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8 Jan 2024

What to Do When Facing a Tough Meeting

By |2024-01-08T08:19:20-08:00January 8th, 2024|Leadership|0 Comments

We’ve all been there. Or we’re going to be there very soon. A situation comes up that we know will require a really tough meeting. Or we get the dreaded email to report to the pastor’s office without any context or warning. How do you deal with difficult meetings?

Pray

If you know that a tough meeting is coming up, spend some dedicated time in prayer about it. God knows our anxieties. He cares about them. He wants us to tell him what we’re anxious about because he cares for us. I find that to be incredibly comforting. Especially if I know I’m about to walk into a difficult meeting.

Focus on facts 

With really tough meetings, there can be a lot of emotions. Anger. Sadness. Confusion. Frustration. It can be really easy to get into the moment’s emotions and forget what is going on or what the meeting is about.

Do your best to focus on the facts of the meeting and refer back to them if you feel like you get off track. 

Listen more than you talk

Whether or not you called the meeting or are the subject of the meeting, it will be really important to listen. Even though it’s important to focus on facts, listening to the emotions and recognizing them will help you ensure the other party knows you are Listening to them and that you care for them.

If you are the source of the meeting, it can be tempting to defend yourself. Do your best to ask questions that show you are listening and want to understand what is happening.

Be clear

Don’t allow yourself to think that being vague will soften the blow of any tough news. It will only add to hurt feelings if you do not communicate clearly. Be concise and be very clear about what is happening. Asked to make sure you understand and are understood.

Make a plan

At the end of the meeting, make sure you create a concrete plan for moving forward or understand the plan. Repeat it back and write it down. Make sure everyone understands what the next steps are. If you leave tough meetings without knowing what’s next, it can create confusion.

If you write it down, you can send it in an email to everyone at the meeting to ensure there’s no confusion and that everyone knows what the next proper steps are.

Pray again

Meetings like these are always really tough. Invite God into every single moment! Thank him for the chance that you get to minister when things are tough and that he cares for you when ministry is really hard.

We’re praying for you here at DYM! Thank you for all that you do.

5 Jan 2024

Shifting Focus in Youth Ministry: Prioritizing Discipleship Over Spectacle

By |2024-01-15T11:13:16-08:00January 5th, 2024|Leadership|2 Comments

In the world of youth ministry, we often find ourselves balancing between what seems spectacular on the surface and what truly fosters long-term spiritual growth in our students. It’s a delicate dance—one that involves reevaluating our strategies, being willing to shift gears, and prioritizing substance over spectacle.

Recently, we made a decision that might seem counterintuitive to some. We chose to cancel one of our biggest events, an event that seemed impressive, drew large crowds, and generated significant buzz. Yet, upon closer examination, we realized that the expected fruit, the lasting impact we envisioned, wasn’t materializing as we hoped.

Why did we choose to take this step? The answer lies in our deep commitment to discipleship.

As leaders in youth ministry, our ultimate goal is to nurture and equip young hearts to become lifelong disciples of Christ. While flashy events may draw attention, our core mission is to instill a genuine, lasting faith in our students—one that extends beyond momentary excitement and into a lifelong journey with Jesus.

Our decision to cancel the event isn’t a step backward; it’s a leap forward in our approach to discipleship. We’re making a deliberate shift toward a more intentional and impactful strategy: focusing on making disciples who make disciples.

Enter “Catalyst groups.” This 10-week strategy isn’t about grandiosity or outward showmanship. Instead, it’s about the heart transformation and equipping students to actively engage in the Great Commission—to go and make disciples of their peers.

The essence of these Catalyst groups lies in fostering deep, meaningful relationships among students. It’s about creating spaces where discipleship isn’t a one-time event but a continuous journey. Here, students learn to walk alongside one another, to wrestle with questions, to explore faith, and to ultimately share the love of Christ with their peers.

Our church has already implemented this approach with our core leaders, and we’re extending an invitation to our core students to engage in this curriculum, led by their youth leads. The curriculum is designed to equip them with the skills to ‘go and make disciples’ themselves covering the vision of disciple making, characteristics of a disciple maker, evangelizing, establishing relationships, equipping them how to share, exporting it into our lives and helping them make a plan and empowering them to take it to their friends. 

After completing this training (ideally in groups of 3-8 at each campus), we’ll provide three tangible and achievable next steps to support their efforts in doing just that. Currently, I have two steps finalized and am still refining the third: 1) Serve kids if you’re not already engaged in service. Take on leadership of a younger group and mentor them. 2) Initiate a Bible study before/after school/practice with friends who aren’t involved in church. And 3) To be announced.

