I love free resources and right now SYM is just giving stuff away for their “Twelve Days of Freebies!”  Check back daily for free downloads from the SYM site! Click here to see what’s free today!

There’s a LIST?

 —  December 7, 2012 — Leave a comment

Wanna help me? This isn’t normally my thing but…hey…I got nominated for the Best Youth Ministry Blog Post of 2012. I am not sure how or by who…but it is nice to know that people are reading and that they are finding themselves inspired and encouraged.

Check out the website- read a few of the posts- and vote!

Voting starts tomorrow!


Doing Youth Ministry Well

 —  December 6, 2012 — 1 Comment

I liked reading Justin’s post 5 Things You Need to Know in Doing Youth Ministry Well - thought it was some good stuff for you all to check out today. He’s got 5 good insights there, here are a couple to get you started before you run over to his site for the rest:

Be all in- Go all in. Get involved. Break the awkwardness of you being one of the only adults in the room. You know, the students know it, just jump in and break that awkward wall down. Greet them, get involved in the games, the worship, the message. They are watching you whether they know you or not and will determine if you are the real deal or not within two seconds. Is it going to be weird? Probably at first, but once they see you go all in, they will be right behind you.

Be real- Students are the best B.S. detectors I know. They can easily sniff out someone who is not genuine from the start. Don’t try to be the “cool” person because they are not interested. What I have found in doing ministry is that student respond best to any adult leader when they are open, honest, and real. You will not have every kid there liking you, but there is at least one kid that needs to hear your story and how you handled it that will help shape their spiritual life. Students will come to you once they know you are a “real” person.


InstaLife Series Arc

 —  December 6, 2012 — Leave a comment

Excited to start a new series in HSM next weekend called InstaLife – it will use Instagram as a backdrop to teach biblical truths. Pretty excited about the series! I like it when we create an “arc” or journey we are hoping to take students through both in each message and the series. Here’s an overview of the next two weeks:

InstaLife: Jealousy – Wanting Someone Else’s Username
Being jealous shows that we are not satisfied with what God has given us, that what we have is not enough. The Bible tells us that we need to be content with what we have because God would never forsake us and leave us with nothing. In order to go head to head with jealousy we need to become more like Jesus and less like ourselves. We need to stop wanting and ogling what everyone else posts through Instagram.

InstaLife: Being Fake – Look Behind the Filter
We post pictures online for everyone to see. We will post pictures on this app to allow other people to get a little glimpse into our lives. Many post pictures of the life they wish they had or pictures from only the good parts, giving the false perception to everyone who sees it thinking that you are just fine and dandy when in reality you are truly hurting. It is time to stop pretending that everything is okay and come to Jesus get out from behind the filter.


Our Friends at WHOOP TEE have given us seven special edition Simply Youth Ministry Show T-shirts to give away as prizes to members of the Youth Ministry Nation. Here’s how you win:

Simply write the words, “I want a shirt!” in the comments section and next week we will randomly select seven lucky winners. Haven’t watched the Simply Youth Ministry Show? Below is the current episode. You can watch all the episodes and subscribe to the show at show.simplyyouthministry.com

And, If you’d like to design a custom tshirt for your ministry at a GREAT price, whooptee.com is the place to go!

Pretty excited to hear about the launch of the new UNfiltered Magazine from Simply Youth Ministry earlier today. It is a new digital-only magazine dedicated to help youth workers thrive in life outside of the church.

Real stories by real youth workers on topics like your heart, family, health and fitness (which is a central part of the inaugural issue – shameless plug for youthpastordiet.com), money and more.

Looks so cool – check it out!


Advent Lesson Week #2

 —  December 6, 2012 — 1 Comment

(Although we are still in the first week of Advent, I’m posting the second lesson in the Advent series Chad Inman and I are partnering on. Well, he’s writing it and I’m editing it – so he gets the real credit! Read the post two posts ago for why the format is the same in each lesson of the series. Stephanie) 


Advent Lesson Two: Crazy News

Game Idea:  The Clap Game – see rules at: http://www.thatyouththing.com/resources/crowdbreakers.htm.

Bible Passage 1: Luke 1:1-14

Video: A Social Media Christmas – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sghwe4TYY18

 Bible Passage 2: Matthew 1: 18-25


  1. Ladies, describe your feelings if you were in Mary’s situation?
  2. Guys, what would be going through your mind if you were Joseph?
  3. If you found yourself in Mary or Joseph’s shoes, how would your family have reacted?
  4. How did Mary and Joseph use their trust and faith in God in these surprising circumstances?
  5. What impact did God’s past faithfulness have on Mary and Joseph’s reactions?
  6. How does trust play into your life as you prepare for Christmas?
  7. How will that trust affect how you live out 2013?

 Wrap Up: Say - It took a lot of trust in God for Mary and Joseph to go along with His plan.  We saw from the video that Mary and Joseph probably lost a lot of friends and family and respect because of God’s plan.  Mary and Joseph had to trust that God would get them through their rough situation.  It takes a lot of trust for us to believe in the Christmas message, too.  If we believe that Jesus is the Savior then that trust should affect what we believe and do about the rest of our lives, too.



Prayer Give the students time to share prayer requests AND praises (strongly encourage students to contemplate their blessings).  Close by thanking God for sending His son and asking for help to trust in Him the way Mary and Joseph did.

Greg from Dare 2 Share (who I’ll be interviewing later this month here on the blog and in the SYM Today) sent along a quick note to let me know about a great new (and free!) training they’re doing next week called Follow the Leader. The focus is to try to help you become a leader worth following – something a youth worker at any level needs continual training in.

It is going to be held Tuesday December 11th from noon – 1 PM Central Time – you can sign up right here.