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19 Jan 2024

Sidekick: Adults Love It Too!

By |2024-01-19T08:36:57-08:00January 19th, 2024|communication, Sidekick, Sidekick Hero Blog, Teaching, Teaching/Programming, Technology|2 Comments

It’s no secret that when we created Sidekick, we had youth workers in mind (they are our favorite, of course!), but recently, my wife (Cathy) and I were asked to teach a course at our church called Intentional Parenting (based off a book by the same name we wrote back in 2018). We had an idea that the course would be popular, but we had no idea we’d have hundreds of parents seeking advice each month! It’s been a whirlwind, to say the very least!

After seeing how much students love the new interactive features (such as live voting) in Sidekick, we decided to see if adults would feel the same way, and—spoiler alert—THEY ABSOLUTELY DID!

For the past few sessions, throughout the teaching, we’ve been sprinkling in questions like this:

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And, even though we knew it would be a hit, we were BLOWN AWAY by the response! Cathy and I have taught this curriculum in many different settings over the years, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is the most engagement we’ve ever seen with a group of parents!

Here are a few things I’ve noticed about the parents in our course since we started integrating Sidekick Live Polls throughout our teaching content:

  1. They are more attentive – Since they know I might ask another question at any time, I genuinely think they pay more attention to the material we are presenting.
  2. They’re having more fun – I can’t even tell you how much I love their response when the “Show Live Results” feature is enabled. It’s not uncommon for people to cheer as the results come rolling in!
  3. They’re more likely to come back – I don’t need a lot of research (although it certainly is out there!) to tell me that people who enjoy an experience are more likely to come back a second, third, or even fourth time. That’s EXACTLY what we’re seeing right now with Intentional Parenting.
  4. They’re more likely to bring their friends – I’ve seen this in youth ministry over and over again, but this is one of the clearest examples of this happening with adults I’ve ever seen. Couples who attend one session are inviting their neighbors. Plain and simple: People want to attend engaging events.

Now, before I close out, there’s one more really important thing that I realized during our most recent course. It’s in the picture below. See if you can figure out what I’m talking about:

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It’s right there at the bottom of the screen. I’ll zoom in to help:

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During the session, I asked what grade parents would give themselves based on how well they show affection to their children. And 5% answered that they would give themselves a big ole F. I can say with 100% confidence that most of those parents would never have admitted this if they weren’t able to answer anonymously.

You see, Sidekick doesn’t just promote engagement, it gives people the chance to be honest without facing immediate judgment. You can absolutely be sure that the next words out of my mouth after this poll were different than they would have been had we not done the poll. Because of what we learned with this poll, I was able to pause and tell those parents that they aren’t alone and that simply by attending the Intentional Parenting course, they were already taking steps in the right direction. I’m not going to say it solved all of their problems, but you could actually feel the sense of relief in the room.

And none of this would have been possible without Sidekick.

Blessings,

Doug

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:

8 Jan 2022

Letter to Parents as We Start 2022 in Our Youth Ministry

By |2022-01-08T14:40:20-08:00January 8th, 2022|communication, josh griffin, junior high, junior high ministry, Parents|36 Comments

I just sent out a parent email as we kicked off our new series, My Myself and iPhone. I couldn’t be more excited for this! If it helps/inspires/prompts you with a letter of some sort to your parents, here’s mine:

Hey JHM Parents!

Welcome to 2022! What an incredible and wild ride we had in 2021- we’re excited about the plans to help partner with you in building a faith that lasts in your teenager! Here’s some AMAZING opportunities coming up that will help you as a parent, challenge your teenager and I hope encourage both of you as you journey the New Year together:

FOR STUDENTS: JHM Life Groups Session 2 Kickoff
THIS Wednesday @ 7pm (for 10 weeks)
Students meet all together for a quick bit of fun and games then we separate all over the church campus for small group time to share God’s Word and share about our lives together. Throw in some snacks and a couple of caring adult leaders and you have the perfect Life Group night! Not signed up? Here’s a quick shortcut to get your student in a Life Group!

FOR PARENTS: Intentional Parenting w/Doug Fields
THIS Wednesday @ 7pm (all 10 weeks)
You do NOT want to miss this! You will walk away from these weekly sessions encouraged, engaged, and relieved! Doug and Cathy Fields share weekly (while the kids are in their JHM Life Group!) some strategies and ideas to be intentional, make memories and build a strong connection with your son/daughter in these challenging years. It’s in the Upper Room, right above the Mariners Cafe. Not signed up? Here’s a quick shortcut to get yourself in before it fills completely up!

THIS WEEKEND: Me, Myself and iPhone
THIS SATURDAY/SUNDAY @ all JHM services in the Youth Building
This Christmas I went from Xbox on my 4K television to our new Oculus Quest 2 VR headset then walked my dog (kinda really scrolled on my iPhone the whole time) then came home to watch a Netflix show on my iPad. I mean … there are LOTS of screens and LOTS of temptations and influences in our lives! The next 4 weeks we’ll dive into biblical principles that will help teenagers navigate screens – whether they have their first phone or not.

Let’s have a great 2022 together! As always, feel free to reach out if we can be of support to you in any way.

Blessings,
Josh Griffin
JHM Pastor
Mariners Church

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