Best Dad Award!

Brandon Early —  March 28, 2014 — Leave a comment

I know and play with motion graphics a little but these home videos are beyond me. I would love having a motion graphics designer half this good on my team. I heard about these videos today on the morning news. Check out these videos that were put together by a dad for his kid to enjoy! #bestdadever

If you want to see more check out Action Movie Kid’s YouTube page!


Have you ever thought, “I sure would love a font that was made from my personal handwriting?” Yeah…me neither.

But when I heard about I thought it was pretty cool. If you are looking for your very own unique style of handwritten font then click over to

If you like the idea of making unique fonts you should also check out the online font-building tool They are cool…and FREE!

Try it out!



It has been a while since we have posted a list of cool, free fonts for youth ministry

These are fonts I have used and will keep in my design rotation. These graphics were designed in Photoshop, and look great as a solid color in any presentation software.

Check out the list, click a link, and download a font… or 13!



Before Breakfast



America Captain


The Kabel Font

Sketchetik Light


Rio Grande

Echinos Park Script


Skooly Awesome Bundle





clipartI have a lot of “goto” sites to grab graphics for promo materials and presentation slides (I mentioned some in a S.W.A.G. post last week). These three sites have loads of free content, click and browse…you will find some great downloads!

  • Vecteezy is a great site to grab vector images from. It also has a great sister site brusheezy for free Photoshop brushes. They have premium content, but their free stuff is great!
  • Thenounproject started out as a kickstarter project and is not a site with some very cool free images and a great search feature. Some of the downloads may cost a couple bucks…over all, great site.
  • Stock.XCHNG is a HUGE money saver if you are using stock photos. You can pay hundreds of dollars on stock photo memberships at places like Getty images…not here. At you can create an account and get FREE, FREE, FREE high rez images for your projects.

We all love the free and inexpensive…what web resources can you share with us?

I don’t know what is harder about working in ministry, staying informed on what is going on in the lives of our students or keeping up with the expertise in the many field required to keep the ministry going. For any youth group in any size church you are by all intents and purposes running your own small church and for most of us, that means that we have to fill the roles of each person on a regular staff of a church and that can be daunting. Being good at a few things is easy, but being good at dozens of important jobs can be overwhelming and off the top of my head here is a list of regular parts of many youth workers jobs:

  • Pastor
  • Cousellor
  • Mentor
  • Coach
  • Photographer
  • Logistics coordinator
  • Videographer / Video Editor
  • Sound tech
  • Musician
  • Graphic Designer
  • Accountant
  • Handyman
  • Bus Driver
  • Activity Coordinator
  • Public Speaker
  • Camp Director
  • Web Designer
  • Carpenter
  • Chef
  • Janitor
  • Theologin
  • Secretary
  • Marketing Director
  • Any many more…….

My brain hurts thinking about it, but for each of us we are faced with the reality of needing to wear many hats and be talented or at least competent in each of them. When you look at your ministry area are there any that we missed, any other jobs that you do? 

-Geoff @geoffcstewart

I know 2 things…Germans Love David Hasselhoff and people love free fonts.  How do I know this?  Well first who doesn’t like David Hasselhoff and second the last free font post blew up…check it out here if you missed it.

Here are twelve more free fonts I found that have some potential to make your next flyer pop. Scroll through these and find the one that works best for your next graphics design need.  These are fonts I have used in various projects.  If you like one, or all, click the font name above the image and it will take you to a site where you can download it…FOR FREE!

Please share the name and a link to your favorite font as well as the sites you visit to discover new fonts.
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Say it FatAirstream BallPark Deftone StylusCode-free Version
Bariol Regular (Must tweet or facebook a link to get this for free)
New York

Mind mapping has eased it’s way into my weekly workflow. Here’s 4 ways that I’m using it regularly:

1. Series Outline 

For each of our teaching series, we put together an outline that’s used by several different teams for things such as creative elements, small group curriculum, etc. I will create a mind map for each series with the overall idea, key Scripture passages for each week, the main point of each message, quotes, random creative ideas or illustration possibilities.  Here’s an example of one we did last year.

