This is probably one of the COOLEST and most USEFUL youth ministry resource that I could point you to. SYM Tools does it all! Here’s some of the features:
-create your own youth ministry rolodex of students/volunteers
-recruit new volunteers via online applicaitons
-communicate via text blasts to your students
-watch hours of solid youth ministry training from my friend Kurt Johnston.
Hey youth workers! Looking for some great youth ministry training/ideas? Then subscribe today to the SIMPLY YOUTH MINISTRY SHOW! My friends Kurt Johnston and Jason Carson are the hosts. Great content & great fun.
Are you looking to strengthen your skills in youth ministry? Would you like to work with the top youth ministry minds in the country? Then check out this video for the SADDLEBACK CHURCH LEADERSHIP ACADEMY and apply today! I am an alumni of this program I can attest to the fact that it is the BEST program in the world if you are interested in getting hands on youth ministry training/equipping/schooling. Click the video to learn more and click this link to apply today!
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!
Every month I want to highlight one of my good friends who are amazing leaders in the arena of youth ministry. This month’s interview is with my boss Kurt Johnston who is the Pastor to Students at Saddleback Church. Enjoy!
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/WHERE DO YOU SERVE IN MINISTRY? I serve as the Pastor to Students at Saddleback Church in Orange County, California. Basically my role is to serve the junior high, high school and college ministry teams.
WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST REGRETS AS YOU HAVE WORKED IN MINISTRY? Oh, man….too many to count! If I can only pick one, I would have to say that for much of my ministry career I have had real hard time drawing healthy boundaries regarding ministry vs. family time. My wife would probably defend me on this, but that’s mostly because she is the most amazing woman in the world. If pressed, I think she would agree that because I love ministry so stinkin’ much, and because I tend to be a people pleaser, I have sometimes let ministry crowd out what is most important.
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESSES WHILE WORKING IN MINISTRY? I think my biggest success is simply longevity. When you stay involved for a long time, and send the majority of that time in one setting…good things begin to happen. A mistake many young youth workers make is to move around too much, hoping that they will land in a better scenario somehow. I have a cheesy saying that I like to live by: “Instead of looking at the greener grass, water your own grass.”
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES THAT ARE FACING THE CHURCH? I think the biggest challenge facing the church is how to boldly proclaim the name of Jesus in a culture that is becoming less and less open to the message. And I think the real challenge is that culture has the wrong picture of Jesus…a picture that, sadly, the church has help paint! So…maybe our biggest challenge is ourself.
WHAT ARE THE MARKS OF A GODLY LEADER? Servant leadership. Inspiring, Equipping and Empowering people to figure out and accomplish God’s agenda for their lives. Not using them as a way to accomplish God’s agenda for my life. Sadly, by that definition I seem to come up short quite often.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR THOSE OUT THERE WHO ARE SERVING IN YOUTH MINISTRY? First, thank you! Second, keep on doing what you are doing…you are making a HUGE difference. Third, make a friend with a youth worker from a different church or denomination…learn a few things from him\her. Fourth, Thank you!
Hey friends! If you are looking for a GREAT youth worker’s conference that will challenge you to create healthy/sustainable youth ministries then you need to come to this years RADICALIS conference here at Saddleback Church! RADICALIS is coming up on February 22-25th (this month) in Lake Forest, CA. If you are in Southern California you won’t want to miss out. The youth ministry track is going to be led by my boss Kurt Johnston and the rest of our youth ministry team.
Here is the schedule for the conference:
7:00 a.m. Registration 8:00 a.m. Plenary Session 10:00 a.m. Break 10:30 a.m. Plenary Session 12:30 p.m. Lunch 2:00 p.m. Conference Session - Track 1 3:30 p.m. Break 4:00 p.m. Conference Session - Track 2 5:30 p.m. Day 1 Concludes
8:00 a.m. Plenary Session 10:00 a.m. Break 10:30 a.m. Plenary Session 12:30 p.m. Lunch 2:00 p.m. Conference Session - Track 3 3:30 p.m. Break 4:00 p.m. Conference Session - Track 4 5:30 p.m. Day 2 Concludes
8:00 a.m. Plenary Session 10:00 a.m. Break 10:30 a.m. Plenary Session 12:30 p.m. Lunch 2:00 p.m. Conference Session - Track 5 3:30 p.m. Break 4:00 p.m. Conference Session - Track 6 5:30 p.m. Day 3 Concludes
8:00 a.m. Plenary Session 10:00 a.m. Break 10:30 a.m. Plenary Session 12:30 p.m. Day 4 Concludes
*Schedule subject to change. Check back for updates.
This past weekend at WILDSIDE was one of my favorite weekends to date. We started a brand new series about what the Bible teaches about creation/the end times, kicked off the new year and had a blast! Here is the rundown for the weekend:
Series: “THE BEGINNING & THE END”
Pre-Service: Since we were talking about creation/evolution we thought it fitting to use “The Evolution Of Dance” as our 5 minute countdown. This video still gets tons of laughs!
Worship Songs: ”Your’s Forever”, “Higher”, “Blessed Be Your Name”, “Indescribable”
Grade Groups: Next weekend we are having a science teacher come in to do a Q&A with our students about creation/evolution. So we distributed index cards to each of the students in our grade groups and gave them the opportunity to write down any questions they had about what the Bible says about creation or about evolution so that next week’s guest speaker can answer them from the stage!
Games: We played a crowd game version of “Let’s Dance”. We hooked up an Nintendo Wii with the screen pointed towards the crowd. Then we had a couple of students come up on stage and try to dance along with the game. Here’s the catch: the student on stage couldn’t see the screen, so he/she had to watch the crowd dance along and try to mimic what they were doing. It was hilarious to watch. The best part is that it got the entire service to participate.
Message: Kurt taught this weeks message entitled “In The Beginning”. Basically he taught through the creation narrative found in Genesis chapter one. For his illustration he brought on stage two watches that he had purchased the night before. One of the watches was in perfect condition and the other was taken apart in pieces and placed in a glass jar. He asked students “what are the chances that I could pour out the contents of this jar and they would come together perfectly to create a perfectly functioning watch?” The students understood that it would be impossible. His main point was that the earth and everything in it is far too complex for it to just be accidental, that God had to have designed this big playground we call earth and all of us in His image.
Kurt’s Thought Of The Week: This earth is too awesome to be an accident!