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23 Feb 2024

You Can CUSTOMIZE Content, Date & More for the National Day of Volunteer Youth Ministry Training

By |2024-02-23T10:55:22-08:00February 23rd, 2024|Training|0 Comments

We are so excited for the 6th annual National Day of Volunteer Youth Ministry Training! This video-driven and momentum building event, with practical youth ministry training, has already trained over 20,000 volunteers and we’d love to have you and your team join us this year!

You can count on high quality training and engaging fun that have filled this event for the last 5 years, but this year we’ve made a few changes to make training your volunteers easier than ever…

We’ll deliver the complete training “in a box” and you get to choose the date AND customize the content to best suit your ministry’s needs! Be as creative as you want to be or just press play.

TELL ME MORE ALREADY, I’M IN

Also new this year…

DYM Gold Members get 35% off ⭐

🎉 DYM Platinum Members get the National Day included in their membership… for FREE! 🎉

21 Feb 2024

New Feature Alert: Adding DYM Resources Directly to Sidekick

By |2024-02-21T11:17:20-08:00February 21st, 2024|Sidekick, Sidekick Hero Blog|1 Comment

Friends, the day has finally arrived. Today is the day that worlds collide in the best of ways.

That’s right, as of today, you can now add the resources that you’ve purchased on DYM directly to Sidekick! No more downloading. No more thumb drives. No more hassle.

Now, if you’ve been around the DYM world for any length of time, you know exactly what this screen looks like:

But before today’s update, the process of getting your DYM resources loaded into Sidekick was a bit… tedious:

  • Step 1 – Purchase a resource from DYM
  • Step 2 – Download that resource
  • Step 3 – Spend 35 minutes sorting through your Downloads Folder looking for the resource you just downloaded
  • Step 4 – Ask everyone in your family if they’ve seen your USB thumb drive
  • Step 5 – Realize that you left your thumb drive in your office
  • Step 6 – Drive across town…

Well, you get the idea.

That’s why the Sidekick team is so excited to finally announce:

DYM Integration!!

That’s right! As of this morning, Sidekick just got a bajillion times more user-friendly for every single DYM customer who has ever purchased a resource on the DYM Store.

So… do you wanna see it? Of course, you do! Why else would you have read this far??

Here is is:

That’s right. The resources that you’ve purchased on the DYM Store are now available to add to any Sidekick presentation without the need for downloading! Here are a few of my favorite scenarios where this will really come in handy:

  • You can now buy a DYM resource on your phone, and it’ll instantly be available to load in your Sidekick presentation.
  • You don’t have to keep your DYM resource files downloaded anywhere (no more taking up space on your hard drive!!)
  • Students and volunteers who have access to your Sidekick workspace can quickly add any DYM game or countdown that you’ve already purchased.

At DYM, we’re always trying to keep youth workers from wasting their time, and we believe this latest Sidekick update has the potential to free up hours every single week for youth workers everywhere! (Can you tell that we’re excited about this one??)

Starting today, once any Sidekick user connects their DYM account, they will see a little icon that says +DYM at the bottom of the left-hand toolbar in Overview Mode:

From there, simply click on a resource that you want to add to your presentation, and you’ll be good to go!

No more downloading. No more USB thumb drives. No more frustration. No more wasting time.

Want to see it in action? Just watch the video below:

Not seeing the +DYM Button? That means you still need to connect your DYM account. Here’s a brief tutorial on how to make sure you’re DYM account is connected:

And that’s it!  Once your DYM account is connected, you should see a bunch of your previous purchases ready to go in Sidekick.

Just a quick note: We’re in the process of rolling out a feature on the DYM Store that will show which resources are Sidekick Enabled, but here are the products that you can expect to be ready so far:

  • The 200 most popular products from the past two years
  • The DYM Gold Member resources from the past few months
  • Every resource that gets added to the DYM store from this point forward.

Plus we’re adding new resources every single day!

It’s really that easy! Thanks to the most recent Sidekick update, you can now add your DYM resources directly to any Sidekick presentation!

We’ll be posting more about other new features in the coming days, but in the meantime, feel free to keep exploring Sidekick! And if you have any ideas for features that you think we should work on next, you should head over to our Feature Suggestion Page by clicking the button below:

Request a New Sidekick Feature!

