dod-marriage-600x600

Love this new resource that is the discount of the week over at Simply Youth Ministry. 99 Thoughts on Marriage & Ministry - a book that looks to help young couples as they navigate these challenging waters. From the back of the book:

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.

Today only – 58% off – just $2.50 each!

JG

99_thoughts_for_guysThere are actually 3 dudes behind the book 99 Things Every Guy Should Know. JEFFREY WALLACE is the President & CEO of Front Line Urban Resources, MIKE HAMMER is a youth pastor and MATTY MCCAGE works on the youth ministry team at Group Publishing.

What’s the story behind the book, 99 Things Every Guy Should Know? The story behind 99 Thoughts basically came from the fact that Matty, Mike, and I are all fathers of boys and we all desperately shared the desire to do whatever we could to try and make sure they did not make some of the same mistakes we made growing up. We all agreed that if there was some type of manual, road map for young men, or resource out there, besides “true love waits”, when we were growing up, we may not have made some of the same decisions and mistakes. We also wanted to leave a legacy for our boys that they could look back on and be proud of and at the same time, help other young men who do not have a father in their life, a positive male role model, or just simply have typical male Adolescent issues and questions about the journey of life.

Matty, I know you had a lot of struggles you could share about growing up. Can you share one that was cut from the book? Growing up, my dad was in the house but he wasn’t totally engaged in me and my siblings lives. My dad believed in the saying, “do as I say, not as I do”. And because of that, my father never really talked to me much about what it meant to be a real man. Our sex talk consisted of him bringing a condom and a banana in my room, putting the condom on a banana and then telling me, “don’t bring any babies in this house!”. I learned about being a man from my older brother and hanging out with my boys in the streets. And as you can imagine, that wasn’t the best examples to have as a curious teenager. As a result of the way I was raised and the lack of guidance from my father, I got into any and everything. I struggled with what it meant to be godly man even though mom took us to church weekly and I honestly had a desire to be spiritual. I knew there was more to life than what I saw, I just didn’t know how to obtain it. As I got older, I struggled even more with making proper decisions when it came to my future, relationships, lust, sex, and struggles with porn, Finances and handling money, my education, and the type of people I should allow in my life….you name it, i struggled with it. I was totally lost and I had no one to guide me but my big brother, the homies on the block, and what Tupac, Biggie Smalls, and Jay Z taught me through their music. As a teenager, I equated success with things and masculinity with the number of girls I was talking to. Basically I had no clue! I so wish I had this book to give me some type of insight and perspective on the things I needed to know as a young man.

What would be the best way to use the book? Just give it to the guys and be done with it, journey through it together as a small group, graduation gift? This book can be used in small groups as discussion items or trending topics, gifts for rising ninth graders and graduating seniors, or for any young man that you know does not have a consistent role model or influential male voice in their life and they’re unsure about the answers to specific issues that they’re struggling with. They need help when it comes to their journey to becoming a healthy and productive young man.

What were some other topics you were hoping to cover that didn’t make the 99? Some other topics I would have love to cover in the book is how to recover from grief and tragedy, a deeper conversation about how to bounce back from rejection, disappoints, and set backs, and how to deal with being molested, abused, or abandon. I believe a lot of these hard issues are very much a reality for a lot more young men today then we know or believe.

If you could give one piece of advice to a freshman guy coming into high school this Fall, what would you tell him? My middle son Christopher is a freshman this year in high school and if I could give other freshmen a piece of advice, I will tell them like I told my son; enjoy the journey, but take it one day at a time. Take your time and develop a rhythm that works for you. Be true to who you are and don’t try to be something that you’re not. The investment that you make in your self today will dictate your journey and destiny tomorrow.

Thanks for your time, guys! Get the book here!

JG



Easter_2013_Blog_Hub

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.

JG

yhst-95977426524948_2249_4827794At the Simply Youth Ministry Conference this past weekend they released Kurt Johnston’s new book for students, This Book Gets Around. They created a

This Book Gets Around is a fun way to learn something new about your friends or family members, neighbors, co-workers, teammates, whoever! (You might even uncover one or two surprising things about yourself, too.)