These steps aim to empower students to embrace evangelism and discipleship personally, allowing them to take practical steps toward implementation.

While the decision to cancel a significant event may raise eyebrows, we firmly believe that the impact of empowering students to disciple their peers is immeasurable. It’s about equipping them with the tools, resources, and most importantly, the heart to genuinely reach out and share the Gospel within their spheres of influence.

We understand that this shift might not be as visually striking or immediately impressive as a big event. However, the true value lies in the lasting change it can bring about in the lives of our students and their peers.

As we embark on this new journey of prioritizing discipleship, we anticipate challenges. It won’t be a straightforward path, and the results might not be immediately apparent. But we’re willing to embrace this challenge, knowing that the investment in nurturing disciples who actively disciple others is worth far more than a momentary spectacle.

The decision to cancel a major event isn’t a setback—it’s a strategic move toward building a youth ministry centered on the core principles of discipleship. It’s a commitment to investing in the future, nurturing young leaders, and empowering them to impact their generation for Christ.

3 Jan 2024

New Feature Alert: Uploading Your Own Videos to the Sidekick Servers

By |2024-01-03T15:01:53-08:00January 3rd, 2024|Sidekick Hero Blog|3 Comments

I know Christmas was only 2 weeks ago, but it feels like Christmas 2024 has arrived a little early!!

The Sidekick team is THRILLED to announce a MAJOR NEW UPDATE to the way you add all kinds of media (and specifically VIDEO!!) to slides in your Sidekick presentations.

First, we’ve introduced a much more user-friendly way to add Text, Media, and Voting to your slides:

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Second, we’ve added the ability to add your most recently-uploaded images to new slides:

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We’ll be posting more about these two features in the coming days, but for right now, I want to focus on the update that I’m most excited about:

YOU CAN NOW UPLOAD YOUR OWN VIDEO TO THE SIDEKICK SERVERS!!!

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That’s right! In addition to being able to add videos from Youtube and Vimeo, you can now upload your own videos directly to the Sidekick servers! That means it’s easier than ever to add videos for countdowns, announcements, worship lyrics, worship backgrounds, bumpers, and message illustrations!

Check out the video below to see it in action, or keep scrolling to see step-by-step instructions.

Uploading Your Own Videos to the Sidekick Servers

As far as the amount of image and video storage available for each account, there are different levels based on your subscription. Here’s a handy table to help:

Sidekick Essential

  • Included with DYM Gold Membership or Coleader Premium Subscription
  • 50 GB Image File Storage
  • 5 Minutes Max Video Length (per video)
  • 250 Minutes Total Video Storage

Sidekick + Phones (50 Connections)

  • Included with DYM Gold+ Membership or Coleader Premium+ Subscription
  • 100 GB Image File Storage
  • 60 Minutes Max video Length (per video)
  • 1000 Minutes Total Video Storage

It’s really that easy! Thanks to the most recent Sidekick update, you can now upload your own videos directly to the Sidekick servers. That means that you no longer have to worry about video files not syncing between computers or losing that thumb drive that you (almost 🤦‍♂️) always carry around in your backpack (…don’t act like this only happens to me.).

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

Request a New Sidekick Feature!

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

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

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

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

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

3 Jan 2024

Adding Songs to Sidekick via SongSelect

By |2024-01-02T09:54:05-08:00January 3rd, 2024|Sidekick Hero Blog|0 Comments

One of the things I have always dreaded about making the slides for youth group each week was typing in the lyrics for songs. Not only did I not enjoy typing out every word of a song, but without fail, I always ended up with at least one typo (even though I double and triple-checked!).

Thankfully, those worries are now a thing of the past, thanks to CCLI SongSelect integration in Sidekick! Now, with just a search and a few clicks, I can add the lyrics for any of CCLI’s 100,000+ songs to my presentation!

Connecting your Sidekick account to your CCLI SongSelect account is super simple! To find out how, just watch the video below, or scroll down to see step-by-step instructions.

Connecting Your CCLI SongSelect Account to Sidekick

Adding a Song to Your Sidekick Presentation

It’s really that easy! Thanks to Sidekick, you’ll save yourself countless hours of typing. Plus, you’ll keep all of those accidental typos from causing a distraction during your worship services (wait… other people do make typos, right? Please tell me that it’s not just me?!? 😄).

