Home/Posts/Games
15 Sep 2022

Level Up Your Games in Your Service

By |2022-09-15T06:48:49-07:00September 15th, 2022|Games|12 Comments

In this power packed vlog from Mississippi youth pastor and DYM Author James Howard, we hear three ways to Level Up Your Games in Your Service. Check it out below!

Here’s a quick overview of what he covers, but watch for a deeper dive into each of these points:

  1. Find a Game that isn’t Lame. 
  • Look for games that interesting, exciting, and/or engaging for the age level you are working with
  • Find High Quality Games
  • Pay attention to the ease of gameplay
  1. Execute the Game Well
  • Have it prepped well before the program
  • Do a test run
  • Get a competent, energetic, and engaging host
  1. Kill it Before it Dies. Signs of Game Death:
  • Low room engagement
  • Crowd confusion
  • Host is giving up

Got any tips you would add? Put them in the comments below!

James has been a youth pastor for over 13 years! He’s currently serving students at a multi-ethnic church in southern Mississippi. He loves creating games and videos to help students have fun, because fun is such a great way to break down any walls they might have up – hopefully allowing them to be open to the Gospel!

See James’ products on DYM!

 

DYM Gold Members got James’ game: Body Language for free this month! Check it out here or become a Gold Member and get free resources each and every month!

1 Aug 2022

Take Your Youth Service to the Next Level!

By |2022-08-01T06:59:13-07:00August 1st, 2022|Games, josh griffin, Teaching/Programming|7 Comments

So you care about programming your weekly youth group service? That’s a win… I LOVE programming! 

I’m especially passionate about programming a thoughtful and engaging youth service in the fall. It’s been my experience that a new school year is the best time to really invest in your weekly program – I like to capitalize on the momentum this season naturally brings!

Most youth groups use some sort of “order of service” to plan their program. There’s a kajillion names for this type of process, a “run sheet” a “flow” or maybe a “program sheet” or some even use a software program like Planning Center Online. There’s several ways to organize your thoughts – whatever works for you to keep everyone on the same page.

Pre-service

Music

I like music playing and I’m always searching for a good playlist. Jump on Facebook in the Download Youth Ministry community group and ask youth workers to share their Spotify playlists and you’ll instantly have a TON of perfectly curated playlists. Or just open the app and search youth ministry and you’ll be flooded with suggestions from youth workers (who might be 10% cooler than you) and have given some time and thought into song selections that will work for just this moment.

On the screen

If you have a projector or TV, I like putting something on the screens for students to look at when they arrive. It adds to the room vibe and it allows visitors something interesting to look at. You can rotate different slides to either 1) promote upcoming events, 2) share some of your values, or 3) just to have some fun pictures of other teenagers connecting and having fun within your youth ministry. It’s attractive when teenagers can see teenagers smiling, laughing and having fun. Don’t be afraid to cycle through a bunch of youth group photos from the previous week.

Countdown Video

My preference is for the pre-service time to end with a countdown video that clearly indicates the service is about to begin. I like it because it’s the official start of the service as well as a reminder for everyone to “turn the corner” or grab a seat. 

Filling Your Programming “Buckets”

I would encourage your programming efforts to begin by defining what you want your service elements to include. Think of a programming element as a bucket—each one of the following elements is a bucket you could fill with different ideas. 

For example: 

  • a game bucket
  • a testimony bucket
  • a video bucket
  • a teaching bucket
  • a mixer bucket
  • a song bucket, so on… there can be many different types of buckets.

Once I know what my programming buckets are I can throw ideas in them as I find them. There are hundreds of different games and game types that I could throw in the Game Bucket, thousands of different songs in the song bucket, in the testimony bucket there could be video testimony, adult testimony, Christian testimony, a non-Christian testimony about why they don’t believe, a YouTube testimony of a famous athlete or movie star… you get the idea. I’m constantly throwing ideas into these buckets. I can’t get to all these ideas every week, but I have a program EVERY week so I need to keep adding to these buckets.

Then, since I have a ton of ideas to choose from my programming buckets, now I have to be selective based on my time-restrictions. How much time is my given program? The time-block is crucial and serves as my filter. I live by a simple time principle in that I’d rather leave students wanting more of a good program element than tired or bored of it… which means, I’ll cut things shorter and leave them wanting to get on to the next programming element. Youth culture is fast-paced, and it’s hard to hold the attention of teenagers for very long. Asking them to be part of a program that runs longer than an hour is asking a lot, so keep that in mind as you put your program together!

