This weekend we played another incredible game in our high school ministry – it was inspired by Facebook Hack (which if you haven’t ever seen, check it out here) from this past year and tied into the Instalife series perfectly: INSTA-HACK!

The game is simple – someone turns over control of their Instagram account to the host of the show, who is then given permission to do whatever they want in exchange for prizes. In this case we used the Wheel of Destiny to let it randomly choose what would happen. Some of the options included:

  • deleting 10 random friends
  • trolling someone’s profile (aka liking all of one person’s pictures)
  • posting a picture of another girl in the room and tagging it #newgirlfriend
  • $5 to Starbucks
  • become Instafamous – everyone in the room takes out their phone to follow them
  • Week-long hack – the phone stays logged in and randomly in the week we hack them again
  • … and many more!

We had previously hooked up an iPhone to our main screen using an Apple TV so the whole experience was sick and flawless technically, too. Oh and also painful … and hilarious. The students who played along were good sports and hosts were loving but ruthless. Another epic game we’ll for sure use in the future, too!

JG

Weekend Teaching Series: Instalife (series premiere, week 1 of 2)
Service Length:
70 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we used the app Instagram as a backdrop for a new series in HSM. This week we focused on jealousy – how Instagram brings out the best and the worst in us in that area. We talked about jealousy from Jesus teachings in Matthew 6 and had lots of fun along the way. One of my favorite weekends in HSM in a very long time – I think a good message, great game, fun look/feel and super relevant and easy to connect with our student’s world.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We played a brand new game called InstaHack – where we bring someone on stage and have them log into their Instagram and then spin the wheel for us to various terrible things to their pictures, followers and feed. They could also win $5 Starbucks giftcards if they were extremely lucky. Super, super fun, crowd died at the right points, and the contestants were always a good sport. We also had lots of student greeters and a fun Christmas rap video.

Music Playlist: Silent Night (Taylor Swift version), Go, Joy to the World, 10,000 Reasons, Your Love is Strong

Favorite Moment: During one part of the talk I called out one of our students (I had his permission, more or less) and talked about #selfies. It was a great moment that I loved and

Up next: Instalife (week 2 of 2)



Weekend Teaching Series: XXX (series finale, week 2 of 2)
Sermon in a Sentence: How to be a good neighbor.

Service Length: 84 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend Craig Gross, founder of XXXChurch, spoke to our high school students in all 4 weekend services. Last week he hit the topic of pronography strong, this week he took the series on the next step – how to I share my freedom and faith in Christ with my friends. His main passage was the Good Samaritan and told stories of how he has seen God work in his life and ministry. Really powerful!

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we played Facebook Hack, which was a total riot. If you’re not familiar with it yet, steal this idea now (hit the link for the full scoop and graphics). Basically, we use an iPad and the contestant logs in and then gives control of their Facebook to the host. The host asks questions, and if the contenstant gets it wrong the host can unfriend whoever or post whatever they want. Hilarious! As an added bonus as the game was coming to a close, the contestant at one of the services took out a piece of paper and had written a poem to his girlfriend and asked her to prom with him. It made for a super memorable ending!

Music Playlist: We Could Change the World, Our God, Love Came Down, All I Am, To the Ends of the Earth,

Favorite Moment: My favorite moment was definitely the message and having Craig here to speak. I also loved having my friend Chris Wohlers back in HSM this weekend as a guest host to Facebook Hack. Chris was on the high school team last year but took a great opportunity with our adult service video team.

Up next: Workshop Weekend (1-off)

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



Weekend Teaching Series: Facebook Official (week 3 of 5)
Sermon in a Sentence: 7 questions to ask about your dating relationship.
Service Length: 76 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend I wanted to focus on a biblical perspective to dating – although dating isn’t implicitly mentioned in the Bible and is a much more modern cultural invention of ours. For sure the Bible does talk plenty in principle about WHO to date and HOW to date so that’s the perspective of the talk. I shared a bunch of personal stories from my dating life including heartbreak, and eventually how I met my wife. The talk was designed to build on Doug’s narrow vs wide way challenge from last week and included 7 questions to ask about their current/future dating relationships.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This is the last weekend before our Pumpkinfest event, so we spent a little chink of the program with a funny skit that included an awkward robot and our stage emcee. Really funny stuff, as always trying to make annoucements both memorable and engaging. We also played a funny video from RhettandLink about Facebook profile pictures and dating.

Music Playlist: Enchanted [Taylor Swift cover], Oh Lord, Your Love is Enough, Grace, Cannons

Favorite Moment: The conversations after the service were the best. Nothing like a series like this to get students thinking … and talking. Several students were convinced it was alright for them to date someone of a different religion – by far the most popular discussion this weekend after the talk.

Up next: Facebook Official (week 4 of 5) [Doug Fields teaching about sex]

Weekend Teaching Series: Facebook Official (week 2 of 5)
Sermon in a Sentence: Want to have a great marriage – then start building the right foundation for it now.

Service Length: 78 minutes

Understandable Message: Doug Fields taught about the different paths students could take to end up at the same destination: marriage. He used interactive polls, great illustrations and Matthew 7 to help students that the path they are on today will help or hinder the relationship they have with their future spouse. Really challenging, forward-thinking stuff.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We played a hilarious new game called Facebook Hack. It was INCREDIBLE! We don’t do a ton of full-on games, so when they work this well, it is a big deal. So fun. It was homecoming week for our biggest high school we pull from, so attendance was a bit low but the energy was great. Lots of student greeters, student band, students running cameras, control room and sound.

Music Playlist: Lucky, Yours Forever, God Above All, None But Jesus, Forever Reign

Favorite Moment: Having my good friend Doug Fields speaking in HSM is always a highlight. Talking to a student after the service who trusted in Christ after the message was awesome, too. Good, good stuff.

Up next: Facebook Official (week 3 of 5)



This weekend we played a GREAT game our team came up with called Facebook Hack. Have you ever left your Facebook logged in and someone posted a fake status? Just about everyone has – and this week, we asked for a volunteer in the audience to come up on the stage and do just that – log in and give control of their Facebook profile in the hands of the host. The audience immediately reacted to just how big of a deal this was – we haven’t had a game with this much engagement in a while. They needed to answer 2 out of 3 questions correctly or pay the virtual price.

There’s a fine line hosting something like this, and Chris handled the game masterfully – posting funny updates to their status and unfriending people from their top friends list – all live on the screen shown to the crowd. The crowd even got into it and started posting pics/comments on the contestant’s profile page while the game was going on. So awesome!

The contestant had to answer nearly impossible questions correctly to avoid the consequences to their friends list. The whole game showed just how incredibly important Facebook is to a student, and it tied in SO well to the series theme of Facebook Official.

Maybe an idea that would work for you or a springboard that you could work from. It was SO great!

JG