Love the Games, Love the Players! (creating & running games)

“I hate games—organizing, running and trying to get my kids to play them.”  How many times have you said or thought something similar? On the list of priorities, game playing often does not rank high. You have precious little time with students. Why use it up on games?  Here is why. Middle Years Students still enjoy, need and […]

Icebreaker/Game: “Palm Readers”

HERE IS A QUICK EASY GAME WITH MINIMAL SUPPLIES AND PRE-GAME PREP!  PERFECT FOR AN ICEBREAKER, MIXER, OR SOME GOOD OLD TEAM-BUILDING FUN!  SUPPLIES: • Washable Markers GAMEPLAY: Quick explanation: Students will work together to spell words based on letters written on their palms. Before the Game: • Before the game starts, write a letter of […]

Top 10: REAL Summer Mission Trip Moments from Over the Years

10. Coming Out in the Morning to Find That the Church Bus Has Been”Tagged”. 9. Girl Yelling “Hey I Found a Bag of Oregano!” While Doing a Street Clean up. 8. Pulling Up to a Ministry Project Location To Find an SUV Engulfed in Flames in the Street. 7. Having a Very Nice Man in […]

Summer Game: “Sloppy Snorkel Flip-N-Sip”

SUPPLIES: 2 Snorkels 2 Snorkel Masks 2 Sets of Flippers 2 Large pitchers 2 two liters of soda or some other beverage A table Egg timer or multi-media countdown clock GAME PLAY: Quick explanation:Player will race to a pitcher of beverage, sip as much of the beverage as they can through a snorkel. Before the […]

The Difference Between Program and Ministry

Years ago, I sat in at Youth Specialties National Youth Workers Convention, listening to Kara Powell, talk about her research connected to the new Sticky Faith book. I remember her on the main stage talking about programs being a tunnel to ministry but not being our ministry.  She warned the crowd to make sure to […]

Top 10: Things I Have NEVER Heard a Middle School Student Say?

10.  I stopped coming to youth group because I didn’t like your theological stance on _______.  9.  We all really feel like you should wear skinny jeans and get more tattoos, so you can be more relevant.  8.  Tonight was way too much fun.  7.  Please stop sending me personal handwritten encouragement notes.  6.  My parents realized that […]

Middle School Camp Mistakes and Misses

I just returned from taking a group of my middle school (5th-8th grade) students to a “camp” experience, put on by a nationally known and acclaimed organization.   Initially, I was planning on writing a review and some thoughts, when I returned offering up some hints and helps along with what I expected to an […]

Top 10: “Daddy Always Said… (Youth Ministry Lessons)

Father Knows Best… Go Ask Your Father…  Fatherly Wisdom…  In Honor of Father’s Day, Coming Up This Sunday, Here Are 10 things “Daddy Always Said…” Growing Up, that May Also Still Apply In Your Youth Ministry Life?    10. “Walk It Off….“- Sometimes in ministry you are going to get hurt and you might just need to walk […]

Game of the Week: “Dad Joke Face-Off” (Father Day Game)

Who doesn’t love your dad and his amazingly cheesy jokes?   We have heard them all, right? Here is your student’s chance to see how well they know these classic dad jokes by facing off to see who can guess the correct punch-line first! A gut-busting and groan-worthy fun game perfect for Father’s Day or […]

Trip Hint/Help: Youth Pastor Box and Bag

For years I have created 2 things that have literally rescued my trips over and over again!   Whether it be summer camp, a mission trip, or a short retreat,   These 2 things have been my key resource for close to 20 years.   These are the “in-the-trenches”, “live-and-learn” resources that I have shared […]