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11 Apr 2024

Helping Youth Workers Win This April!

By |2024-04-11T09:05:06-07:00April 11th, 2024|Youth Ministry Ideas, Youth Ministry Resources|1 Comment

AMAZING DEALS ONLY IN APRIL!

Our team at DYM is made up of youth workers! We have hundreds of years of combined experience and a heart that wants to make your life easier and better. Andt that’s not all. We want to save you time so you can do what we can’t do: disciple your studentscare for your parents… and spend time with your volunteers.

We’ve combined some of the best deals we’ve ever had and we’re offering ALL of them to you in the month of April! We’re here to help you win!

Check Out All Of Our April Deals Here

We’ve made the DYM Membership EVEN better.

Gold NOW gets 25 voting connections in Sidekick (previously 5!)

A NEW monthly countdown video added to member downloads (in addition to the normal membership video!)

AND, get 20-50% off in-person events (new this year!)

Check Out The Memberships Here

Super Summer Mega Pack? Yes, please!

$200 worth of epic, time-saving summer resources for only $99!

Plug-and-play games, complete teaching series’, graphics, videos, summer camp resources, themed events, and 2 high-quality summer calendar designs to choose from – it’s all included! You have to see it to believe it!

Check Out the Summer Mega Pack Here

We’re launching Coleader Year 2 in May, Save BIG in April!

Subscribe to Coleader Premium+ (or extend your current Premium+ subscription) during April and get 20% off! That gives you an ENTIRE YEAR of curriculum, games, countdowns, and events for only $320! That’s about $6 per week for a fully complete program.

CHECK OUT COLEADER AND USE CODE: WINNING2024 AT CHECKOUT

Buy the National Day of Volunteer Youth Ministry Training, get YMU for ONLY $99 (that’s a $150 savings)!

If you sign up for the National Day of Volunteer Youth Ministry Training(either to host it or to own it) we’ll give you complete access to 125 video courses on YMUniversity.com for the renewal price of only $99.

Your volunteers can get world-class training on their device of choice 24/7 all year long! Check it out here!

Check out the National Day of Volunteer Youth Ministry Training Here

Become a Platinum Member and get a $100 Starbucks card on us!

Platinum Membership has everything you’ll need for the year (Coleader access, YMUniversity, Events, 50% discounts from the store, etc…).

Join in April and we’ll personally send you a $100 gift card to Starbucks so you can have a relaxing beverage on us throughout the year… we know you need it!

Check out the Platinum Membership Here

Get $50 Off a DYM Southern California Event This Fall!

You’re the leader, you need some rest and training and networking and learning and fun! We have all that waiting for you this fall at our events in Southern California.

We’d love for you to join us for Your First Decade in Youth Ministry Conferenceor DYM100: Roundtable Conversations Conference. We’ve got a $50 discount for you if you sign up this month!

Check out the YOUR FIRST DECADE IN YOUTH MINISTRY CONFERENCE HERE
Check out the DYM100: Roundtable Conversations Conference Here
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|7 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

31 May 2023

Summer Blog Series

By |2023-05-31T09:32:13-07:00May 31st, 2023|Youth Ministry Resources|6 Comments

Summer is here!

We’re so excited about what summer means for student ministry! Whether its camp, mission trips, wild programs, family vacations or a whole new transition, we’ve got you covered!

Over the summer, we’re going to be looking at some big summer topics.

We can’t wait to support you and add value to you as a pastor. It’s going to be a great summer and we can’t wait to help out!

See you soon!

DYM Blog Summer Series

  • 6/5/2023 – Nailing the transition into youth ministry
  • 6/12/2023 – Preparing your heart for summer camp
  • 6/19/2023 – How to take a vacation
  • 6/26/2023 – Helping parents have spiritual conversations over the summer
  • 7/3/2023 – What to do when a crisis happens & your senior pastor is away
  • 7/10/2023 – Youth Ministry when students are out of school
  • 7/17/2023 – Helping your seniors move on
  • 7/24/2023 – Ministering to students who aren’t showing up
  • 7/31/2023 – Partnering with other ministries
20 Feb 2023

Preparing for Easter Sunday!

