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GIVEAWAY: SYMC Conference Registration!

 —  February 22, 2012 — 17 Comments

Want to win a free registration to the SYMC Conference in a couple weeks? I’m giving away 1 TODAY! Here’s how the giveaway started:

I am a youth worker in Minneapolis and I’ve been honored to be one of your “guest posts” on your blog a couple of times – anyway, I am paid in full for the Simply Youth Ministry Conference in Louisville, but I am now unable to go. I talked to my team and the other youth guys in the area but they’re either already going or unable to attend – so I’m wondering if you might be able to give it away for me?

So I was thinking if you had some sort of a contest – like have them post their best one-off idea for a youth event/program and the best/most hilarious wins my registration? Something like that? That way I get ideas (nice!) and they get to go to the conference!

So there you have it – post a comment with something of value for the community, and Kory [the youth worker who donated it] will pick the winner Thursday morning!


Josh Griffin


17 responses to GIVEAWAY: SYMC Conference Registration!

  1. This is more serious than funny- but the best one-off nights are always our entirely student-led services. Depending on your group’s size this might look different- maybe one night overall or one night per school- but the overall idea remains the same: students lead the entire service, start-to-finish. In our ministry this means that starting from our pre-service “huddle”, through discussion groups, games, music, testimonies, message, etc, students do everything. These nights provide all of your students with a great way to step up into new roles.

  2. The best thing we do for a one-off night is something I haven’t even given a name. We have each student grab something from around the room/church and bring it back. Then, each student shares one thing their object teaches us about God/Jesus/Man etc. If a kid grabs a flashlight he might share that God is our light, if he grabs a TV remote, he might share how Jesus is in control of our lives, etc.

    By far the best example of this came from one of our 8th grade girls. She came back with a box of tissues. When asked how that reminds her of Christ she shared, “Well, tissues are designed to get the junk and boogers out of our nose. Jesus does the same thing with our sin. He’s like tissues because He removes the SIN BOOGERS from our lives!”

    We all died laughing at the “Sin Boogers” comment. Since then we’ve immortalized it on the wall of our youth room and I liken sin to boogers about once a month in my messages. All because of the great wisdom of one of our quietest girls!

  3. During the summer, our normal “crowd program” takes a break. We used to schedule fun stuff to do to try and give our students something midweek to go to, but they all were about 3 days worth of prep, and you’d have about 9% of the students show up.

    one of them we used to do was “Redneck Games.” You’d show up dressed as redneck as possible (we’re a church in central arkansas, it was less of a stretch for some more than others), had themed games, BBQ dinner, and all sorts of things. The last year we did it, we wanted to do a version of bobbing for apples. But, the guy we put in charge of the game thought it’d be funnier to do bobbing for fish. Valid idea, so he went with it. Unfortunately, instead of getting whole fish/sardines, he got a pack of fillets. So we put it in the water bin and they just started to disintegrate. So you had students dunking their heads into raw fish stew and just getting nasty. Here’s the worst part. There was some major miscommunication on who was supposed to clean that up. Long story short, we’d worked all day wednesday so we came in about 10:00 AM Thursday…and that fish water had just been sitting there for about 14 hours. our entire, massive church reeked of rotten fish for the next 2 days. Luckily, come Sunday, only the student space had hints of it.

    redneck games died that year.

  4. I am doing an activity March 10 called, “Don’t you dare harm the Bear.” I found this old giant teddy bear in our youth closet, and was thinking, “how do I use this thing?” So, on March 10th @ 1pm I am putting clues on Facebook and through texting about a mysterious kidnapping that happened with this bear. They have till 3:30 to find it before it is thrown off a bridge. The Bear is not allowed to move, or be hidden in an area that is not visible to the public eye. The youth are forming teams on their own and driving around town looking for the bear. If there are teens that can’t get a ride or want a little help, I (the leader, and a few other youth staff) will be driving church vans to help our other youth friends. At 3:30 we are meeting back at the church and having a party. We will relive the tense moments of searching for the bear. And the winning team will get $100 bucks. I have never done this activity, so this might be a huge failure. Yes there are holes. . . but don’t we all want to be Jack Bauer at times? Also, I really want to go to this conference. . .

  5. We had a night we titled “Revenge of the Garden Gnomes.” I started with a video showing footage of the slow migration of gnomes away from Scandinavia towards the Eastern seaboard, and how they were terrorizing local villages. Because our church is located near woods, we made up an entire story about how the gnomes were an agricultural people, tending to live near gardens. Because of this, gnomes had been wrecking the church, ticking off all the deacons. The deacons created a list of all of the little problems the gnomes had been causing, and had hired a group of local farmers (the kids) to destroy all of them. The list was a list of simple things….doors being left open, books on my office shelf being out of order, drapes being mismatched, etc… So a third of the kids were gnomes, whose job it was to keep things messed up, while the farmers went around with nerf guns trying to shoot gnomes in the act of gnoming. We also had a few dogs (leaders) who could catch a gnome in the act and begin barking, at which point the farmers could run and shoot. It was a madhouse, but it was a ton of fun and took extremely little preparation. The video was an instant classic. Very cool evening, and the kids want to do it again as a lock in.

  6. David, that sounds cool. We used to do a huge scavengar hunt all over our town very similar to that. Each location would have a college student there and you’d have to complete a task to get your next clue.

    when I worked it, they had me out in the middle of an abandoned fairground. CREEPY. There was a gas station a mile away, so i had each group drive to the gas station, grab a snack, and bring it back to me before they could get their clue haha.

