Another episode in the HSM Sports Minute series from this past weekend!

JG

Just got word from GSNTV that casting is underway for season two of the American Bible Challenge. If you, your youth group or someone you know are interested in being on the show head to their official casting page for details on how to try out:

Who:
We want teams made up of three people — Grab your friends, your bible study partners, your family members or your coworkers! Teams of three people who have competitive spirits, great personal testimonies, a general knowledge of pop culture – and, of course, you have to know your Bible! Do you love the Bible, want to share your knowledge, and compete to win money for the charity of their choice?! SIGN UP!

What:
OPEN CASTING CALL: GSN (Game Show Network) and the creators of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” are looking for you! We are casting ”The American Bible Challenge Season 2” with Jeff Foxworthy! We’re looking for teams of three!

If you missed my interview with host Jeff Foxworthy, you can read part 1 and part 2 then head over to the casting page to maybe be a part of a team next season!

JG



A couple days ago I posted my review of the Unauthorized Dictionary of Youth Ministry, then got the chance to interview the author, Steve Case. Here’s 5 questions about one of my favorite new books:

JG: Tell us where the idea of the book came from?
Steve Case: Mostly from hanging out with other youth workers, especially at conventions. We chat and trade ideas and then its only a matter of time before you start to hear stories of stress and pain in youth ministry. Everyone has a story.  Once the stories come out then the humor starts to flow and you find yourself laughing through the problems.  I really wanted to be a catalyst for that kind of laughter.

JG: Did you try to get others to publish the title, and why do you think the Youth Cartel enthusiastically said yes?
SC: Mostly because I know Marko and Marko knows me.  The guys at the Youth Cartel understand what I meant when I said, “sometimes the Christian faith is like wearing a T-shirt two sizes too small.”  Plus Marko knows a good fart joke when he hears one.

JG: My only criticism of the book is the overuse of #hashtags. Explain.
SC: Hashtags are how people communicate the age of Twitter.  Comedicly speaking it also puts an extra beat on the end of a joke.  Get a bunch of church workers together and they can play off each other’s humor verbally.  I think the hastags copy that idea of “plussing” the joke.

JG: Give me 2 or 3 of the best ones of the cutting room floor?
SC: Honestly, I was surprised the Cartel guys let me get away with as much as they did.  I was kind of disappointed we had to lose part of the G is for Genie entry.  I made a reference to Barbara Eden’s navel that I thought was very funny but then didn’t go over with the editors.  Also the original title of one of the Graduation Books was “Is That a Cross in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me?”

JG: Got a next project on the horizon?
SC: Oh yes.  Hopefully at the end of this year or early next year, the Cartel is publishing Dancing In The Dark which is a dramatic re-tooling of the Stations of the Cross.  Also a book called The Audacious Seven which is a book of Bible Studies about seven saints who lived and worked so outside of the box they didn’t even know the box was there.

JG: Thanks for your time!
SC: No problem. Thanks for the opportunity.

JG

Looking for a great deal on some mac software? This is it! MacHeist is a site that bundles tons of software for a low low price.  Bottom line, if you love Evernote you are going to like that they include a year of Evernote Premium ($45 value) and we wrote about Scrivener here ($45), great writing software.  This bundle has 9 more days and 13 more apps for only $29, these 2 apps I just spoke of would be a guaranteed $90.  Watch the video below and get the bundle quickly before it’s gone!

 



(this weekend in review was written by Justin Knowles since I was speaking at YS San Diego this past weekend. Check out Justin’s blog right here, good stuff!)

Weekend Teaching Series: Heroes and Monsters (1-off)

Service Length: 70 minutes

Understandable Message: We had author and speaker Josh Riebock. He spoke at HSM’s summer camp 4 years ago and it was awesome to have him back. “Every one of us is both a hero and a monster, and the world we inhabit is both beautiful and twisted. We are shaken by changes, losses, gains, insights, desires, mistakes, and transitions. And just when we’ve gotten settled back down, things get shaken up again. This is the life we’ve been given. So how do we make sense of life’s unexpected nature, find a way to embrace the tension, and live with a sense of peace despite pain?” Josh went over these questions and gave a little bit of his testimony  and killed it in our weekend services. You can get his book on Amazon and I know many students who resonated with his life and story.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We had one of our favorite openers to our services that we ever have done. Because we were talking about heroes and monsters, we thought we would start off the service with the ultimate monster/villain, Darth Vader playing guitar and rocking out. We also had HSM Sports Minute Video Volume 4, and a sweet video with a ton of students to promote our tail gate party for our two big football rivalries. Overall it was a very powerful and fun weekend.

