Hey everyone from NYWC 2011!

Thanks for making our youth ministry workshop so fun this weekend — I enjoyed meeting many of you and here are the links from Every 7 Minutes: Keeping Students Engaged During Your Talk workshops I promised you today:


Secrets Week 1 Opening Video

Josh Griffin —  September 23, 2011 — 2 Comments

Here’s a sweet little video our team put together to help put into feelings/emotion what our students wrote when they shared their secrets. I used it at the beginning of the talk to help turn the corner from some fun into some pretty heavy stuff.


Secrets Series Bumper Video

Josh Griffin —  September 22, 2011 — 1 Comment

Absolutely love this new bumper video for our Secrets fall kickoff series. Each of the bulletins had one of these same secrets printed on the front and we also made up some signs to print around the youth room, too.


Here’s the rest of the secrets we made (see the others here) based on the ones our students turned in. These were signage for the Secrets series we’re doing this fall. A great reminder that just under the surface there are all sorts of secrets.



We took a few of the secrets from our students (you can see the original cards they filled out here) and Parker made them into some really great pieces of art that were hung throughout the Refinery and were printed on the back of the student programs this weekend. I’ll post another batch soon, too. Pretty powerful, painful stuff.


This week during the end of the first message in the Secrets series, I challenged students to take a courageous step and share their secrets. I gave them a few options for where and how they could share it, here they are:

RemedyLIVE is a ministry that helps students deal with their secrets. They’re basically an internet TV ministry for students. I’ve got some good friends over there that are doing some great stuff for students (online confessional booth, anonymous texting chats, powerful web shows, etc.) Really worth checking out as a youth worker to see if it would help you with your hurting students, too.

Another online ministry I’m excited to point you to is MyBrokenPalace.net. Seems like this one is newer (and local to us). Same kinda thing – great videos, a prayer wall and online confessional.

The Landing
The Landing is the Celebrate Recovery program for students. This program runs every Friday night at 7pm in our church and specializes is helping students deal with their secrets, addiction and pain. This week as a special connection to the Secrets series they’re hosting an open house to welcome curious students.


Weekend Teaching Series: Secrets (series premiere, week 1 of 2)
Sermon in a Sentence: Everyone has secrets and secrets make us sick, but there is hope.

Service Length: 73 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend was essentially our fall kickoff weekend – but without services last weekend, it was also the start of our first big series of the school year. We’ve been kicking around the idea of Secrets for a couple years now – didn’t know how students would respond and nothing could have prepared us for the students’ response this weekend. It was incredible! This first week of the series I concentratied the teaching around how secrets are universal, destructive but there is hope in Christ. We invited students to respond to the message by raising a hand for prayer, and then encouraged any student who wanted to come forward for prayer during the response song to have courage and come forward. This is definitely not in our church culture, but it ended up being something really special. So many students came forward and our volunteers were prepared to pray with them. As many as possible we directed to a time when we could meet together this week and specifically start to address the secret they shared. My main texts were Matthew 11 and 23 – a student testimony rounded out the talk as well.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We had a great cover song opener, a replay of the Life Groups Win music video from last week, a funny song about secrets, and the real secrets of students made up into posters all over the entryway and auditorium. We also did a black-light object lesson that turned out super, too. Lots of student greeters, lots of volunteers, especially those helping out with The Landing (Celebrate Recovery for Students, which made for a perfect next step from this series).

Music Playlist: Dirty Little Secrets [All-American Rejects cover], He is Alive, Nothing Compares, God Above All, Hosanna, Grace

Favorite Moment: At the end of the 6:30pm Saturday night service, the student response was overwhelming. So many tears, so many secrets shared. It was incredible. Our service is usually just over an hour, and it was amazing to cross the 2-hour mark with students still sharing, praying and crying in the auditorium. Really, really moving weekend.

Up next: Secrets (week 2 of 2)

This weekend as part of our Secrets series we had a large board white board on stage during the talk. It represented the image we try to keep up, when in reality everything isn’t pure and OK, we are messed up just below the surface. The team stenciled the word “secrets” repeatedly on the board – but the words were completely invisible until we revealed it as part of the talk. Black-light paint is usually very expensive – but they came up with a super-genius solution: black-light hairspray ($3 at Costume Castle) to create the awesome illustration. The end result was a moody, powerful set piece. So cool!