Pass the book around, let people answer imaginative questions and do some creative activities, and then see what’s written on the pages.

Give the book to specific people or let it follow a random path back to you—whatever way you use it is fine. Get the fun started today, and discover something cool, unusual, surprising, or amazing about the people you already know!

JG



the_basics_10_min_moment

I’m excited to announce that Simply Youth Ministry is releasing a new student devotional book this week: 10-Minute Moments the Basics. It is a 30-day student through the book of John that is perfect for foundational spiritual growth or new believers. Here’s a little insight from the product description:

Want to help teenagers build a lasting life of faith? It all begins with a solid foundation! 10-Minute Moments: The Basics will help students in their spiritual journey, whether they’re new followers of Jesus or have been Christ-followers for years. The truths in this book 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.

Teenagers will discover a fresh understanding about God from the Gospel of John, one of the clearest and most-read books of the Bible. They’ll explore the fundamental beliefs and teachings of Jesus, and they’ll encounter a deeper of everything God has done for us. Each day’s reading only takes about 10 minutes—a great step toward building a personal habit of daily time with God.

JG

Parents Ministry, Family Ministry, or Inter-generational Ministry whatever you want to call it seems to be the hot button topic in youth ministry today. From mega churches who are learning about it to smaller country churches who have been doing it forever but want to get a fresh perspective on it, we all cannot debate it’s place in our job description or its value on the spiritual development of our students.

parent_ministry_resources

While there are many different theories and strategies out there, I’ll give you an insight to one that has taken off at our church. When I hold a parents meeting I cannot get more than three or four sets of parents there at the same time. So the nifty resources I get for them only make it in the hands of a few parents. So how to get the other parents resourced became a priority. So I designed a nice looking resource table, placed it in the church foyer, and since then I cannot keep the resources on the table. I could make guesses as to why it works, our parents want help but they want it anonymously or they don’t want the other parents thinking they don’t have it all together but the fact of the matter is the resources are going out with great results. I’ve had a ton of parents call me to discuss this or that from a book or article so as long as its working I’m good with that.

In case you were wondering what the top resources are at our church, here ya go:

The key to this idea, like anything in ministry is the follow up. When I talk to a parent I ask them if they grabbed any resources lately and if they say yes I ask which one they’ve enjoyed and we talk about it. Plus all of our parents know if they have any questions with the resources that I am always there to help.

Kevin Patterson is the youth pastor at Dawson Springs First Baptist Church in Dawson Spring, KY. Be sure to check out http://www.lifeintheymfishbowl.blogspot.com/ to regularly get in on his learnings, too!



the_basics_video_curriculum

I’m excited to let you know about a new resource that Simply Youth Ministry and I will release next week – The Basics: Foundations for Your Faith is a new 4-week DVD curriculum for small groups. It might be a good series for a new believer’s class as well. Here’s a little blurb from the official description:

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.

You can order it right here!

JG

Book Review: The 52 Series

 —  February 5, 2013 — 1 Comment

Screen-Shot-2012-09-12-at-9.31.14-AM

Got a copy of Gregg Farah’s new book 52 Ways to Grow Your Faith recently and wanted to make sure I mentioned it here on the blog. I was a part of his indegogo campaign to help fund it get published and am so excited it is finally here! Gregg does a great job of creating a simple, weekly devotional tool for you to use in a small group meeting or on your own.

Each chapter includes:

  • Spiritual growth idea and explanation
  • Key verse
  • Devotion
  • Key Quote
  • Try It (application)
  • I Tried It! (real people, real stories)
  • Prayer (for you to finish)

It is pretty accessible at the student level (in a discipleship booth, or handed out by small group leaders) but could be used for different ages as well. Proud of Gregg, love this resource. Pick up 52 Ways to Grow Your Faith on Amazon today!

JG