Fun collection of videos of youth ministry epic fails from the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. So fun!


Here are a couple of fun announcement videos from the Simply Youth Ministry Conference 2013. Jake and I have some old school fun with fish!


Dave and Steve created this fun infographic-style video based on a script I wrote about the attendees of the Simply Youth Ministry Conference 2013.


Screen Shot 2013-03-02 at 10.17.42 AM

Want to watch the Simply Youth Ministry Conference (#SYMC) sessions live and didn’t make it to Indianapolis? You can watch them all online as they happen right here:!

Check out the schedule to see what is next right here, too! Be here even if you can’t be here.


The Basics

 —  February 25, 2013 — Leave a comment



The best coaches, the most effective teachers, and the strongest leaders all know this truth: If you want to build something that endures, you have to start with the basics.
That idea applies to our spiritual journey, too. The Basics will help students explore, discuss, and apply some of the core truths of the Christian faith. The truths in this series aren’t called “basic” because they’re childish or simplistic; they’re “basic” because they’re foundational and essential to leading a life that honors God.
Each week, your teenagers will explore key Scriptures that relate to these topics, discuss the significance of each biblical truth, and consider how it relates to their lives today.
The Basics is ideal for students who have recently become Christ-followers or for teenagers who are exploring the claims and truths of the Christian faith—but students who’ve been followers of Jesus for years will benefit, too.
This DVD-based curriculum covers four topics:

  • Start Here: Salvation [08:13]
  • The First Step: Baptism [05:29]
  • Remembering the Past and Looking Forward: Communion [06:50]
  • Keep Moving Forward: Next Steps [07:14]

You’ll get tons of helpful materials to help you use the curriculum, including discussion guides, promotional materials, and more. All of the resources are editable and reproducible, so you can tweak away and infuse them with your ministry’s unique personality!


Order The Basics here!


About the Author:

Joshua Griffin is the high school pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. While he’s given up on his dreams of winning American Idol and running seven marathons in seven days, he remains committed to the dream of seeing teenagers passionately live out their faith.



Hey everyone! I’m excited to leave tomorrow for Indianapolis for the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. My friend Jake Rutenbar and I are the co-hosts of the event and have some incredible stuff planned. Couldn’t be more excited! Throughout the week I’ll be blogging from the event and sending Tweets and updates from the incredible weekend.

Couple things you should know: 1) Many of the SYMC general sessions will be live-streamed on SimplyYouthMinistry.TV – you can stay tuned to this post for the final schedule as it becomes available. And 2) I wanted to once again list out the bloggers that are attending the event that you can grab learnings from all weekend.

Coming to SYMC? Leave a comment and I’ll add you to the list:



Want to make a difference this summer???

Play games with the elderly?

Help a local food bank?

Landscape the yards of non-profits and different ministries?

Check out WEEK OF HOPE!! You can make a difference in someone’s life!

When you request a FREE infopak you’ll be entered to WIN $500 in resources!!

Request your FREE infopak here!


stumboJohn Stumbo is one of the keynote speakers at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference coming up next month. If you haven’t signed up (I think) you can still get in before it sells out. Super excited to be a part of this event – see you there!

Three decades of serving the local church has been a fascinating ride. Three years of youth ministry drove me straight to the senior pastorate. Middle schoolers. Wow! There’s a real calling. I didn’t ve it. Preaching to people who actually stay in their chairs seemed more suitable. In all sincerity, what an honor to serve Christ by serving His bride. Amazing! I’m a big fan of the local church–crazed as she usually is.

What is one key thing youth leaders can do to help you as a senior pastor?
Stay out of trouble. Stay out of court. Stay out of my office unless I call for you. Uh, that’s what some youth pastor/lead pastor roles look like, right?

Love the students with the love of Christ, preach the Word with humility and passion, care for the broken . . . you know, pastor the flock entrusted to you. It would help if you would do so in a manner that I can defend if I need to. In other words, when you do something that might alarm the parents (or police department), maybe it would be a good idea to not let me get caught by surprise.

And what is the best way for a youth worker to build a relationship with a senior pastor you think?
Tough question. Us lead pastor types are often difficult to get to know. I’d say, “Don’t be discouraged if you’re not brought into the lead’s inner circle. He/she may not even have an inner circle. You can still have a great ministry partnership without being close friends.” I know this isn’t a satisfying answer for some, but strong ministry partnership and strong friendship are not necessarily the same.

One more thought: Get to know the pastor’s spouse. People see me and relate to me differently after they get to know my wife. Besides, she’s very likable. You can’t lose getting to know her!

What are you most nervous about as you plan to speak in the general session at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference 2013?
Nervous? Just because I haven’t even attended a youth conference in almost 30 years, follow Lecrae in the Saturday session and have what 3,000+ communicators staring at my graying head … why would you ask?

What are you most excited about as you plan to speak?
The way that this night came about … leaders trying to do more than just fill a slot with some big name, but wanting to have a sense that God was directing them . . . gives me a significant sense of anticipation. I’m trusting that God will breathe hope and encouragement into some souls that are fighting real battles of discouragement or wrestling with their own faith. I’m asking God for a night of hope, healing and joy in the midst of honesty and brokenness.

What¹s the craziest thing you can ever remember your youth leaders doing?
I’m pretty sure I never heard the craziest things they did. But I do remember finding out about the middle school pastor who used the 15 passenger church van to go “four-wheeling”. The van was never the same, but rumor has it that it was a fun ride. I was never convinced that using a toilet filled with Mountain Dew was the best place to do a fall festival bobbing for apples event. Duct tape seemed to be overused for one era of youth ministry.  And, whoever thought that combining a youth all-night lock-in with a baking fund raiser (sell cinnamon roll orders to the congregation, make them from scratch at the youth event and deliver them fresh at 7:00 in the morning) was a good idea, was nuts … oh, wait, I was that youth pastor.

The craziest of all: being willing to work for a senior pastor like me!