NOTE: If your buckets are on low or empty I’d encourage you to head on Download Youth Ministry to grab a game or a countdown. Truth be told, I mostly fill my programming buckets from downloadyouthministry.com since a membership is inexpensive and allows me to buy so many different items. I can even buy messages there for cheap. I like writing my own messages but I’ll definitely use someone else’s message as a trigger or starting point for my message. The way I think about it is that your ministry with students is unique to what only you can do, but programming ideas can come from the minds and experiences of youth workers all over the world. I want more time with my students and using other people’s stuff for programming saves me so much time. 

Service Flow

Now that we have our ideas and our time frame, the next step is to take some time to develop a service flow. I like to use a few simple templates for how the service should go.

  1. Countdown
  2. Opening Song
  3. Welcome
  4. Game
  5. 2 Min Connect Time
  6. 2 Songs
  7. Prayer
  8. Bumper Video
  9. Message
  10. Song/Response
  11. Dismiss.

Something like that would work. There’s no one way to do it, do what’s right for you! 

It may be best to slowly develop 3 variations of your service flow and mix it up every series or so. The key is that students and volunteers feel like the service is “safe” in that it’s something that they can invite their friends to, but also fresh enough that it’s not predictable—I like surprises to keep them guessing. Getting stuck in a rut is no fun for anyone and being predictable is just short of being boring. 

Remember, you’re in this for the long haul—you’re not just doing one service and that’s it. You’ve got this gig every week… every week! So, be desperate for good ideas. Beg, borrow and steal them… again, Download Youth Ministry is your treasure chest for amazing ideas that will fill every bucket.

The weekly program is the centerpiece of a lot of hard work and as soon as this week is finished there’s another one right behind it. But you’ve got it!

Want to get a hand on your programming for this week and many weeks after? Check out the Gold Membership Deal going on right now! Click the pic below to find out how to get the help you need for your weekly program!


Josh Griffin is a 25 year youth pastor veteran and co-founder of DYM. He’s the Junior High Pastor at Mariner’s Church and always 10 minutes late.

11 Feb 2021

GUEST POST: 10 Reasons Why Bible Games Are Effective Teaching Methods

By |2021-05-17T16:49:06-07:00February 11th, 2021|Games|7 Comments

Bible games, including online ones like Heroes II, have lots to offer aside from pleasure and feeling young again. Here are the best reasons why they are great in education:

  • Bible games lead us to God, teaching and helping us how to read God’s words.

For educators, encouraging students to enjoy reading is relevant because it is the foundation of all subjects. Bible games lead players to read the Scriptures with joy

In fact, the Holy Book says that it can teach, rebuke, correct, and train its readers to be righteous workers.

  • Bible games increase brain development.

Our brain is one major body part that is needed and affected in learning. Studies have shown that games improve brain growth by stimulation. 

Australian and Chinese researchers found out that as a person plays, his gray matter in the brain grows, establishing new neural connections. Games serve as a fun workout that speeds up connectivity in the brain.

The gray matter helps in memories and perception, which are essential in effective learning.

  • Bible games enhance problem-solving skills.

Psychiatrist Susan Linn remarked, “Play is the foundation of learning, creativity, self-expression, and constructive problem-solving. It’s how children wrestle with life to make it meaningful.”

Games are not only for pure pleasure. They actually somehow polish skills in the player, especially in multi-level and mission-based games. The ‘problems’ along the game journey would require solutions, thus stimulating critical-thinking in the player.

The American Psychological Association presented that games also polish decision-making skills, planning, and organization.

We can see this during Bible games when the instructions are being set out. Before making any move, players think carefully to make sure that they follow the rules. And while playing, they need to make split-second decisions that will ascertain if they will advance to the next level.

Above all, Bible games point out that there is one solution for all the problems in this world today—Jesus!

  • Bible games relieve stress.

We live in a hectic world with stress in every corner. Plays are a powerful way to destress.

According to Frontiers in Psychology, though games do not cause a better heart rhythm, they correlate in relieving stress. Such fun workouts boost the mood and even reduce the adrenaline response by more than 50%. Adrenaline is the hormone responsible for fight-or-flight reactions.

With the impact of play on the body, anxiety is put off. 

