My friend Jason suggested I check out this Yahoo! blog article about parenting and social media/web stuff and was right about it being awesome. Here’s a clip:

Institute family meals with tech breaks. Current psychological literature recommends that families sit down and share at least 3 or 4 meals together a week. Keep them short–under 45 minutes–and tech free for the most part. Give everyone a two-minute warning to check whatever device beforehand. After 15 minutes, allow a one minute message or text check. Aim to expand the tech free time as your kids become more focused.

Don’t use your ignorance about technology as an excuse. It’s true that kids know more about technology than parents but this is a poor reason for adults to act clueless about what teens or tweens might be doing online. Equally counterproductive is letting a kid spend hours on end alone in their room on the computer so you “can get work done.”

Don’t rely on secretly monitoring online activities. Not only is it an invasion of privacy, most kids can work around parents’ surveillance in a matter of minutes.

Look for warning signs. If your child is regularly staying home “sick” from school and spending the entire day on the computer, if they choose to be online more often than out with friends, or if their grades are suffering because they are distracted by technology, you need to step in and help them create boundaries. With their input, draft a written contract with clear rules and consequences. Often, parents make initial penalties too big such as grounding their kid for a month if they catch them online in the middle of the night. Better to start small such as losing their phone for an hour and escalate as necessary.

JG

This weekend I taught the message a little differently than normal – some of it was live and some was on video. This was the second of 2 videos (click here if you missed the first one) we played to help teach the first week of the series called Stuff Jesus Didn’t Say.

JG



I saw this over at bensbargains.net.

“Spotify is currently offering a 60-day free trial for Spotify Premium, which is normally $10 per month. Premium gives you unlimited streaming, full mobile and no ads. First you need to create an account or log in with Facebook and then give your credit card info. Make sure to cancel before the 60 days are up to avoid a charge.”

Act now – offer ends November 1, 2012

Premium equals…

  • Spotify on your mobile
  • Enhanced sound quality
  • No advertisements
  • Offline mode for your playlists
  • Take your music abroad
  • Unlimited music.

Youth Ministry Legacy

 —  October 25, 2012 — 1 Comment

Had a great experience a couple days ago at a local Starbucks -had to share it here on the blog as well as previously on Twitter. Made me think a few things:

  • When was the last time I prayed for the legacy of our youth ministry?
  • I need to be more thankful for the people who have come before me at our church.
  • I am creating a legacy right now.
  • What will people say about the ministry I was a part of today in 13 years?

Such a great interaction … made my day!

JG



If you haven’t checked out all there is to see and do at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference this year – here’s the full online brochure from the event including a ton of incredible workshops, training tracks and the general session lineup. See you there – sign up by October 31st to get the lowest rate!

JG

Simply Youth Ministry Conference is  a great event for relaxing, recharging, reconnecting with your passion for ministry.  It’s one of my favorite youth ministry events of the year.

  • There are over 190 hours of brand new training this year.  Check it out!
  • Lecrae, All Sons & Daughters, Shane & Shane, and Jordan Howerton Band will all be performing.

To take advantage of the early bird pricing please Register Here.  See you there!



A few months ago we talked about our first steps in helping our students develop a more Sticky Faith. We interviewed Kara Powell about how to help students have a faith that lasts beyond graduation and how churches are working to build communities that are integrated to a degree but still have effective age-specific ministries as well. If you missed the interview please check it out right here.

The second half of that week we talked about what our church was introducing that very week: Worship Together Weekends. The plan was to cancel youth services once a month in order to encourage families to attend the adult worship services together. The hope was that exposing our teenagers to the larger church experience at Saddleback would help them feel like part of the overall church family, not just part of the youth group.

We’ve been getting a ton of questions about it and many have asked for an update, so here we go!

So far, so good!
The first several weeks of Worship Together have been really great—by cancelling youth services the first weekend we actually also happened to coincide with several holidays (July 4th, Labor Day, etc.) so having the joint services was helpful on the lower-attended weekends anyhow. The real test is probably still coming soon, but it has been great so far.

We have a student section.
Yes, we have a section that is specifically designed for students—but we encourage students to sit with their families and friends first before heading there. Some choose to be there and our student ministry team is very present at all services that weekend, meeting parents, greeting, or on stage for announcements or welcome.

No momentum has been lost.
You would think that cancelling youth group once a month would kill momentum, but we haven’t had adverse affects yet. We communicate with texting and Facebook almost exclusively with our students so they know exactly what’s happening each weekend if we’re on or off. Hasn’t been confusing at all, which is a slight miracle.

So where will we go from here? We committed to a one-year experiment, and so far it seems like everybody is pleased with the results, and we’re excited to hear about other churches that are experimenting with new ideas to help students STICK!

Are you trying new things to develop Sticky Faith in your students?

This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.

This weekend I taught the message a little differently than normal – some of it was live and some was on video. This was the first of 2 videos we played to help teach the first week of the series called Stuff Jesus Didn’t Say.

JG