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The Harlem Shake = Great Youth Ministry

 —  February 19, 2013 — 46 Comments

Love it or hate, the Harlem Shake craze is here for a few weeks and its high-time to take advantage of it. Last week we decided to make one on Valentines day and students were into it in a big way. Josh has been in Rwanda so HSM team took advantage and made another awesome version of it as well. We decided to tag the information about when and where we meet so that students can share it with their friends and tell them a bit about who we are. These are great youth ministry because it gets everyone involved in something that is fun, sharable and totally different than anything they would be a part of anywhere else.

If your group has done one, please post it in the comments because I will be honest, I LOVE these things!

This is from my Youth Group called Journey here in Surrey B.C. Canada

This is HSM at Saddleback awesome video.


-Geoff @geoffcstewart

Geoff Stewart


46 responses to The Harlem Shake = Great Youth Ministry

  1. We filmed this last weekend at our Winter Retreat! It was a great transition piece during some stage set-up. And like Geoff said, the students LOVE being in this thing… they’ve been sharing it like crazy.

    -Ben Hixson at Woodside Bible Church, MI

  2. Ben Hixon – This one is awesome!

  3. Our middle school ministry filed this over the weekend at their overnighter


    -Andres “Dre” Carias, The Church at Rocky Peak, So Cal.

  4. We did one this past weekend on our high school ski trip … tons of fun! http://youtu.be/3PiU5zBy-VM

  5. Here’s the one we did last week! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6Fbyv3ts4E

    Notice Pink Panther throwin’ dollar bills at the end. So hood.

  6. These are soooooo good. @Brad the taxidermy really is next level.

  7. Definitely a great team-builder/memory maker… Our youth staff did it as a bonding tool and are showing it at youth next week…


  8. Ye gods. Maranatha!

  9. This is the video we shot after youth group last week. We did it all in stop motion. It was a blast. Hope you enjoy.


    • This is good – made better by the guy where the “Thuggie” (google it) and the Domokun costume! Legit. Thanks for sending it in, definitely awesome.

  10. here is a look at ours: http://youtu.be/Ur6Sz0tAswc … filmed last Wednesday

  11. We did one tonight at a place called Sky Zone. Middle school kids and wall to wall trampolines, gotta love it. And of course it’s the PK that starts it off!


  12. We made this Harlem Shake video tonight in our youth ministry. We are Xtreme Youth Ministry out of Knoxville.

  13. Here is our Junior High Ministry getting shook in Arvada, CO! BLAM!!!


  14. Is this a joke? And if it’s one, I know God’s not laughing. Look, I’m young, and I find this stuff repulsive. We are called to be set apart, yet the church keeps wanting to accept the world and fit right on in. Guess what? The road of truth is very narrow, and few will find it. Good grief. Look up videos of this, and most of them you’ll find thrusting and humping motions (actually a good 90% of them do). I even saw a youth group one with a kid thrusting on a broom.


    • Rachel – Thanks so much for weighing in and being honest about how you are feeling. The things that you noticed in regards to the sexualization in other videos were taken into consideration when we decided to make ours. The choice in front of us as a leadership team was to reject or redeem it. We went with Redeem – We made a point to specifically request no lewd gestures or anything that might be considered inappropriate and went through all the footage after to make sure it happened. We also used it strategically as well.

      Our video was posted with an additional 8 second piece of information about our youth group for all the students that shared it that their friends could find out information about who were are and what we are about.

      We saw this as an opportunity to create and inclusive experience for those that were a part of the video that could be disarming outreach when shared online to a student who has never been to a church who have preconceptions about what Church is like and we will find out tonight if anyone new shows up I guess

      I watched this video be shared dozens of times proudly by our students who commented: – this is my youth group, I love our youth group, come to Journey, and leaders who were excited to share the honor they have in serving at our Church etc etc. We preach about Jesus 6 out of 7 weeks, this video was made on our 7th night as part of our talent show.

      I would do this all again in a heart beat, our youth group is 70% community kids who do not understand the Church culture yet, we need to know how to speak their language, understand their world. We are in their world but we are not of it, and this video shows that we get them, but the subtle differences show that we are set apart. (me preaching, students dancing but not inappropriately, and an invitation to our Youth Group)

      We train missionaries for months on the cultures they are going into, they need to be experts on that culture and we need to be experts on youth culture.

      Rachel, I very respectfully disagree with you, but do understand where you are coming from.