If you’d like to see the other blog posts in the “How Do I…?” series, you can do so here: How Do I…?

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

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

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

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

29 Dec 2023

Meet A Sidekick Hero: Jim Purtle

By |2023-12-29T08:21:01-08:00December 29th, 2023|Sidekick Hero Blog|0 Comments

From Doug:

Jim has been a loyal friend of DYM for years! He’s got a pastoral heart that comes alongside DYM for our events and also has editing chops and helps us with our DYM pipeline. He’s continually voted as one of the DYM-staff-favorites (although we don’t really vote). He is the Youth Pastor at El Dorado Springs Church of God (Holiness) in El Dorado Springs, MO, where he has served for 21 years (dang, that’s hero status). He and his wonderful wife Cindy have 4 children and their hands full.

(click image to enlarge)

Jim Purtle here, I’ve loved the new Sidekick Live Voting feature, but realized it would be even more fun with a big audience. For our little church, one of the biggest crowds of the year is at our Christmas Eve service (which is attended by around 500 people), so at this year’s Christmas Eve service, we used Sidekick to help with the pre-show before the service started. It was so much fun!

Here’s the setup:
We had a gingerbread-house-decorating contest on the stage, with four pre-selected couples competing for the top prize. We bought the gingerbread houses premade with no decorations, and then we put all the decorating stuff on a table off the stage. The contestants had to run to the table, grab the decorations, and decorate their house the best they could in under three minutes (It was hilarious!)

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We put cheap colored plastic tablecloths on the four tables and matched them to Sidekick’s first four default voting colors: blue, green, red, and purple. (It was handy that those default colors were pretty Christmas-compatible!) Then we put another matching tablecloth under each table as a drop cloth for easy cleanup of any mess at the end of the game.

Note From Doug:
JIM YOU ARE AN ABSOLUTE GENIUS! I LOVE THIS CREATIVITY!

My wife Cindy was hosting the game with Ryan, a guy who graduated from our youth ministry last year. Ryan always hosted games when he was a high school student, so we drafted him when he came home from college to host our pre-show. As always, the hosts and their interaction with the contestants is so important!

We were running a game timer countdown just on a laptop sitting on a table where they could all see, and then we used up our big screens in the room for other stuff! (I used DYM’s Candy Cane Snowflakes countdown, starting at 3:00, because the numbers were huge enough to make up for the small screen we were playing it on.)

On that note, here’s how we did screens and voting:

We have a screen setup that seems to be pretty common to a lot of churches: three large front screens, with separate content on the two side screens vs. the center screen.

So we did…

  • Live camera shots of the teams decorating their gingerbread houses on the two side screens, and…
  • The Sidekick Live Voting graphic on the main center screen.

(click image to enlarge)

Since our church is primarily senior-citizens, when the hosts introduced Sidekick’s QR code and the concept of Live Voting, I ran up, pulled out my phone, and showed people exactly how to do it.

Here’s what I actually said (while demonstrating):

“Open your camera, and zoom in on that black and white symbol thingy. DON’T take a photo. Instead, wait until a little link pops up on the screen by the QR code, and tap that. If you’re having trouble, ask a teenager to help you.”

And our hosts made sure to emphasize:

“You only get to vote once, so make sure you’re happy with your vote before you send it!”

We counted down, kicked off the chaos, and took votes. It was so much fun! I can’t wait to find other creative uses for Sidekick in 2024!

Here Are A Few Quick Notes That Might Help Someone Else Who Wants to Do Something Similar:

  • Even with our elderly crowd, we had a strong voting response, and people LOVED seeing their vote tally before their eyes!
  • The option to show the QR code full-screen was very useful for the larger room.
  • If I had it to do again, I’d make sure the color-coded tables were in the same order as the vote graphic (rookie mistake 🤷‍♂️).
  • I got the new DYM Platinum Membership the week before Christmas. It gave me all the live voting capacity I needed on Sidekick, plus literally everything I need for my program budget, volunteer training, and parent seminars for the entire year. They aren’t paying me to say this, but I highly recommend it.

Happy New Year! If you haven’t poked around on this blog yet, I recommend that too–so much to learn from other youth workers!

