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



I’m a huge Matt McGill fan (tell me you subscribe to his youth ministry blog) – and today I discovered another timeless video of him giving the camp rules that you have to see. There’s simply nothing like this guy. Genius.

JG


Summer is coming to a close for us – in some parts of the country school is already in full swing. So how was it – this poll is obviously going to only track the big picture, but I’m curious to see how it went for you! I’d vote 4 … but only because I’m exhausted. Vacation next week – woohooo!

JG



The amazing summer intern Cory Tomlinson sent along each of our games from summer camp to share with you. Our students got SO into the games and had a total blast. Enjoy!

Octopuzzle

Supplies:
1. Tiles (Puzzle Pieces) That Spell Out HSM

Directions:

1. Separate Into 2 Teams
2. Have each person on the team link arms together
3. Have the team move their line into the pool
4. While staying linked, have the person closest to the deep end dive down to pick up the tiles (puzzle pieces)
5. Pass the puzzle piece down the line towards the outside of the pool making sure arms stay linked together
6. Repeat step 5 until all pieces are out of the pool
7. Have the entire team stay linked and move out of the pool
8. Put puzzle together

Kneelay Race

Supplies:
1. Dixie Cups
2. 2 Sparkling Cider Bottles
3. Home Depot Buckets
4. Water

Directions:

1. Have teams line up into 2 lines (1 line per team)
2. Have person going first wait on their knees (do this every time someone gets ready to go)
3. Hand student Dixie cup and have them fill it up with water in the home depot water bucket
4. That student races on their knees to the sparkling cider bottle and once there fill the bottle with the water from the cup
5. Once poured that student runs back to their line to high five the next person to go.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 until Sparkling cider bottle is filled up to the line with water
7. First team done wins

Sponge Bowling

Supplies:
1. 2 Liter Soda Bottles
2. 4 Carwash Sponges
3. 2 Home Depot 5 Gal. Buckets
4. 8 Frisbees
5. Water

Directions:

1. Line up using an even number of students for every team. (as many students as possible, as long as it’s an even number).
2. Have two students set aside to throw the Frisbees.
3. Start with a sponge in the bucket
4. The person next to the bucket will fill up the sponge with water.
5. Then carefully pass the sponges down the line to get the water into the 2 liter bottles.
6. Fill each bottle to the designated line.
7. Once all of the bottles are filled to the lines, have everyone return to behind the line.
8. Have the two throwers starts throwing the Frisbees to knock down the 2 liter bottles.
9. If they do not knock all of the bottles down within four throws, the throwers are the ONLY ones who may go retrieve the Frisbees.
10. First team to knock down all of their “pins” wins.

Stomp the Yard

Supplies:
1. Balloons
2. Ribbon

Directions:

1. Put one team on each side of the tennis court
2. Have each team pick 30 people that will play the game
3. Have the people not playing the game blow up 1 balloon for each person playing and tie it to the ankle of someone who is playing.
4. Once all of the players have balloons tied to them have the people not playing sit down until points are awarded.
5. First team to get step 3/ step 4 done wins the first round of the game.
6. From there, all of the people with the balloons on their ankles will proceed to the court.
7. Half of each team must be on both sides of the net.
8. Once everyone is situated then the whistle will be blown.
9. When the whistle is blown then every player’s goal is to pop the balloon on someone’s ankle from the opposing team.
10. The last team standing will be awarded the final set of points.

Batter Up

Supplies:
1. Bases
2. Whiffle Balls
3. Caution Tape

Directions:

1. One team is in the outfield while the other is up to bat.
2. The pitcher will throw the ball and once the batter hits the ball to the field the field people must try to catch it.
3. Once an outfielder has the ball they MUST FREEZE where they are.
4. Once they are frozen FIFTEEN people from the team out in the field must run over and line up behind the player that caught the ball.
5. While they are trying to line up the hitter must run from home base to home base.
6. If the hitter can get back to home before the opposing team lines up 15 team members then they get the points, if the outfield team gets lines up first then they win the points.

Slip-Ball

Supplies:
1. Slip N’ Slide Tarp
2. Baby Soap
3. Baby Oil
4. Kickball
5. Bases (Baby Pools)

Directions: (It’s a game of kickball on a slip and slide)

1. Have one team in the outfield and one team up to kick.
2. Have the pitcher roll the ball and the kicker kick.
3. If the person up to kick kicks the ball, they should start running the bases.
4. If the ball is caught the kicker is out.
5. Continue cycle until there are three outs then switch who is kicking and who is pitching.
6. Continue for two rounds per team.

Hope they help or inspire you in creating some great games, too!

JG


Today’s poll – looking for the most impactful part of your summer – vote now!

JG



Weekend Teaching Series: Before and After: a study through Ephesians (series finale, week 3 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: A celebration of summer camp decisions framed around the whole armor of God.
Service Length:
89 minutes

Understandable Message: The week after camp might be my favorite youth group of the year. Everyone is there and everyone is on fire! All 4 high school services this weekend were a total joy to be at – hearing all that God did in the hearts of our students was absolutely incredible. Made me so thankful to be in youth ministry and honored to serve with an incredible team. I opened up the message by reading through Ephesians 6 and the whole armor of God. Then I asked them for testimonies on each of the parts of the armor of God:

  • Helmet of Salvation: testimonies or trusting Christ, baptism, etc.
  • Shield of Faith: stories of spiritual growth, etc
  • Shoes of Peace: testimonies of forgiveness, restoration, reconciliation
  • Body Armor of Righteousness: stories of turning away from sin
  • Belt of Truth: share a truth or confess a lie you’ve been living or believing
  • Sword of the Spirit: share a verse that has been meaningful to you this summer

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we played the HSM Summer Camp highlight video and made a couple of callbacks to awesome videos from camp. The Amp Up Song, Krispy Kreme (Haters Wanna Be Me) and The Other Direction all made appearances. Such a fun, overpowering weekend!

Music Playlist: Here for you, What Would I Have Done, All I Am Christ in Me, We Are The Free

Favorite Moment: For sure hearing students stories. So, so strong.

Up next: Worship Together Weekend #2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loIUe0iCHBE

This week at Summer Camp we were introduced to the incredibly talented Krispy Kreme and Money Maker Mike. Genius.

JG