A song written for the 40 Days in the Word campaign (we called it The Book in Student Ministries). So good!
A song written for the 40 Days in the Word campaign (we called it The Book in Student Ministries). So good!
There a few words I enjoy more than “Free Stuff” and here it is. Perhaps your youth group has great prizes or perhaps not, what better way to give them out than with the prize wheel and lets face it, sometimes the worse the prize the more students love it. The iPrize Wheel App isÂ completelyÂ customizable and can be populated with whatever information you want easily and quickly. Save the hours of building and then storing the real thing with a simple App, its tons of fun, runs on your iPad and costs $5 ($10 for an even more epic version). There is more information on their websiteÂ or just go straight to the App Store.
We are giving away 4 iTunes download codes away to the top responses to this question:
Question:Â What is the strangest / worst object that is currently in your office that you would give away with the iPrize Wheel?
Leave a comment with the answer!
We encourage each of the leaders of the You Own the Weekend series to decorate our youth room however they want – this week was really fun! The students from Mission Viejo High School did some cool stuff:
1) They had a “You Matter” built on stage
2) Students could come up and autograph the sign at the end of the message
3) They took pictures of all of the students at their high school and hung pictures of them all over with the words “You Matter” on the back.
Super cool – love letting students run!
Brian Berry is a youth worker and author of the just-released book, As for Me and My [Crazy] House from Group Publishing and Simply Youth Ministry. Brian was kind enough to answer a few questions for the blog!
Tell us about your new book, As for Me and My [Crazy] House!
It’s a book that flows from my everyday crazy life. I’m just your average guy who is sincerely trying to follow Jesus, love his wife, and raise his kids to love Jesus in the midst of being a full-time youth pastor. I’ve been a youth pastor in 2 churches for a total of 18 years and I’ve been married for about that same amount of time. I’m also parenting 5 kids: a freshman, 6th grade, and 4th grade sons along with 3rd grade twins: a son and the only daughter of our family.
Several years ago I felt like God spoke to me as I was praying for my marriage and I wrote down three sentences that flowed from that experience. This book is built around them, each taking up about a 1/3 of the book. They are:
the best gift I can give my marriage is a healthy me.
the best gift I can give my kids is a healthy marriage.
the best gift I can give my ministry and community is a healthy family.
What is your favorite story from the book? Were there any stories cut or deemed too far over the line?
Here’s one from the second chapter that still makes me laugh: “When our boys were little, they found great joy in naked running. No, we didnâ€™t raise them in a nudist colony, but that didnâ€™t stop them from running naked wherever they could. Change a diaper without a new one ready to go, and theyâ€™d likely break free running naked. Give them a bath, get mostly dry, and sprinting naked would often ensue. They evidently found great joy and laughter in the hilarity of naked feet slapping the floor and unrestricted movement of clothing-
free moments. We often would joke and call out ‘NAKED PARADE’ as they went by laughing. We even have a child who, if you sent him to the bathroom, would strip naked to poop. We called him the Naked Pooper. Thankfully, he only did this at home.”
Um, lots of stories were cut to keep the thing at a level I’d be willing to read myself. As for too far over the line… sure, but if I printed it here I’d be in trouble too Take me out for coffee and we’ll swap ridiculous stories.
That’s awesome – you’re on for coffee. Have you got a failure story from parenting just to prove youâ€™re human?
A few months ago at Christmas we were shopping in the mall. We decided to stop and go to dinner. After we were done, we headed to the bookstore next door. We were in there for a good 15 minutes when this random lady walks up to us and says, “Hey, did I see you guys eating next door?” We said, “Yes, that was us.” Then she said, “Um, I think you left your daughter in there and she’s confused and crying.” We looked around and much to our horror, discovered Becky wasn’t with us. She’d gone to the bathroom and we left without her. Now, every time she goes to the bathroom at a restaurant she makes everyone at the table tell her we won’t leave without her before she’ll go.
I recently wanted to take my kids with me to Mexico to serve with our high school team and I had all 4 boys in my truck. I met the students and leaders at church and then discovered I had miscounted and I was 1 seat short. So I had to call my wife to come and get one of my kids. I won the loser dad of the year award that day.
do I need to go on?… this is getting painful.
Hahhaah … OK. So what would you say to the youth worker who doesnâ€™t have a family yet, but wants to prepare for one well?