When one plays a Bible game, he gets to experience all these, and he is encouraged to be resilient in failure’s face.

  • Bible games enhance memory.

Memory plays a significant role in the learning process.

In playing games, instructions are divulged at the beginning. Players need to remember the rules set therein throughout the entire activity. It’s a simple move, but it helps reduce mental decline. Thus, adults need to have time for play too. Bible games are the best choice.

As a person plays and his memory is sharpened, his aging process is slowed down. It paves a broader way for flexible thinking and improved concentration and attention. Both short-term and long-term memories are strengthened.

Biblically speaking, there is One who helps us in our memory—the Holy Spirit. He is a Teacher who would remind us of God’s lessons (John 14:26).

  • Bible Games develop better social skills.

Columbia University has shown in their research that players exhibit better social skills, especially for multiplayer games. The collaborative component of the activity promotes teamwork, nurtures and strengthens relationships. Moreover, games are also avenues to meet and gain new friends.

Social skills are relevant to the learning process. Again and again, we know and believe that no man is an island.

  • Bible games promote activity. 

Yes, to an active lifestyle! 

Obviously, some games really require significant movements. But even online or video games make a person active, contrary to the familiar picture of a couch potato. Games stimulate the whole body’s level of interaction. 

Gross and fine motor skills are refined.

  • Bible games help curb addictive vices.

As games entail concentration, these are a better option for keeping away from vices. 

And if God’s life-changing Word and Spirit is added into the game, how powerful will that be! 

  • Bible games boost the confidence to reach goals.

In playing games, persistence is a must. A player doesn’t just stop when he fails. Instead, he becomes challenged to redo the activity, do better, and be more confident working towards his goal. 

When a player fails, he learns from his mistake and avoids committing such the next round he plays. For a gamer, the misstep is a learning opportunity.

Neurologist Judy Willis explained that this happens because games activate more production of dopamine. This neurotransmitter causes deep satisfaction to the player. It even serves as an analgesic, easing someone in pain. 

The main aim of Bible games is for players to learn more and reach humanity’s ultimate goal—be one with Jesus!

  • Bible games improve focus.

Focus is also an essential element in learning. Some critics would say that games are a distraction (some would even say, destruction).

But research says otherwise. APA studies confirm this. According to them, play enhances coordination. Even online games can impart this benefit. The activities and actions on the screen entail lots of mental stimulation. So in playing, a gamer needs to coordinate his physical movements with his visual and audial capacity. And all these need and polish focus.

The best thing about Bible games is that they focus our focus on our Master Teacher, who can teach us the best lessons in life. He can help us with everything. Without Him, we learn nothing; we are nothing.

Play, No Matter What Age!

Psychologist Theresa A. Kestly stated that human brains are built to benefit from play regardless of agePaul Torrance also writes that curiosity, which is the instinct of play, is a natural guide to learning. If you are a Bible teacher or you would like to study the Scripture more effectively, promote and engage with games that deliberately teach biblical contents.

Not only are you playing, but you are benefitting spiritual, physical, mental, social, and emotional maturation. It is basically active learning.

Have you heard about the Fun Theory?

Fun is the best and easiest method to promote better change in people’s behavior.

Bible students learn about God beyond head knowledge, beyond religion. Teachers are “ice breakers.” By relying on the Holy Spirit’s work and investing time and effort in strategically and accurately communicating God’s life-changing Word, they make a difference.

Have you been fulfilling Deuteronomy 31:12? Try incorporating Bible games in your teaching style and be blessed while blessing your students.

This GUEST POST was sponsored by Heroes II : The Game is a Bible trivia game released by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and Hope Channel. It is a sequel to the game, Heroes, which was released way back in 2013. The latest game version is on its new 3D animation, comes with unique features, and has more challenging Bible questions in four languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French. The game is available on both iOS and Android.

 


Searching for Youth Group Games? Discover thousands of turn-key resources at Download Youth Ministry.

18 Dec 2020

Youth Group Christmas Games – 3 Ways to Quickly Pivot a Youth Ministry Game That is Bombing on Stage

By |2021-05-28T16:13:44-07:00December 18th, 2020|Games, Leadership|4 Comments

We’ve all been there! The game just … isn’t working. Your students are bored, one is actually taking a nap and some others are buried in their phones. That fun element you downloaded from the internet or found free on some app is dying in a pile. You are now mid-game and it’s… welcome to boring-town. Snoozefest 2021. ZZZZZZZZ. What do you do?

