YouTube-LogoThe tech question I get asked the most is, “How Do I Download a YouTube Video?” Some one stopped me in the hall to day to ask this.  Here are my top 4 ways to grap those clips.


Go to YouTube
Find your video (like this
Delete everything in the URL that comes before and type kiss.  It should look like this===> 


Find your youtube clip
copy and paste URL on ClipNabber site
This site works with Vimeo too allows you to enter a link, upload your own file or brows YouTube.


Video Downloader
The first two choices above require you to install a plugin.  Probably not a big deal but it is still clutter on my Mac.  My first Choice is a Firefox add-on called Video Downloader. This add-on allows you to download almost any video from the web.


Are you using a site or app that helps you grab the videos you need?  Send us a comment below!

SYMC2013unfilteredThe Unfiltered sound stage is up and DJP is currently spinning the plastic round music discs.  The resource center is up and tomorrow it will be filled with a few thousand youth workers. If you are coming to Indy and want to chat tech please stop me, I would love to hang and talk.  SYMC is a great for me to recharge and a great place for me to give.

Speaking of giving, Sunday is the day for two killer tech workshops…TONS OF FREE STUFF!!! 2 workshops willed with Practical, Affordable, and Doable Ideas for Youth Ministry.  Check your schedule to see if you have room for a 9-11am and/or a 2:45-4:45 tech workshop.  Here’s a sneak peek…

We all need friends!

Neely McQueen —  February 28, 2013 — Leave a comment

“People aren’t connected to friendly programs, they are connected to friends.”

I don’t know who said it…(feel free to educate me)…but it is true. It’s true for our students and it’s true for us.

We can attend friendly churches and friendly ministries but we can still be all alone.

There are lots of problems with being alone besides the obvious of being lonely.

We’re designed for community.

I was recently reminded while reading Awakening of Hope by Jonathan Hartgrove-Wilson that we were created in the image of a God who lives in constant community. (Trinity- 3 living as 1) We were created for community- it is in the natural of our Creator and so it is in our natural.

We’re better together. 

Ministry is hard and consuming. Trying to reach and care for students alone is the road to fast burnout. Having friends (real friends…you know the difference, right?) allows you a safe place to be better through encouragement and by providing a sounding board for ministry. We’re better together…much better than when we are alone and isolated.

We can’t teach it, if we don’t live it.

Literally, 90% of my conversations with girls is connected to their friendships. We are always encouraging our students to have healthy friendships. Friendships that encourage them in their faith…and friendships that spur them on. But aren’t we a bunch of fakers if we don’t have those types of friendships. If we live and minister alone…we can’t teach or speak to the power of friendships.

We all need friends. Our students need them…we need them. What are you doing in your life to make sure you are living in community?


Sometimes you are going to be called on to rise to the occasion. To take a few swings in the Major League. To step up to the plate. To pinch hit. Maybe you are asked to speak in big church while the senior pastor is on vacation. Guest post on a highly-trafficked blog. Contribute to a new book or resource. Guest lecture at a local Bible college. Teach a workshop at a denominational gathering.

Something outside of your normal tasks and wheelhouse is handed to you. YOU! You know it is going to challenge you like nothing before, so you rise to the occasion. You furiously work harder, study more and deliver what is asked knowing there isn’t margin for failure and giving up isn’t an option. In the end, it wasn’t easy but you delivered. You totally came though – people loved your sermon, the discussions were incredible after your class, the article turned out great.

So rise to the occasion this week. Be the guy who comes through. When you are called on to do something above your pay grade this week, stand and deliver. But when you go back to normal life, be careful.

  • Be careful the applause didn’t go to your head
  • Be careful that you don’t ignore menial tasks
  • Be careful not to become “that guy”
  • Be careful not to undermine your senior pastor
  • Be careful not to short-change what you are actually paid/called to do

The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!‘ -Matthew 25:23




Change is one of the only things that is always present in our work with Group Mission Trips. I’ve had at least 6 job titles in my 11 years working with this ministry. I can’t tell you how many different job descriptions I’ve had during that time. We’ve gone from doing only one kind of mission trip, Workcamps, to 3 different mission trips (Week of Hope & Lifetree Adventures) and a single-day of service youth event (The Big Day of Serving). Things have changed from a single team of people focused exclusively on organizing and supporting mission trips to combining forces with our partners Group Youth Ministry/Simply Youth Ministry to help bring everything we can to support youth workers.


Change is hard. Change isn’t easy. Change can cause pain. For some people change is welcome and they jump on board fast but don’t fully take stock of the potential trouble spots. For others change is difficult and they seemingly fight against it every chance they get. And many people fall in the middle of those two extremes.

