Posted by Kurt Johnston

Most readers of this blog know that I have a very close relationship with the wonderful people at Group Publishing/Simply Youth Ministry. it is because of this relationship that Simply Junior High has been able to continue to expand it’s ministry to junior high youth workers over the years. Because of our relationship it makes sense that every now and then I would use this blog to promote upcoming resources, events, conferences, etc that Group/Simply are providing…not because I have to, but because I believe so much in what they have to offer folks who love teenagers and are serving them in the local church.

Group/SYM isn’t really a sponsor of this blog….I just liked that as the title of the post. HERE ARE A FEW THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT:

The Simply Youth Ministry Conference: I realize times are tight and the temptation is to eliminate conferences from your budget. avoid that temptation if possible! You need time away to refresh, recharge, reflect and “re-up” your youth ministry calling. If you aren’t registered, please think about joining us!

LIVE Small Group Curriculum: Simply put; this is some of the best junior high curriculum I have ever seen. We put together an amazing team of in-the-trenches junior high youth Pastors to write TWO FULL YEARS worth of customizable bible studies. Don’t let the price scare you away; do the math and you will see that it costsabout about $3.00 per week. I had oneyouth workerfriend tell me the other day that if she could only spend money on one thing for her ministry, she would spend it on the junior high LIVE curriculum.

Lifetree Cafe:I have to admit, when I heard about Lifetree I was skeptical. It felt too polished, too much like a church franchise etc. But having attended an actual Lifetree service I have a TOTALLY different perspective. It is a fantastic way to help your church reach out to the un-churched and marginally-churched people in your community. If your church is up for something out of the box…that kinda comes in a box, Lifetree is worth taking anup-close look at.

Just read this…

“The Parents Television Council’s latest report — detailing the sexualization of teen girls on TV — tells us what we know too well: That young females are objectified to an absurd degree across primetime. That teenagers are objectified more than their adult counterparts. That most underage girls on TV are depicted in sexual liaisons outside of committed relationships.” (Read the rest here.)

It’s our job (and it’s a tough one) to counter the messages of the media to our girls. Where do we start?

(Here’s the story: Yesterday, I reposted an idea from Jana Snyder off her Advent Awesomeness blog? onto the blog I write for Group Publishing to small group leaders @? Jana saw how much I l.o.v.e.d. her idea and? I got an example of it last night on my phone from her youth group kids. It was really Advent Awesomeness!? So I’m reposting my own blog from Jana’s blog.)?

Meet my friend, Jana Snyder. This is a reprint from her blog at Doesn’t sound like anthing new, right? Caroling as a small group? Read till the end; she has a great idea to maximize your small group’s time for impact on the most people.

Day #15 – A-Caroling we will go! Many churches still go caroling on a Wednesday evening as part of their midweek service, if yours does – go out and join them. I imagine it will brighten the night of a shut in who may feel lonely this holiday season. If your church no longer carols or never has – then call a couple friends and go as a group. This would be a great small group activity! Make a joyful noise to the Lord! If you aren’t able to go caroling tomorrow – maybe you could do a caroling call – make a call to a couple people who may be alone this season and give them a carol on the phone!?

SJH Podcast Episode: 48

General —  December 16, 2010 — Leave a comment

Kurt Johnston is joined by Scott Brensen to talk about hurting kids and My Broken Palace.

You can also help your hurting students learn more about My Broken Palace with Messy Stuff, a new small group curriculum for Junior Highers.

For a good bit of September this year I was in Kenya. Does that seem strange and exotic to you? There was a time when it did to me, too. Even today when people talk about mission work the iconic reference is always Africa. As in,

In case you missed it…

Neely McQueen —  December 16, 2010 — 1 Comment

Loved Darren’s post over on Everyone’s Called to Youth Ministry about what to do … and what not to do when youth ministry gets tough. Good stuff in here, here’s an excerpt:

So admit it — there are days when ministry isn’t all you thought it would be. I was gonna list some of the ‘less than pleasant’ points of ministry…but if you’re in ministry, you know, because it’s probably happened to you along the way.

So how to deal with disappointment in ministry….

Yell at your wife. That’s what I do. She doesn’t appreciate it and I usually feel like a jerk afterward — but, hey, it’s the way of the Testosterone.

Pout. Suck your thumb. Complain that life isn’t fair. That way, everyone around you will know how hard your job is…just in case there was ever any doubt.


I know this one is popping up everywhere, but it is really clever. Digital Nativity.