Home/Posts/Mariners Youth Ministry
25 Jan 2024

How We Used Sidekick Polls at Our Mid-Year Training

By |2024-01-24T07:55:21-08:00January 25th, 2024|josh griffin, Mariners Youth Ministry, Sidekick Hero Blog|2 Comments

What a fun night! We just kicked off our 2024 Life Group session with a leader training night, and of course … incorporated Sidekick and it’s killer new live polling option.

We asked several questions, but this is the one that had the most buzz:

After we’d given an overview of our upcoming Asking for a Friend series, we asked which of the topics they were most nervous to cover or teach. The answer wasn’t surprising – in fact, it confirmed what we had guessed which ones they would be apprehensive about.

(click image to enlarge)

(click image to enlarge)

And here’ the killer twist … the poll results helped us knew where to spend our time during the training. The top 2 results got the rest of the time in the training. It was incredible … all made possible by a simple phone poll (using Sidekick, naturally). Just another way to use the incredible Gold+ membership presentation software!

Josh

26 Dec 2023

15 Great Sidekick Poll Ideas for Your Youth Ministry

By |2023-12-26T11:46:11-08:00December 26th, 2023|Mariners Youth Ministry, Sidekick Hero Blog|3 Comments

It’s Christmas week, so we’re taking a week off for New Year in our youth group, so instead of our weekly “here’s what we did” with Sidekick, here are 15 poll ideas for your next youth ministry gathering. Just copy and paste them into Sidekick, and your students can vote in real-time during your presentation. SO fun!

  • Do you have a New Year’s resolution?
  • Do you secretly judge other people’s New Year’s resolutions?
  • What are you most excited about at Winter Retreat?
  • Did you get what you wanted for Christmas?
  • Are you playing a sport this season?
  • Are you ready for finals?
  • What are your average grades this semester?
  • Do you have a phone?
  • What kind of phone do you have?
  • Do your parents limit your “screen time”?
  • Do you complete video games or just play them to 100%?
  • Do you have summer camp on your family calendar?
  • Which of the following events this Spring are you most excited about?
  • Are you traveling for Spring Break?
  • Give your Christmas break a letter grade!

Josh

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:

21 Dec 2023

Mariners JHM Weekend in Review: Vol 2

By |2023-12-22T08:35:49-08:00December 21st, 2023|Mariners Youth Ministry|0 Comments

Weekend Teaching Series: Christmas at the Movies (series premiere, week 2 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: This Christmas, you never have to be ALONE.
Service Length: 65 minutes

Understandable Message: This week Tammy continued our Christmas t the movies series – holiday favorites as illustrations of the Scripture/them we’ve chosen for the series. This week… Home Alone!

Scriptures Used: Ephesians 4:32, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Colossians 3:13

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We started with the Dancing Christmas Beast countdown, played Anything for a Buck: Christmas Edition since it was our triple llamabuck weekend (what are those? I posted on it earlier this week here), and of course did the Impossible Shot for first time guests and the student who brought them. Super fun!

Music Playlist: Joy to the World, My King Forever

Favorite Moment: We had some GREAT clips from the movie, which always make the movie sticky and memorable. I had played 3 clips from the various versions of the movie, but then when the Grinch’s “heart grew 3 times that day” there was a montage clip of all 3. So good! 

Up next: Christmas at the Movies: Home Alone (week 2 of 3, Tammy speaking)

19 Dec 2023

And the Winner of the Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest Is … Chosen Using Sidekick, of Course!

By |2023-12-19T08:25:06-08:00December 19th, 2023|Mariners Youth Ministry, Sidekick, Sidekick Hero Blog, Youth Ministry Hacks|0 Comments

Our Mariners Church Student Ministry Volunteer 🎄Christmas Party🎄 was last night (’tis the season), and the Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest is always SO fun … but choosing a winner has never felt quite right. Sure, there’s the “audience applause” gauge, the crowd favorite, and then there’s me—always biased to the Star Wars-themed holiday gear, naturally.