By |2023-02-20T08:59:36-08:00February 20th, 2023|Youth Ministry Resources|12 Comments

It’s almost time for Easter! I get really excited for the season. Not because I enjoy Easter egg hunting and pastels and nice weather, but because this is what our faith is all about! Jesus resurrected from the dead is why we celebrate today!

Since Easter is coming, it’s a good time to start. Thinking about what your plan is going to be. Just like Christmas and New Year’s, Easter is a holiday that lets you try some new things and experiment a little bit. If you start getting ready now, you’ll be more than prepared on April 9!

Know your church

I’ve served in two different churches during my youth, ministry tenure, and while both make a big deal out of Easter, what that looks like for those churches is really different.

At my first church it was the highest attended Sunday of the year. And not just in the worship service but for every Sunday school class and Youth Ministry event as well. We had to make sure we were planning for a lot more students than normal!

At the church, I go to now, it’s a little different.

While the big church service is still really packed, all of our Sunday morning classes drop in attendance. Like, half or more of even our most consistent regulars don’t show up.

Your church might lean one way or the other or be somewhere in the middle. My encouragement to you is to think about your church and plan accordingly. Is it going to be a blowout Sunday or are people going to just come to big church and then spend the rest of the day with family?

Know your students 

It’s important not only to think about the culture of your church, you need to consider the culture of your student ministry as well.

Are they going to bring friends on Easter Sunday? Are they going to bring family from out of town? Do they like experimenting and trying something new? Do you think they would be challenged with a more pared down ministry day?

This would be a good time to consult your students and ask them what they think the Sunday morning experience could look like and get their feedback. It will really help your planning!

Make a plan

Speaking of planning, once you have considered your church and your students, make a solid plan! Get everything together and think about what you’re going to need for that day.

Are you going to have food when you normally wouldn’t? Or are you going to make, your usual food prep a little better?

What is your follow up to guests and visitors coming for the first time on Easter going to look like? Could you have students involved in big church if you don’t feel like they’re going to attend regular student ministry?

Put a plan down on paper now and start, getting ready!

Communicate it!

We can often complain about how people don’t read our emails or look at our social media. That doesn’t really help the fact that we still have to communicate a plan if we’re going to change things up.

But before you communicate your plan to parents and students, run it by your senior pastor or supervisor first. Are you really rocking the boat on Easter? Make sure everyone is on board. Are you going to need some extra volunteers to make Sunday morning happen? Make sure you have those adults ready so that they’re not surprised the week of.

Once you have communicated your plan to leadership and people serving behind the scenes, make sure everybody knows what Easter is going to look like for student ministry! Maybe you’ve got a really cool Good Friday service planned out for your students. Maybe you’re not going to meet when you regularly would to allow students to spend time with their families. Whatever it is, make sure you over communicate so that everyone knows what’s going to happen on Easter Sunday!

Lent

Does your church make a big deal out of Lent? Could it with the help of the student ministry? It’s a great opportunity to get yourself and your students ready for the Easter season! Think about how you could use the season of Lent to prepare your hearts and minds for the ressurection of Jesus! There are some cool resources down below to use in you ministry!

I love Easter. It’s such a wonderful season and a great time to celebrate Jesus! What’s your plan for Easter? It’s coming up sooner than you think! Let’s make sure we have an awesome Sunday! 

Ronald

Need something to get ready for Easter? Check out these great Instagram posts for the season of Lent!

Need to communicate what Lent is to your students? Here’s a great one-off talk to make your own!

13 May 2022

Mental Health Series: Practical Ways to Care for Teenagers With…. Suicidal Thoughts

By |2022-05-13T11:06:40-07:00May 13th, 2022|Mental Health, Training, Volunteers, Youth Ministry Resources|12 Comments

Concluding our week, we wanted to talk specifically about a serious topic.  

