We decided to do a fun-but-real take on our Summer Camp rules this year (here’s the original post) and thought you might enjoy a couple more of the posters we’ve made up for camp.

JG

We’re doing a fun take on HSM Summer Camp’s rules – instead of the stuffy normal bullet list of things to not do, we did a quick photo shoot and summarized the rules. Hopefully still clear and not to diminish their enforcement, but given a little more creatively. Fun, right? I’ll post all 8 as we get a little closer to camp so I don’t spoil them for students.

JG



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Don’t know you’ve heard about Dare 2 Share’s interactive webinar training this Tuesday (May 17th) with Greg Stier. It is designed for youth leaders who are nervous about evangelism and looks super. Check out Evangephobia for more details and to sign up!

Evangelism. For many, this word conjures up images of a street-corner preacher or a madman using a bullhorn and thumping people on the head with a Bible. But are those the only options? Join Greg Stier, President of Dare 2 Share Ministries for a lively, interactive webcast about sharing our faith and its role in youth ministry. You and other youth leaders will explore some of the most common fears surrounding evangelism, learn how it can help accelerate spiritual growth in your teenagers, and discover simple steps you can take to make it fit within your current youth ministry.

JG

How often do you meet all together with your youth ministry volunteers? Vote in this week’s poll! As for me, we currently meet 2-3 times a year all together. You?

JG



Can’t afford to take your volunteers to a conference this year? Looking for some youth worker training during the Christmas slowdown or to kickoff the New Year? Lots of great options on sale this week at Simply Youth Ministry. Check them out now!

JG

A couple years ago, we started to charge students to join a small group in our youth ministry. Why? Good question – honestly, I’ve had to explain this on occasion to parents, so writing it out here will help me articulate the answer. Just for perspective, as a youth group we budget $0 for Life Groups, the money raised by registration fees goes to cover resources, trainings and materials. Here’s the details:

LIVE Bible
The most important item a student will receive is their new Bible. This year we moved away from the Life Application Bible to use the LIVE Bible. Really, really like this Bible, excited to get it in students’ hands. The Bible retails for $22.99 but can be picked up for $15-18 pretty easily.

Alternate Resource
In the case the student already has a LIVE Bible, we offered up some alternate resources for students to use over the course of the year. This year we gave a Bible study book or a pocket Bible commentary.

Student Journal
We gave students a small journal to write down their learnings and record prayer requests from their group. We’ve printed different ones over the years, sometimes they’re simple like a little Mead notebook with a sticker on it, sometimes more complicated. Either way, we want students to have something in their hand to write down what they’re learning.

LIVE curriculum
Students don’t feel the actual return on this one like getting a physical item like a Bible or journal – but they’ll feel it each week during the teaching time. LIVE isn’t cheap – $499 for the first year and $99 every year after, but we love it and it has quickly become part of our 4-year teaching plan.

Training
Once again, something students won’t feel tangibly, but it should be felt intangibly every moment of the school year. We pour into volunteers, giving them training, discussion groups, resources (like 99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders) and more. Every minute we pour into small group leaders is a chance to pour into 5-10 students.

Not saying that your youth ministry should charge for small groups next year, but it is working for us, and students are getting a TON of bang for their thirty bucks.

JG



Matt McGill over at Love God, Love Students had a great post about the discussion he leads with his small group guys. Thought some of these tips might come in handy for a volunteer training in your future:

  • I don’t ask questions because I know there are “three or four” correct answers…who knows what insights will emerge?
  • we can’t interrupt one another, cause it’s hard to share and harder when we’re interrupted
  • there will be silences…you may feel it’s awkward
  • I’ll be learning along side you, and sometimes I’ll be quiet after a response trying to understand it better, I’d rather understand a new thought than have my next “agenda item” ready to fire off
  • Some thoughts will be half baked, and sometimes we’ll start taking and then not know how to end the thought
  • I don’t answer very many questions…I don’t really need to because usually we come to the right answers together…this is really frustrating for some

JG

Loved this new concept for a book – just a short reference book for your youth ministry volunteers. Excited to see what all they come out with in the series! This first one, The Volunteer’s Back Pocket Guide to Youth Missions Trip looks like a resource to get in your leader’s hands before that Spring Break or summer mission trip. Awesome.

Unlock the secrets to a successful mission experience with The Volunteer’s Back Pocket Guide to Youth Mission Trips. This useful, practical book will guide you through the sometimes rough but always rewarding waters of a short-term mission trip. You’ll discover how to connect with your students, how to prepare for the unexpected, and how to savor those priceless moments you only find on a mission trip.

JG