  7. Several years ago we did an event called BOB (battle of the burgers). We divided the students up into teams according to what school they went to and whatever team ate the most burgers in 15 minutes won. Their was a lot of great puking moments that were captured and replayed later.

  8. Sardines with Pee Wee

    I inherited a large Pee Wee Herman doll. It is creepy looking. I hid it some where in the church and the your have to find it. Once they find, they need to sit with it until everyone else has to find it. Imagine sitting in a darkroom with a creepy looking doll. It’s a win-lose game

  9. Last summer we were looking for something new for the students and a way to give back to our small community. So we did a take off of the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We found little, obscure food places around town, we chose 3, and ate as a group there. I called ahead and told them the price point and asked them to make us their specials. The call ahead also gave them a chance to close down the restaurant for us, as most of them barely fit our whole group. It was a good chance to get to know, witness to small restaurant owners and employees while giving our students a fun way to sit around the table and fellowship with one another.

  10. Working an idea to make a real life version of Temple-Run for our upcoming Youth Retreat. . .

  11. A few weeks ago we did a parent series and I used an idea from MTDB.com. It was an object lesson that used a clear tube filled with water to demonstrate a trust bank. It was basically a clear plastic tube which had holes drilled in the side (covered with clear tape) and then filled with water. When it comes time to illustrate that when we disobey our parents, we loose trust in our bank, you rip a piece of tape off and let the water run out, illustrating a loss in trust. Great illustration. The lesson I tried to teach my students that night: we can do things that either earn or loose trust with our parents. The lesson I learned that night: never use yellow food coloring. When I ripped the tape off, the water shot out of the tube looking like a tall skinny guy relieving himself. I don’t think we recovered that night.

  12. We are a large church for our area, but are running on a small church budget. We have gone to fund raising for things like SYMC and camp scholarships and this has been the BEST and EASIEST fundraiser we have ever done. One month during the year (Feb for 2012) we set up a table in the foyer of the church. We get 150 green envelopes and number them 1-150. We then announce to the church that this is the only fundraiser of the year. No spaghetti suppers, no car washed, and no selling discount cards! We then ask people to go to the table and pick any envelope they would like. If they can afford $5 then take the envelope marked #5. If they can give $145, then take envelope #145. Some people have fun with it and pick numbers that are significant to them and others let their kids pick. If all the envelopes get taken and come back, our ministry raises over $10,000!! For us, that quadruples our yearly budget. I love it because it can be customized to any size church, depending on the number of envelopes and it allows everyone to support the youth ministry no matter what their financial situation is. Also, since we have done this for a few years now, we have students share testimonies of the camp experience for camp schoarships and have leaders tell what SYMC meant to them during the collection month so the congregation can see/hear what they are giving to.

  13. This next Wednesday for our midweek program (which is usually guys and girls small groups) we’re celebrating a random holiday. Seems like our kids get out of school for some pretty random stuff and so we thought we just make up a random holiday to break up the winter slump here. So Wednesday evening they’ll be showing up to celebrate OETEY (pronounced Oaty day) or Once Every Twenty-eight Years Day. Because the 29th of Feb, won’t showup til 2040. Some of the random craziness that is being scheduled? Kilts. Guys and Gals wear a homemade kilt. Make it out of a shower curtian, your mom’s curtain or go all out and have your grandma sew you one up. BUT must wear shorts beneath and there must be something about your creation that says something about who your family is or is about i.e. a crest, pattern or color that symbolizes that idea. We’re going to have feats of strength, like the noodle tandem thro and various other things. We’re BBQing no matter the weather, and hope to have a little build your own head dress kiosk. Ending the night with a picture all together that’ll be buried on the church lawn and a message about our heritage now and what we’ll we hope to be building in the next 28 years. Challenging them to think, “Where will I be in 28 years?” and hoping to encourage them to begin building a Godly heritage now. Thats it. Might fail, but we’ve did what looked like far lamer and came out great before. Guess the idea is just that you could always make up a random holiday and send out invites and such. Especially if you can get a couple core kids behind it and talking it up!

  14. At a recent conference in Gatlinburg, TN, some of my guys decided to buy one of the hottest hot sauces available (it was the hottest you could buy if you weren’t 21+) and see who could face the heat. Since then we’ve been doin some of the classic food challenges – 6 saltines, spoonful of cinnamon, Gatorade chugging contest, etc. The kids have loved the food challenges so much that they’re coming to me with new ideas for challenges they’ve discovered!

  15. Hey Kory…sorry to hear that you can’t make it to the conference, but what a cool way to give away your spot. We have been trying to the take the first Sunday each month and make the opener super engaging. On the first Sunday in January we gave everyone a kazoo and had corporate kazoo playing of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. On the first Sunday in February we played ‘The Hey Song’ (Rock and Roll Part 2) with several of our students in their cheerleader warmups leading the cheer with ‘Hey, Go Christians’!!! We had poster signs made and everything. Who knows what we will do the rest of the year, but it will be fun :)

  16. We do what we call 3-D (Dinner, Dodgeball & Devotion) We meet with another youth group on a Wednesday night. It helps us get out of our shell, meet other students in area youth groups, a meal together, fellowship, a time in the Bible and then bang each other up with dodge balls. We call it our 3-D tour!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. WINNER of the Simply Youth Ministry Conference Registration! | More Than DodgeBall - Youth Ministry Blog by Josh Griffin - Saddleback Church's High School Youth Ministry (HSM) - February 24, 2012

    […] Was excited to give away a registration yesterday courtesy of a youth pastor who couldn’t make…! He chose the best comment on that blog post – an idea from David who is now headed to the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. Congrats! […]

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