🤔 If only there were a way to have people cast their ballots so we get an actual popular vote of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Enter: Sidekick.

(click image to enlarge)

(click image to enlarge)

AND IT WORKED LIKE A CHARM!

We picked our 6 finalists and had them hit the stage. Then everyone whipped out their phones for a serious and scientific showdown…

Some of the best parts about Sidekick Live Voting are:

  • You can only vote once (no cheating)
  • Voting is anonymous (no hating on people who voted differently than you)
  • You can choose whether or not to show voting results in real-time (you can build suspense)

For our event, here’s how we set up our Live Voting Presentation Settings:

We toggled the “Show Live Results” to OFF so we could gather all the votes in secret. And then, only after all the votes were cast did we dramatically reveal the winner.

AND IT WORKED PERFECTLY!

It was close … but we all knew the real winner that night: Sidekick.

Just kidding… well sort of. Sidekick was the tool that helped us easily solve the annual debate of who won the ugly Christmas sweater contest. So in a way, because of Sidekick, we all won. Perfection!

How will you use Sidekick +Phones this week in your ministry?

Josh

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:

14 Dec 2023

Mariners JHM Weekend in Review: Vol 1

By |2023-12-22T08:37:11-08:00December 14th, 2023|Mariners Youth Ministry|0 Comments

Weekend Teaching Series: Christmas at the Movies (series premiere, week 1 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: This Christmas, let the love of JESUS rule your heart, and don’t be a GRINCH!
Service Length: 66 minutes

Understandable Message: This week we kicked off our Christmas series – we’re doing 3 weeks and 3 different Christmas movies as illustrations of the Scripture/them we’ve chosen for the series. I got to kick off with The Grinch, and used clips from all 3 versions of the movie, including my childhood favorite, a clip from the live-action Jim Carrey version, and finally a really fun clip from the 2018 CGI remake as well. The message itself was fast-paced and fun, with 4 different clips showing the life change of the Grinch from the beginning to end. The main difference of course, was that the Spirit of Christmas changed the Grinch’s heart, but it is the Holy Spirit who changes our heart. I included several Christmas actions to take to bring more kindness and love to our homes/schools this holiday season.

Scriptures Used: Ephesians 4:32, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Colossians 3:13

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We started with the Dancing Christmas Beast countdown, played Anything for a Buck: Christmas Edition since it was our triple llamabuck weekend (what are those? I posted on it earlier this week here), and of course did the Impossible Shot for first time guests and the student who brought them. Super fun!

Music Playlist: Joy to the World, My King Forever

Favorite Moment: We had some GREAT clips from the movie, which always make the movie sticky and memorable. I had played 3 clips from the various versions of the movie, but then when the Grinch’s “heart grew 3 times that day” there was a montage clip of all 3. So good! 

Up next: Christmas at the Movies: Home Alone (week 2 of 3, Tammy speaking)

12 Dec 2023

Our First Poll @ Mariner’s JHM: “Who is Your Favorite?” BAD IDEA.

By |2023-12-12T09:12:01-08:00December 12th, 2023|Mariners Youth Ministry, Sidekick Hero Blog|0 Comments

I lost miserably in a new Sidekick poll we did with our students. Ugh, I did not see this coming. I ended up being tied for LAST in the voting.

But first, let me back up…

Ok, without a doubt, Live Voting in the new beta version of Sidekick is absolutely amazing. In addition to being incredibly easy to setup, the student experience is SO GOOD. It’s just so much fun. We had 2 polls this week.

First up was:

And, somewhat surprisingly, the vast majority of students were all in on Christmas tunes as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey is sliced up.

But the real controversy came with the second poll, which was:

…and let me come to you from the future with this warning:

DO NOT DO THIS POLL WHEN YOU GET SIDEKICK.

(Remember, Sidekick Presenter is included with your DYM Gold Membership, and Sidekick + Phones is included in a DYM Gold+ Membership).

