iheartyouthministry.com- Youth Ministry Blog

This weekend’s “THE OTHER 6” 5/8/2011

Here is this week’s ”THE OTHER 6” during our church wide series entitled “How To Raise Your Parents”. ”THE OTHER 6”” is a simple way for students to spend time with God “the other 6 days of the week” that they’re not at church. Sure students have small groups where they get to study the Bible on a weekly basis, but “THE OTHER 6” is a way for them to journey deeper on their own about the themes touched on in our weekend services. Here is how it works:

1) Students hear a message/talk/sermon at one of our weekend services

2) After the service, students can pick up “The Other 6” which is a six day devotional which is based off of the points of the weekend message. 

3) Students can visit “The Other 6” blog each day to get a “DAILY CHALLENGE VIDEO” which is a video describing a simple task that students can do to each day to try and live out their faith based on what they are studying. 

That’s it! It’s not complicated at all. You can go ahead and click here to download this weeks “The Other 6” student devotional.  I hope this is helpful to some of you! If you have any questions about how “The Other 6” works, just leave a comment with your question and I’ll get back to you soon!

This past weekend my c-group (jr. high small group) and I had one of the coolest memory makers of the year. That’s right, you guessed it…an overnighter. It was 10 hours of non stop pizza, toilet paper dodgeball, movies, hide and seek and absolute craziness. And the coolest part of this particular event? My jr. high small group had the entire church to themselves! I booked our entire church building just for one small group! The students had a blast and I…need to sleep for a month. :D

Here are a few pros and cons to holding overnighters with your students: 

PRO: Students will forget almost every message you ever taught them, but they will always remember the fun times they had with their youth pastor at an overnighter. 

CON: No matter how hard you try, you will never get your students to sleep during an overnighter. Trust me. It’s just not going to happen!

PRO: Overnighters are a great way to assimilate new students into your group. For students who have never attended church before, an overnighter is a really easy way to bring new students in and let them connect with other students/leaders. 

CON: The custodians at your church will never like you again. I think the math is 1 Overnighter + 8 smelly teens=1 destroyed church building. 

PRO: Parents of teens love sending their students to overnighters. It’s a free date night for parents!

CON: We return students to their parents in the form of Jr. High Zombies Of Death, after getting no sleep and eating large quantities of sugar for 10 hours straight. 

My friend Jake Rutenbar created a great video a few years ago about the pros and cons of the dreaded overnighter. Check it out by clicking on the video above! :D



Recently my boss Kurt Johnston, posted on his blog a call for our youth ministry at Saddleback Church to be focused on "Less God; More Jesus". The video above by Tim Keller is a great discussion starter about how we as youth workers can bring the Gospel into everything we teach with our students. Share your thought’s in the comments section below!



Last weekend @ WILDSIDE March 12-13, 2011


This weekend we finished up our two part series on “heros of the Bible”. During week one we focused on the character of Moses and this weekend we focused on Jonah-the reluctant hero. 

Series: “Old Skool Heros”

Pre-Service: Since our theme for the weekend was SUPER HEROS, we played clips of the old 90’s Christian TV show “Bibleman” for our video countdown. In retrospect…Bibleman was super cheesy/corny then and is still super cheesy/corny today. That being said, the students thought it was funny non the less!

Worship Songs: ”Our God”, “Never Let Go”, ” Blessed Be Your Name”, “Take It All”.

Grade Groups: In grade groups this weekend we had students go around the circle and share their favorite superhero/villain. We then followed up with a second question that related to the message “Have you ever run from God? Have you ever avoided doing what God was calling you to do?” Surprisingly a lot of students were open to responding to that question. It was a great win for grade groups. 

Games: This weekend we played a great crowd game entitled “Super Hero Trivia”. We had students work in sections to guess the correct answers to some superhero trivia questions that we had on the screen (i.e. “what planet did Superman come from?” “What was Spider Man’s alter ego?”). The winning section won a bag of gummy worms. Since I was leading the game this weekend I decided to wear a superman cape while I read off the questions. Not sure if the students thought it was funny…but I did! :D

Message: My friend Grant taught this weekend on Jonah: The Reluctant Hero. Instead of a topical message, this weekend’s message was purely the narrative of the story of Jonah. At the end we gave students a chance to respond to the message by asking them to think about which character they are most like in the story (Jonah-running away from God, the Ninevites-Don’t know God, etc.) We asked students to make a next step commitment in their faith whether that meant getting to know Jesus for the first time, recommitting their life to Christ or sharing Jesus with their unbelieving friends. We had a few table stations around the room where students could go and fill out a card stating the commitment they were making, and then they each received a bookmark that reminded them of that commitment throughout the week. 



This weekends “THE OTHER 6” student devotional 3/12/2011

Here is this weekend’s copy of “THE OTHER 6”. The “OTHER 6” is a jr. high student devotional based off of WILDSIDE’s weekend messages. Click here to download the newest “THE OTHER 6”! 



Last weekends “THE OTHER 6” student devotional

Here is this weekend’s copy of “THE OTHER 6” for part two of our “A LOOK AT GOD’S BOOK” series on the Bible. . The “OTHER 6” is a jr. high student devotional based off of WILDSIDE’s weekend messages. Click here to download the newest “THE OTHER 6”! 



Last weekend @ WILDSIDE February 26-27, 2011

This weekend we finished up our two week series on the Bible. In part one we took students on a broad tour of what the Bible is. This weekend we focused on how students can use the Bible in their everyday lives. 


Pre-Service: For the countdown this weekend I got up on stage and bet the students that I could say, from memory, all of the books of the Bible in under 30 seconds. I ended up getting it all done in under 25 seconds! The students thought it was hillarious. 

Worship Songs: ”Rise And Sing”, “Trading My Sorrows”. 

Grade Groups: In grade groups this weekend we had students square off in a classic game of “Bible Drill”. We had two students face off at a time by racing to find different Bible passages. The winner got some candy. It was fun for the students to compete a bit with eachother. 

Games: This weekend we played a series of games called “MINUTE TO WIN IT!”. We brought a bunch of students up on the stage and had them compete in short 1-minute challenges (dropping safety pins into a jar, 1st one to pop a balloon, balance dice on a tongue depresser being held in their mouth, etc.). A student was eliminated after each one minute challenge until we had one student left as the winner. Seriously, it was one of the best games we have played all year. All the students were completely in to it!

Message: Katie Edwards taught this week on how students can use the Bible in their own lives daily. She talked about how the Bible is a “lamp” and a “map” and that we can use it to navigate every aspect of our lives. Also she talked about the importance of having a plan when we read the Bible. We got to highlight a few cool resources with our students to help them read the Bible on their own. We sold copies of the “One Minute Bible" and the "LIVE Bible" at our connection booth after the service. 

Katie’s thought for the week was: ‘Take a LOOK at God’s BOOK!