download-3352Simply Youth Ministry’s Easter Media Basket ($9.99):
This bundle includes…

  • 10 Backgrounds (5 for Palm Sunday, 5 for Easter)
  • 2 Motion Backgrounds (1 for Palm Sunday, 1 for Easter)
  • 2 Countdowns (1 for Palm Sunday, 1 for Easter)
  • 2 Editable Postcards (1 for Palm Sunday, 1 for Easter)
  • 2 Editable Posters (1 for Palm Sunday, 1 for Easter)

The Skit Guys Easter Video ($9.99):

Yeah, maybe I should have written this sooner, but really – would you have remembered it? So, if you’re a small church youth ministry planning a soiree around the big game Sunday night, here are some tips for a successful event. That is, if success means: students brought friends, relationships were strengthened, everyone had fun, and Jesus was the quarterback of it all. Can’t imagine what success would look like otherwise, but to each youth group its own.

TIMING: Don’t start too early. Kids can quickly get bored with the game, especially if they’ve been hanging around for a few hours before kickoff. If kickoff is at 6:30pmE, then make the party start time at 6:00. Its enough time to get the kids in, food situated, etc.

FOOD: if its strictly youth party, don’t get fancy. Stay away from Pinterest ideas! Cheese and pepperoni pizza is enough. Kids can bring soda and munchie bags. Don’t open too many of the bags, though, because there will be leftovers. Do you really want 6 open bags of Cheetos? Who knows where their hands have been? To make it more “super bowl-ish” I pop for the themed tablecloth and napkins. Gives it a festive touch without going crazy. (This will leave you snacks for your upcoming Valentine’s event. Put it all in a different serving bowl and you’ll look like a generous hero.)

HALF-TIME: In case you didn’t know, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno are the entertainment. So, based on that – you can all watch it together OR use that for your devo time. The Skit Guys have put out some great half time stuff. Whatever you choose, make sure everyone knows half-time is spent together. Give away prizes and do a secret ballot for their fave commercial. Those that picked the winning fave get a (youth) team signed football.

HAVING ALTERNATIVES: Have the game on in the main room, but have board games set up somewhere else and maybe even a movie in yet a third spot. Kids will get bored, especially the middle schoolers – so if you don’t want them to leave early, be prepared. You might set a “don’t get picked up before” time. I’ve had a few youth Superbowl parties over the past 20 years where the kids were all gone by the 3rd quarter.

OK, plane’s starting to land so I gotta go. Any other ideas anyone?


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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.


As I’ve written before, I am immensely thankful for my friendship with Doug Fields who has taught me so much about youth ministry. One of the things I love about Doug is how he pours into the lives of youth pastors & students through his Student Leadership Conference. In fact, I can say that its largely because of SLC last summer that we’ve seen such an incredible year of student leadership within our High School Ministry here at Saddleback. They heard from the best and had a great experience together and came back changed – I couldn’t be more excited about signing up for another year at SLC!

Believe me, I get how difficult it is to train, equip & prep student leaders on a weekly basis. It’s no easy task. It is all about having a servant’s heart first. It all starts there. Once students understand that – it provides a great framework for their involvement throughout the year in ministry.

Whether or not you’ve heard about it before, I can safely say that if you’ve never been to SLC before – you and your student leadership team are missing out. I can’t wait to take my students back this summer, especially because I know what that means for how we’ll start next school year.

Excited to be a part of Doug Fields’ Student Leadership Conference - I’ll be in 2 of the 3 locations (California and Pennsylvania as a speaker and with our student leaders – sorry Dallas, my youngest is graduating from kindergarten) and am pumped to meet you and your best and brightest student leaders, too! Going to be so cool!


Excited to point you toward the official website of the Simply Youth Ministry Conference 2013 – one of my absolutely favorite weeks of the year. This time we’re back in Indianapolis, and it is going to be excellent with Lacrae, Shane & Shane, Greg Stier, Skit Guys and much more coming soon. Check out the site and I hope to see you there, too!


Its been a few days and I think I have caught up on most of the sleep I missed on the weekend at Simply Youth Ministry Conference and I can say with certainty that it was worth all the overtiredness. I have been a full time Youth Pastor for eighteen months now and SYMC 2011 was my first taste of a full on Youth Ministry conference. It was an incredible experience and I have returned home with a greater understanding of just how blessed we are to be called to Youth Ministry. My highlights of the conference could be summed up in these three words:

Inspired: From the worship times, to the general sessions, SYMC nourished my soul from start to finish. Doug Fields opening night sermon was so incredibly intricate and thoughtful I can’t stop telling people about it and worshiping with three thousand men and women sold out to the cause of Christ is an experience I will not soon forget. There were so many elements that amazed and encouraged me in my ministry and if I am honest, there were some elements that did not go ever as well I am sure they were planned, which for those of us in the trenches it’s encouraging that its doesn’t happen to just us.

Family: From the beginning of the weekend, Doug and everyone else talked about family, from the platform speakers, to worship bands, to the skit guys, the conference was about family. What was incredible is how that concept flowed out into the lobby where youth workers just connected with the selfless inclusiveness that only youth workers can. It happened in the packed restaurants, the sack chair lounges and the elevators where people engaged one another and shared a laugh when the elevator alarm would go off because it was overloaded. The excitement of a common experience of the conference and even more so of the common calling to build the Kingdom by doing Youth Ministry was incredible.

Equipped: Part of my draw to SYMC this year was that I was excited to have the opportunity to learn from some of the best YM minds in the world and I was not disappointed. I did an eight-hour deeper learning track on Theology and Youth Ministry and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and I am a better youth pastor for going. The options were endless and no matter where you were at educationally, emotionally or vocationally coming into the weekend, there was a session that was thoughtfully crafted for you. The intentionality of the breadth of learning opportunities was remarkably thorough.

As I sit back and think about the weekend, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with the blessing I experienced in being there, but also the immense task that I have to now undertake as I take what I have learned and practically apply it to our ministry. I am up for the challenge, feeling renewed and revitalized that I am not alone in this. If you have never been to a conference like this before I urge you to consider making it a priority to get to one next year, you will not regret it.

Geoff Stewart is the Pastor of Jr & Sr High School for Journey Student Ministries at Peace Portal Alliance Church and regularly contributes GUEST POSTS to MTDB. You can, too! See how right here.

Tell me you’re going to the Simply Youth Ministry Conference in March 2011! Just had a conference call today about some of the creative elements – I’m counting on God using it to shape and inspire me – I hope you’ll join us. Last chance for the early bird rate this week, it jumps $40 Halloween night. Be there!


Here’s the digital copy of the new Simply Youth Ministry Conference brochure, hitting youth workers this week. SO excited to once again join the youth ministry team helping with this event. We’ve got some great stuff planned – I hope you’ll join us in Chicago this March!