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34. Suicide is a heavy subject. Many fear that bringing up the topic, or even the word, will cause someone to think about it. However, this is not the case. Talking openly and honestly about suicide makes students feel safe and more supported. Some students will be more upfront about thoughts of suicide, while others may hide their plans. As youth workers, students trust you. If they are bringing this topic up to you, you cannot promise to keep it a secret.  

A brief note on self-harm: 

Self-harm can result because of a few factors. For some, it serves as a distraction from intense emotional pain. For others, it can be because they have a feeling of numbness and self-harm brings the result of feeling something. It can also become a way of communicating to others that they are hurting and desperate for help. However, it’s not always a form of communication. Some will be very secretive about self-harm and are solely focused on bringing some sort of temporary relief. Because it brings temporary relief, it can be reinforcing, and students can continue to come back to the behavior to deal with painful or overwhelming feelings. One of the most common triggers for self-harm is the feeling of rejection. Self-harm does not always mean suicide; however, the behavior is a sign for deep pain that could lead to suicidal tendencies and attempt.  

 

5 Tips for Walking with Students Who May Be Suicidal 

1.Talk about it 

  • If you think a student is suicidal, talk about it. You won’t give them ideas or put the thought in their head.  Students need a calm voice that is more interested in understanding their feelings rather than a fearful, anxious, or critical voice. 
  • Things to ask:
    • “Are you feeling suicidal” 
    • “Do you have a plan?”  
    • How detailed is the plan, do they know how they would do it, what’s the time frame, do they have access to things like firearms, meds, etc.?  
  • Determine the severity of their current state.  Do they need to go to the ER? 

2. Show Love 

  • Students need to feel, hear, and see that they are loved.
  • Repeatedly, tell them how much you care about them and love them.  

3. Be Empathetic 

  • Remember to validate the students’ feelings.
  • Make statements and comments that express empathy instead of telling them how they should feel.  

4. Stay in Touch 

  • Keep in contact with the student.
  • This can be through texting, calling, over social media, meeting up for coffee, going on a walk.
  • When a student misses a small or youth group, reach out and let them know they were missed, and you hope they can make it the next time. Avoid making them feel guilty for missing. 

5. Partner with Parents 

  • The parent must be involved in the conversation.
  • Many students are afraid to tell their parents or talk with them about what they are feeling. You get to be a safe person the student can bring along to talk with the parent.
  • You cannot keep this a secret. Offer to talk to parents WITH the student, agree to a date that they will talk to their parents by, if they don’t by that date let them know you will share with their parents for them.

 

ADDITIONAL MENTAL HEALTH  RESOURCES 

 


 

Want to start conversations about Mental Health in your youth group? Check out a brand new Mental Health series at Download Youth Ministry:

My Friend is Struggling With

This 4-week series addresses mental health from a physical, mental, and spiritual perspective. Mental illnesses are real and daunting, but even in the middle of it, there can be hope. The first week gives a mental health overview, the second week addresses depression, the third week addresses anxiety, and the fourth week addresses suicide.

For the month of May, 100% of the proceeds for this resource will go to a scholarship fund to help youth workers with a mental health challenge see a counselor. If you are interested in this scholarship, you can fill out the application here.

 

 

Michelle lives in Idaho with her husband where they love to spend time outdoors, go on new adventures, and find the best chicken wings and coffee places. She also possess the ability to kill any plant that comes into their home. She also is the Co-Host of the Middle School Ministry Podcast. Listen here!
12 May 2022

Mental Health Series: Practical Ways to Care for Teenagers With…. Feeding and Eating Disorders

By |2022-05-12T09:22:00-07:00May 12th, 2022|Mental Health, Training, Volunteers, Youth Ministry Resources|3 Comments

Feeding and Eating disorders are often characterized by an unhealthy relationship with food, whether that is through excessive eating or refusal to eat enough to maintain a healthy weight, and a distorted body image. Although more often diagnosed in girls, boys are also diagnosed but can be missed because it is harder to spot. Not everyone with an eating disorder appears underweight, eating disorders appear all over the spectrum. 

