Super excited about a new series we start in HSM right after Easter. We did a sermon brainstorm meeting and came up with the teaching arc of the series – here it is:

Week 1: Living in the Grey (Josh)
As followers of Jesus, we are to walk in the light. The problem is – the draw to the darkness of the world is pulling us away from the light. Too often, Christians believe the lie that there is a grey area where we can love the light but walk in the darkness. Somehow we have become complacent/lukewarm/brainwashed about living in the middle, in the grey. We have been brainwashed to think that is is okay.

Week 2: World vs. 10 commandments (Parker)
Looking how the world’s way completely is opposite of the God’s way. Take a closer look at each of the 10 commandments and you’ll quickly realize that we all have a choice. So when the Bible says, Do not covet our neighbors things,” we need to realize that the world tells us that we need more and more and more.

Week 3: Transforming Your Mind (Josh)
There is a battle for our mind – how can we have victory? Our minds must be washed in the the glory of Jesus so we begin to think and act in a way that is glorifying to Him. This weekend ends with a special time of commitment and celebration of walking in God’s way. Each student will be given a squishy brain with the series/ministry name logo on it as a reminder of the series, too.

JG

Right after the Simply Youth Ministry Conference I always get asked the same question: how did you do that!?! I love a good idea – I love stealing good ideas, too. If anything you saw on the main stage was interesting to you or maybe inspired you to bring something back into your ministry setting – here’s the scoop on what we used or how we did it!

Poll Everywhere – the polls on the big screen were powered by PollEverywhere.com. The technology is free for up to 40 responses (perfect for most youth groups) and scales really well to have thousands of responses per poll. Be sure to check them out – we use it all the time in our youth ministry, it is so fast and fun!

AR.Drone – one of the new ideas this year was to use an AR.Drone to hover over the crowd with a gift card attached to it on a long string. The Drone is controlled by an iPad/iPhone/iPod/Android and streams live video from the hovering airship to the big screen. With all of the signals in the conference room it got bogged down a bit, but overall it was a super fun experiment.

Facebook Hack – This is a game we invented in our youth ministry a couple of months ago. You can read more about the game and download the title slide right here.

The Interlude – a fun dance you can download right here.

Digital Stachethese are the dudes behind lots of magic on the screens. We had an idea, they did it. Really stunning guys with tons of freebies and youth ministry resources totally worth checking out!

Twitter – this is actually a feature in the latest version of Propresenter (5, from what I understand). It is a super cool way to put up a paricular hashtag on the screen – it includes full moderation capabilities as well. Looked super slick up there!

Was there something else at the event you would like to know about? Hit me up in the comments!

JG



Kurt just posted the 3-week series arc for their series about sex in our Wildside (junior high) ministry the past month. Worth checking out for inspiration for your own series, and be sure to head over there to check out some other insights about teaching about sex/relationships to junior highers, too.

Week 1: Developing Healthy Friendships With Each Other. We simply took a look at some of the differences between guys and girls, and how an understanding of some of these differences can help us be better friends with each other.

Week 2: Dating: We took a look at what begins to happen when a friendship becomes more than just a friendship. We addressed such questions as: When is it okay to start dating? Who should I date? How should I date? What role do should my parents play in all of this?

Week 3: Sex This weekend, we will wrap the series up by talking about sex. I feel a little overwhelmed because ONE lesson on sex isn’t enough. I am afraid I will try to cram too much into the lesson, thus making it too complex, and more confusing than helpful.

JG

Really enjoyed teaching at YS’ NYWC this past week. During my Grande Seminar called Creating a Series from Scratch, the group come up with a great list of sermon topics and series ideas. Thought it might benefit you or inspire you to come up with something great, too!

  • Superheroes
  • In-n-out (of church)
  • Live love. Live loved
  • LinkedIn: Get connected
  • Stressed Out
  • Church History 101
  • I (Heart)
  • I hurt
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Social Injustice
  • Lair, Lunatic, or lord?
  • Personalities of the disciples
  • Trinity
  • Old Fashioned (manners, tradition, etc)
  • What’s Next? (heaven, hell, etc)
  • Amazing Grace
  • ZERO to HERO
  • The Loser Club
  • Epic Fail
  • Steadfast
  • Family Feud
  • Survivor (dealing with teenage problems)
  • More Than a Song (studying the lyrics and background)
  • Cults
  • Explaining Christian symbols
  • What’s He like?
  • God is…
  • “Christianeze” – understanding church lingo
  • Scary Stories of the Bible
  • Zombies Apocalypse
  • The Other 6
  • Speedbump: Walls, Hurdles and Roadblocks
  • When Life Knocks You Down
  • Heroine of Bible
  • Fearless
  • Discovering your gifts
  • Church for dummies
  • Spiritual disciplines
  • Share your faith
  • Who’s your neighbor?

JG



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:

JG

Vote in this week’s youth ministry poll – how often do you teach about purity/sex in youth group? I’m considering kicking off the school year with a sex series next month, which we’ve never done before. Pastor Rick changed up our fall campaign so I’ve got a few weeks and thinking of starting it off with a bang. Vote now!

JG



We just started a new summer series this past weekend in HSM – a 4-week study of the book of Philippians called LiveSTRONG. Here’s a quick overview of the arc for the teaching series:

WK 1: To live strong is to serve Christ. To die is gain. Philippians 1:19-26

WK 2: To live strong is to do right and stand firm in a wicked world. Philippians 2:14,15

WK 3: To live strong is focusing on the future and running the race. Philippians 3:12-16

WK 4: To live strong is being content, depending on God’s power. Philippians 4:11-13

JG

Was talking to a youth worker this week and he shared about how his youth group topics and small group time line up. I’ve never been able to use that idea in a setting I’ve worked in, but I love it. Talk about it at church, expand on it in small groups. Right now, our teaching topics are completely independent. How about you? Vote in today’s poll!

JG