Hey Insiders!

Thank you for praying and sharing with your communities about the floods here in Colorado. Here is an update on the situation since Friday’s post…

The rain continued throughout the weekend. National Guard helicopters flew back and forth bringing relief to those stranded in their homes due to roads and bridges being closed or destroyed. Watch the video of Loveland/Fort Collins area post-flood with commentary below.

Much destruction has swept through Northern Colorado, however, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for flood victims as the rain has subsided and the sun is shining. Help is on its way, as we rally churches, youth groups, families and individuals to participate in Colorado Flood Recovery 2014.

“Many of our friends and neighbors haven’t even dried out yet, but they need our help now. We spend most of our time assisting in other areas around the country, so our team is really looking forward to doing some good right here in our own backyard. The Northern Colorado community is strong, it is now our job to create helpful recovery opportunities for this region,” says Tim Gilmour, President of Group Cares, the non-profit that works closely with Group Publishing.

Group Cares is working with area agencies and churches to host three 1-day events to help with the recovery efforts. “The Big Day of Serving” projects will be happening on September 28, October 5 and October 12 in nearby communities of Loveland, Longmont and Greeley. These days of service to flood victims will include projects like yard work, painting, minor home repairs, and general clean-up.

The Big Day of Serving normally costs $29 per person to attend, but for the sake of these Colorado flood relief efforts Group Cares is suggesting a donation of $20 to participate. Lunch will be provided to volunteers as well!

*Click here to register or donate!*

Serving in Colorado on these Saturdays isn’t the only way to help. We’ve established a fund to help those affected by the floods. 100% of donations to the Colorado Flood Recovery Fund will be used in support of our efforts to serve those most in need. If you’d like to be a part
of bringing help and hope to those most in need, and you cannot make the trip to Colorado, please consider a donation.

For more info on how to donate or serve, please call 1-800-385-4545, or visit  !

There is hope for Northern Colorado. We WILL rebuild and life will return to normal once again, but for now this is our opportunity to love and serve our community in its time of need. Thank you so much for praying Simply Insiders. Your care and support during this time is truly appreciated!



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Attention youth leaders! A great resource is waiting for just a click of your mouse to fuel your ministry right now. Sign up for the Simply Youth Ministry Today newsletter to receive FREE, brief and powerful nuggets to spur on your ministry daily.

*Sign up for SYM Today here*

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The revamped SYM Today newsletter, now equipped with exclusive posts Monday through Friday, is the best way to make sure that you don’t miss a beat of daily wisdom from authors in the trenches of youth ministry.

Leaders including Rick Lawrence, Editor in Chief of Group Magazine, and Saddleback’s Kurt Johnston among many others share advice on everything from taking care of your family to missions to summer agendas- if it’s relevant to youth ministers, they are talking about it. Don’t miss another day of useful truths in your inbox.

*Sign up here for the SYM newsletter!*

Happy Friday Homies!

– Amber Cassady aka the new girl aka AC

Who’s It Gonna Be?!?

It’s been all over the news! Everyone is talking about who is going to win the NCAA Championship tonight. Will it be the University of Michigan who hasn’t won since 1989 or the University of Louisville who hasn’t won a championship since 1986!

Our vote at the office, “Who do you think is going to win tonight and why?”:

Storm: “Louisville. I don’t even watch basketball and I know they’re going to win.”

Justin: “Michigan. Because they beat VCU who has a similar playing style as Louisville.”

Scott: “Louisville.”

Stephanie: “Michigan, duh. Since State got knocked out I have to stand behind at least one Michigan team.”

Alright YM Nation, who do you think is going to win tonight?!?

Post your winner in the comment section!

Steph (Go Blue!)

image VS.  university-of-michigan_logo

The Basics

 —  February 25, 2013 — Leave a comment



The best coaches, the most effective teachers, and the strongest leaders all know this truth: If you want to build something that endures, you have to start with the basics.
That idea applies to our spiritual journey, too. The Basics will help students explore, discuss, and apply some of the core truths of the Christian faith. The truths in this series aren’t called “basic” because they’re childish or simplistic; they’re “basic” because they’re foundational and essential to leading a life that honors God.
Each week, your teenagers will explore key Scriptures that relate to these topics, discuss the significance of each biblical truth, and consider how it relates to their lives today.
The Basics is ideal for students who have recently become Christ-followers or for teenagers who are exploring the claims and truths of the Christian faith—but students who’ve been followers of Jesus for years will benefit, too.
This DVD-based curriculum covers four topics:

  • Start Here: Salvation [08:13]
  • The First Step: Baptism [05:29]
  • Remembering the Past and Looking Forward: Communion [06:50]
  • Keep Moving Forward: Next Steps [07:14]

You’ll get tons of helpful materials to help you use the curriculum, including discussion guides, promotional materials, and more. All of the resources are editable and reproducible, so you can tweak away and infuse them with your ministry’s unique personality!


