The Killball Cup deserves it’s own promo video. The last dodgeball event of the year. Of course, this video from some local HS students still takes the top honors for Best. Dodgeball. Video. Ever.


Weekend Teaching Series: Thread (summer camp registration kickoff weekend 1-0ff)
Sermon in a Sentence: You are God’s masterpiece.
Text: Psalm 139:13-16
Service Length: 66 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we brought in this summer’s HSM camp speaker to promote this summer’s big event in HSM. We had picked Ron Merrell and were so excited to have him teach what has now become the official registration kickoff weekend. Now, we’ve never done a weekend like this before, and honestly hadn’t heard or seen much from Ron so it was a risk. To some degree, this was going to be a preview of summer camp. It was awesome! Ron is a great communicator and students were introduced to his heart and passion for Christ. Students walked away challenged about their identity in Christ and many were already buzzing about HSM Summer Camp. Mission accomplished, great weekend.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This week had some fun on stage with a game of “Let’s Make a Deal” and a cover of a OneRepublic song. We had lots and lots of balloons (goes along with the summer camp theme) and a huge camp signup/info table. Lots of student greeters and energy, especially considering we were coming off the week break from Easter.

Music Playlist: OneRepublic opener, Our God, Divine and Holy, Your Love is Enough

Favorite Moment: I think we just established a new tradition in HSM – the summer camp kickoff weekend. Really inspiring and awesome, proud of the team and excited for our students. The only way it could have been better was if we had the summer calendars to handout, too (my fault, I’m a little behind from vacation still). I spent some of the weekend up in big church doing the announcements and promoting summer camp registration to parents, too.

Up Next: How to Raise Your Parents (series premiere, week 1 of 3) [read the whole series are here]

Here’s the final promo video for HSM’s Summer Camp 2011. Registration is now live on – here we go!


You read about our HSM Parent Weekly newsletter last week – now vote in today’s poll about how you do parent ministry. Check all that apply!


Hey everyone from CMTA 2011! Thanks for making our youth ministry workshops fun this weekend – I enjoyed meeting many of you and here are the links from the 99 Thoughts for Youth Workers trainings I promised you this weekend:



Excited to kick off our summer camp registration this weekend – here’s the look and feel for this year’s summer camp with HSM. Going to be great!


Was just randomly looking through books and tools that might help HSM in our next season and landed on a few that I’m interested in and/or look promising for some situations I’m facing that you may soon, too. Here’s a few items I’m excited about checking out:

If you’re stuck trying to figure out the work of youth ministrymaybe check out Duffy Robbin’s recently expanded and updated book Youth Ministry Nuts and Bolts.

Youth ministry veteran and bestselling author, Duffy Robbins, offers an updated and revised edition of his book about the important, behind-the-scenes mechaincs of youth ministry. The tasks of budgeting, decision-making, time management, team ministry, staff relationships, conflict resolution, working with parents, and a range of other issues, are the things that keep a ministry together and functioning well. Nobody gets into youth ministry because they want to think about these things; but a lot of people get out of youth ministry because they didn’t think about them. All youth workers– whether paid or volunteer, full-time or part-time– will find Youth Ministry Nuts and Bolts to be a thoughtful, fun, practical guide to youth ministry administration.

If you’re stuck on how to help parents get more engaged in raising their students I love Walt Mueller’s stuff and 99 Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers looks like a cheap/simple resource to get into their hands quickly.

If you’re the parent of a teenager, you need all the help you can get. How do you help your children make wise choices? How do you give your teenagers freedom to make their own choices while still providing a guiding hand? How do you invest your time and energy in ways that make an eternal difference in your children’s lives? Walt Mueller delivers the goods in 99 Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers, a no-holds-barred look at the good, bad, and ugly aspects of parenting teenagers. Drawing on his experience as a parent of four children who have passed through their teenage years, Walt shares wisdom, thoughts, insights, and suggestions for making the teenage years count.

If you’re stuck trying to communicate to students the same way … maybe you need to think about using some video curriculum for a while. What if you could bring in Doug Fields, Francis Chan and Max Lucado? I think this video teaching series from BlueFish looks awesome.

If you’re stuck trying to figure out teaching teenagers at all I can’t recommend Doug Fields’ and Duffy Robbins’ book Speaking to Teenagers. A gamer-changer in helping you learn to be a better communicator:

Get ready for a crash course in effective communication. More than just a book on how to “do talks,” Speaking to Teenagers combines the experience and wisdom of two veteran youth ministry speakers, along with insightful research and practical tools, to help you develop messages that engage students with the love of Christ and the power of his Word. Whether you’re crafting a five-minute devotional or a 30-minute sermon, Speaking to Teenagers is essential to understanding and preparing great messages. Together, Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins show you how they craft their own messages and give you the tools to do it yourself. They’ll guide you, step-by-step, through the process of preparing and delivering meaningful messages that effectively communicate to your students.

If you’re stuck in a creative rut … maybe Les Christie can help. The book Awaken Your Creativity shows a ton of promise for helping you get unstuck from doing the same old thing.

You know how tough it can be to come up with new and inventive student ministry ideas every school year. It can be infinitely more grueling to be that creative on a weekly basis! Whether you’re developing a new message, a unique way to get students talking and interacting, or something different for the weekend retreat, most of us find ourselves tapped for creative ideas after a little while. Take comfort: You’re not alone, and you’re not necessarily out of creative steam. Everyone hits a block at some point, but you can find a way to tap into the creativity God placed within you. Les Christie has been doing youth ministry for decades, and he’s not out of ideas yet! This practical book will help you explore the stumbling blocks, the tricks of the trade, and the catalysts to creativity.


A healthy youth ministry should work to create a partnership with the parents — both are responsible for the spiritual education and guidance of their teenager, so why not work together? In many cases that is the heart, but the roadblock usually quickly follows. Here are some ideas on where to start:

Start communicating better
I don’t know what this means in your context, but for me it was a weekly parent newsletter (more details on that here). I’ve started to quickly realize that parents want a simple but comprehensive access point to what’s happening in our youth ministry. They don’t care necessarily about the tool, like I do, they just want to know where to go get it and want to know it’ll be there. Perhaps spend less time figuring out which latest social media tool to add to your overwhelming list and concentrate on the one people are actually using.

Host a freshman orientation night
We’ve regrettably only done this once but it was a huge hit (more details on that here). A huge win for a high school ministry is planning a bridge event to welcome incoming 9th graders and/or hosting a freshman parent orientation. It’ll help you have an early platform for vision and a chance to build a bridge into their home. Want to give off the feeling that your door is always open? Open your doors!

Invite them to participate
Want to win with parents? Partner with them. I’m not saying that they need to be small group leaders, or even help with youth services — but try to find ways to partner with them and invite them to participate. What if you started a prayer team? What if parents of upperclass were paired with underclass parents?

Fight to master the call back
I supposed this is on ongoing and learned behavior, but my heart is that parents will get a callback in 24 hours. Everyone expects their problem, need or crisis to get them immediate help, and even if it doesn’t necessarily, treat them that way. Nothing will help build your reputation and give you a quick win like promptly returning calls and giving parents your undivided attention.

Become a resource pointer
I am the parent of a 9, 7, 6 and 4 year old. I haven’t mastered parenting — I’m still in the thick of it. But what I can master is pointing them to great tools to help them become a great parent. Maybe consider a “book of the month” or “resource highlight” in the parent newsletter or church bulletin. You don’t have to be the world’s greatest parent (or a parent at all) to help them find a resource that could help them be even more effective raising their children.

What do you do in your ministry to partner with parents?