That’s all for today, but if you’d like to see the other blog posts in the “How Do I…?” series, you can do so here: How Do I…?

If you’re using Sidekick and you run into any issues, or if you just have a question, please feel free to reach out to our support team at: [email protected]. Or you can check out other helpful articles and walkthroughs at the Sidekick Help Desk by visiting https://help.sidekick.tv.

Finally, if you choose to use the new Sidekick… let us know how you do it and what types of polls you do because we want to highlight you. Our goal is to highlight a youth worker every week with different ways they’ve used Sidekick to help their students engage. If you’re interested in being recognized as a Sidekick Hero, just click the big red button below:

If you’re using Sidekick and you run into any issues, or if you just have a question, please feel free to reach out to our support team at: [email protected]. Or you can check out other helpful articles and walkthroughs at the Sidekick Help Desk by visiting https://help.sidekick.tv.

Finally, if you choose to use the new Sidekick… let us know how you do it and what types of polls you do because we want to highlight you. Our goal is to highlight a youth worker every week with different ways they’ve used Sidekick to help their students engage. If you’re interested in being recognized as a Sidekick Hero, just click the big red button below:

19 Feb 2024

What’s the Deal with Gold vs. Gold+?

By |2024-02-20T11:42:36-08:00February 19th, 2024|Membership, Sidekick, Sidekick Hero Blog|1 Comment

One of the most common questions we get from new DYM members is:

Thankfully, there’s a really simple answer, but first, here’s what’s included in BOTH memberships:

💰 $20 Monthly Store Credit
🏷 35% DYM Store Discount
🎮 Monthly Free Game
🎥 Monthly Free Video
📚 Monthly Free Student Leadership Resource
❓ Monthly Free Mystery Item
📺 Leader Training Library Access

That’s right! Both Gold and Gold+ Members get all of that every single month!

Plus, Gold and Gold+ Members also get access to Sidekick, the new presentation tool that’s built for the youth room!

The only difference between Gold and Gold+ is that Gold+ has additional phone connections, allowing more students to participate in Live Voting. The table below shows how many connections are available for each plan:

Gold

$2473per month (billed annually)
  • 5 Concurrent Phone Connections
  • 1 Active Presentation at a Time

Gold+ 50

$2999per month (billed annually)
  • 50 Concurrent Phone Connections
  • 2 Active Presentations at a Time

Gold+ 100

$4499per month (billed annually)
  • 100 Concurrent Phone Connections
  • 4 Active Presentations at a Time

Gold+ 250

$5999per month (billed annually)
  • 250 Concurrent Phone Connections
  • 6 Active Presentations at a Time

And as always, if you have any questions, or if you need help determining which DYM Membership is right for you, please feel free to reach out to [email protected] any time!

If you’re using Sidekick and you run into any issues, or if you just have a question, please feel free to reach out to our support team at: [email protected]. Or you can check out other helpful articles and walkthroughs at the Sidekick Help Desk by visiting https://help.sidekick.tv.

Finally, if you choose to use the new Sidekick… let us know how you do it and what types of polls you do because we want to highlight you. Our goal is to highlight a youth worker every week with different ways they’ve used Sidekick to help their students engage. If you’re interested in being recognized as a Sidekick Hero, just click the big red button below:

If you’re using Sidekick and you run into any issues, or if you just have a question, please feel free to reach out to our support team at: [email protected]. Or you can check out other helpful articles and walkthroughs at the Sidekick Help Desk by visiting https://help.sidekick.tv.

Finally, if you choose to use the new Sidekick… let us know how you do it and what types of polls you do because we want to highlight you. Our goal is to highlight a youth worker every week with different ways they’ve used Sidekick to help their students engage. If you’re interested in being recognized as a Sidekick Hero, just click the big red button below:

16 Feb 2024

Training Your Volunteers Has Never Been This Easy!

By |2024-02-16T09:49:35-08:00February 16th, 2024|Training, Volunteers|0 Comments

The amazing event continues this year with DYM’s 6th Annual National Day of Volunteer Youth Ministry Training. A customizable, video-driven, fun, and momentum building event, with practical youth ministry training from Doug Fields, Josh Griffin and other youth ministry veterans and thought-leaders!