Blessings,

Jim

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:

27 Dec 2023

How Coleader & Sidekick Work Together

By |2023-12-27T14:42:54-08:00December 27th, 2023|Sidekick Hero Blog|0 Comments

I remember when Coleader first launched almost a year ago. I was immediately blown away by a few features that I considered game-changing at the time:

  • Building a service from scratch (seriously, I still can’t believe how easy this is),
  • Adding call-outs for important notes that I needed our volunteers to see,
  • Moving and reorganizing service elements without any hassle,
  • Choosing which details of the service I wanted to include when I emailed a copy of the service to our small group leaders ahead of time.

In my mind, these features alone made Coleader the obvious choice when it came to planning and building our worship services. But then, this past summer, Coleader launched the Year 1 Roadmap, which included even more incredible features:

  • An annual curriculum that was written, edited, and programmed by youth ministry legends Doug Fields & Josh Griffin and a team of incredibly talented youth ministry veterans,
  • Student Events, Parent Events, and Volunteer Events that somehow manage to think of everything you could possibly need to host a memorable event (I’m looking at you, NEON NIGHT!!),
  • Magic Swap for those moments when the Roadmap Series just doesn’t quite fit the context.

Honestly, at this point, I didn’t think I needed anything else. Coleader was everything I could have hoped for and more.

But then everything changed again with one little button…

Ok, admittedly, the image above isn’t technically “little,” but that’s just because I wanted to make sure everyone understands how incredibly powerful this button is… but first, I want to show you how to find it.

First, you’ll need to be a Coleader Premium or Coleader Premium+ Subscriber. Basically, these subscriptions get you access to a lot of really great features:

  • Coleader Premium:
    • 260 Credits (the equivalent of 26 weeks of programming)
    • 1 Year of Access to Sidekick Essential (includes 5 phone connections for Live Voting)
  • Coleader Premium+:
    • 520 Credits (the equivalent of 52 weeks of programming)
    • 1 Year of Access to Sidekick+Phones (includes 50 phone connections for Live Voting)

Second, once you’re a Coleader Premium or Coleader Premium+ Subscriber, you’ll just need to select a series from the Coleader Year 1 Roadmap and copy it to your account.

And third, open your newly copied series, and then open any session within that series (in the image below, I selected Session 1 from the HABITS Series that released December 1st, 2023). When you do this, you’ll notice a new button that appears that says “Open in Sidekick.”

(click image to enlarge)

All you have to do is click the “Open in Sidekick” button, and then choose whether or not you want to automatically import the lyrics to the selected songs…

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And before you know it, you’ll be looking at a fully-loaded Sidekick presentation containing EVERYTHING included in your Coleader session! You’ll find countdowns, games, song lyrics, the bumper video, the lesson slides, and even the small group discussion questions! It’s all there, just waiting for you to hit the “present” button!

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…and that’s it!

I know. It feels like there should be more steps or like it should be more complicated, but it just isn’t. Sidekick integration into the Coleader Premium and Coleader Premium+ Subscriptions is just another reason why I’m 100% convinced that Sidekick will be an absolute GAME-CHANGER for you and your ministry.

…Plus, you didn’t hear it from me, but there are a few REALLY BIG Sidekick updates coming out within the next week or so. 🙂 So stay tuned!

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:

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:

25 Dec 2023

Merry Christmas from DYM

By |2023-12-25T05:16:46-08:00December 25th, 2023|Youth Ministry Ideas|0 Comments

Dear youth worker, 

We know the Christmas season is a wild roller coaster for most pastors. From hosting events to corral and youth, to making sure that nobody steals any of your decorations to incorporate into the Christmas pageant, the holiday season is a little crazy.

We know that you are ministering to kids who are hurting because they’re disconnected from their parents or don’t feel seen or heard anywhere else but in youth group.

We know you are trying to string together a family Christmas on a Youth Pastor salary and budget.

We know you’ve got your things that you are working through as a follower of Jesus.

As we celebrate the birth of our savior, and what it means for our faith and our students, know that we are thankful for you.

You who creatively seeking out ways to minister to students. You who make the Bible come alive to those who have never heard it before. You who deal with staff drama and that angry parent and the youth group kid who still won’t wear deodorant, we see you.

But more importantly, God sees you. He loves you. He knows how much he loves students and want them to follow after Christ. Your passion matters to us.

So no matter where you are, what Christmas party you’re cleaning up after, what family drama you might be going through right now, or how many text messages you’ll get from students this Christmas, know that you are loved, and we are rooting for you!