The most common feeding and eating disorders we see in students include anorexia, bulimia, and purge eating. Anorexia can be characterized by a refusal to eat, excessive weight loss, and distorted body image. A person with anorexia believes they are too fat, while everyone else sees them as far too thin. Bulimia can be characterized by frequent binge eating, followed by purging and/or strenuous dieting. Unlike anorexia, bulimia is often recognized by a normal weight or somewhat overweight. Binge eating is often accompanied by a feeling of having lost control, and often done in secret accompanied by shame and guilt. Similar to bulimia, weight is normal or overweight, however binge eating disorder is not accompanied by trying to get rid of the food by purging. 

 

4 Practical Ways to Support a Student with an Eating Disorder: 

1.Have Healthy Snacks Available

  • Keep healthy snacks in your office, the youth room, kitchen, etc. 
  • Fruits, Veggies, Granola Bars, Popcorn, Nuts, Pretzels, etc.  

2. Offer Support  

  • Be there to support them along their recovery journey. 
  • Show compassion and understanding. 
  • Be aware of how you talk about body image in your group.

3. Be Extra Aware at Camps and Retreats 

  • Be aware of how much the student is eating, watch if they have skipped meals. 
  • Have volunteers keep eyes their peeled for any students who have missed multiple meals, etc.
  • Require all students and leaders to attend meals.  
  • If doing high energy activities, make a deal on how much or what they need to eat in order to do the activity. 
  • Have them bring food you know they will eat.  

4. Partner with Parents  

  • If you notice a student not eating consistently, or recognize other signs of an eating disorder, talk with the parent.  
  • If they are already aware, find out what their plan is and how you can support the student.

 

Resources:  

National Eating Disorder Association 

When Your Teen Has an eating disorder: Practical Strategies to Help Your Teen Recover from Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating 

 


 

Want to start conversations about Mental Health in your youth group? Check out a brand new Mental Health series at Download Youth Ministry:

My Friend is Struggling With

This 4-week series addresses mental health from a physical, mental, and spiritual perspective. Mental illnesses are real and daunting, but even in the middle of it, there can be hope. The first week gives a mental health overview, the second week addresses depression, the third week addresses anxiety, and the fourth week addresses suicide.

For the month of May, 100% of the proceeds for this resource will go to a scholarship fund to help youth workers with a mental health challenge see a counselor. If you are interested in this scholarship, you can fill out the application here.

 

 

Michelle lives in Idaho with her husband where they love to spend time outdoors, go on new adventures, and find the best chicken wings and coffee places. She also possess the ability to kill any plant that comes into their home. She also is the Co-Host of the Middle School Ministry Podcast. Listen here!
11 May 2022

Mental Health Series: Practical Ways to Care for Teenagers With…. ADD/ADHD

By |2022-05-11T09:57:05-07:00May 11th, 2022|Mental Health, Training, Volunteers, Youth Ministry Resources|8 Comments

Continuing in our series, today we are looking at students who struggle with ADD/ADHD.

ADHD makes it difficult for kids to focus on their schoolwork and every day tasks, to pay attention, and sit still. It’s often harder for them to control themselves than other kids their age. ADHD can take form in two kinds of behaviors; inattentive and impulsive.

Impulsive behaviors can include fidgeting, struggling to sit still, constantly talking or interrupting, and being impatient. Inattentive behaviors might look like making careless mistakes, being easily distracted, having a hard time following instruction, and forgetting or losing things often.

 

Practical Ways to Help Teenagers with ADD/ADHD:

1. Provide Fidget Toys

  • Have a box with a mixture of fidget toys available somewhere in your space that students know about.
  • Being able to hold/play with a fidget toy can help students focus.

2. Encourage Peer Relationships

  • It’s often times harder for students with ADD/ADHD to make and/or keep friends.
  • These students can also be more subject to bullying or bully others.
  • Encourage extracurricular activities, participation in games, events.