After 5 incredible years, we’ve decided to change things up to make this training work even better for you and your community! The “National DAY of Volunteer Youth Ministry Training” to “DAYS”.

Basically, you play it on a single day of your choice this Fall all at once, divide it up into 2-3 lunch gatherings, whatever is best for your people. This youth ministry training day “in a box” can be adapted to suit your specific needs and passions. Be as creative as you want to be or just press play!

You set the date(s) and invite youth ministry volunteers, we provide the complete training… it’s that easy!

Learn More!

Train your team exclusively OR host your team and other churches. You choose!

SINGLE CHURCH USE
HOST THE EVENT

Register now, prices go up soon!

16 Feb 2024

Youth Min Roundup – 02/16/2024

By |2024-02-16T08:59:17-08:00February 16th, 2024|Youth Ministry Roundup|0 Comments

Here are just a few interesting finds this week from around the Youth Min Multiverse:

😬 Having The Talk…

Check out this Conversation Kit on Dating from axis.org that you can forward to the parents in your ministry. This two-part video series is designed to be watched together and then discussed as you work through the big questions about falling in love while pursuing Christ.

👀 Observing Lent This Year?

This is NOT what it means…

🌷😵SURVIVE THE SPRING SLUMP!

Where did everybody go?! Sports, graduation, school…Showing up for youth group becomes less and less of a priority, but Ronald Long has 4 tips that will see you through…

🤳YIKES!

Are you subconsciously telling people they don’t matter?

Check back next week to see what else the intrepid DYM Team stumbles upon…

14 Feb 2024

How To Never Log In EVER AGAIN!

By |2024-02-14T08:43:45-08:00February 14th, 2024|Sidekick, Sidekick Hero Blog|0 Comments

Gather ’round, friends! I’d like to tell you a story.

About 237 years ago (this may be a slight exaggeration, but there’s really no way to know for sure), the world was forever changed when Download Youth Ministry introduced a game-changing presentation software called Sidekick (around the DYM Offices, we lovingly refer to this as O.G. Sidekick).

With the introduction of O.G. Sidekick, youth workers everywhere could suddenly create Spinnng Wheels, Pick Me, and more. It was truly revolutionary, especially since there were very few other presentation software options for youth workers to use (and NONE of them had the same features). It was a game-changer in every sense of the word.

However, as revolutionary as it was, O.G. Sidekick came with an unwelcome but necessary evil:

Yes, the dreaded login screen popped up EVERY SINGLE TIME the software was launched.

And this meant that the user had to type in their username and password EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Recently, I sat down with a youth worker who had used O.G. Sidekick from the very first day it launched. I asked them if it was ok to share their story, and they agreed with the one caveat that we keep them anonymous, to protect the innocent (of course):

I’ve always loved having students run our tech booth. From sound, to lights, to presentations, I’ve always viewed the tech booth as a place where students can learn valuable skills that they’ll hopefully continue to use well into adulthood.

However… we had a sixth grader who didn’t quite grasp the difference between minimizing a window and closing a window…

It was his first night running the presentation when, right in the middle of our service, boom… he’d accidentally close the O.G. Sidekick window. And when he reopened it, he was met with the dreaded login screen. I didn’t even realize there was a problem until I heard his voice from the back of the room:

“Hey ______, what’s the password?”

The only problem was… I was the only one who knew the password… and it was the same password I used for everything… like literally everything.

So there I was, in front of a crowd of students, saying my password into the microphone…

It was not great.

A Youth Worker that Would Prefer to Stay Anonymous

So when we started developing the New Sidekick, we knew that we had to make sure this never happened again. Thus, the decision was made to utilize one-time codes instead of passwords.

The concept of a one-time code is fairly simple. If you have a Sidekick account, you just type in your email address, and it will email you a code that only works once. That way, users don’t have to tell anyone their password. However, we’ve been getting reports from a few users that every time they open the New Sidekick, they just keep seeing this screen:

Thankfully, we believe we have a fix.

