Top 10: Ways Toddlers and Middle Schoolers are the SAME!?

10. Will put anything in their mouth?…did you get that off the floor??! 9. Always want a snack? …you just had half a pizza, a bag of chips and a 2 liter? 8. In a constant state of mood swings?…why are you crying and laughing at the same time?? 7. Think that farting and burping […]

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 […]

News U Can Use: “Teens Ban From Trick-or-Treating”

“Last Halloween, one Virginia city went viral for banning anyone 13 years and older from trick-or-treating.  No, it wasn’t a story on The Onion. It was real. The city of Chesapeake drew national scrutiny – and social media uproar – for its decades-old ordinance that could fine or jail teens caught in costume with a sack full […]

Hint/Help: 15 Appropriate Halloween/Fall Movies? (Movie Nights)

Here is a list I have posted in the past and was recently asked about again, so I decided to repost it with a few updates here on the new site.  Obviously this is still a bit of delicate topic with “Halloween” parties vs. “Fall/Harvest” parties so please do not be offended. Here are a few […]

Bonus Top 10: “Youth Group Games I Will Never Play Again”

WE ALL HAVE THOSE MOMENTS.  MAYBE IT IS THE LACK OF SLEEP OR OVER CAFFIENATED BRAIN SYNDROME, BUT YOU DECIDE TO PLAY A GAME THAT YOU THINK WILL BE AMAZING, BUT IT IS NOT!!  HERE ARE 10 GAMES I HAVE PLAYED IN REAL-LIFE OVER 25 YEARS AND I WILL NEVER PLAY AGAIN…MAYBE…YEAH PROBALLY NOT?  10. Smear the Christian? (must like […]

“5 Thoughts on Kick Off & What is Next” (Jay Reynolds)

Explosions, Confetti Cannons and Slime!  It is kickoff season and we should start the school year off with a BANG, so much noise that makes a sound louder than a school bell. Whatever your programming looks like during the summer, the MUCH anticipated beginning of the school year is upon us. It’s the calendar killer […]

News U Can Use: “The High Cost of Kid’s Sports”

If you want to define a “super kid,” look no further than Marcy Barnett’s 7-year-old son, Malachi. During the summer in Washington, D.C., he participates in just about every recreational sport: basketball, soccer, flag football, sailing, tennis, swimming and golf. He also has tried ice hockey, pingpong and pole vaulting. Anyone else tired after just […]

“Middle Years Ministry Soul Care” (Caroline Smallwood)

A temptation in ministry is to go without stopping, give without receiving and work without ceasing. Although this usually comes from a good heart, it does not reflect Jesus’ ministry while on earth. When Jesus fed the 5,000 He gave more than He had to offer, but, immediately afterward He sent his disciples away so […]

The Potential Energy of Middle Years Ministry (Matt Sprinkle)

The middle school years (11-14 years old) are one of the most misunderstood and under-appreciated developmental periods of human life. They’re misunderstood by adults in general, to be sure; and they’re misunderstood by churches more often than not.” -Mark Oestreicher & Scott Rubin This just happens to be the first two sentences in the introduction of Middle […]

“Why You Should Take Your Middle Years Students To Camp!”

In the era of summer missions trips to exotic places and high energy, huge conferences at the beach, is there still a place for summer camp?  Has the whole summer camp-thing seen it’s day?  Here are 10 Quick Thoughts, on WHY YOU SHOULD STILL TAKE YOUR MIDDLE YEARS STUDENTS TO CAMP?  10. Freedom to Worship, Sing […]