3. Self-Regulation Ideas

  • Give time frames for when things are going to begin/end
    • Ex: When playing video games before service, give adequate time to let them know it’s going to be time to stop playing.
  • Cool-Off Space
    • Have a place in your building or facility where a student can go if they need to calm down or take a breath.
  • Allow the student to stand or walk in the back of the room during the lesson.

4. Check in with and resource your volunteers

  • These students often require some extra grace, see how you can help your volunteers navigate that.
  • If the student is a talker, give them the job of reading the small group questions, coming up with an ice breaker question for the group, etc.

 

Resources:

Fidget Toy Pack on Amazon

CHADD – Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

 


 

Want to start conversations about Mental Health in your youth group? Check out a brand new Mental Health series at Download Youth Ministry:

My Friend is Struggling With

This 4-week series addresses mental health from a physical, mental, and spiritual perspective. Mental illnesses are real and daunting, but even in the middle of it, there can be hope. The first week gives a mental health overview, the second week addresses depression, the third week addresses anxiety, and the fourth week addresses suicide.

For the month of May, 100% of the proceeds for this resource will go to a scholarship fund to help youth workers with a mental health challenge see a counselor. If you are interested in this scholarship, you can fill out the application here.

 

 

Michelle lives in Idaho with her husband where they love to spend time outdoors, go on new adventures, and find the best chicken wings and coffee places. She also possess the ability to kill any plant that comes into their home. She also is the Co-Host of the Middle School Ministry Podcast. Listen here!
10 May 2022

Mental Health Series: Practical Ways to Care for Teenagers Who Are Struggling With…. Depression

By |2022-05-11T09:39:13-07:00May 10th, 2022|Mental Health, Training, Volunteers, Youth Ministry Resources|9 Comments

Our series continues as we tackle how to support students who might be struggling with depression.

Alongside of anxiety, depression is also one of the most diagnosed disorders in the United States. Depression involves severe symptoms that affect how a person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities like eating, sleeping, and/or working or school. In 2020, it was estimated that 4.1 million adolescents between 12-17 had at least one major depressive episode (NIMH, Major Depression, 2022).  So I think it’s fair to say that there are students in our ministries who are experiencing symptoms of depression.

How can we show up for them? Here are a few ways…

6 Practical Ways to Care for Students Who are Struggling With Depression 

1.Encourage Professional Help  

  • You don’t have to have all the answers, but having a trusted list of professionals to refer students and parents to is key!
  • Counseling, Medical Professional, and/or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are all things a student could benefit from.

2. Be Supportive 

  • Validate their emotions, not unhealthy behavior.

3. Be Compassionately Curious  

  • Ask questions gently and patiently 
  • Don’t try to solve the problem, simply be present

4. Notice the Positive Things  

  • Make sure to notice the small things, encourage them in that. 

5. Partner with Parents 

  • If the student hasn’t talked to their family, this is a MUST. You cannot keep depression a secret.  
  • Offer to talk to parents WITH the student, agree to a date that they will talk to their parents by, if they don’t by that date let them know you will share with their parents for them.
  • If the parent is already aware, check in with them about their student, but also check in on the parent. 

6. Check in with the student  

  • If they haven’t been showing up for a while, text them, call them, DM them on social media. 
  • Don’t make them feel bad for missing youth group, just acknowledge you are thinking about them.  
  • Offer to take them out somewhere, 1-on-1  
    • Ask for parent permission. 
    • Don’t be offended if they say no, the ask goes a long way.  

 

Resources: 

Anxiety and Depression Association of America 

Seen: Healing Despair And Anxiety In Kids And Teens Through The Power Of Connection 

To Write Love on Her Arms 


 

Want to start conversations about Mental Health in your youth group? Check out a brand new Mental Health series at Download Youth Ministry:

My Friend is Struggling With

This 4-week series addresses mental health from a physical, mental, and spiritual perspective. Mental illnesses are real and daunting, but even in the middle of it, there can be hope. The first week gives a mental health overview, the second week addresses depression, the third week addresses anxiety, and the fourth week addresses suicide.

