Dave and Steve created this fun infographic-style video based on a script I wrote about the attendees of the Simply Youth Ministry Conference 2013.

JG

Right after the Simply Youth Ministry Conference I always get asked the same question: how did you do that!?! I love a good idea – I love stealing good ideas, too. If anything you saw on the main stage was interesting to you or maybe inspired you to bring something back into your ministry setting – here’s the scoop on what we used or how we did it!

Poll Everywhere – the polls on the big screen were powered by PollEverywhere.com. The technology is free for up to 40 responses (perfect for most youth groups) and scales really well to have thousands of responses per poll. Be sure to check them out – we use it all the time in our youth ministry, it is so fast and fun!

AR.Drone – one of the new ideas this year was to use an AR.Drone to hover over the crowd with a gift card attached to it on a long string. The Drone is controlled by an iPad/iPhone/iPod/Android and streams live video from the hovering airship to the big screen. With all of the signals in the conference room it got bogged down a bit, but overall it was a super fun experiment.

Facebook Hack – This is a game we invented in our youth ministry a couple of months ago. You can read more about the game and download the title slide right here.

The Interlude – a fun dance you can download right here.

Digital Stachethese are the dudes behind lots of magic on the screens. We had an idea, they did it. Really stunning guys with tons of freebies and youth ministry resources totally worth checking out!

Twitter – this is actually a feature in the latest version of Propresenter (5, from what I understand). It is a super cool way to put up a paricular hashtag on the screen – it includes full moderation capabilities as well. Looked super slick up there!

Was there something else at the event you would like to know about? Hit me up in the comments!

JG



If you were at SYMC this week you know we played a fun little dance number that a bunch of people have asked to get their hands on. The dudes over at Digital Stache have unleashed it on their stellar Gameshow Blog. So pick up The Interlude … and a stack of other great games/graphics right now!

JG

It’s back to school season – and for us that means we pour a ton of effort into our fall kickoff weekend, our first big series and the launch of small groups. Thought I might make some recommendations for some great youth ministry resources that might help you as you head into the start of another year.

Small Groups
Must have: Small Groups from Start to Finish by Doug Fields & Matt McGill
Solid: Small Group Strategies by Laurie Povich
Worth the price: LIVE curriculum

Fall Kickoff Weekend
Must have: 1 Minute Bible by Doug Fields
Solid: Spin That Wheel from Digital Stache
Good video: FAITH by Youth Ministry 360

The 1st Teaching Series of the Year
Must have: 1 Month to Live by Doug Fields
Solid: All My Belongings by Jeff McGuire
Worth the $10: Exposed! God’s Plan for Sex by Kurt Johnston

For your volunteers
Looks great, never read it: How to Volunteer Like a Pro by Jim Hancock
Shameless plug: 99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders by me! Told you it was shameless
Worth the price: TOOLS: Team from Simply Youth Ministry

For your own personal growth
Must have: What Matters Most by Doug Fields
Solid: Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark Devries
Worth the price: the Simply Youth Ministry Conference in Louisville, KY March 2012

JG



Do you use countdown videos? Have you ever wanted to make your own? The fine folks over at Digitalstache have now made it super easy, and FREE: Check out Ready, Set, Go!

Here’s the scoop from their site:

Do you love countdown videos? Do you dream in descending digits? Can you grow mustache? Well check out the newest addition to the Digital Stache Gameshow Family: Ready, Set, Go! Ready, Set, Go! gives you 6 themes to choose from and let’s you set the countdown (or up), from one second to an hour! But here is the best part: we’re giving it away. That’s right, for an unlimited time, Ready, Set, Go! Is absolutely free! So download your copy today!

JG

Here’s the opening welcome video from the Simply Youth Ministry Conference last night. It was one element we forgot to do before we left California, so we wrote it on the plane and then our friend Dave cranked it out on site yesterday. I like it, simple, sets the tone for what we’re hoping to accomplish, and only had one typo (and it was my fault). Yeah!

JG



Ran a little contest over here a few days ago, happy to announce the winners of this fantastic new product called Score Keep. Congratulations are in order for:

Justin Pardee at 12:57pm January 24
Holla! We do sex and dating series every year in February for 3 weeks kicking off after the Super Bowl with a running “Battle of the Sexes” competition and last year I hacked Apple Keynote into working as a scoreboard & timer up on the big screen right over the stage… but this looks a hundred times better. I totally want to use this year to make things so much more legit!

Josh Byers at 9:38pm January 24
This was made for eating competitions and games are a given — but here are 5 out of the box ideas
1. Try and time your talk to end exactly when the countdown ends
2. For the younger VBS crowd — who brought more visitors, guys or girls? You could really work the crowd by clicking up the numbers slowly, pause and then do a whole bunch and pause and…
3. Keep a running tally of ideas that get accepted or shot down by your senior pastor during a staff meeting
4. When teaching a passage and a certain word appears numerous times and you want to point it out for effect — well there you go.
5. Tally up the number of minutes I spent trying to come up with a fifth idea that would knock your socks off — then I realized the counter wouldn’t go past 100… #fail

Phillip at 7:07am January 25
Being a new Youth Minister with a smaller youth group, no funds and a white board that has been doodled on with permanent marker (but they are good drawing of Jesus)…. I’ll say I can use it in almost every game we do…

Oh, and if you haven’t seen Spin That Wheel … you have to check it out, too. Awesome!

JG

Killer new product called Score Keep from the geniuses over at Digital Stache. Lots of potential youth ministry applications here:

Have you ever wanted to play a game with your youth group WITHOUT using your chalk board to keep score? Well, now you can! Score Keep lets you keep track of points in style. Choose your theme, name your game, name your teams, set a timer (if you want) and let the competition begin! Now, what to do with all that chalk you bought in bulk…

Dave and the team are giving away 3 copies of Gameshow: Score Keep to MTDB fans! All you have to do is leave a comment with an idea of when/where you would use it in your youth ministry context – I’ll pick a couple of the best ones and GIVE you the product for free. Enter now – I’ll give them away first thing in the morning.

JG