Order The Basics here!


About the Author:

Joshua Griffin is the high school pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. While he’s given up on his dreams of winning American Idol and running seven marathons in seven days, he remains committed to the dream of seeing teenagers passionately live out their faith.




Ministry is such a rewarding experience, but why does it create so much strain on marriages?
Jake and Melissa Kircher have learned some valuable lessons (often the hard way!) about building a healthy marriage amid the demands of ministry. They aren’t perfect, but they’ve matured individually and as a couple because of each mess, problem, heartache, and obstacle they’ve encountered. They understand your struggles and frustrations, because they’re their struggles and frustrations, too.
99 Thoughts on Marriage & Ministry will help you discover advice, wisdom, and insight in five core areas:

  • Marriage Basics
  • Balancing Marriage and Ministry
  • Finances
  • The Church vs. Your Family
  • The Darker Side of the Church

Marriage can be messy, and marriage while serving in ministry is extra messy. Whether your marriage needs just a little tuneup or a major overhaul, 99 Thoughts on Marriage & Ministry will encourage both you and your spouse, and will empower you to pursue a strong, healthy marriage.

Order your copy now!


Meet the Authors: Jake & Melissa have been married for seven years. Their blog (holymessofmarriage.com) explores real-life issues that most marriages and relationships face. Through honesty and humor, they provide encouragement and wisdom to couples, both married and dating. Jake has been a youth pastor for 11 years and also works with We Love Our Youth Worker and REACH Youth New England. Melissa has served as a volunteer youth worker and a mentor for high school girls. She is a freelance artist and writer. They have one foster son who loves to bang on the drums.


– Stephanie

yhst-95977426524948_2243_2621964Rural youth ministry is an amazing adventure—a truly unique beast, different from serving in the inner city or the heart of suburbia. But even though our culture is becoming increasingly urban and suburban, rural youth ministry isn’t going away anytime soon.

Brent Lacy is no stranger to the realities of rural ministry—the joys, the challenges, the rewards, the heartaches. He grew up in a rural community and serves as the youth pastor at a rural church today.

Through the pages of this book, Brent examines keys to thriving in rural youth ministry, strategies for building solid relationships, tips on reaching your local schools, wisdom on surviving church politics, ideas on effectively using technology, and advice on adjusting to a new church or community. Whether you’re new to rural youth ministry or your life has been forged in a rural setting, this book will inspire you to hold firm to God’s calling. You can be successful in your ministry. You can reach your community in ways you and your church never even thought were possible. The work may be long, hard, and messy, but the rewards are amazing.

You can do it! Get help/ideas/encouragement from Brent Lacy and his Click here for a free sample!


A Life Changed.

 —  December 31, 2012 — Leave a comment


Earlier this morning an email came in from a former Group Mission Trips attendee. His story exemplifies the faithfulness of God and His endless pursuit of our hearts. We wanted to share Trace’s story with you! So, keep reading…

“I am 42 years old now, married, and have 3 kids. I was listening to the radio when a commercial came on about the youth work camps. I went to one in 1997 or 88’, its been awhile. It was probably the most life changing and fun experience I have had. I went with my youth group from Indiana. We went to the Navajo Indian reservation in NW New Mexico. I did not want to go at first, I was an introvert, I stuttered so I did not like to meet new people or do new things away from the comforts of my normal everyday life. I was crying because I did not want to go but some how, I do not remember why but I went. My youth group of 6 people went. When we got there we were split up into groups with people from all over the U.S. We worked on 2 houses to weatherize them. I became a social butterfly, as my mom use to say. I had people in my group from Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Boston. Such a wonderful group of kids we were. The part that changed my life was my group. I figured out that people did accept my stutter and they did not care that I had trouble talking. My group became friends and on the final day I got up in front of the whole crowd, over 500 people and spoke. I told them I really didn’t want to go because I was scared and didn’t want to put myself out there. From that point forward I wasn’t scared anymore, GOD brought me there to surround me with that group of youth– to show me who I was and to not be afraid of who GOD made me to be: Imperfect and stammering. The friends I made that week  I was pen pals with for years. After high school I would travel to see them because we grew so close that week and in our letters. Now, that I  have kids and my oldest is 14 , I want her to experience the awesome time that I had, although she is a strong young girl who knows who she is and has a great giving heart. I feel she would just be over flowing with joy and spirituality to meet kids from all over the U.S. like I did.” 


Thank you Trace for sharing how the Lord moved in your life during a Group Mission Trip!

If you’re thinking about a Missions Trip visit the Group Mission Trip (GMT) site here! There are several different missionaly minded events that your youth can participate in! Check them out!!


A Small Thanks!

 —  December 27, 2012 — Leave a comment

Youth Ministry Friends–

We wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Remember that you are extremely loved! Enjoy a little video from Jason and Jeff! We hope this makes you smile :)