So we put the names of six regular leaders up on the screen… and the host of the element (regrettably not me) pushed students to vote for herself… Then the bribing started. Another leader was bribing students with LLAMA BUCKS. Then student leaders all got behind another person.

In short… I was left out in the cold, just like having a birthday a couple days after Christmas – it’s not a great feeling. I got demolished in the final tally.

All of this to say… be kind to yourself this holiday season. When you use Sidekick + Phones, don’t even think of asking students to pick their favorite… or you just might get humbled a bit… like me this week. Ouch.

Josh

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:

11 Dec 2023

How a Silly Idea Called Llamabucks Changed Our Youth Group This Fall

By |2023-12-11T23:47:43-08:00December 11th, 2023|josh griffin, junior high, junior high ministry, Mariners Youth Ministry, Youth Ministry Hacks, Youth Ministry Ideas, Youth Ministry Resources|3 Comments

Last week I had 11 students tell me last week’s memory verse from youth group.

Now, maybe that’s not the most incredible thing in your context, but I added a memory verse to our program over a year ago and this was exactly 8x the most we’ve ever had recite a verse from memory. Now, you could certainly chalk up part of that to poor leadership on my part for the past 365 days, and that’s certainly a contributing factor. But what accounted for the change?

Enter: llama bucks.

Back at Fall Kickoff we introduced a new currency in our youth group, playing off of a llama theme that has kinda taken over. No more prizes, just llama bucks. Serving? Get a llamabuck. Ask a great question in your small group time? Score a llamabuck.

SAY A MEMORY VERSE? Get a llamabuck.

And this thing has taken on a whole life of its own. Despite us having a really horrendous resume and zero experience in distributing an internatioal currency and inflation … we’ve given out thousands of llama bucks. And they can be used in two key ways:

  1. Use them in small amounts right away in the llama store outside the youth room to grab some Nerd Ropes or a Liquid Death (it’s just water people) or some JHM merch.
  2. Save up for the Llama-auction on January 13th, 2024. We have a big event planned with lots of fun, big items (most requested was an eBike, we’ll see, sounds expensive) but we’ll have fun items for students to bid on to use up their bucks.

Reward what you want to see happen in your youth ministry. Not a new idea, just our spin on it … and it’s crushing right now.

Josh

7 Oct 2021

Mariners JHM Weekend in Review: Volume 9

By |2021-10-05T01:13:08-07:00October 7th, 2021|josh griffin, junior high, junior high ministry, Mariners Youth Ministry, Teaching, Teaching/Programming, Youth Ministry Ideas, Youth Ministry Resources, Youth Pastor Life|4 Comments

Weekend Teaching Series: Fact or Fiction (series kickoff, week 3 of 5, Josh speaking)

Sermon Synopsis: This week I went after the FACT that friends are a BIG deal. Also, I got to assign the topics to everyone, so I definitely may have given “Is the Bible true?” to Tammy last week and next week’s “Is Hell real?” to Mandy. Hey, I was tired from a long summer! BUT, friends are super important and a topic we cover regularly for sure. This week we talked through the power of friends, the caliber of your friends and the quantity of friends needed to be successful in junior high.Kids always respond to this talk because it always seems to be a felt need!

Service Length: 65 minutes

  • Key Scripture: Proverbs 18:24

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This week we played a member-only mega hit game, the Fiesta Olympics. It was SO fun – in my review of the product I left some feedback to improve how we ran it this weekend, but it was STILL super super fun. A big departure from our normal screen games (which our kids love) it was more contestant on a game show type experience. SO great,

Student Involvement: We had a student helping lead/host the game this week, which was super fun. As always a robust team working the tech booth (this is a huge highlight in our ministry right now) and had a TON of cleanup this week. The game was more than a little messy … and amazing!

Favorite Moment: The Fiesta Olympics were SO fun! Burritos flying everywhere. SO SO good.