Rock on. Being married and raising kids is awesome and a joy. But it’s hard. Maybe the hardest thing you’ll ever try and do.
Getting married or having a kid will change your life, it just won’t change you. If you have trouble saying no or keeping your priorities straight between marriage and ministry now, a family will only compound the problem, not solve it. I honestly believe that the best gift you can give to your marriage and even to your kids is a healthy you. It all starts there. So take a good long look in the mirror, invite God to speak, and keep working on being the man or woman of God you’ve been created to be. Then when a spouse or kids are added to the mix, they’ll be so stoked you are who you are… most of the time
What is the key to balancing a great youth ministry life and a great family life?
Honestly, there is no key… or at least I haven’t found it. And if you read this book you’ll find out I actually think balance is a myth that we should rethink all together.
So to that end, I don’t have all the answers nor can I guarantee success. I don’t know how to do that and I’m not sure God even grants us that. But I can tell you I’m in the trenches with you in this. So I guess I’d say: take care of your soul, love your spouse, be a parent, and be a youth worker. In that order. That’s the road I’m on, and the only one I know how to write about and share with you. My conviction is that its also the path that has the greatest chance of landing myself, my marriage, my family, and my ministry in the will of God.
Thanks, Brian! And you can pick up Me and My Crazy House today!
Several weeks ago we posted about how planning a mission trip is more than just the details – it’s also planning for the spiritual growth of your students.Â To further help you develop and implement those planning steps, I’d like to give you our planning schedule for preparing the times of worship and devotion for our mission trips.
9 months from the trip
Chose the overall theme, scripture verses, and daily themes for the week.
Finalize the actual worship sessions for each day of the week.Â For us that means a morning and evening time for each day of the week.Â For you that could mean on gathering each day.
Test each and every message and worship experience with middle school and high school students to see how what we are prayerfully planning communicates to teenagers.Â For you that could mean a “dry run” with your leadership team of adults to get feedback.
Finalize any tweaks to the worship sessions and write the daily devotions that each person can chose to use during the trip.
Create all media and presentation files to use during the daily worship sessions.
2 months and right up to the trips
Time for making sure all the rest of the details are ready before the trip!
This schedule may seem really aggressive but we’ve found it gives ourÂ team plenty of time to take care of the other details – projects, lodging, food, youth group preparation, etc…Â And the same should be true for you.Â Planning out the worship services and devotions for your trip during the same time of year that you plan the other details will give you that extra time in case any aspect of your trip needs extra attention or further planning.
Please feel free to use a schedule like this to help make sure your group is prepared.Â We’d also love to know what you think about the schedule.Â Or please tell us your planning schedule.
Next Sunday I’ll be boarding a plane to Kenya with a group of students! I am getting so excited! We’re taking 6 girls and 3 guys…it’s going to be an amazing trip. I can’t wait to get back and tell you all about it BUT before that I want to invite you to share your thoughts here!
I am looking for guest bloggers!! Do you have something to say about youth ministry or about girls ministry?? If so…now is your time!
I’ll need any or all post by the 23rd- just a few days away! So, send me your post soon! Email me email@example.com
Really enjoyed reading this post over on the Generation to Generation blog. They hit on two critical youth ministry concepts that you have to grasp early and often: follow up and follow though! Here’s a clip, head there for the whole article:
Sometimes one of my faults is not following up on things. I really need to write things down, keep things in my Outlook calendar to remind me to do something or to re-visit something Iâ€™ve started but not finished. Sometimes I get so busy with a new project that I forget to go back and make sure the old project I was working on is complete or if it needs some further attention. I need to do this with with my high school small group as well. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in presenting a new lesson or new scripture or a new life application that I forget to go back and see how my guys are doing with things weâ€™ve already talked about.
I donâ€™t forget about one of my guys who has been going through a tough time or dealing with a specific issue, Iâ€™m great at follow up with that, but sometimes I forget about the general topics we talk about. For instance a few weeks ago my guys asked if we could do a lesson on girls and dating and sex and what the Bible says about these things. We had a great lesson that night and I know I made them really think about how a relationship would look like and how to make sure that they put God in the center of all of their relationships. This past week I got a text from one of my guys asking some very specific questions about what the Bible says about an issue. That should have been my reminder that I need to follow up with all of them and see how they are doing with that topic. I need to build a reminder into each small group time to begin and ask questions about past topics and make sure everyone is still on task with prior topics.