Youth Ministry Hunter/Gatherer

February 27, 2008

I am currently reading Speaking to Teenagers (written by Duffy Robbins and Doug Fields) and came across a chapter entitled “Gathering Material to Make Your Prep Easier.” Gathering and s0rting illustrations and sermon ideas is a weakness I have; it always seems like I gather things but never seem to use them.

After reading this chapter, I have made it my goal to gather at least 5 things per workday. It does not matter if it is a photo, funny story, statistic, or quote; every little piece may help me down the road. Since we are in the 21st Century, I have decided to scan everything and store them on my computer in relevant folders.

Now it’s your turn: how do you gather, sort, and store your illustrations and other materials? By computer, filing cabinet, or large box? Do you tag them, and if so, do you give items multiple tags?


Will Ferrell Photo

February 27, 2008

Josh had an amazing photo of Will Ferrell:

Will Ferrell Olan Mills

Simply hilarious!!!

Luggage is Here!

February 27, 2008

Finally at 6 am Wednesday morning, I received my lost luggage.  Yes, the same bag that I was without for the entire National Youth Ministry Convention.  This was the bag that I had last seen at 7 am on Friday morning.  Welcome home.

Lost Luggage

NYMC 08: The End

February 26, 2008

What a great weekend!! I left on Monday morning, did not have an issue with the airline (although still no sight of luggage), and made it home safely. Here is a short recap of the weekend:

The Good: The conversations. It was great to meet new people, hang out with old friends, and listen to some great workshops. Since Duffy’s sessions, I have been evaluating our Son Club ministry and making sure it’s focus is on making disciples of the students. Jana’s workshop on Administration was incredible. She managed to get us really thinking (“Time management is a matter of making God-honoring choices”) yet also gave us some great tips and tricks to improve our administration.

The Bad: Still waiting for my luggage. It is 7 pm EST on Tuesday evening, and I have not seen my luggage since 7 am on Friday morning. Bummer.

Funniest Quote:I would rather chew my arm out of a bear trap than go to a budget meeting” – Doug Fields

Thanks to Group Publishing, Simply Youth Ministry, and Josh at for a wonderful conference.

P.S. The winner of my contest was Andy for his funny joke about New Jersey. Too bad it is true only about North Jersey, not South Jersey. He wins a copy of All Out War from Simply Youth Ministry.

NYMC 08: Sunday Evening

February 25, 2008

I did some hanging out and purchasing of resources this afternoon, and then on to the General Session.  The comedy group 321 Improv did a nice job of starting off the evening with some humor, but the laughing cake goes to the Skit Guys for their great (yet powerful) skit on Prayer.  Possibly the funniest line of the evening: “O, for a holy kiss!”

Then Greg Stier gave a fantastic message on Challenging Conversations.  He accurately summarized youth ministry as being “filled with challenging & controversial conversations.”  He challenged us to listen to what our students believe.  Hear them voice their beliefs, and then bring them to the Gospel.  The Gospel, by nature, is controversial, yet it is also loving.  The 2nd funniest line of the evening (and almost name for Greg’s Dare2Share): “Jihad for Jesus.”

After Greg’s message, Doug Fields gave an award to a remarkable 13 year old boy named Austin.  This young boy founded a program called “Hoops of Hope,” a ministry that allows students all over the nation to raise money.  With the money raised, Austin (with help from Compassion) has built a high school, medical clinic, and provided medical kits for thousands of people in Zambia.  Even at 13 years old, Austin seemed bright, mature, and comfortable in front of a very large crowd.  We gave Austin 2 standing ovations, plus a love offering at the door.  Even while clapping for this young boy, I couldn’t help but realize that I have not done much.

On a personal note, I heard from the airline around 6:30 pm that my bag was on the flight from Philly to Cincinnati.  Rejoice, my luggage would get here before I left!!!  Alas, it was not to be.  I called them at 11:15 pm and they did not know anything.  They said a flight had just landed in Cincinnati from Philly, so I needed to call them back in an hour to see if my bag was there.  I am a man of my word, so exactly 1 hour later (at 12:15 am) I called them, only to find out that their Lost Baggage Customer Service closes at Midnight EST.  Talk about customer service! So now I know that it was not meant for me to have anything at the Conference but the clothes on my back.  Even in this situation, it was still worth it.

NYMC 08: Sunday Morning

February 25, 2008

Great, great, great skit this morning by the Skit Guys. They used improv while telling the story of David and Goliath. By using the improv, it kept the audience very interested. This is a terrific idea to introduce a Biblical story in youth group.

I did not go to Duffy’s morning session today. Instead, I went to Jana’s session entitled “Behind the Scenes – Must Have Administrative Skills.” It was FANTASTIC!! I got so much helpful and practical advice on how to stay organized, focused, and on track while in ministry. More importantly, she explained the need for time management: we need to honor God by giving Him our best effort all the time. A great session, one that I would suggest you attend tomorrow morning.

For lunch we had to eat at the Food Court again, since Skyline was closed. Is it me or does everything close down on Sunday in this town?

NYMC 08: Saturday Evening

February 24, 2008

Great, great evening session today.  Fun times with Josh and rating Bon Jovi wannabes.  I must admit, even though #3 only knew the chorus, I voted for him cause he sang great.  Good worship time, the Skit Guys were funny, and then Doug.

I really enjoyed Doug Fields’ message tonight.  His topic was on Caring, and he really spoke from the heart.  Right from the start, he said “I am not as caring as I want to be.”  I cannot speak for everyone, but I knew exactly how he felt.  It was very comforting to see someone so well known be so open and honest in front of a group of virtually complete strangers.

Then after the service, my friends Josh, Corrie, and I went into the lobby to drool over check out the Simply Youth Ministry products.  While out there, we met Andy from SYM and started talking to him.  We wound up talking to him for over an hour!  Topics ranged from the best Philly Cheesesteak (Steve’s), to the two states in New Jersey (North and South Jersey), to what the tourists in Ocean City are called (shoobies).  It was tons of fun hanging with Andy.  He is a great guy.

Speaking of Simply Youth Ministry products, Josh is letting me give away a copy of All Out War.  Here is the contest: in the comments below, post your opinion of New Jersey.  I will rate them based primarily on humor, so the funnier the better.  The contest ends on Monday at Noon EST (P.S. it is not all bad, just North Jersey is bad).