It’s not any different in church ministry than in a mission organization. How you manage change is just as important and dreaming and thinking of the change. Here’s three great ideas for managing change in your ministry:

  1. Make sure everyone involved in the change is part of the process. One member of out team is constantly preaching the message of communication to the rest of us. And he’s right! Especially when it comes to change. You cannot communicate enough. Before the change is even finalized. When you announce the change. While the change is being implemented. After the change is now the new normal Communicate And the biggest part of communicating – listening. Listen to what people are saying. And try to hear what they are not saying. Involving everyone will help to give people a chance to make the change theirs.
  2. Help people understand how the change will benefit them. In every change there are good things for everyone. New opportunities. New ideas. New responsibilities. New working relationships. New results to shoot for.  New And new can be very unnerving unless you help people know what is in it for them. Even in ministry, your team will want to know how this change will benefit. Them as an individual. The ministry as a whole. The youth who area  part of your ministry. Giving everyone an understanding of how the change is good will go a long way to navigating the process of implementing the change.
  3. Regardless of how good a change is, someone will be negatively affected – at least in their mind. Seek those people out. If a team is getting a new role in the ministry because of the change, spend time with them as they adjust. If it means there isn’t a spot for someone, give the the space and time to grieve the loss and give them your time to process. If possible, implement change in stages or steps so that those affected the most have time to adjust. If the change you are implementing has a bunch of negatives (even small ones), spacing out the change will allow those most affected to move through the process with grace.

Change isn’t always easy (I know) but it can be incredibly good. Keep these steps in mind the next time your team and ministry go through change.


Weekend Teaching Series: You Are Here (What on Earth Am I Here For? church-wide campaign, series premiere, week 6 of 6)

Sermon in a Sentence:
Service Length:
63 minutes

Understandable Message: This week Parker Stech taugh about friendship evangelism.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We wanted to promote our Engage Spring Break mission trip – so brought a student up on stage who went on the trip last year and did a Q&A with her. We also had a couple fun videos. Lots of students involved in the program from the greeting to production as well.

Music Playlist: He Is Alive, Your Love Never Fails, One Thing Remains, We Shine, Here For You

Favorite Moment: After the service a couple of great youth workers were visiting from Indianapolis, IN. They were awesome – had a great time at Red Robin after the service talking about youth ministry, and some thoughts on where they were headed in the next season of ministry. So fun!

Up next: Worship Together Weekend (all-church, no HSM services)

The Power Of Networking

Chris Wesley —  February 28, 2013 — 9 Comments

This weekend thousands of youth pastors will be flooding the city of Indianapolis for the annual Simply Youth Ministry Conference.  Sadly, I will not be one of them.  My reason is totally legitimate (And it makes missing not so bad)  my wife recently gave birth to our second son Benjamin.  One of the aspects of the conference that I’ll miss the most is meeting, growing and praying with some really awesome men and women who are currently in the trenches of youth ministry.  One of the best things about events like the Simply Youth Ministry Conference is the ability to build your network.

Networking can be easily overlooked because hanging with other youth workers can feel like time away from work.  Youth ministry is demanding because there is a constant need to serve teens, parents and train volunteers. But, if you don’t take the time to sit with other youth workers you’ll lack some important tools and resources to grow in your ministry.  When you network with other youth workers in the trenches you:

  • Are Reminded That You Aren’t Alone – Youth ministry can be lonely because of the burdens you put on yourself.  You network with other youth ministers you have a shoulder to cry on, an ear to hear your pains and a soul to pray for you.
  • Have Someone To Bounce Ideas Off Of - Maybe you have that crazy idea that might just work.  Chances are someone before you has tested it out and is willing to give you their insight.  Networking with other youth ministers means getting feedback on what works and what doesn’t.  It means recommendations on curriculum, conferences and events.
  • Can Share An Outside Perspective – There will always be challenges in youth ministry.  In order to approach the obstacles and situations that might be overwhelming you need someone to give you insight and wisdom.  By partnering up with others they’ll give you tips on how to approach your pastor, work with helicopter parents and walk with a hurting teen.
  • Will Be Encouraged In Your Calling – You will have moments when ministry feels like mud.  You might have that temptation to quit, walk away and forget the whole thing; however, having a group of youth workers around you can cheer you on.  Your fellow youth workers can remind you why it is God has called you into the trenches of youth ministry.

Networking isn’t wasting time, it’s building to your arsenal of resources to take on the evil one.  It also makes youth ministry bigger than your church, it breaks down competition and jealousy.  Working, communicating and sharing life with other youth workers will only make you stronger.  Take advantage of it.

Why do you network with other youth workers?

Chris Wesley (@chrisrwesley)

The Basics Bundle

Brandon Early —  February 27, 2013 — Leave a comment


The Basics, new from SYM, is designed to help students get foundations of their Christian faith. This DVD-based curriculum covers; Salvation, Baptism, Communion, and next steps in their faith walk.  The link here is to The Basics Bundle, which included three 10 Minute Moment devotional journals saving you over $15. The journals alone can be purchased here for $6.99.