    • So proud of you ..,whst do we do with the scripture tha say…no man can be drawn except by Spirit of God….what are we doing and what spirit is motivating this…

  15. Here’s another Harlem Shake video from our senior high ministry, so much fun!


  16. My student ministry staff did a Harlem Shake video in our offices. Now our kids ministry thinks they’re gonna out do us. We sparked a little fun competition between our different ministry teams. This created some great fun with our staff and turned out to be some great marketing for our church.

    Here’s ours: http://youtu.be/lWfPJdfIo2c

  17. Agree with all your thoughts above on this! We did this with our youth ministry at our retreat this weekend, and we told them to all go home and share. I told them – when your friends say “your church is CRAZY” – don’t disagree with them… embrace it, and tell them, yeah, we are a little crazy… but it is a good crazy. Come check it out. It’s moments like these that our students know that they don’t have to compromise to have fun – that we can do stuff like this together as a body. Anyhow… enjoy our high school ministries take on THE HARLEM SHAKE!


  18. Not quite sure how this glorifies or edifies our Jesus.

  19. I have never seen anything like this in my life. If I were you & those like you, I would be shaking in my boots because you are leading our young people straight to hell. Their blood will be on your hands. What will you say to God when you stand before Him? May God have mercy on your souls. You need to be delivered from the evil that is in you.

  20. I would be shaken in my boots -before our Lord and Savior -The Great I Am- we are called to be holy and set apart – I have been over sea’s – what r u doing letting this go on! If Jesus was standing there in midst of this what would he say? I go to my knees in repentance -kids need love and the word of Chist -and to know who they are in Christ Jesus! The blood is on your hands before our Almighty God for these young people!

  21. we recorded this Harlem Shake video tonight before our student worship service. the students and adult leaders had a blast! check it out.


    Scott Huff
    Coastal Community Church
    Charleston, SC

  22. Mary Ann Weibrecht February 27, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I seen this Harlem Shake for the first time today. You pastors are going to have to account for leading these young people straight to hell. Please ask God for forgiveness and get back to teaching the bible and the King James is the one to teach from. Watch Gabe Swaggart, on Cross Fire, on Thursday nights at 7pm central time and you will see what a Godly youth pastor teaches and watch the reaction of the youth. My heart brakes for the youth that are being led astray by these crazy teachings and vulgur dancing. God said,”Forgive them for they know not what they do.” I pray he’ll forgive you.

    • Mary,

      At first I laughed at your comment… then I felt bad for you… then I felt worse thinking that there might be some people who are under you… then I felt awful thinking that if you are reading this blog – you might be over some students?

      “You pastors are going to have to account for leading these young people straight to hell?” Wow… I go back to feeling bad for you. Nothing above was vulgar – and I watched every one of these youth videos. Please be careful of what you accuse others of… I feel very confident that Jesus was glorified even in these silly videos. Kudos to you youth guys! Way to show your students that living for Christ does not mean sitting in a corner with your head down studying your”King James” Bible (Sorry Mary, our church uses the ESV – I know we are all going to hell as well)

      Pastors – continue to get out there and be the light! That is what Jesus would be doing.

  23. The lyrics to the Harlem Shake are “Con los terroristas, Ey shake,… Shake ta, con los terroristas..”, which says “With the terrorists, Hey shake,… Shake it, with the terrorists”.

    The terrorists who are against the U.S., where Christians are embracing this song, are against us because they are anti-God and anti-Christ. How can we condone this song?

  24. Looks like holy scripture takes a back seat to worldliness once again just so churches can show a lost and dying world that Christians are hip and cool too, Lord help us.

  25. Titus 2:1-8 (ESV)
    But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. [2] Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. [3] Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, [4] and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, [5] to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. [6] Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. [7] Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, [8] and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

  26. The Harlem shake is copied from voodoo dance rituals. It is very paganistic and when the words in the song are used it is spanish for a terrorism call. The witch doctors uss it to call in the demons which are the terrorists. The bible says be in the world but not of the world. Sounds like you are imitating the world….be very careful…you may be calling demons too.

    • the Truth will set you free November 6, 2013 at 9:56 am

      You are absolutely 100% right! I was in Haiti in 1991 age 14.While we were having a baptismal service at our hotel, a voodoo ceremony was being held a block away! We could
      here the loud voices and music/drums being played.
      I encourage everyone to look-up what a voodoo ceremony looks and sounds like.
      The sleeping Church needs to wake-up!
      Leaders I pray you understand your Bibles.Stop being cool to attract the world.Be mature1
      Rachel (from the post above) don’t let anyone discourage you from staying on the narrow path.It may be less fun to the world but beautiful to Christ!

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