I’ve run games for 25 years in my youth ministry and have bombed in front of students more times than I care to admit. There’s nothing worse! OK, there are a TON of worse things – but at that moment it’s super rough. Not as bad as that new kid Michael and one of your key student leaders in the back row displaying way too much PDA at church. Wait, I think I’m getting a bit off track. I do that from time to time around the end of the year as I reflect on all that God has done and some of the occasional knuckleheads He has brought into our youth ministry this year.

So how do you save a game? How do you pivot a game? How do I fix this mess I’m in!? Help!! Here are a few options when things just aren’t going as planned in your program:

Fire up your backup youth group Christmas game

A backup game? Are you kidding me? I’m not some sort of game genie and can just summon a new element of fun! And it’s true … you’re not … yet. Now that you have this idea firmly planted in your head you need to do a quick run-through Josh’s Stocking Stuffers games and pick out some perfect backups for your group in case something goes less than stellar. May I recommend Grandma Got Run Over By a _______________? or First to Ten: Christmas Edition – both are fireproof and always a sure-fire hit. Have a backup game and you’ll always bail like a pro. Click the links to download them right now!

 

Punt it quickly and do one of your “go-to” games

A game pro will always have a simple crowd game ready to go in their back pocket when something goes sideways. Certain tried and true games are virtually guaranteed to crush, like the Bob Ross Christmas Party or Christmas Movie Emoji Challenge but sometimes stuff isn’t a hit in your group. We get it, not everything you try is going to land – so always have these ready to rock:

  • Sit Down If – Everyone stands, and you call out features or facts of their life and they sit if it’s true about them. The last one standing wins. Bonus: Reverse a few to stand back up for a fun twist to bring students back in.
  • Bring Me – You simply call out an item and someone has to bring it to the front. The first one there wins a prize or a point. Things can get crazy when you ask for a shoelace or a contact lens.
  • Rock Paper Scissors – You know this one! Have the whole room play it and if you tie you’re both out. Whittling everyone down to one final winner from the crowd makes it easy and fun.
  • Impossible Shot – Every week I have this ready! A simple Nerf bow and arrow and a target in the back of the room. Adds a burst of energy and engagement every time!

Win them back by raising the stakes

If they’re not giving you great attention or it’s bombing maybe the prize isn’t worth playing for? It doesn’t have to be super expensive (I love visiting the Dollar store to make up games or find prize ideas). Adlib a little bump in the value of the prize (adding $5 to the Starbucks Holiday Drink gift card) or blow them away (the winner goes to Winter Retreat for FREE, also, may I suggest a theme: Superspreading the Gospel Virus). Upping the stakes of the game, by eliminating people could also be a fun way to win the crowd back. 5 cans of Pringles, 10 avocadoes, a cat hot pad. The ideas there are endless. Ha!

I hope this helps you save some face when something goes wrong with your game. This holiday season post-pandemic-election-Zoomed-out-virtual learning-no-sports your students need fun so I hope you’ll lay it on thick! Oh, and definitely don’t use that Winter Retreat theme, it’s a terrible idea.

 

GET 50% OFF THIS CHRISTMAS!

OH – don’t forget! This holiday season, we are giving you 50% OFF your entire shopping cart when you add 10 or more Christmas resources. Seriously! Add any 10 Christmas resources from anywhere on the store, and we will automatically apply 50% OFF at check-out. You can check out more of our holiday recommendations for this year HERE!

JG

 


Searching for Youth Group Games? Discover thousands of turn-key resources at Download Youth Ministry.

20 Nov 2020

Josh Griffin: FREE Game – The Great Thanksgiving Turkey Hunt!

By |2021-05-18T14:18:43-07:00November 20th, 2020|Games, Uncategorized|7 Comments

Imagine students running all around the church property, searching for 7 full-size hidden frozen turkeys.

That’s the game, that’s it.

And it was absolutely hilarious!

The only way it could be better would be if we had students chasing around a LIVE turkey, which here in Southen California would have unleashed a whole flock of PETA friends descending on our church, too. The process was super simple: Tammy (she helps lead the junior high ministry w/me) and I carted up our medium-sized frozen turkeys – which as a bonus, were on sale locally around the holidays anyhow and then we headed out. We found some creative spots to hide the turkeys, including in the sand of the volleyball court, at the farthest end of the parking lot, on top of a Port-A-Potty™ and I tossed one in the middle of the small lake on the property even. Definitely more than half of the fun for us was just in the hiding!

