Right now Simply Youth Ministry is giving away a ton of really great Christmas stuff during their 12 Days of Freebies. Free gifts are everywhere so you can pick up some great stuff like motion backgrounds, mission trip guides, and more. Head there immediatley and push their bandwidth bill up!

Also I just saw that YouthMinistry360 is giving away from great stuff as well, with the promise of more on the way soon. Go download crazy this week!


Today only another Simply Youth Ministry Deal of the Day: Get the LIVE Curriculum Holiday Edition for half price! Get access to Easter messages, Christmas series and other great holiday stuff, too! $59.00 $29.50 but today only!


Messin With Santa #1 from Wildside Junior High on Vimeo.

Messin With Santa #2 from Wildside Junior High on Vimeo.

Messin With Santa #3 from Wildside Junior High on Vimeo.

A series of fun videos that our team helped create for our Wildside (junior high) ministry. A tribute to Messin’ with Sasquatch commercials. Fun.


Weekend Teaching Series: Christmas Weekend (1-off)
Sermon in a Sentence: A student-run service of songs, teaching and Christmas fun.

Service Length: 76 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend was all about Christmas – it was a 1-off celebration of the birth of Jesus. Students ran the entire service from top to bottom. Bryce got up first to introduce the subject for the weekend and the heart behind Christmas. He emphasied the true meaning of Christmas amid the lights, sounds and presents of the season. After a few songs AJ spoke about Jesus being the humble King and after another song Julia got up to speak about God’s holiness. They all had verses and Scripture when Ryan got up to teach he used a clip from The Guardian to bring home the idea of Jesus the Rescuer. We rounded out the program with a few more songs and an invitation at the end.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend was a ton of fun with HSM’s new Christmas music video and hot chocolate and cookies after every service. Lots of energy and fun for the last high school services of 2011!

Music Playlist: Mary Did You Know, Silent Night, Born is the King, You Hold the World in Your Hands, O Holy Night, Savior of the World, Go/Joy to the World, Drummer Boy

Favorite Moment: See students basically run the entire service is so incredible. I love being taught by and being led in worship by students. My heart was so full after this weekend, that’s for sure!

Up next: No HSM services — Christmas services in big church!

Christmas Rap from HSM on Vimeo.

Another epic Christmas music video from AC, Chris and even a litle hook sung by yours truly. So fun!


This weekend, we don’t have youth services. In fact, we don’t have any services at all! How awesome/bold/crazy is this idea: no services, but use that time to serve in the community, in your neighborhood or to your actual neighbor! You can read more about it on Kurt’s blog, and here’s some of the language that Saddleback is using to help people BE the church this coming weekend!

Did you know that serving those in need is an act of worship to God? Join us on the weekend of December 10th and 11th for “Good Neighbor Weekend” where, in place of our church services, Saddleback Church will be going out to show compassion to our neighbors as our act of worship. Since your small group is currently completing Bill Hybels’ “Just Walk Across the Room” curriculum, this will be a great opportunity to put it into action!

Here is how you can be a part of Good Neighbor Weekend:

Serve YOUR Neighbor – you and your family or small group can follow these 3 easy steps:

Step 1: See a Need – Talk together about how you could serve your direct neighbor, a co-worker, or someone else in need. You can discuss how you can serve them by meeting their physical, spiritual, or relational needs.

Step 2: “Step Across the Room/Street/Office” – Connect with the neighbor you have identified to let them know you would like to serve them in this way and schedule a time on the weekend of December 10-11.

Step 3: Serve – Gather with your family, small group, or some friends and go serve your neighbor.

Serving OUR Neighbors – We have also created several opportunities for you to help serve the neighbors of Saddleback Church. Do you have a heart for kids, seniors, the homeless, or the military? Join us at one of our “Good Neighbor Project” on December 10th or 11th.


The gang over at Youth Ministry 360 are giving away a free Christmas lesson for your youth ministry. Here’s a description, head over there to pick it up!

The arrival of the Christmas season is hard to ignore. The rush to let people know “it’s that time of year” is ushered in with decorations, seasonal commercials, a blitz of specialty products, and that shopper’s nirvana known as Black Friday. Your students know the drill when it comes to Christmas. The “spiritual” part is the Bible stories, and church musicals and the “commercial” part is the wish lists and the tinsel. This year don’t let your students pass off the birth of Christ as just a story from the Bible. Lead students to see that the idea of a giving spirit is one of the keys to finding the real meaning of Christmas. This lesson will help you do just that.


Weekend Teaching Series: I <3 Xmas (series finale, week 2 of 2)
Sermon in a Sentence: Christmas is a time of salvation – the manger was the beginning of a story of new beginnings.
Service Length: 87 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend Phil finished off our Christmas series – we’re not having youth services this Christmas/New Years so this was our last service of 2010. Phil brought some great Christmas humor wrapped up in the best Christmas present of all – salvation through Jesus Christ. It was another great week of Christmas fun, warmth and focusing on the real message of Christmas.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We opened up with the epic killball video as countdown filler this week, and had an acapella quartet from one of the local high schools do a sweet Christmas opener. Csnap and Asizzle worked hard on a Christmas rap music video about Santa’s health and we played a quick round of Let’s Make a Christmas Deal. Lots of holiday fun, lots of student greeters, fun Christmas decorations and the return of our digital fireplace (flatscreen with a looping yule log in a fireplace frame one of our volunteers whipped up like magic).

Music Playlist: Christmas Acapella Quartet opener, Silent Night, o Come All Ye Faithful, Joy to the World, With Everything

Favorite Moment: It was awesome to sit in the balcony for one of the services (I didn’t have any responsibilities on stage, yeah!) so it was awesome just to soak in the whole scene. Great students, inviting their friends, and the clear plan of salvation being shared at Christmas. Love it!

Up Next: HSM is taking off the next 2 weekends to celebrate Christmas and New Years as a whole church family.