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 […]

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 […]

Hint/Help: Youth Ministry Lesson “Take-A-Longs”: Making Your Lessons Last

Everything is mobile and portable in our world, why not your lesson? We all want our lessons to be remembered. We always say things like “take this with you this week”. I know I am always looking for ways to make the ideas and lesson topics stick with our students. Why not create what we […]

Youth Ministry Game of the Week: “Oh Captain, My Captain!”

Oh, Captain, My Captain is a quick silly trivia game to test how well you know your “captains”?   Is it Captain Hook or Captain Crunch?   Can your students tell the differences and do they know the names of these famous American Pop Culture Captains? Come on Captain Obvious, aren’t these all obvious??  Maybe […]

Hints/Help: “Make EVERY Youth Ministry Night Special”

Tired of the weekly question from your parents and students- “Is there anything special happening this week?” Now you can answer honestly…” EVERY WEEK IS SPECIAL!!” by actually making every week special, unique and fun. It is really not that hard or expensive.  Below are all REAL “in-the-trenches” Youth Ministry Nights I have done or I am doing! Here […]

Top 10: Things We “Settle For” in Youth Ministry?

10. Mid-90’s 15-Passenger Van as Your Ministry Transportation. 9. $5 Little Caesar’s Pizzas as the Meal for Every Event. 8. The Smallest Staff Office (*cough: closet) 7. Only Being Allowed to Speak on Holiday Weekends? 6. Outdated, Garage Sale Couches as Youth Room Furniture. 5. Hand-Me-Down Sound Equipment and Tech from Adult Ministry. 4. Sleeping […]

News U Can Use: “Gen Z Teens Talks COVID, Politics and the Capital Attack”

“Their parents’ generation experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall, the brutal beating of Rodney King by police, Operation Desert Storm, war in Bosnia and the 9/11 attacks. But today’s teens are experiencing a lifetime of disturbing news compressed into the span of just nine months and counting. They’ve been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, […]

Top 10: If We Allowed Restaurants Chains to Run Our Church?

10. McDonald’s: Parents put up with going there, because the kids love the playland?   9. Burger King: Have It Your Way Sermons?  8. Taco Bell: Same sermon content every week,  just with a different title and packaging?  7. KFC: Original or Extra Crispy Theology of the Final Judgements?   6. Dunkin’ Donuts: Full-Immersion Baptism, Of Course?  5. Wendy’s: Known for […]

Game of the Week: “Facing the Gauntlet” (Free)

It is more than another game of dodgeball or nerf wars battle….It is THE GAUNTLET!  SUPPLIES: – Projectiles (suggested: marshmallows, dodge balls, nerf guns, finger blasters, and beanie babies) – Some long church tables – A large room or a long hallway PLAYING/EXPLANATION: Simple explanation:  One group of students have to run from point to another, while […]