 Music Playlist: Imperial March, Go, What Would I Have Done, One Thing Remains

Favorite Moment: I have two. Is that allowed? 1) The Star Wars opener. It was so much fun. 2) Watching so many students respond to Josh’s message that many came to two services or brought a friend because they wanted to hear the message again.

Up next: Stuff Jesus Didn’t Say: You Have To Perfect (series premiere, week 1 of 2)

SPAM Prevention…

 —  October 17, 2012 — Leave a comment

Have you noticed an increase in spam after signing up for some newsletter, giving your email when registering at a hotel, or after purchasing something from a website? This drives me crazy! I want the hotel to have my email so I can get a digital copy of my receipt, and I sign up for a news letter because I want specific information, and I need to give online purchasing places an email for purchasing confirmations but then those places often take my info and sell it.

For the past year or so I have been using an alternate email address when signing up for just about anything.  This allows me to give out an email without worrying about how it will be used.  If I purchase something form a new site I just go get my receipt immediately, and I do not care of they write ever again.

If you decide to create a spam address do not use the word SPAM in the name.  I once had something like “donotspambrandon@gmail.com” and often sites would say, “invalid email.”Here are a few tips…

  • Make it sound legit
  • Remember the address
  • Remember the password

This should help keep your inbox clean after future online endeavors.



Fun little video promoting a couple of HSM’s upcoming tailgate parties. Lots of energy and capturing that awesome school spirit. We picked the 2 biggest games of the year that hit 4 of our big 5 high schools. Going to be a GREAT night!

JG

Got a chance to interview Jeff Foxworthy, host of GSNTV’s American Bible Challenge! You can read part 1 of the interview right here, here’s part 2! Be sure to tune in Thursday night for the season finale!

Q: Are your kids involved in a youth group?
Jeff:
Yeah, but they’re 18 and 20 now.  My youngest is a senior in high school.  Just won homecoming queen Friday night, but asked me on Saturday, “Hey dad, will you go with me on a mission trip to Kenya.”  She’s been 3 or 4 times.  That’s how they spend their spring breaks, working in a slum in Kenya.  She’s popular and she’s pretty, but she’s been to Africa, Russia and China.  She and her sister have partnered with Compassion International and have helped raise money to help more kids.  They’re living it out.

JG: Love it! Tell me more: how have you gotten your own kids to study the Bible?
Jeff:
Well, my kids went to a Christian school, so my wife and I figured they got most of the formal stuff, there in the classroom.  We kind of wanted to make sure they ‘see’ it in action.

So, when my oldest was 14, there was a group of guys, we all took our oldest kids with us on a mission trip.  So my shy little girl, who wouldn’t spend the night at her grandmothers house a mile away, went with me to Kenya to work with people there. She came back and said, “There ought to be something kids here can do. I know kids don’t have much money.”  So, she did some research online and learned that more kids die there of Malaria than anything else in Africa.  So she found a place where she could buy mosquito nets for ten bucks.

She started baking cupcakes and doing car washes and my shy child starting getting local restaurants to give her a night and she would set up a little table about it.  Then she made a little video and partnered with Compassion International.  By the time she was in 10th and 11th grade, she was flying around and speaking to youth groups about having been there and what she was doing. By the time she was a senior, she was invited to the White House to speak to a conference of kids who are changing the world.  Now she’s a senior in college and helps run the Compassion program at her college campus and has raised over $2M to buy about 200K nets.  I said to her, “That’s 600K kids that probably won’t get Malaria because you took one small step”.  She’s been to Africa 5 times now.  For her, the Bible is alive and in the doing.  That’s probably what she’ll end up doing with her life, working for a non-profit.

