This is going to be a fun and simple series of videos to help promote HSM Summer Camp. So excited!

JG

PS: If you missed last year’s Hunger Games parody … you’ve got to see it, too.

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Parker had a new idea this year to help us promote summer camp. We are taking a donated camp scholarship registration and we’re giving it away! We’re having a contest for the best summer camp promotional video:

Are you awesome at shooting and editing videos? Want to use your skills to not only get your stuff on the big screen during the weekends, but to also be shown at all of our regional campuses? This is your opportunity be creative and create THE BEST HSM 2013 Summer Camp promotional video! The official rules are listed in the graphic above. The grand prize for the best video? You get to send one of your friends to Summer Camp for FREE! That’s basically $400 for a friend who normally wouldn’t go to camp. So get your camera and start shooting! All videos are due by May 10th at Midnight!

All the details and a FAQ are available on the official site here.

JG



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The makers of the backyard game of Spikeball are giving away a combo pack of the incredibly epic game to one lucky MTDB reader! It is honestly one of our favorite summertime games in our high school ministry! To get in on the action, leave a comment on this blog post and you’re in the running to get a full set. Never heard of the game? Check out their website to check out how it works and use promo code DIVE35 to get 10% off if you want to get one of your own, too!

JG

yhst-95977426524948_2249_4827794At the Simply Youth Ministry Conference this past weekend they released Kurt Johnston’s new book for students, This Book Gets Around. They created a

This Book Gets Around is a fun way to learn something new about your friends or family members, neighbors, co-workers, teammates, whoever! (You might even uncover one or two surprising things about yourself, too.)

Pass the book around, let people answer imaginative questions and do some creative activities, and then see what’s written on the pages.

Give the book to specific people or let it follow a random path back to you—whatever way you use it is fine. Get the fun started today, and discover something cool, unusual, surprising, or amazing about the people you already know!

JG



Have you ever felt like a failure? Okay, we all have at some point, because we all fail. We all do certain things that may be great ideas, but go about it the wrong way, and utterly fail. One thing that I desire is for others’ to learn from my mistakes and failures. I try to do this with learning from others’ failures, and hopefully they can learn from mine as well. Today, I want to give you the top 5 failures that I have committed in student ministry:

  1. Epic Fail #1- Train and Equip Parents- As I have grown in student ministry (not going on 7 total years), I have learned that the parents represented in our ministry is as important as the students we are ministering too. Now, I am trying to teach, share resources with, and help parents become better parents to effectively parent the teens of today’s culture. If you are first starting out in ministry, go ahead and begin equipping the parents to build stronger families.
  2. Epic Fail #2- Recruit a team of adult leaders- In my earlier years of ministry; I had a couple of leaders, but did not set up an adult leadership that would take us to the next level like I should have. Regardless of the number of students in your ministry, it is important to begin building a team to take your ministry to the next level.
  3. Epic Fail #3- Inform parents when disciplining a student- There have been some times where a student gets in trouble, and I do not inform parents, and then the parents come back with a twisted story from their teenager, and I have to backtrack a bit, and build their trust and relationship back. I have learned that when a student gets in trouble or has to be corrected in our student ministry on an event or on Wednesday night, it is always important to mention it to the parents. I do not care how small, but in doing so, it builds relationships with the parents, and builds a greater trust from them to you.
  4. Epic Fail #4- Think through games and pranks- I am a prankster, and am personally okay with pranks. My failure is that we have not totally thought through pranks in our ministry. At camp we decided to play “human clue” and fake a real murder with the students. It seemed like a fantastic idea, but when it played out, we had students crying, had a girl faint, had a young boy call his mom for a lawyer, and upset some families that were at camp. What seemed like a fantastic idea was horrible, because it was not thought out. Think out your ideas of what could happen, and it will save you a lot of problems.
  5. Epic Fail #5- Building relationships with the local schools- Do this first. This should be one of the top things in your ministry that you are consistently doing. I have wasted time in this area at my ministry, and now am trying to play catch up. Building relationships with schools takes a great deal of time, and it is important that you stay at it, and consistently plan time to build this relationship.

So, do not fail at these things, and try your best to learn from the epic fails that I have done in our student ministry.

Josh Evans is the student pastor at Union Grove Baptist Church in the Winston Salem, NC area. He has been a mentor and pastor to students for 4 years. You can connect further with Josh on his blog or send him a direct email at joshhevans@gmail.com.

What I’m Learning

Josh Griffin —  September 5, 2012 — Leave a comment

Occasionally Kurt and I take the time to take on “the 3” and this week our topic is what we are each learning right now about ourselves and ministry. I’ve picked out things I’ve learned in the past…or I think I’ve learned them in the past because it seems like all three of these are old and new at the same time. Here’s what I’m learning this week:

1: Jesus is still changing lives!
I loved taking to students this weekend at church—seeing them move from seekers to the saved…watching them move from atheist to at-least-curious. Jesus is changing lives every week in your ministry. You might not see it, but it is happening. Teenagers are being drawn to Christ, and what you’re doing matters for the kingdom. It seems like every time I get frustrated with ministry, or wonder if it’s worth it, God shows me that he’s still in the business of saving people.

2: Camp works!
Holy smokes…camp was incredible this summer! I love that summer camp still works—despite the roadblocks of summer sports and summer school. Camp works!

3: Your capacity has to grow with your ministry.
I’ve had the realization recently that the people around me who have stuck it out in our church have increased their capacity every year. Not just work production, but their hearts have grown larger and their relational skills have increased. As your ministry grows, you need to as well—so here at the end of summer it begs a great question: How are you growing in productivity—working smarter not harder?

How are you leveraging new technology or ideas to reach more, and be more effective? And secondly, how are you growing spiritually—are you growing closer to Christ as your serve him?

What are you learning here at the end of summer?

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.



This summer of ministry has been incredible! There have been some incredible highs and some … great learnings for us as well. So picking a few favorite moments has been incredibly difficult but thought I would take a crack at it. Here are a few of my top moments in ministry this past summer:

Having Pastor Rick at Midweek
Midweek for the past 3 years has worked incredibly well for us. In the summer we pause small groups to let host homes and leaders recover before they re-up for the next season. In place of Life Groups we run a 7-8 week summer series called Midweek. This year we had Rick Warren come and teach one of the nights – it was incredibly fun and powerful way to start the summer. My favorite moment that night was gathering around him and laying hands on him as a student ministry and praying for God to bless him, to give him wise leadership and to grow his faith.

HSM Summer Camp
The gang over at Christ in Youth (aka CIY) did an amazing helping us pull off our Summer Camp this year. I love the environment of camp, the energy, the passion, the decisions, the baptisms. Summer Camp works SO well for us – it is a huge platform for our leaders to relationally minister to students, it forms new small groups, it connects incoming freshman. Simply incredible all the way around.

Guys Trip
We brought back this event from forever ago called Guys Trip – we took a smaller group of students up into the mountains for some total dude time. I wrote quite a bit about it here, but in general terms it was one of the most original and fun couple of days all summer. There’s something special about getting away with the guys and no distractions (read: cell phones and girls).

Working with Summer Interns
I love summer interns! This year we had 5 of the most incredible interns that made me smile all summer long. They are great youth workers, awesome friends and worked incredibly hard. I think learned a TON this summer, I certainly learned from them as well.

How about you – what were your highlights of summer 2012?

JG

Kurt did a brilliant job of teaching an “after camp” message during our summer Midweek series in HSM. It was one of his best talks I’ve ever heard about coming back after the camp high into the real world. The video above has a few clips from it – thought you might like to hear some of it as well!

JG