Our high school ministry does really well with funny videos and usually comes up with some pretty strong programming bits for our youth group services. What I like about this video is that is sets up the students’ sharing time so well. Good stuff!


Get Better At Sharing

Chris Wesley —  November 29, 2012 — 3 Comments

The beauty of being a part of a church staff is that you are working to make an impact as a team.  The messiness comes when you have to share.  Doesn’t matter how old you are, there are certain resources and relationships you refuse to share.  Maybe you have a hard time sharing when it comes to:

  • Space In Your Building
  • The Time In Your Schedule
  • A Volunteer In Your Ministry

While you don’t want to completely sacrifice everything you have, it’s important not to hold onto them with a tight grip.  It is important not to be walked all over when it comes to sharing your resources.  But, if you don’t work on sharing then you’ll struggle to grow as a team, because you’ll miss the importance of selflessness.

So, how do you get better at sharing?  It’s starts with:

STEP 1: Checking Your Heart

If you aren’t willing to give up your time or a resource you need to know where the displeasure comes from.  Sometimes your reluctance might be fueled by not wanting to be inconvenienced.  If this is the case you need to step out of your comfort zone and realize that it will be alright.  Cast out those demons of selfishness by being selfless.

STEP 2: Reviewing Your Stuff

The more you hoard the easier it is to become selfish.  How many resources are on your shelves?  Do you need every single dollar in your budget?  There are times when we need to look at our resources and answer the question, “Do I really need that?” If the answer is no, be a wise steward and share it with the coworker, volunteer or neighboring youth minister.

STEP 3 : Seeking Accountability

You might think you are the most selfless giver on staff, when you could be the great grand child of Ebenezer Scrooge.  Find someone who you can ask to hold you accountable in how you utilize your resources.  Let them tell you when they think you are being selfish.  Give them permission to call you out when you hoard up your junk and to give you praise when you do something right.  With accountability you can become a better steward.

Sharing isn’t easy.  If it was easy toddlers would be doing it and they really stink at it.  It takes practice, it takes examination of ones heart and it takes some accountability.  Plus sharing is an act of giving that creates a generous heart.  A generous heart not only helps others by getting them the resources they need, but it becomes contagious to the people around you.

How do you monitor your use of resources? Share your thoughts.

Chris Wesley @chrisrwesley




There are a ton of reasons small groups don’t work for people. It is easy to look at the group and point fingers at others but the best place to find some answers is to look closely at yourself. In my experience I’ve seen several attitudes that stop true community from forming in student small groups. I was able to share 4 of these pitfalls as a warning to students this week at our Life Group kickoff:

Just don’t say anything
This is the person who gets to group and refuses to say anything at all. He or she will not let ANYONE in or say ANYTHING. They will not be vulnerable and refuse to let someone in. They are simply putting in their time, or perhaps they were hurt in a previous group and don’t trust people out of the gate. Community can’t happen with that mindset.

The TMI guy
This is the classic “oversharer” the person who talks on and on about everything in their life. The person who refuses to stop talking about themselves, and redirects all of the conversations to cleverly make it about them. The person who won’t open up LOVES this person, so they can continue sitting on the sidelines of the group.

The 10% rule
This is the person who shares just enough to satisfy their leader – or shares enough of their story to get correction that doesn’t sting. They tell the story slanted to their perspective that favors them. Some choose to share just 10% – just enough to keep the conversation going without getting deep. Some share 90% – and leave out the last part to disguise the real problem or the severity of the issue.

Us vs. them
Community isn’t just you and your peers – it is a connection with your leaders as well. I was talking to one of our leaders this week who said “I think they would be surprised at what I would show up at if they just let me in.” Build then keep unity within your group. Students who deflect genuine community by attacking the leader never win. Community says we’re all in this together and rejects cliques and insiders/outsiders.

So what do we do?
1) Identify the walls and masks in your life
2) Make yourself vulnerable to the others in your group
3) Share … all of it
4) Lead others by your example and unity

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Romans 12:9-12


The Power of Testimonies

Josh Griffin —  September 20, 2012 — 1 Comment

I love adding a testimony to my message. I think it makes the sermon totally come alive!

For HSM’s Fall Kickoff this year I taught a message to each class (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) and for a couple of them I added a testimony to help give the talk a sense of realism and weight. The two students who shared, Jenna (an incoming freshman) and Bryce (starting his senior year), did an incredible job sharing their hopes and dreams for the upcoming year. I was so proud of them – a couple incredibly mature students!

We don’t always have a testimony, but when we do:

  • We give students direction for their story – but not usually too much lead time
  • Students have to simply read their testimony on the stage – it is the great equalizer
  • All testimonies are edited by someone from the team
  • Parents have to be aware of the content and sign off on it being shared


Its no great secret, but the power of story is massive and in youth ministry and getting students to articulate their experiences and testimony is key. For years we’ve done our best to share students stories, but its been something we have nearly always done live. When students stand in front of one another and testify to the impact that Jesus has had in their life I get chills but it often ends there. We don’t record our services as of yet, and after that night many of the finite but important details of a students story or experience are lost or forgotten

It is for this reason that as the end of last year we made a conscious switch to doing all story via video. The motivations for this move were 5-fold:

1 – When the video is posted online, it can be shared or watched again by students who were impacted by it.

2 – Students tend to rehearse a bit more and have come more prepared for filming because we don’t allow them to read off a sheet of paper. Because they are prepared  they also tend to be more concise and clear.

3 – It allows our creative type people to use their skills and passions to serve in the production and editing process.

4 – We are able to share some stories without using any words.

5 – Students connect well to media (no surprise there)

The benefits have been huge already and the reaction so far to our “Journey Stories” have been very positive with leaders providing names of students whose testimony we need to hear. Students are drawn to media, so leveraging that into a vehicle to share the Gospel is a must do and something that there is great potential in for those that aren’t doing it already. My disclaimer is that it does take a lot more work. I like many of you am a bit of a Youth Ministry generalist, and wear a lot of different hats week in and week out so adding filming and editing video to my job description has been challenging, but the time invested is still more than worth it to me. I will be the first to admit that there are nights when a students testimony is more applicable, and communicates more effectively the life changing power of Christ  than any sermon I could preach.

So with that, here is out latest project which is an overview of our trip to Uganda this summer. The goal was to tell the story of our missions trip in a way that could be shared over social media. The response from our students has been overwhelming and the next missions trip might fill up very fast now and I am thrilled that, that could be a reality.

-Geoff (Twitter)