Recently, someone was interviewing her and asked, “Is it weird for you to be at the high school lunch room and they’re talking about what pants or sunglasses they’re going to buy, and you’re raising money for these nets”.  She said, not wanting to judge anyone, “Well, that’s not their fault.  I’ve just seen something they haven’t seen.  But because I have seen something, I have to respond”.

Q: You have the attention of thousands of church youth workers right now.. anything you want to share with them?
Jeff:
Well, for years and years, on Tuesday mornings I’ve led a small group at a homeless mission in my city.  (Jeff adds humbly, “not for publicity or anything like that obviously”).  We started out with about 12 guys, and now I have about 20 guys that help and it’s grown to 120 homeless guys.

There is probably a connection between where these guys are at, and young people today.  That message is… Everybody wants to be worth something.  You know, I think that’s the struggle for youth groups and teens.  “Where do I fit in?”  “Do I matter?”  “Am I relevant?”  And GOD answer that he whispers and he showed it right there at the cross is that you’re worth EVERYTHING to me.  EVERYTHING.  Look right there, that’s what your worth to me.

If you could ever get that in the heart of a kid, then I think they would quit worrying so much, that I have to do this to be liked or do this to fit in.  When you start understanding really who GOD is and really how GOD feels about you, and it’s not based on your goodness, that it’s based on HIS goodness.  That’s what makes it a perfect love, because then the things you do, you do in response, not because you “love” so much, but because you’re “loved” so much.

(JG: Hear an incredible Bible story from Jeff and this group of homeless guys, watch this video on GSN’s website)

BONUS QUESTION: My blog is all about youth ministry being “more than dodgeball”. Do you have any horror stories from playing a particular game or funny memory from when you were part of a youth ministry or church?

Jeff: (Laughs…) Well… I grew up Southern Baptist… I don’t know that we had “youth group”.  We had Sunday School, Church, Sunday night service and Wednesday night prayer service.  I liked Wednesday night prayer service the best, cause they had really good hamburgers at my church for the Wednesday night supper.

I’ll tell you this… in terms of “more than dodgeball” and being more than a youth group, I have a story.  I came to my faith when I was 7 years old.  I remember being in church,  they were doing an invitation, and I said “I’m going”.  I remember my mom grabbed me by the shirt and said, “NO, you’re too young, you don’t understand what this is all about”.  And apparently, being Jeff, I argued about it all the way home, to the point that they had the preacher come to our house that Sunday afternoon.  He sat down and talked to me and on the way out told my mom, “He knows what he’s doing” so we went back to church that night so I could go down.  I just did a benefit for YoungLife in Knoxville, TN and that preacher was there and brought the bulletin from that Sunday, 40+ years later.

My struggle was at that youth group age, is that I would look at the church people who were so straight-lined in their dress and the way they acted and I knew I wasn’t wired like that.  I would think you know I love them, but I can’t dress like that and act like that.  It took me a long time in life to feel like I heard GOD whisper, “I know you can’t, I don’t want you to be like that.  I knitted you together, I know you’re not a straight-lined guy.  You stay with me and we’ll go places that are perfect for the way you’re wired”.

So, I don’t speak in a lot of churches, but I love to speak at things like Wild Game dinners.  I bow-hunt, fish, I love the outdoors.  I’ll speak at one of these dinners where there are 3 or 4 thousand show up.  Half of them wouldn’t go to church if you paid them. But I can do comedy for half an hour and make them laugh and roll that over into a story of sitting in the woods and watch the sun rise and come to life, you have to say to yourself, this is no accident.  There are too many things interacting with each other, this had to have been created on purpose.  And if that’s created on purpose, then you’re created on purpose by a Creator and here’s his purpose.  Time after time, guys will come up to me and say “I’ve never heard it like that before, as a love story.  It’s always been you better quit smoking, you better quit drinking, you better quit…”

And with that … we had to quit, too! Don’t forget to watch the American Bible Challenge season finale tomorrow (Thursday night) on the Game Show Network!

JG