differences aside and stand up for Christ and each other!" Out of that group and Denise's big vision for her community, In Motion was born. Denise has spearheaded an effort to put on the biggest back to school bash Cabot has ever seen. She booked Christian bands Pillar, a couple of other bands and a guest speaker. She rented out the local high school football stadium and arranged for tons of free giveaways and free food all in an attempt to bring Christian students from her community together! When I asked her how many people she thought may attend she replied, "I don't know. 1000? It's our first year. We serve a really big God." Denise's story reminds me of why most of us do youth ministry. We have a huge heart for seeing students connect with one another, the body of Christ, and their God. Like Denise many of us are willing to take huge risks to fulfill our life's mission. When Denise told me her story I was floored as I recognized that she is a youth worker putting it all on the line for this event. She's not a professional concert promoter or big name evangelist. She's a youth worker just like me with a big vision for her students a big faith that God will reward her for trusting Him. Denise is exemplifying the type of faith she teaches her students... a life in Christ is not always about carefully weighing the risks and choosing the safe way, not about worrying about rain, not about booking a sure thing, and not about focusing on the people around you who already know Christ. Imagine what the world would be like if our students boldly put their faith into action? If you're in the greater Little Rock area, let me invite you to connect with Denise. She is someone I think you should know. And if you are in the Cabot area you are invited to come to In Motion on August 16th. For discussion: What do you think of this event? Is this the type of thing that would rally students together in your community? If not, what would work in your area?
By YS on August 05 2008 | 0 Comments
By YS on August 05 2008 | 1 CommentsCheck out this breakthrough from the geniuses at MIT. As a youth worker, I find this scientific discovery fascinating... but it really made me think of middle schoolers at an all-nighter. If we could only store their energy imagine what we could do?
By YS on August 05 2008 | 1 Comments
By YS on August 02 2008 | 3 CommentsWe're happy to feature the ministry of Joel Smith from Christ United Methodist Church of Salisbury, MD for this weeks Free Shirt Friday. Thanks for the shirt. According to the youth group's site, Christ-Youth, Joel has been at his church about 6 years and co-labors there with Janet Benamati, who leads middle schoolers. It looks like they are doing a great job too! They are camping, doing service projects, having tons of fun, and of course teaching and learning about God together. Awesome stuff there. A quick sidenote: Christ Youth is rockin' a free blog from Wordpress.com as their youth group website! We're often asked about youth group websites that can be done cheaply and this is a great example. It features everything students/parents want and not a lot else. Pictures, calendar, and updates about where they are going and what they have done. Best part? Their only investment they are making into the site is their own time. A great example of a youth group utilizing a Wordpress.com blog for their ministry. Learn how to get your ministry or event featured on an upcoming Free Shirt Friday. Special thanks to Amy Gilchrist for playing the part of Vanna White this week.
By YS on August 02 2008 | 3 Comments
By YS on August 01 2008 | 68 CommentsTwitter is all the rage this summer. What's interesting about the Twitter phenomenon is that it didn't start among adolescents. (Like other social networking sites Facebook and Myspace.) It really took off within tribes of people... and youth workers represent a fast growing tribe of Twitter users! So, here is our non-comprehensive list of youth ministry folks who twitter. It's totally subjective and filled with people we follow, feel free to add someone to the list if we missed them. Of course, feel free to post yourself as well!
- Brooklyn Lindsey
- Chris Day
- Doug Fields (maybe you've heard of him)
- Gavin Richardson
- Jasper Rains
- Jeff Lukins
- Len Evans
- Matthew McNutt (of Biggest Loser fame)
- Mark Matlock (I had to sneak in at least one YS person!)
- Michael Marchand
- Sara Eden
- Shelby Craig
- Tim Schmoyer (the blogfather of youth ministry these days)
By YS on August 01 2008 | 68 Comments