Just for fun we had the idea to put up real-time Twitters on the screens at NYMC (see yours in the pre-sessions if you use #NYMC in a Twitter) and we just saw that it is one of the most popular posts on Twitter today. Awesome!


Our first batch of conference videos will be online right here on MTDB late tonight! So far …

  • Friday night announcements
  • Saturday night announcements
  • Fun with Sack Chairs
  • Midnight room party
  • “Not Fair” music video

More tomorrow … including the new youth ministry rap as well. Go NYMC!


Tons of people are entering the drawing for a free registration for the Simply Youth Ministry Conference 2010 – but did you know you can register for it online right now, too? The new site is up – $299 for the first person, $199 for the rest of your team if you register this week. Awesome!


Missing the National Youth Ministry Conference this year? Never fear – you can win a registration to next year’s newly-renamed event right here on More Than Dodgeball. Announcing the Simply Youth Ministry Conference to be held next year in Chicago. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, and you’re entered to win. I’ll pick one at random Tuesday or so. Enter now!


Here’s the official blog list for the National Youth Ministry Conference this week, if you’re not on here and will be posting – let me know and I’ll add you in:

And let’s not forget the Twitterers, too … you can see all of the #NYMC posts right here.


Weekend Teaching Series: None, this is a 1–off in-between series
Sermon Title: Why We Sing

Sermon in a Sentence: We sing to center ourselves on the King. We honor God with our lives as worship of Him, the song is just the beginning.

Key Verse: Psalm 95:6

Weekend Scale of Difficulty: 4 out of 10
Attendance: Up 0% from last weekend, up 56% from the same weekend last year.

Service Length: 80 minutes

Understandable Message: We opened with a clip from The Lion King where Josh Pease pointed out a giraffe in the background on the scene that wasn’t worshiping the new baby cub lion that was presented to the crowd. All of the other animals were bowing except this guy. What was going on? It set up a great analogy to us reacting to King Jesus. He talked why we sing, where it is found in Scripture and explained the things that people do when they sing (eyes closed, hands raised, etc.). He also made sure to be clear that singing wasn’t exclusively worship, that worship is much bigger, in that it is the way that we worship and walk God throughout the week as well as at church.

Volunteer/Student Involvement: Students ran the lights, cameras and the control room. Volunteers greeted and hung out relationally with students before, during and after the services.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This was an experiment for us – I believe in the evangelistic power of singing and a worship service, but this was the first time the weekend looked more like a praise and worship night than a typical weekend service. The sermon was split up into small sections, with songs mixed in between. The clip from the Lion King started it out great, and a clip from a Muse concert (to demonstrate the emotional power of music) was also great. Students in our Creatid ministry built a huge 25×10 ft banner across the stage that was tied to the message.

Music Playlist: The Grateful, Blessed Be, Surrender, The Stand, Center, The Grateful (reprise)

Favorite Moment: I loved seeing our students sing out to God with incredible passion. My prayer is that this week they offer their lives to him as well.

Next up: I’m headed to the Group Youth Ministry Conference this week. Petty will teach the story of Elijah in our new 3-week series, Sunday OLD School.

In case you haven’t heard, you can sign up to receive text message announcements in Columbus this coming week at the Group National Youth Ministry Conference. Someone told me they might do other fun things with it, too, so you might want to sign up if you’ll be there!


This weekend our adult volunteers went above and beyond. Waaayyy above and beyond. We were planning a discipleship retreat in the mountains (details here) and had to come off the mountain because of blizzard-like conditions that would have stranded us up there until today. Instead, we did a full-on overnight at The Refinery to end the event. Kind of a “bait and switch” that was beyond our control – but out leaders TOTALLY stepped up without flinching.

Here’s what our team sent out today, excited to deliver goodies to them this week:

Chi Alpha team!

Wow … I just wanted to shoot you a quick note today and let you know that you are LOVED and APPRECIATED. You must be exhausted! How do I know? I’ve attached an image of the first draft of this very letter that I started to write last night. Ha!

Click image to enlarge

I can’t tell you how thankful I am for you. I watched you all serve so selflessly this weekend. Long bus rides, terrible food, harrowing bus rides, rustic to rough accommodations, great teaching, awesome cabin time, kids who just wouldn’t fall asleep, patrolling for make-out sessions, having life-changing conversations, caring for students, snow ball fights, long talks about big things, having a total blast and counseling students in need. I am blessed to share the calling of youth ministry with you. Wow.

This week, HSM is going to deliver “recovery packages” to you at the office or at your home. You’re going to need some extra kick to get back up to speed again, so let us help you and at the same time say thanks for going WAY BEYOND what you signed up for. I will brag on you for months (especially at the conference in March), because you’re the best of the best.

So expect a special delivery no later than lunch on Thursday! It will be delivered by someone who is probably hopped up on caffeine or somewhat illegal chemical substances, too, so watch out if they start twitching.

Thanks for loving God and serving students.