We’ve been promoting this for a while – at our outside worship gatherings and on social media. Super fun, simple, socially-distant so everyone was happy. When we made it back at the church, I simply made a quick presentation with some clues to help our Life Groups discover the turkeys more quickly.

The rules were simple:

  • Stay together as a small group
  • Stay inside the boundaries (anywhere on church property, no crossing the streets)
  • When you find a turkey, bring it back to the station so we can record it
  • You can get as many as you can find
  • Each group selects which mom would LOVE a turkey provided by the church so they “win it” when the game is done
  • We’ll sound a horn when all of the turkeys have been found

We went over the rules (they were so excited they weren’t listening one single bit) and the kids saw the first clue and BOLTED out the door. They were frantically searching for the 1 and left the 99 behind in our COVID-friendly junior high tent meeting area. The game was on! It was a total blast – it lasted only 11 minutes and 42 seconds because our junior highers were INSANE and loved it so much. The 1st Annual Great American Turkey Hunt was completed. A horn sounded in the distance.

Then, groups broke off to their normal routines, and we had a GREAT last night for the fall. The event was silly fun, faster than I expected and the kids loved it. I think I loved it even more than them, but I was thankful they were also into it. Next year, I’m going to make it WAY more difficult and the clues less helpful. But … I’m saving the tweaks for the 2nd annual Great American Turkey Hunt!

If this is helpful or inspiring to you, grab the social media assets, title slide & more RIGHT HERE FOR FREE: https://bit.ly/FREE-Game

As one of the co-founders of DYM I’m also a junior high pastor in the thick of things, so if it’s helpful for me grab it on the house & enjoy a hunt of your own!

—–

Searching for Youth Group Games? Discover thousands of turn-key resources at Download Youth Ministry.

7 Nov 2020

Youth Group Christmas Games – 3 Ways to Quickly Pivot a Youth Ministry Game That is Bombing on Stage

By |2020-11-12T10:09:51-08:00November 7th, 2020|Games, Leadership|4 Comments

We’ve all been there! The game just … isn’t working. Your students are bored, one is actually taking a nap and some others are buried in their phones. That fun element you downloaded from the internet or found free on some app is dying in a pile. You are now mid-game and it’s… welcome to boring-town. Snoozefest 2021. ZZZZZZZZ. What do you do?

I’ve run games for 25 years in my youth ministry and have bombed in front of students more times than I care to admit. There’s nothing worse! OK, there are a TON of worse things – but at that moment it’s super rough. Not as bad as that new kid Michael and one of your key student leaders in the back row displaying way too much PDA at church. Wait, I think I’m getting a bit off track. I do that from time to time around the end of the year as I reflect on all that God has done and some of the occasional knuckleheads He has brought into our youth ministry this year.

So how do you save a game? How do you pivot a game? How do I fix this mess I’m in!? Help!! Here are a few options when things just aren’t going as planned in your program:

Fire up your backup youth group Christmas game

A backup game? Are you kidding me? I’m not some sort of game genie and can just summon a new element of fun! And it’s true … you’re not … yet. Now that you have this idea firmly planted in your head you need to do a quick run-through Josh’s Stocking Stuffers games and pick out some perfect backups for your group in case something goes less than stellar. May I recommend Grandma Got Run Over By a _______________? or First to Ten: Christmas Edition – both are fireproof and always a sure-fire hit. Have a backup game and you’ll always bail like a pro. Click the links to download them right now!

Punt it quickly and do one of your “go-to” games

A game pro will always have a simple crowd game ready to go in their back pocket when something goes sideways. Certain tried and true games are virtually guaranteed to crush, like the Bob Ross Christmas Party or Christmas Movie Emoji Challenge but sometimes stuff isn’t a hit in your group. We get it, not everything you try is going to land – so always have these ready to rock:

  • Sit Down If – Everyone stands, and you call out features or facts of their life and they sit if it’s true about them. The last one standing wins. Bonus: Reverse a few to stand back up for a fun twist to bring students back in.
  • Bring Me – You simply call out an item and someone has to bring it to the front. The first one there wins a prize or a point. Things can get crazy when you ask for a shoelace or a contact lens.
  • Rock Paper Scissors – You know this one! Have the whole room play it and if you tie you’re both out. Whittling everyone down to one final winner from the crowd makes it easy and fun.
  • Impossible Shot – Every week I have this ready! A simple Nerf bow and arrow and a target in the back of the room. Adds a burst of energy and engagement every time!

