Rob Ham is the Jr. High Pastor at DAYBREAK CHURCH in Carlsbad, CA. He previously worked as the student ministries pastor at Saddleback Church in Orange, CA. Rob is an alumni of the Saddleback Church Leadership Academy For Church Planters. On this blog you will find daily content on youth ministry ideas, training, resources and more! If you are interested in being a GUEST WRITER on iheartyouthministry.com just CLICK HERE to submit a post for review. This site gets updated daily so SUBSCRIBE TO MY FEED to get the latest posts. These aren't the droids you're looking for...
Sermon In A Sentence: When it comes to relationships…it’s OK to ask QUESTIONS!
MESSAGE SUMMARY: This weekend we wrapped up our 4-week series on friendships/dating/sex/relationships with a “Relationship Q&A Panel”. Instead of a regular message, we had a few married couples (some older, some younger) on stage to answer any/all questions that our jr. highers had about sex, dating, etc. During the panel, students could text in the questions and we would answer them in real time. We also used grade groups this week as a time to collect handwritten questions from the students. Here are a few of the questions that we covered:
“How do you show a guy you like him without acting kinda weird?”
“How do you move out of the ‘friend zone’?”
“Is it really that important that I date someone who is already a believer?”
“How long were you just friends before you started dating?”
“How do you let your friend know that the person they are dating is kind of a jerk?”
Do you need shirts made for an upcoming youth ministry event? Need shirts made for your volunteers? Head over to www.shirtsformissions.com to check out my friend Dennis Beckner’s new company. I use him all the time for our youth ministry events. Here’s the mission of SFM:
There is a pretty big mission behind what’s going on here. It actually has 3 parts…
1. Help people go on mission trips The church I attend is heavily into missions. I’ve had the opportunity to go to Kenya on one of those trips. Fortunately, raising the money was not a problem. If I went today, in this economy, raising the funds would be a different challenge. This ministry/business, however, is not about sending me to Kenya. It is about helping many people fulfill the dream God puts on their hearts to get involved with missions.
2. Help people learn valuable skills To make this business happen will require the help of many people. This part of the mission is to teach skills to others who will then be able to succeed in thier own endevors. Skills they can learn by serving at Mission Shirts are design, printing, purchaing, budgeting, pricing, sales, etc. Each person who helps at Mission Shirts will be better because of thier investment of time. The business will be better for their contribution as well.
3. Provide great quality products at a very reasonable price We can get a variety of products. If a customer’s goal is to go top notch or stretch your budget, we have vendors on both ends of the extreme and in the middle. Also, just because our name is Mission Shirts, doesn’t mean we only do shirts. The idea is shirts are something everybody uses every day. Might as well purchase them in a way that will help somebody go on a mission trip.
This morning I finished up our 6th grade boys lock in at the church. It was an awesome (and exhausting) night of junk food, video games, crazy games and great memories. And even though I am basically comatose at this point after getting near to no sleep here are some quick thoughts:
1) Lock-ins’ are powerful. I know that holding a lock in is super hard, very tiring and takes years off of your life…BUT, a good lock-in is the kind of memory maker that sticks with students. They may not remember a word you taught during their junior high years, but they will remember the relationships that we’re developed at a lock in!
2) When it comes to lock-ins, smaller is better. A couple of years ago I started trying out a new idea, where instead of holding a huge lock-in for the entire youth group, I’ve encouraged our jr. High small group leaders to hold “mini lock-ins” with their small groups once a school year. Here are the advantages: less stress, intentional focus on relationship building, easily manageable, etc. PLUS these events bring our small groups closer together super quickly based off of all the shared memories!
3) Use your lock-in to test out your volunteers. Nothing will make a volunteer show their true colors like being locked in a building all night with smelly, energetic teenagers. Last night at our lock-in I had a new volunteer join me to see how he would handle all the controlled chaos/lack of sleep. He did a great job and I got to see how he reacted in a variety of different situations. Now I’m not saying that you should freak out every new volunteer by forcing them to go to your I overnighter’s…but…it is a perfect way to gage how much one of your volunteers likes teenagers!
And then again…it’s an overnighter. With that in mind, here’s a classic from my friend Jake Rutenbar:
Here is a recent post of mine entitled, “5 Reasons your youth ministry may never grow.” I was having some issues posting the text so I posted a link so that you could see my blog and other recent blog posts of mine. I would love to share some of my thoughts on your blog sometime. I have subscribed to yours, and have you in my reader. If you have any further questions about my ministry or blog, let me know.