It appears that the majority of users who have experienced this problem had bookmarked the actual one-time code request screen instead of their Sidekick dashboard. So, if you’re experiencing this problem, try these easy-to-follow steps:

  1. Open the Chrome browser on a computer where you have previously entered a Sidekick one-time code (within the last 60 days)
  2. In the Address Bar, type this URL: https://app.sidekick.tv/dashboard
  3. And boom. You should be all set.

If this works, then be sure to bookmark this link: https://app.sidekick.tv/dashboard, so you can always get right back to your Sidekick Dashboard without having to enter another one-time code.

If you are still prompted to enter a one-time code, try this:

  1. Type your email address in the text box and click “Sign In.”
  2. Check your email and click the login link.
  3. Once you’re logged in, close Chrome.
  4. Then try the above steps again. This time, everything should work perfectly.

You’ll need to do this for each device (for example: your presentation computer, your tablet, and your phone) that you use with your account, but once you do, this should keep you logged in for the next 60 days. And even better, every time you open Sidekick, that 60 days starts over.

So, long story short…

As long as you open Sidekick once every 60 days, you should NEVER HAVE TO LOG IN EVER AGAIN! 

Hooray!!

P.S. If you’re still having trouble, feel free to reach out to [email protected]. They’d be more than happy to help!

If you’re using Sidekick and you run into any issues, or if you just have a question, please feel free to reach out to our support team at: [email protected]. Or you can check out other helpful articles and walkthroughs at the Sidekick Help Desk by visiting https://help.sidekick.tv.

Finally, if you choose to use the new Sidekick… let us know how you do it and what types of polls you do because we want to highlight you. Our goal is to highlight a youth worker every week with different ways they’ve used Sidekick to help their students engage. If you’re interested in being recognized as a Sidekick Hero, just click the big red button below:

If you’re using Sidekick and you run into any issues, or if you just have a question, please feel free to reach out to our support team at: [email protected]. Or you can check out other helpful articles and walkthroughs at the Sidekick Help Desk by visiting https://help.sidekick.tv.

Finally, if you choose to use the new Sidekick… let us know how you do it and what types of polls you do because we want to highlight you. Our goal is to highlight a youth worker every week with different ways they’ve used Sidekick to help their students engage. If you’re interested in being recognized as a Sidekick Hero, just click the big red button below:

13 Feb 2024

New Feature Alert: PICK ME Is Back!! Plus, Introducing BULK ADD!!

By |2024-02-13T10:32:55-08:00February 13th, 2024|Sidekick Hero Blog|1 Comment

Everyday for the past few months, the Sidekick Customer Service Team (who absolutely ROCK, by the way) have received roughly 372 emails like this:

Well, you asked…

🚨 AND TODAY, WE ANSWERED!! 🚨

Introducing Sidekick‘s latest feature… PICK ME!

That’s right, thanks to today’s big update, it’s never been easier to pick a student for a game, for a prize, or for… well… just about anything! Check it out:

Starting today, all Sidekick users can now add a PICK ME to any slide in their Sidekick presentation! Plus, because the new Sidekick is absolutely incredible, you can now customize PICK ME in ways you never could before, like:

Starting today, all Sidekick users can now add a PICK ME to any slide in their Sidekick presentation! Plus, because the new Sidekick is absolutely incredible, you can now customize PICK ME in ways you never could before, like:

  • You can resize the PICK ME text box and move it to any part of the slide (even off the edge of the slide!)
  • You can change the background to any IMAGE, VIDEO, or COLOR you want
  • You can add IMAGES like your youth group logo (or an AI-generated llama) and TEXT to your PICK ME slide.
  • You can assign a positive, neutral, or negative SOUND to each name
  • You can choose the ODDS OF WINNING for each name (2x, 1x, 0.5x, or 0)
  • You can ADD/EDIT/REMOVE names from the list DURING your presentation!

But that’s not all!!

Along with adding PICK ME, today’s Sidekick update includes a MAJOR new feature that works for PICK ME and SPINNING WHEEL:

That’s right! You can now copy and paste a list of names from a text file, Word Document, Google Sheet, Excel Spreadsheet, or pretty much anything else! And, yep! This works in PICK ME and SPINNING WHEEL!

