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


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!


An epic series video from HSM to open up our 11 vs. the World series on the disciples. Probably my favorite one so far!


We’re starting a new series in HSM this coming weekend – I’m teaching both weeks of it to help get to know the freshman and since I’ll be gone a lot this summer (Summer Camp, vacation, mission trip to Costa Rica, preview trip to St. Kitts, time off) so I want to make sure I teach up front I can. Here’s the idea behind the 2 weeks of 11 vs. The World:

11 vs. The World
The series idea came from the USA Women’s World Cup team tagline. I loved it, and when I heard of it I immediately thought about the disciples and how they fought against impossible odds to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to the known world. Boom, a series was born.

Week 1 – What Was Your Name Again?
Who were the 12 disciples? We’ll go through each of them by name and look at how God used a motley crew of ordinary people to do something extraordinary. How God is calling each of us to be the light of the world.

Week 2 – Against All Odds
How was it possible that 11 people could change the world? The message of Christ spread to the corners of the known world in an extremely short amount of time – find out how persecution unlocked the passion of the disciples to spread the message of Christ. Find out your place in God’s story as a modern-day disciple and be challenged to continue this epic calling.


This weekend to kickoff our How to Raise Your Parents series, we had one of the HSM Staff demonstrate the proper technique a parent should talk to a kid when they messed up. Funny and super cute.


This fall we had students write letters to themselves that we’ll mail to them at the end of the year. It was part of our future series asking them about where they would be when they grow up. We gave out paper and envelopes and will stamp and mail them at the end of the school year. While I love the tactile side of this, I just heard about FutureMe.org – a site that lets you digitally do the same thing. Might be a good experiential piece for a program or something cool to do with your small group. Check it out!


Here’s the series arc our students came up with for our new 3-week series in May called How to Raise Your Parents. Still a work in progress in addressing this felt need, but I like the direction so far:

Week 1 – Trust Busters
Communication is absolutely critical in a healthy relationship between you and your parents. Communication builds trust, but trust can be lost in a moment. It takes years to build, and moments to lose – think about the last time you stayed out past curfew if you need a reminder of that fact. Respect, honor and obey your parents – doing so will build trust – which is the gateway to a healthy relationship that pleases God.

Week 2 – Great Expectations
Living in a world of peer pressure is bad enough – what do you do when your parents have great expectations on you, too. Sports, academics, admission to college – they all add up to a life filled with responsibilities and potential strain and pain. Ever dealt with favoritism or sibling competition? We’ll cover that, too.

Week 3 – Parent Panel
This weekend we’re doing something pretty unique – there won’t be a typical message like a normal weekend. We’re going to have a parent panel where students can text in their questions to be answered live on stage with a moderator keeping things moving.


It’s been an incredible year here on More Than Dodgeball (MTDB as the locals call it) – thanks so much for joining with me in the journey of youth ministry. I’ve had so much fun and appreciated all of your comments, emails, Tweets, Likes and guest posts. Close to half a million pages viewed during the course of the year with the blog now totaling 5,012 posts with 13,158 comments. Holy smokes!

Here’s a selection of the top 50 youth ministry posts of the year as told by Google Analytics:

And the most visited static page was My Recommended Youth Ministry Resources page – if you’re looking for some good stuff to use in your ministry setting in 2010 there is a good place to start.

Thanks for stopping by, subscribing and spreading the word in 2010. Here’s to 2011!