For the month of May, 100% of the proceeds for this resource will go to a scholarship fund to help youth workers with a mental health challenge see a counselor. If you are interested in this scholarship, you can fill out the application here.

 

 

Michelle lives in Idaho with her husband where they love to spend time outdoors, go on new adventures, and find the best chicken wings and coffee places. She also possess the ability to kill any plant that comes into their home. She also is the Co-Host of the Middle School Ministry Podcast. Listen here!
9 May 2022

Mental Health Series: Practical Ways to Care for Teenagers Who Are Struggling With…. Anxiety

By |2022-05-09T22:19:08-07:00May 9th, 2022|Mental Health, Training, Volunteers, Youth Ministry Resources|2 Comments

In 2021, the CDC officially declared a National Emergency in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. The rates of childhood mental health concerns have grown steadily since 2010, and by 2017 suicide was the second leading cause of death among youth and young adults aged 10-34. The Coronavirus pandemic has only increased and intensified the situation around mental health. Even more so than adults, adolescents and young adults are fighting for their lives behind hidden doors, unsure of where to go, or who to talk to. As the church, we get to be a safe space for students, and young adults, to feel accepted for where they are at, loved for who they are, and provide hope for the future.  

 Janet Haag (2019) brings painful statistics to the frontline that, “1 in 5 Americans have a diagnosable mental health condition. 50% of these conditions show up by age 14; 75% by age 24, so it should come as no surprise that 1 in 5 youth ages 13-18 lives with significant mental health challenges, depression and anxiety topping this list.”  

 

So, what does this mean for your ministry?  

 

Well, the reality is, that you have students in your ministry right now, who are dealing with mental health issues. If you don’t, you will. There are things that you can be doing right now to help your students feel that the church is a safe and belonging place for them. Below are the most common mental health disorders that adolescents are dealing with. Before we get to that though, there is something incredibly important we must understand.  

 

Our job is not to diagnose someone (or yourself). Our job is to observe changes in behavior, be a listening ear, and help students and families take next steps as needed.  

 

So, what does this look like in a ministry context? Throughout this week, we are going to be talking about the most common mental health disorders in students, and share some super practical things that you can do to care for hurting students right away. This list is not exhaustive or definitive, it’s simply made up of a few suggestions of things we can do to support our students.  

Let’s start with the most common mental illness diagnosed in the United States. If you have a student that deals with anxiety, here are a few things you can do to make your student feel more comfortable, and help them find ways to cope during youth group, an event, camp, or any ministry setting.

 

5 Practical Ways to Care for Students Who are Struggling With Anxiety

 

1.Help the student slow their breathing

    • Slow, deep breaths are key. 
    • Practice breathing WITH them.
    • Check out apps like Calm or Headspace. 

2. Walk and Talk

    • Sometimes students just need to step away from everything and take a break.  
    • Go on a walk around the building with them, to a park, etc. 

3. Talk openly about anxiety 

    • The goal isn’t to get rid of their anxiety, but manage it. 
    • Find other people who are further along on their anxiety journey that can be an encouragement to the student.

4. Talk with the student’s family/parents 

    • The role of the church should be to partner with families. 
    • If the student hasn’t talked to their family, this is a MUST. You cannot keep mental health challenges a secret.
      TIP: Offer to talk to parents WITH the student, agree to a date that they will talk to their parents by, if they don’t by that date let them know you will share with their parents for them.

5. Partner with professionals  

    • Have a list of trusted professionals on hand that you can refer out to (get this referral list approved by your church leadership).
    • This list can include, but is not limited to: counselors, outpatient clinics, health care facilities, etc. 

Additional Resources: 


 

Check out this brand new Mental Health series at Download Youth Ministry:

My Friend is Struggling With

This 4-week series addresses mental health from a physical, mental, and spiritual perspective. Mental illnesses are real and daunting, but even in the middle of it, there can be hope. The first week gives a mental health overview, the second week addresses depression, the third week addresses anxiety, and the fourth week addresses suicide.