Wanna see PICK ME and BULK ADD in action?

Then check out the video below for a detailed walkthrough:

It’s really that easy! Thanks to the most recent Sidekick update, you can now add PICK ME to any slide in your presentation, and thanks to BULK ADD, it’s never been easier to add tons of names at once!

We’ll be posting more about other new features in the coming days, but in the meantime, feel free to keep exploring Sidekick! And if you have any ideas for features that you think we should work on next, you should head over to our Feature Suggestion Page by clicking the button below:

Request a New Sidekick Feature!

That’s all for today, but if you’d like to see the other blog posts in the “How Do I…?” series, you can do so here: How Do I…?

If you’re using Sidekick and you run into any issues, or if you just have a question, please feel free to reach out to our support team at: [email protected]. Or you can check out other helpful articles and walkthroughs at the Sidekick Help Desk by visiting https://help.sidekick.tv.

Finally, if you choose to use the new Sidekick… let us know how you do it and what types of polls you do because we want to highlight you. Our goal is to highlight a youth worker every week with different ways they’ve used Sidekick to help their students engage. If you’re interested in being recognized as a Sidekick Hero, just click the big red button below:

If you’re using Sidekick and you run into any issues, or if you just have a question, please feel free to reach out to our support team at: [email protected]. Or you can check out other helpful articles and walkthroughs at the Sidekick Help Desk by visiting https://help.sidekick.tv.

Finally, if you choose to use the new Sidekick… let us know how you do it and what types of polls you do because we want to highlight you. Our goal is to highlight a youth worker every week with different ways they’ve used Sidekick to help their students engage. If you’re interested in being recognized as a Sidekick Hero, just click the big red button below:

12 Feb 2024

Surviving the Spring Slump

By |2024-02-12T07:52:10-08:00February 12th, 2024|Leadership|1 Comment

Springtime is usually tough for youth pastors and student ministry. Somewhere in between the hectic schedule of spring sports and seniors getting ready to graduate, it seems like showing up for youth group becomes less and less of a priority.

So, as a Youth Pastor, how can you get through the slump and stay encouraged? I’ve got four tips!

Focus on who is there.

A big pet peeve of mine is hearing students ask “where is everybody?” or even worse, “nobody’s here!” Both of those statements signal that everyone who made the time to actually show up and be invested in youth group today isn’t worthwhile. I know that’s probably not how you feel as the pastor, but it’s an important thing to remember. The students who showed up are there! Minister to the students you have!

I would have small group leaders who only had three kids show up for a meeting. Instead of moaning that their regulars couldn’t come, they loaded up the car and went to Sonic! What a great way to encourage the students who made the effort to come!

Stay in touch!

Just because a student isn’t there doesn’t mean that they don’t wish they could be. Getting reminders from you or messages of encouragement for the big game they’ve got coming up can be really helpful. Make sure you stay in contact with students even when they’re not there. This way, you can let them know that they matter to you even when they don’t show up to youth group. It’ll give you something great to talk about when you do finally get to connect with them in person again!

Ask them for their sports schedule and put their games on your calendar so you can send them a text the day of and let them know you’re praying for them. It can be a really game-changing opportunity!

Go to where they are.

If students are really focused on getting ready for the spring musical, then you can show them how much they mean to you by going to watch their play. We ask students to come hang out with us at church all the time. If, in the spring, they find themselves really busy with their extracurricular activities, we can return the favor and go to where they are! When you show up at the student sport event or band concert, you let them know how much they mean to you! It’ll go a long way in the future.

Take care of yourself.

The spring can be a really tough time. You can feel discouraged and beat down. Take a moment to plan some self-care into your spring routine. Schedule a day where you get away from the office and pray for your students and your next season of ministry. Invite your leaders out for coffee and hang out. Spend some time cleaning out the youth room so you’ll be ready for the wild Summer months. Take some moments to read scripture and reflect on what God has done in your own life. Spring can be tough! But, if you work on these four things, by the grace of God, you’ll make it through!