Up next: Fact or Fiction (week 4 of 6, Matt Mullins speaking)

5 Oct 2021

Mariners JHM Weekend in Review: Volume 8

By |2021-10-05T01:04:33-07:00October 5th, 2021|josh griffin, junior high, junior high ministry, Mariners Youth Ministry, Teaching, Teaching/Programming, Youth Ministry Ideas, Youth Ministry Resources, Youth Pastor Life|8 Comments

Weekend Teaching Series: Fact or Fiction (series kickoff, week 2 of 5, Tammy speaking)

Sermon Synopsis: This week Tammy went after the topic of if the Bible can be trusted or not. As Christians we center our lives and worldview around this book – so how do we know it’s true and where did it all come from? Those are some big questions that our junior highers will ask (honestly most of them aren’t right now) but want to build and apologetic-based view of the Scriptures as a foundation for the questions and doubts that will arise in the future.

Service Length: 65 minutes

  • Key Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This week we played two DYM games – one was a huge hit – the Marvelous Marvel Emoji Hunt is an easy winner and really had some clever questions. I was a fan … and all of our students love Marvel movies for sure! And the other game was fine (I should have taken it to the next level) called Whatchu Know About Watermelons? game that worked but didn’t have the same pop of some other games we’ve played. If I had given it more thought, I would have had some free watermelon for everyone, or given a giant watermelon as a prize for the winner. THAT would have been hilarious. Next time!

Student Involvement: This week we continued to see students run the tech booth, lights, sound and even had a couple students greeting. Also, turning the room between services is presenting an opportunity to have other students serve getting their hands dirty as well. Man, junior highers sure can leave a mess behind!

Favorite Moment: I was off this weekend … so that was my highlight. Honestly, being able to trust someone else with the stage is so refreshing in and of itself. It isn’t easy being gone, but knowing a solid communicator is there and the heart of youth group is fully present makes me confident I can be away and get some time for myself, too!

Up next: Fact or Fiction (week 3 of 6, Josh speaking)

14 Sep 2021

Mariners JHM Weekend in Review: Volume 7

By |2021-09-14T09:22:34-07:00September 14th, 2021|josh griffin, junior high, junior high ministry, Mariners Youth Ministry, Teaching, Teaching/Programming, Youth Ministry Ideas, Youth Ministry Resources, Youth Pastor Life|3 Comments

Weekend Teaching Series: Fact or Fiction (series kickoff, week 1 of 5)

Sermon Synopsis: This week was our summer camp reunion service, so it was packed and it was fun. We played the full summer camp video and had an absolute blast swapping stories and checking out the cast of the kid that broke his arm. Doh! We also had baptisms for the first time in 2 years, so the message this week was on baptism, why we do it and why it is important. We haven’t had any type of baptism class in a while, so I just decided to bring to the weekend to start our new series. It was incredible – 40 students got baptized this weekend. NUTS! Felt like literally years worth of baptisms in one evening … my heart is full!

Service Length: 64 minutes + baptisms

  • Key Scripture: 2 Corinthians 2:17

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We had some FUN this week – it was our week after summer camp so pushed all in with SEQUELS weekend! We played the super popular Ancient Artifacts Volume 3, which is now become a hilarious way for leaders and students to connect over long lost technology questions, and after a round of Impossible Shots for the new students visiting for the first time, played another great game that ends a trilogy. Copycats 3 is a hilarious game where students have to try to best reenact the silly cat .gif on the screen in front of them – the crowd votes for the best one. The game isn’t QUITE as good as the originals, but still did super well with our junior highers and would highly recommend!

Student Involvement: This week we had a full compliment of student greeters, the student band and kids moderating the online chat and running streaming. They’re doing an amazing job!

Favorite Moment: This week we had our highest attendance post-covid (or maybe it’s mid-covid, who knows at this point). GREAT seeing students come back, the momentum from summer camp and summer, we’re off and running again. YEAH!

Up next: Fact or Fiction (week 2 of 6, Tammy speaking)

Go to Top