Right now Simply Youth Ministry is giving away a ton of really great Christmas stuff during their 12 Days of Freebies. Free gifts are everywhere so you can pick up some great stuff like motion backgrounds, mission trip guides, and more. Head there immediatley and push their bandwidth bill up!

Also I just saw that YouthMinistry360 is giving away from great stuff as well, with the promise of more on the way soon. Go download crazy this week!

JG


One of the questions I get all of the time is about what we put in the hands of new believers in our students ministry. We’ve done all sorts of things over the past few years: a Bible, Fresh Start with God workbook, Gospel of John, a Life Groups info card and more. But a new resource I want us to get in the pack right away is the book “New” from YouthMinistry360. Here’s a little clip from the SYM website:

When students give their lives to Christ, the Bible is pretty clear: They. Are. NEW! But what does it mean to be NEW? What does it mean to see God in a NEW way? What does it mean to live out the call to follow Christ? These questions can be daunting ones in the lives of the new or “young” Christ-followers in your youth ministry.

But don’t worry! That’s what NEW is all about. NEW: First Steps For New Christ-Followers is an interactive journal that helps students take the next steps in their new journey with Christ.

Looks really good!

JG



It’s one of the most important aspects of youth ministry.

And yet, for a lot of us, it’s one of the most challenging.

I’m not talking about teaching your 8th grade guys what the Bible says about sex. I’m talking about teaching the Bible to teenagers . . . period. The way I see it, youth ministry is primarily about helping teenagers know God and to be transformed as a result.

The hands down, best way to do this is through teaching students the Bible. After all, this is the main reason God gave us the Bible. It’s God’s most complete way of revealing to us his character and his ways.

If this is true, it becomes imperative that we not only teach the Bible, but that we teach it well. Essentially, when we teach the Bible as it’s meant to be taught, we’re leading teenagers to encounter God. And when we’re most effective at leading students to encounter God through the Bible, we’re simultaneously most effective at setting them up for meaningful life change.

But the fact still remains that teaching the Bible can be intimidating, confusing, or for many of us, deeply uninspiring.

I want to change that. That’s why I wrote “The 7 Best Practices For Teaching Teenagers The Bible.” This isn’t a dry instruction manual. It’s not overly academic. I don’t spend a lot of time making the case for why you ought to be teaching the Bible. (I mean, c’mon. You know it’s important.) What the book does, however, is pretty simple:
• It explains exactly what the 7 Best Practices are
• It makes the case for why each of the 7 Best Practices is important
• And it gives you a TON of practical examples of activities and strategies so that you can IMMEDIATELY apply the 7 Best Practices to your Bible teaching.

In case you’re curious, here are the 7 Best Practices:
• Best Practice #1: Engaging With God
• Best Practice #2: Prepare Well, Teach Well
• Best Practice #3: Context Is Key
• Best Practice #4: Embrace Unpredictability
• Best Practice #5: Plan For Interaction
• Best Practice #6: Teach For Application
• Best Practice #7: Know Your Role

Here’s the deal: I think most people want to be better Bible teachers, but don’t really know where to start to gain the skills. My entire purpose behind writing this book is to make it super simple for youth workers to become dynamic and effective Bible teachers. Nothing more, nothing less.

The question I hope you’re asking is, OK, where can I check this out? You can sample the first chapter and learn lots more info by simply going to this website. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at andy@youthministry360.com.

Andy Blanks is the co-founder of youthministry360. Andy has worked in youth ministry for 13 years developing Bible study resources for several youth ministry organizations. Andy is a volunteer youth leader with his church’s youth group, leading small groups, and speaking and teaching whenever he gets the chance. Andy blogs about discipleship and spiritual formation daily at andyblanks.com.

Our friends over at ym360 are giving away an awesome free Easter Bible study lesson. The download comes with a Leader’s Guide, PowerPoint, and a Student Guide. Give them some info, and grab the freebie. Nice!

JG



Our friends at youthministry360 and I wanted to do something special for all of the More Than Dodgeball Community. So, ym360 has created these awesome Christmas Devotions For Youth Workers, and wanted to release them here first!

The best part? They’re totally FREE! These devotions feature 7 days worth of daily content. Each day focuses on one of the main characters from the Christmas Story. Each character has a key attribute or characteristic that comes from the text. And each day, you’ll be challenged to consider how you might apply this characteristic in you life, and in the lives of your students as you lead them closer to Christ.

It’s just a simple way for youthministry360 and us to say, “Thanks”! We’re in awe of the amazing work you do in teenagers’ lives.

To download your FREE Christmas Devotions, click on this link.

(If you have any trouble at all with your download, the folks over at youthministry360 are available to help, anytime. Simply email them at info@youthministry360.com and they’ll be more than happy to help out.)

JG

The gang over at Youth Ministry 360 are giving away a free Christmas lesson for your youth ministry. Here’s a description, head over there to pick it up!

The arrival of the Christmas season is hard to ignore. The rush to let people know “it’s that time of year” is ushered in with decorations, seasonal commercials, a blitz of specialty products, and that shopper’s nirvana known as Black Friday. Your students know the drill when it comes to Christmas. The “spiritual” part is the Bible stories, and church musicals and the “commercial” part is the wish lists and the tinsel. This year don’t let your students pass off the birth of Christ as just a story from the Bible. Lead students to see that the idea of a giving spirit is one of the keys to finding the real meaning of Christmas. This lesson will help you do just that.

JG



The guys over at YouthMinistry360 (I read their blog everyday, you should, too) have come out with a great new resource called Live Different. I love the idea – calling students to understand God’s intent for sex and how God views sex outside of this intent. Might be a good small group curriculum to compliment a youth group teaching series on sex/holiness/lust/etc. Check it out!

JG

The team over at Youth Ministry 360 has posted a great free resource you may want to use this Christmas season in your youth ministry. You can grab it right here and here’s a description of the freebie:

The Christmas story is one that is probably very familiar to your students. We have to make sure that this type of familiarity doesn’t lead them to miss the wonderful truths contained in the account of Jesus’ birth. Through this lesson, your students will look closer at the details of the Christmas account, but will also see the various approaches to Jesus represented by the specific people mentioned in the story: the shepherds, the magi, and King Herod. Your students will be challenged to examine how they see each of these different “reactions” represented in the world in which they live.

And be sure to check out their resource store as well if you like the stuff they provide for free.

JG