For the month of May, 100% of the proceeds for this resource will go to a scholarship fund to help youth workers with a mental health challenge see a counselor. If you are interested in this scholarship, you can fill out the application here.

 

 

Michelle lives in Idaho with her husband where they love to spend time outdoors, go on new adventures, and find the best chicken wings and coffee places. She also possess the ability to kill any plant that comes into their home. She also is the Co-Host of the Middle School Ministry Podcast. Listen here!
18 Feb 2022

Preparing Students’ Hearts For Easter: Why Lent is Important in Youth Ministry

By |2022-02-22T09:41:32-08:00February 18th, 2022|Teaching/Programming, Youth Ministry Ideas, Youth Ministry Resources|5 Comments

By DYM Author:
Sabrina Hadro

First, I have to say that I didn’t grow up in a church that celebrated Lent. Actually, in 14 years of doing youth ministry, I have never worked at a church that officially participated in Lent. So why am I writing this blog post? I don’t think your church has to “officially” celebrate Lent for you and your student ministry to appreciate and participate in this ancient season leading up to Easter.

Over the last 10 years I have come to realize that we all need resurrection. I appreciate Lent because it provides a space for us as youth workers and for our students to see our need for resurrection and find hope that Jesus can actually give it to us.

Here are 3 practical reasons celebrating Lent could be just what your student ministry needs right now:

  1. Seasons are a natural chance for catalytic growth.

Now more than ever, we need creative ways to re-engage students after the pandemic has created a new normal. We all love holidays and seasons. They are a natural break in the monotony of life. They reinvigorate our passion and our hope. We can harness this anticipation of a new season by participating in Lent with our students. Since things are more distant now, how do we meet them where they are at (social media) and prayerfully challenge them to take a step towards Jesus? If your ministry is struggling to gain traction or if students are bogged down with the hustle and grind of over-programmed schedules, this could be the spark that is a catalyst for growth in your students—whether Lent has always been sacred in your youth ministry, or if you’ve never incorporated it at all. The Holy Spirit can use the most out-of-the box means to draw students to Himself.

  1. We are an addicted and deeply distracted people that need discipline.

Youth pastors, parents, and students alike are legitimately addicted to screens! This can greatly hinder our ability to connect with God and His Word. This is where Lent provides a natural space for repentance which includes not only giving up unhealthy habits but taking up a new way of living and thinking. Participating in the 40-day Lenten journey can be an opportunity for students to adopt spiritual disciplines together like fasting, prayer, Bible meditation, silence and solitude, and journaling so they can learn to “feed themselves” the Bible for a lifetime! When we deny ourselves and replace habits that are subtly destroying us, we will hear from God in a way that we never have before. God wants our undivided attention! Lent is a perfect reminder of that truth and a chance to actually give it to Him.

  1. We desperately need accountability.

God did not create man to be alone. Yet, we all drift into following Jesus alone at times. Lent is a built in, “let’s do this together!” It is an opportunity to create some shared experiences that develop community in our youth ministries and in the families in our churches. When everyone is going through a study or giving something up together, it’s unforced accountability. Students and parents can renew each other’s faith because they are on this journey as a unit. I want to do everything short of sin to incentivize and make memorable and accessible the Good News that we will be celebrating at Easter.

Winter is almost over. Resurrection is coming. Easter is coming. Growth is coming. Let’s help prepare our students and their families for it during this Lenten season!

Get Sabrina’s latest Lent resource, Lent: Grow On Your Own Challenge, Jesus’ Last Moves, for 50% off on Tuesday, February 22 ONLY. Use code: LENT50

Whether your church annually practices the observance of Lent or this is the first time you and your youth ministry are considering it, check out some great resources to stir-up life-change in the hearts of your students and revival in your ministry: Lent Resources.

 

Sabrina Hadro

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