Win them back by raising the stakes

If they’re not giving you great attention or it’s bombing maybe the prize isn’t worth playing for? It doesn’t have to be super expensive (I love visiting the Dollar store to make up games or find prize ideas). Adlib a little bump in the value of the prize (adding $5 to the Starbucks Holiday Drink gift card) or blow them away (the winner goes to Winter Retreat for FREE, also, may I suggest a theme: Superspreading the Gospel Virus). Upping the stakes of the game, by eliminating people could also be a fun way to win the crowd back. 5 cans of Pringles, 10 avocadoes, a cat hot pad. The ideas there are endless. Ha!

I hope this helps you save some face when something goes wrong with your game. This holiday season post-pandemic-election-Zoomed-out-virtual learning-no-sports your students need fun so I hope you’ll lay it on thick! Oh, and definitely don’t use that Winter Retreat theme, it’s a terrible idea.

GET 50% OFF THIS CHRISTMAS!

OH – don’t forget! This holiday season, we are giving you 50% OFF your entire shopping cart when you add 10 or more Christmas resources. Seriously! Add any 10 Christmas resources from anywhere on the store, and we will automatically apply 50% OFF at check-out. You can check out more of our holiday recommendations for this year HERE!

JG

youth group christmas game - grandma
11 Feb 2020

Team Incentives For Sign Ups

By |2020-02-11T12:40:16-08:00February 11th, 2020|Games, Podcast, Youth Ministry Hacks, Youth Ministry Ideas, Youth Pastor Life|20 Comments

This video is one we have made because we did a big ol’ incentive campaign for our first ever Youth Winter Conference. The idea came because since we have never done this event before and we had no pictures, no video, no context in order to promote it. So we thought in order to help students understand how series we believed in this event, we came up with incentives for when a certain amount would sign up, our team would do something in return.

I got the idea from Frank Gil when he talked about how he got 80% of his group to sign up for camp on day one (listen HERE). Well, we had way more sign up than we had thought and I don’t know if it was because of the incentives or not but either way it was fun to come up with and almost as fun to do.

Our incentives went as follows:

  1. We would choose 10 VIPS who got to bring a friend out of the first 100 that signed up. They got special treatment for the 3-day event.
  2. We would eat hot peppers and film it. See the above video.
  3. One of our youth leads had a great mustache so he would dye it blue.
  4. The male youth leads would wax their armpits. Video to come.
  5. I would get a tattoo. I chose 4 images that were fun, and we let students choose which one I would get.

I love it. It’s been super fun to have this interaction with our students and it’s even better because of most of this doubles as great content for our youtube channel.

More videos to come.

@justinknowles3

5 Feb 2020

Programming: Simple, Fun Service Opener Video

By |2020-02-05T20:59:32-08:00February 5th, 2020|Games, Teaching/Programming, Uncategorized, Youth Ministry Hacks, Youth Ministry Resources|4 Comments

This last week we had our Youth Winter Conference. I will have to post about it later because I am still trying to process how awesome it was because it surpassed all expectations. It was the first time we ran something like this but in a nutshell:

3 nights in a row we put on a service and then an event. We had all our campuses together, bussed them every night in and basically put on an in-house winter camp or DNow. Students went home every night and we charged $59. More to come later. Go check out @sandalsyouth if you want to see more.

I wanted to share how we opened each night to the conference. I made videos where Siri was instructing students what to do. It acted as a host for the night that went straight into worship. It is truly amazing that students will do anything that a screen tells them to do.

The videos itself is simple and relatively easy to make. It is just time-consuming. I use Premiere Pro but you can probably make it on iMovie or something similar.

It really is a great way to open for a summer camp or winter retreat in a fun, different way. Side note: when the music fades out is when the worship band would start to play underneath the video. Created a smooth transition between the video and worship.

Side note: I have a few of them for sale on the DYM store. CLICK HERE to see. More to come.