2. Brainstorm an Idea

Sometimes you need to process out an idea and just want to be able to get a lot of stuff written down quickly. Mind mapping is a great way to do an idea dump, utilizing each branch of the map as a key idea. We recently had a large event that had multiple layers and components. A mind map helped me to make sure we had thought through all the different areas that needed to be covered.

3. Broad, Bare-Bones Outline

To get a message (or really anything that I’ll be writing) started, I will create a mind map with just a few broad key ideas. This won’t have much more than some major ideas or movements in my message as well as any key passages of Scripture and illustrations. I then have something that I can go back to at any time later to fill in.

4. Preaching Outline

I use a pretty extensive outline to preach from, so I have to go beyond just some general ideas in an outline and do it in a way that’s readable. So, after I have filled in more than the bare bones outline and color-coded it, I then format it to be preached off my iPad. I right justify the map (because it’s easier to scroll through it that way), export it as a pdf, and then download it to GoodReader on my iPad. I zoom in on GoodReader to a point where it’s easy to read at a glance, and bring my iPad on stage with me to speak from.

Here’s an example of a portion of what my outline usually looks like when it’s done (trust me, it’s much easier to read on the iPad, then it looks)

Mind Mapping Apps

While I have personally tried around a dozen different mind mapping apps, these are the ones I keep coming back to:

1. Mindmanager by Mindjet. While I use the Mac version, there is also a Windows version as well as a significant non-profit discount if you are using it for ministry. This has more features than I ever even look at, but it’s able to consistently work in the way that I need it to as well as to export in a manner that makes sense for me to preach from.

2. iThoughts HD for iPad. While I do most of my writing on my Macbook Air, I will occasionally do my broad, bare-bones outline on my iPad. IThoughts can sync via Dropbox and easily import into Mindmanager.

3. Pen and Paper. While I love technology, sometimes it’s helpful for me to revert back to some simple pens and paper. Right now, when I do that, I’m using Staedtler Lumocolor pens with a Quattro blank notebook and will go old school to sketch out a mind map.


Mike Goldsworthy is the Lead Pastor at Parkcrest Christian Church.

I kind of stumbled into mind mapping. For 10 years, I had always manuscripted my messages and I needed to switch things up, if for nothing else, to keep my message prep fresh. I’ve now been using my own modified form of mind mapping to write my messages for the past 3 years and have found it to be helpful for the way I work.

Here’s 3 reasons mind mapping has become helpful for me in my message prep:

1. I Can View Everything on One Page

I’m a visual learner and processor, and the ability to create a birds eye view of my message helps me to think through it’s flow, to remember key portions, and to see if I’m too heavy or too light in different areas.

I color-code my messages, using different colors on my mind map to signify different portions of a message (illustrations, a new thought, a key idea, a list, Scripture, or a main point). When I glance at my message, I can get an idea of areas where it might be a little stagnant or overly heavy on illustrations. Here’s a portion of a recent message I gave on Easter, showing illustrations, some statements I wanted to make sure to say a certain way, and a few transitions of ideas.

Not only can I look at that beforehand to know if my message has a good flow, but I then can glance at it on my iPad while preaching to help me remember where I’m headed next.

When I would write my messages on a word-processor, they would often be 7-10 pages long, so I was never able to get a idea of what was happening with my message at a glance.

2. I Can Write in a Non-Linear Style

I often don’t write the beginning of my messages first, or the end of my messages last. The way that I tend to work is that I have an idea about a particular portion of it, and I work through that idea and then will often jump to another portion somewhere else.

Mind mapping allows me to easily jump around while I’m writing my message. I can put together a broad, bare-bones outline and fill in the portions in whatever way I want.

Of course, you can do this on any word-processor, but again, I’ve found it helpful to utilize the non-linear form of the 1 page mind map to make it easier to engage in writing in this way.

3. I Can Rearrange My Message Easily

When I put together a message, I will often have thoughts or ideas that fit in the message, but once they’re written down, they don’t seem to fit in the particular portion of the message I’ve put them in. With a mind map, I zoom out to get a bird’s eye picture of the entire message and can easily rearrange pieces of it, dragging and dropping them where they fit better.

Mike Goldsworthy is the Lead Pastor at Parkcrest Christian Church.