Need an easy win for youth group this spring? Check out these games:

10 Feb 2024

SIDEKICK: Choose Your Own Adventure Game

By |2024-02-10T13:35:50-08:00February 10th, 2024|Sidekick Hero Blog, Youth Ministry Ideas|1 Comment

We played an INCREDIBLE game this week at church. It’s the combination of all things Sidekick – it uses ALL of the bells and whistles that make this new presenter great – Live Voting, The Wheel, Pick Me & MORE. It’s so fun … and in a couple weeks, it’ll be FREE in Sidekick. That’s right … FREE.

Pretty soon, we’ll have a button that says, “FREE STUFF,” and in one click, it’ll be yours.

The game was so fun – we pulled up 5 kids on stage and put them on stools to “go for a hike” and then suddenly, they discovered that they were lost in the woods. All sorts of crazy things happen – bees attack, so do bears, snakes show up, even a volcano erupts at one point. One by one, through the fate of the wheel or picker, or the vote of the crowd, the hikers get riddled away one by one until … the final 2 hear a helicopter. They flag it down, and then in a hilarious twist of fate – think of those old Oregon Trail games – everyone dies.

(click image to enlarge)

(click image to enlarge)

Our junior high students loved it – silly fun, easy to run, and definitely next level compared to just a regular screen game. Your students will love it, and it’ll show off the power of Sidekick for interaction, for sure. And … you can’t beat the price tag. And don’t worry, we’ll let you know as soon as it’s available to grab for FREE inside the new Sidekick in a few weeks!

JG

If you’re using Sidekick and you run into any issues, or if you just have a question, please feel free to reach out to our support team at: [email protected]. Or you can check out other helpful articles and walkthroughs at the Sidekick Help Desk by visiting https://help.sidekick.tv.

Finally, if you choose to use the new Sidekick… let us know how you do it and what types of polls you do because we want to highlight you. Our goal is to highlight a youth worker every week with different ways they’ve used Sidekick to help their students engage. If you’re interested in being recognized as a Sidekick Hero, just click the big red button below:

If you’re using Sidekick and you run into any issues, or if you just have a question, please feel free to reach out to our support team at: [email protected]. Or you can check out other helpful articles and walkthroughs at the Sidekick Help Desk by visiting https://help.sidekick.tv.

Finally, if you choose to use the new Sidekick… let us know how you do it and what types of polls you do because we want to highlight you. Our goal is to highlight a youth worker every week with different ways they’ve used Sidekick to help their students engage. If you’re interested in being recognized as a Sidekick Hero, just click the big red button below:

7 Feb 2024

Using Sidekick for the Big Game!

By |2024-02-07T12:01:22-08:00February 7th, 2024|Sidekick, Sidekick Hero Blog|0 Comments

This will be short & sweet. I was talking with Cooper M. (an awesome High School Pastor in Lancaster, PA), and he showed me how he’s using Sidekick during their group’s Big Game Party this Sunday. You’ve gotta see this:

(click image to enlarge)

Now, in all fairness, Cooper is pretty darn good (actually, he’s kind of amazing) at graphic editing, so it was no surprise that his image overlay is one of the best we’ve seen yet. Hopefully this might spark a few ideas for you and your ministry!

P.S. Sidekick has a few features coming really soon, so keep an eye on the blog for updates!

If you’re using Sidekick and you run into any issues, or if you just have a question, please feel free to reach out to our support team at: [email protected]. Or you can check out other helpful articles and walkthroughs at the Sidekick Help Desk by visiting https://help.sidekick.tv.

Finally, if you choose to use the new Sidekick… let us know how you do it and what types of polls you do because we want to highlight you. Our goal is to highlight a youth worker every week with different ways they’ve used Sidekick to help their students engage. If you’re interested in being recognized as a Sidekick Hero, just click the big red button below:

If you’re using Sidekick and you run into any issues, or if you just have a question, please feel free to reach out to our support team at: [email protected]. Or you can check out other helpful articles and walkthroughs at the Sidekick Help Desk by visiting https://help.sidekick.tv.

Finally, if you choose to use the new Sidekick… let us know how you do it and what types of polls you do because we want to highlight you. Our goal is to highlight a youth worker every week with different ways they’ve used Sidekick to help their students engage. If you’re interested in being recognized as a Sidekick Hero, just click the big red button below:

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