Here is our night one video. The view of what it looked like at the conference is below it. Go check out the other nights HERE:

Because I know people will ask. Click here for the light foam sticks.

5 Feb 2020

Mariners JH Weekend in Review: Volume 5

By |2020-02-04T20:32:04-08:00February 5th, 2020|Games, Leadership, Mariners Youth Ministry, Teaching/Programming, Youth Ministry Hacks, Youth Ministry Ideas, Youth Pastor Life|0 Comments

Weekend Teaching Series: How NOT to Get Grounded (series premiere, week 1 of 4)

Sermon Synopsis: This week I got to speak for the first time in JH this year and it was a total blast! I gave a new talk called “make good choices” and spoke from the book of Proverbs on how we can avoid getting grounded by walking with Jesus each step of the way. I compared the wise to the foolish, and had a few pictures of what wisdom (Chick-Fil-A, catchy tunes) looks like vs foolish (Popeyes, face tattoos). Students seem to respond well to the talk and there was good discussion around tables for the 10m at the end of the service.

Service Length: 61 minutes

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This week we played DYM’s Super Bowel in honor of the big game happening this past weekend as well as a few rounds of Impossible Shot. Both games absolutely crushed and kids were surprisingly into dietary fiber. We’re going to really expand impossible shot in the future and make it a semi-regular segment as well. This week was SUPER fun, engaging and silly. The students were eating it up!

Music Playlist: Freedom

Volunteer Involvement: We had a few new volunteers this week! We’re pushing hard to have 12 volunteers at each fo the 4 services every weekend, and this week we came super close! We had some people checking things out, and some faithfuls as well. We used a high school student leader on stage with Cooper to co-host the game and that went super well. VERY happy to see the boost, now we’re got to give them mission critical roles and prep them well for the discussion time to help them stick!

Favorite Moment: I loved the fact that students are really digging the two things we’ve asked them to do this New Year so far: 1) check in with their (or their parent’s) phone number and get a name tag, and 2) share a little bit of what they learned from The Weeknd service with their parents. There’s a note/announcements for parents each week on the back of the program, and I’m continually surprised that kids talk to their parents and then text in “WETALKED” to our contact number. Pretty great!

Up next: How NOT to Get Grounded (week 2 of 4)

[also a few people have been asking to follow Mariner’s JH ministry, you can on Instagram right here!]

31 Jan 2020

Mariners JH Weekend in Review: Volume 4

By |2020-01-31T11:04:28-08:00January 31st, 2020|Games, Leadership, Mariners Youth Ministry, Teaching/Programming, Youth Ministry Hacks, Youth Ministry Ideas, Youth Pastor Life|3 Comments

Weekend Teaching Series: RESET: Jesus, Fresh Starts & Screaming Goats (series finale, week 4 of 4)

Sermon Synopsis: This week we wrapped up the RESET series from the start of the New Year with Doug Fields teaching (4th week in a row, yeah!) and

Service Length: 62 minutes

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This week we played a fun active game called Extreme 4 Corners Impossible Edition (you can find it here on DYM) but we tweaked it to have 4 colors instead of multiple choice letters and had lights in the corners of the room they kids picked their answer by going to the color they thought had the correct answer. Questions are intentionally impossible, here’s an example of how the modified slides looked:

If I’m honest with you … it didn’t go great. We switched up the game for the other services, hey it happens! Ha! But the star of the show was bringing in our friend David Wood to perform some card magic before/after services and to do a fun set on stage as well. He was awesome! Totally junior-high friendly show, through he worked super well with our high school students as well for Youth Culture Weekend which happened the past few days as well. If you’re interested in bringing in David, get details/watch videos here.

Music Playlist: Freedom

Takeaway: This week we continued to use “Pick Me” from DYM’s Sidekick App to help parents text in if they had a conversation with their kid about the program/outline service. It is working and we’re trying out best to connect JH students and their home for discipleship!

Volunteer Involvement: We’re working hard to get volunteers at each service. Having them lead at tables is SO huge and we will be working hard on this so if you come visit our youth group next time you’re in California, you’ll see 12 adults at each service!

Favorite Moment: I LOVE David Wood. Is that weird? He’s SO unassuming, so humble and so good. He may have sold his soul to the devil to get this good at magic, but I’m a fan and he crushed with our students.

Up next: NEW series! How NOT to Get Grounded(series premiere, week 1 of 4)

Go to Top