Are you a youth worker on a small budget? If you don’t have someone to make graphics/videos for your services, you might want to consider grabbing a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. For a cheap subscription you can use all the Adobe software without having to purchase the entire suite.
Here’s my idea:
1) Get an adobe creative cloud subscription
2) Grab a student in your youth ministry who loves creative arts
3) have them come in during the week and design you your graphics/videos/etc. while they get to learn on the best software out there.
Could be a huge win for your youth group & a great way to plug students into ministry. Let me know your thoughts!
Every two weeks our core team gets together to plan out our weekend services for IGNITION (Daybreak Church’s Jr. High Ministry). What we usually do is pass out a bunch of blank personal sized marker boards and let the entire team start dreaming up the different elements that make up our weekend service. Here are the elements that we plan for during every weekend at IGNITION (in no particular order):
1) Worship: We plan out which worship songs we will do, whether or not we will have the band do any cover songs, etc. Our song choices center around the theme of the weekend message.
2) Games: We usually plan on two games per service. One game is an “up front” game, where we bring students up on stage for some activity. The second is a “crowd game” which is more of a “everyone plays at the same time” type of challenge. Again, we usually (but not always) create games that fit the theme of the weekend.
3) Elements of Fun: This is where we think up different types of bits/skits/prizes/giveaways/etc. This can be as small as giving away free hot-cocoa after one of our Christmas services as students leave, or as complicated as a full on costumed skit with smoke machines and more!
4) Understandable Message: Every planning meeting we ask ourselves the question “what is the simplest way we can say this?”. We try to determine how to take a complex spiritual truth and make it easy to understand and relevant to teenagers lives.
5) Graphics/Video: This part is pretty straight forward. We think about what kinds of bumper videos do we need to make for the current series, whether or not we need to shoot any funny/thought provoking videos. We also get some great ideas from youtube!
6) Grade Groups: During a small portion of our weekend services (about 10 minutes) we have students move into smaller groups called grade groups. These groups are always same age/same gender. We use this time to try and get to know all of the students by name. It’s a great way to make the large crowd seem smaller. During planning meetings we determine where in the service these groups should be go, and if we want them to talk about anything in particular relating to the weekend message.
7) Environment: This is where we dream about what we want to do in terms of set design. It could be as simple as putting a chair and table on the stage, or super complex like building a rocket to sit on the stage. We usually draw out all of our ideas so we can really get creative. (You’d be surprised how a little bit of time spent on the environment of your youth room can go a long way. And it doesn’t always have to be expensive. In fact, grab a few of your student leaders and let them go nuts designing your youth room for your next series!)
8) Announcements: As of last week we just switched over to trying out video announcements (versus somebody standing on the stage giving announcements). We’ve been finding that students aren’t focusing a ton on the announcement time, so we are experimenting with doing some super funny announcement videos to try and capture our jr. high student’s attention a little more. :)
Not sure if any of this was useful, but I’d love to know how you all plan your youth programs. Share your own process for building your crowd programs in the comments section below. :D