Merry Christmas from DYM 

22 Dec 2023

Meet A Sidekick Hero: Micah Roddy

By |2023-12-27T14:38:55-08:00December 22nd, 2023|Sidekick Hero Blog|1 Comment

From Doug: A few months I was with a bunch of DYM Members at our DYM100 event, and I wound up sitting next to Micah Roddy. I remember saying, “I don’t know much about you… tell me your story.” In a few short minutes I became a fan. Micah is a caring, veteran youth pastor (of 14 years) who is currently in his 5th year as a youth pastor at First Baptist Church, Corpus Christi. He has a heart for discipleship and loves his family. He has been using/testing Sidekick for us and he’s the next in line to be one of our Sidekick Heroes.

I’m a Fan of Sidekick!

I recently had the privilege of beta testing DYM’s new Sidekick–it’s a game-changer. I was always a huge fan of the OG Sidekick, but I always wanted more. This latest [totally rebuild] Sidekick not only exceeded my expectations but also reshaped how I lead and structure our youth nights, even extending its benefits to leadership training. 

(click image to enlarge)

Here are 5 of the Top Reasons I’m a Fan:

1. Everyone Can Participate without Actually Participating.

Whether they are shy or visiting for the very first time, not everyone wants to be front and center during a game. Enter Live Voting. Now, when we play a trivia game, the audience can cast their vote for what they think the answer is. If they get it right, their phone lights up green, and it lights up red if they get it wrong. Either way, they are playing the game without having to be in front of everyone. Everyone from introverts to extroverts (and yes, even visitors) are all leaning into what we’re doing.

2. The Crowd Becomes Part of the Game.

Remember when Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? changed game shows forever when they introduced the Ask the Audience lifeline? Sidekick absolutely brings that same vibe with Live Voting. The crowd gets to vote on every question, and it keeps them hooked, even if they’re not one of the ones on stage. And then, after you close the voting, you can reveal the answer if they got it right, they stand up, and it feels like they all accomplished something together. And it’s even more fun if the student playing up front gets it wrong! In that case, we actually give the prize to someone in the crowd who got the answer correct, so that way, everyone has a chance to win! And don’t worry, we still give the upfront player something, too 🙂

3. It Resets Their Attention Spans.

We’ve all been there, the “how long is too long to teach?” dilemma. The answer depends on how long you can keep them engaged. Our typical go-to methods are videos, images, or questions to discuss at round tables. We’ve found that every time we do something like this, their attention span resets, and Sidekick just made that process SO MUCH EASIER!

Recently, we wrapped up a series on the Birth Story, and while building up to the angels appearing before the shepherds, I did a Live Voting Poll, where I asked:

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About 95% of them voted for either an influencer or an expert. This unintentionally became more than resetting attention spans… it created an ah-ha moment with a biblical story they’ve heard many times.

4. Slide Transitions are No Longer Dependent on Attendance, Behavior, or “Less-than-Reliable” Teenagers

Sidekick came in clutch for me when our student leadership team took a hiatus (meaning my “media team” was gone). But, I didn’t even worry for a second! Since I’m able to control presentations from my iPad or phone, I didn’t have to stress about who was going to run the presentation. Even if someone’s absent or dealing with distractions, I can smoothly navigate through the lesson without needing to rely on that one media kid (we all have that kid, right?) to pay attention. Sidekick has been a lifesaver during those shorthanded moments, especially when training someone new isn’t an immediate option.

5. Our Media Training has Gotten an Upgrade.

Yes, Sidekick has even changed the way I train leaders and students on our presentation computers (and not just because it’s a new/different software). In the past, when I trained someone on how to use our presentation software, I had to schedule them to come to the church early or on a different day, and it became a little bit of a nightmare (both in terms of scheduling and them forgetting what I taught them). But, since Sidekick is web based, I can give my team access to our Sidekick Workspace where they can mess around with a presentation on their own time and essentially learn on their own (because, let’s face it, they are naturally way better at this than any of us are).

And since Sidekick is already so easy to use, my media team is already more confident and comfortable with Sidekick in two weeks than they ever were in over a year with our old software (can you guess which one we were using? It’s the confusing one 😄). Plus, Sidekick is perfect for prepping for our big Christmas Party because I can send out the link ahead of time, they mess with it, and we’re all set!

Check Out This Sidekick Hero In Action:

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In a Nutshell, Sidekick Isn’t Just Software… It’s a Youth Ministry Superhero.

It makes things more fun, more inclusive, and way less stressful. If you’re not on the Sidekick train yet, you’re missing out on some serious youth ministry magic!

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)

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