Blogger Sale!

 —  August 14, 2013 — Leave a comment


Hey Simply Insiders!

Like what you read here on the blog from our awesome contributors? We do too!

Well, we wanted you to know that they write more than just helpful tidbits on More Than Dodgeball. Authors including Kurt Johnston, Jeffrey Wallace, Katie Sutton, Stephanie Caro, Cuck Bomar, and Leneita Fix also have created incredible books and resources on relevant topics for your youth ministry.

From now until midnight on Friday, August 16, some of their best stuff will be on sale for 25% off their regular price! These are great savings on unique, quality resources on a wide range of topics from 99 Thoughts for Smaller Church Youth Workers by Stephanie Caro to Urban Ministry from Start to Finish by Jeffrey Wallace.

After you stock up on the sale, I encourage you to also check out or new Blogger Marketplace. Here you will find each blogger with some of their titles featured below their name, like the example below:

Blogger Marketplace


So check it out! Explore the Blogger Marketplace and tell all your friends about the 25% off Blogger Sale going on until Friday!

You guys are the best youth workers on the planet. We love you!


Attention youth leaders! A great resource is waiting for just a click of your mouse to fuel your ministry right now. Sign up for the Simply Youth Ministry Today newsletter to receive FREE, brief and powerful nuggets to spur on your ministry daily.

*Sign up for SYM Today here*

SYM Today screenshot

The revamped SYM Today newsletter, now equipped with exclusive posts Monday through Friday, is the best way to make sure that you don’t miss a beat of daily wisdom from authors in the trenches of youth ministry.

Leaders including Rick Lawrence, Editor in Chief of Group Magazine, and Saddleback’s Kurt Johnston among many others share advice on everything from taking care of your family to missions to summer agendas- if it’s relevant to youth ministers, they are talking about it. Don’t miss another day of useful truths in your inbox.

*Sign up here for the SYM newsletter!*

Happy Friday Homies!

– Amber Cassady aka the new girl aka AC

$5 deal 7-18

Yes, yes, I know. This is way too good to be true… but it is! For today only you can get The Simple Truth Bible for just 5 presidential flash cards.

That’s a mere penny per devotional for the priceless result of helping your students grow closer to Jesus!

Doesn’t get better than that folks. Today is the only day for the $5 Simple Truth Bible deal so be sure to get ‘em while they’re hot! *Order now here*

We love you guys! Keep on keepin on.

– Amber Cassady aka The new girl aka AC


Look at the students in the picture above.  Would you describe them as unchurched/urban/at-risk/inner-city or community kids?  Why or why not?

Now do me a favor.  Think about the students in your group for a second. What is their background, attitude, and perspective on life?

Take this quiz:

On a separate paper number 1-10. (in any way.)
Next to each that has a yes write the name of the student/parent (or students if there is more than one) that you are thinking of.

1. At least on student is either a child of divorce or growing up in a single parent home.

2. At least one student is suffering from angry outbursts, apathy, or is difficult in some way.

3. At least one student mooches off of others, complains about being hungry or seems to constantly be grubbing for something.

4. At least one student appears to be neglected at home emotionally, spiritually or physically.

5. At least one student lives in a neighborhood, environment or home where you know they rarely feel safe.

6. At least one student seems to always be the victim or feels entitled in some way.

7. At least one student receives more negative feedback than positive encouragement at home. (i.e. You’re never going to be.)

8. At least one parent seems to always be late, complaining, or non-existent when you try to track them down.

9. At least one student who seems to set their own boundaries at home. (i.e curfews, bedtimes, makes most of own meals, runs own life.)

10. At least one student is either overly needy or has extreme trust issues when sharing details about their life. They may offer facts with little or no emotion attached.


The more positives you gave the more students and families you have living in a survival mentality.


One can not merely look at a student and identify what is going on in their hearts or homes.  Those of us in youth ministry may use a variety of ways of “labeling” these students:  unchurched- urban- inner-city- at-risk- or community kids. If I had to pick one,  I would use urban. It does include a demographic area, culture, multi-ethnicity, social ills, and socio-economics. However, I would argue, in terms of the Christian community, this title blurs those lines and moves beyond them. In other words you might be living in the suburbs of New Jersey, rural Kansas or downtown Los Angeles and all have students that fit into our little quiz. The other side of the tracks with their common misconceptions and problems are moving, and reaching each of us in ministry in some way.

