Worship Together this weekend at Saddleback – fun little video to help remind our students we aren’t having services this week in youth group but are all together in the main auditorium.



The folks over at youthministry360 have just launched another round of free resources, just in time for Easter. They’re giving away three different Easter Bible study lessons, PLUS a set of 10-day Easter devotions for your students. It’s solid stuff that will help your teenagers prepare their hearts and minds for Easter.

Easter is such a powerful time for Christ-followers. These tools will help you lead students to do both reflect on and celebrate Christ’s death and ressurection. To download these free resources, head on over to the ym360 Easter Vault.


Doing Youth Ministry Well

 —  December 6, 2012 — 1 Comment

I liked reading Justin’s post 5 Things You Need to Know in Doing Youth Ministry Well - thought it was some good stuff for you all to check out today. He’s got 5 good insights there, here are a couple to get you started before you run over to his site for the rest:

Be all in- Go all in. Get involved. Break the awkwardness of you being one of the only adults in the room. You know, the students know it, just jump in and break that awkward wall down. Greet them, get involved in the games, the worship, the message. They are watching you whether they know you or not and will determine if you are the real deal or not within two seconds. Is it going to be weird? Probably at first, but once they see you go all in, they will be right behind you.

Be real- Students are the best B.S. detectors I know. They can easily sniff out someone who is not genuine from the start. Don’t try to be the “cool” person because they are not interested. What I have found in doing ministry is that student respond best to any adult leader when they are open, honest, and real. You will not have every kid there liking you, but there is at least one kid that needs to hear your story and how you handled it that will help shape their spiritual life. Students will come to you once they know you are a “real” person.


(this report was written by Justin Knowles – check out his blog here - I was in Dallas speaking at the YS Convention)

Weekend Teaching Series: #REALTALK (Week 2 of 2)
Service Length: 78 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we were so excited to have Sean McDowell back at HSM for a second week. We got to ask the question “How can a loving God send a good person to Hell?”. I know right? A tough one. But Sean tackled it with power and with grace. Our students ate it up as they listened to him explain how God does not want to send anyone to hell, but they willingly choose to reject Him and His Word. That there is no such thing as “good people” because we all are sinners and are messed up, but God sent His Son to save us. It is awesome how he went about such a tough topic, yet really popular topic as well. Sean killed it.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We had a fun video to promote our Winter Retreat for our students in small groups that was a huge hit. Also, a few weeks ago we had a competition to see which class could bring in the most canned goods for our PEACE Center. Our freshmen class one and as a prize they got to record an anthem song and shoot a video with AC (HSM staff member) and we played it for all to this this weekend. It was amazing.

Music Playlist: Yours Forever, Overcome, Tear Down The Walls

Favorite Moment: After all of the services, Sean was bombarded with students asking more questions about hell, the idea of hell, and why God would even make hell. It was awesome just to sit back and listen to Sean answer these really tough and honest questions with the love and tenderness as he did with our students. It made me realize how smart he is about these tough questions and was a great reminder why we got him to come and speak. LEGIT!

Up Next: Special Guest Speaker: Mark Munoz (Professional UFC MMA Fighter)

This weekend I taught the message a little differently than normal – some of it was live and some was on video. This was the first of 2 videos we played to help teach the first week of the series called Stuff Jesus Didn’t Say.


(this weekend in review was written by Justin Knowles since I was speaking at YS San Diego this past weekend. Check out Justin’s blog right here, good stuff!)

Weekend Teaching Series: Heroes and Monsters (1-off)

Service Length: 70 minutes

Understandable Message: We had author and speaker Josh Riebock. He spoke at HSM’s summer camp 4 years ago and it was awesome to have him back. “Every one of us is both a hero and a monster, and the world we inhabit is both beautiful and twisted. We are shaken by changes, losses, gains, insights, desires, mistakes, and transitions. And just when we’ve gotten settled back down, things get shaken up again. This is the life we’ve been given. So how do we make sense of life’s unexpected nature, find a way to embrace the tension, and live with a sense of peace despite pain?” Josh went over these questions and gave a little bit of his testimony  and killed it in our weekend services. You can get his book on Amazon and I know many students who resonated with his life and story.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We had one of our favorite openers to our services that we ever have done. Because we were talking about heroes and monsters, we thought we would start off the service with the ultimate monster/villain, Darth Vader playing guitar and rocking out. We also had HSM Sports Minute Video Volume 4, and a sweet video with a ton of students to promote our tail gate party for our two big football rivalries. Overall it was a very powerful and fun weekend.

 Music Playlist: Imperial March, Go, What Would I Have Done, One Thing Remains

Favorite Moment: I have two. Is that allowed? 1) The Star Wars opener. It was so much fun. 2) Watching so many students respond to Josh’s message that many came to two services or brought a friend because they wanted to hear the message again.

Up next: Stuff Jesus Didn’t Say: You Have To Perfect (series premiere, week 1 of 2)

Fun video we played during the countdown of our Fall Kickoff weekend services.


Weekend Teaching Series: Hollywood Jesus (series premiere, week 1 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Building our own empires vs building God’s Kingdom.
Service Length: 75 minutes

Understandable Message: This week Justin Knowles spoke for the first time in HSM  – kicked off the Hollywood Jesus series. The idea behind the series is that we take a film and look at the Biblical principles found in it. This week was The Lion King which gave a great illustration of how each one of us “wants to be king” but the Bible calls us to live a life to honor the King of Kings. Justin did a great job of communicating that truth through Scripture and a big failure story from his own teenage life as well.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we had fun with the announcements (doing the tennis ball video I posted earlier this week) and had clips from the Lion King as well as an epic cover song up front.

Music Playlist: Circle of Life (Elton John cover), Yours Forever, Here For You, From the Inside Out, Grace

Favorite Moment: Each student got a paper crown when they came into service – part of the application at the end of the talk was to”lay down our crowns” so students came up during the last song and did just that as a symbol of them putting aside their kingdoms for God’s work to be done in His Kingdom. Powerful, memorable moment!

Up next: Hollywood Jesus (week 2 of 3)