Urban = Survival Mode.  Therefore we all have urban students.

This idea came from talking to YOU, the youth workers, all over the country. I have these students and families and I don’t know what to do.   Over and again there is a common thread, families from around this world have forgotten what hope could feel like, and merely exist into tomorrow.

I would love to engage you in this discussion.  What is the mix of your youth programming?






One last day on the 40-40-40 Sale at Simply Youth Ministry this week. Tons of resources, 40% off and it ends really soon. What do I recommend? Glad you asked!


Simply Youth ministries biggest sale of the year is going on right now.  Up to 40% off some the absolute best resources for youth ministry out there.  If you have a small youth ministry budget, now is the time to get in on these deals.  Don’t miss out!


article.2013.04.30Got a smartphone? Chances are you’re working at integrating some great apps into your youth ministry world. We do the same thing and while Angry Birds Star Wars and Temple Run 2 take up a little too much of our time if we’re honest, there are some incredible apps for youth ministry.

This week Josh is up first and Kurt will offer up his 3 favorites tomorrow. Add your favorite apps in the comments!

TOP 3 APPS for youth ministry

1. Evernote (FREE)
Evernote is a productivity app that syncs important documents in the cloud and on all your devices. It is incredibly robust and keeps everything from brainstorm notes, pictures you take, and even voice memos and delivers them to all of your devices. It’s a great place to work on talks, share documents, and even manage to-do lists. An incredible app for your phone, Web site, and computer and the price is right.

2. HeyTell (FREE)
Communicate with your friends like a walkie-talkie. The best part is you can make a group and send a quick voice memo to all your volunteers at once. The interface is simple, one touch, and responsive. Even if someone isn’t a phone person, this is a perfect compromise.

3. Icebreaker Questions ($.99)
The only one on the list that costs actual money but well worth it. Suggest it to your small-group leaders so they have a starting point for conversations and figure out how to talk to teenagers. The questions are fun and make it easier to get past that awkward pause while waiting for everyone else to arrive to group.

Other incredible apps that didn’t quite make the cut:

Haze ($.99) check the weather to make sure the summer event isn’t going to be rained out.

Starbucks (FREE) consolidate all of your Starbucks cards into one place and earn stars toward free drinks. Maybe even have a church card and personal card both on the same account.

YouVersion (FREE) the best Bible app out there. The daily reading plans with reminders and notifications are super to keep you on track, too.

Pandora (FREE) want to have a great playlist for before and after services? Download this app, turn on the TobyMac station, plug it into your sound system, and you’re set. Easy there is an occasional commercial, so you might want to drop the $36/year to go ad-free, too. You might never buy another CD again!

What are the other best youth ministry apps out there you’d add to the list?

This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.

article.2013.04.16Graduation! Your amazing students whom you have loved and cared for the past few years are heading out to the great unknown of college, the work force, their parents basement, or a strange combination of all three! But because moving away to college is such a big deal, those are the students we are going to focus on this week.

As students leave your ministry the temptation is to completely set them free and while this is the typical model in most churches, what would it look like if you extended your influence in their lives to cover this challenging transition? Here are a few practical ideas how.

Help them find a church.
For students who move away, the number one in a new city and starting a new life is finding a church home. Oftentimes the struggle is I just can’t find a church like ours, which is flattering, but a dangerous position for a student to be in their freshman year. So help! Google the churches within a couple miles of the campus and see which one would feel familiar to them. Visit their Web site, or give them a call and ask a few questions, and pass the information along to your student.

Here’s an idea: Find out where your seniors are heading for college, and ask a key volunteer to do a little bit of church research for each community and, as a graduation gift, give an Awesome churches near your school packet to each graduate!

Give them a resource.
Help them in this transition with a devotional resource or a letter a day from a member of your church with a verse to encourage them. Okay, we have never seen that one done, either, but how cool would it be! Don’t let students dangle in limbo spiritually; challenge them to continue in the spiritual disciplines and increase their faith in God even when they are in an environment where it will be challenged daily.

Check in periodically.
Being remembered is huge. Too often students leave for school and leave their mentors, parents, and youth workers behind. That is by design, and one of the catalysts that force students to think for themselves as they barrel into adulthood, but it also leaves them vulnerable to attack.

A quick Skype call, a phone call on the weekend, even a weekend trip to see them could be huge. You never know the power of a simple text; it would probably mean the world to your students 400 miles from home.

This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.