iheartyouthministry.com- Youth Ministry Blog

How to build a youth ministry program

Yesterday on episode #2 of the “YOUTH MINISTRY HANGOUT” Dennis, Nikkie, Peter and I discussed the most important aspects of building a youth ministry program. Specifically we were asking the question, “how do I plan my youth program?” whether that is a midweek service, weekend service or even small groups. Here are the BIG THREE IDEAS we came up with during the show:

1) KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE! Are you a small youth ministry or a large youth ministry? Do you have very few volunteers or do you have a ton of adult volunteers? What is your youth ministries’ budget? What resources do you have available? These are very important questions to ask if you are the lead youth worker because they will determine your plan & strategy in your process of developing what your program looks like. For example, if you are starting out with just a handful of students, your role as the lead youth worker will have to be that of an evangelist and recruiter. If you are starting out with a ton of students your role may be more as a shepherd and manager right off the bat. What you have will determine what you need to do next.

2) BUILD PROGRAMS THAT BUILD RELATIONSHIPS. Right now summertime is upon us. Use this time as a tool to bring students and leaders closer together. Plan some fun days, beach outings or theme park trips. Build relationships into your programs. On a midweek or weekend program this could be as simple as adding 10 minutes into your program where students can check in about their week and get to know their leaders and peers. We can’t compete with video games and theme parks as far as fun is concerned, but your youth ministry should be known for being the place where real authentic friendships occur.

3) DONT DESIGN YOUR PROGRAMS ALONE…GET A TEAM! I talked about this earlier this week, but I can’t stress enough the importance of building a team to plan your programs with. Don’t be a solo act! Resist the urge to build your programs alone. We are better together! As you are planning your summer calendar, grab some volunteers and or student leaders and let them plan the events. Trust me, it’s worth it!

Youth Ministry Idea: “Photo-booth”

Here’s a quick/fun idea for your next youth ministry event. A couple of weeks ago we set up a simple “photo booth” station in our jr. high service where students could take free pictures of themselves and their friends as we finished up our series on friendships/dating. 

After their picture was taken we had a volunteer edit/touch up the photos and then we gave them away the following weekend for students to take home. It was a big success and I’m sure we will be doing it again soon. Hope this was helpful!

Some Thoughts For Promotion Weekend

For most youth workers, promotion weekend is upon us (or has just passed) where brand new 6th graders & brand new 9th graders join our youth ministries. At IGNITION (Daybreak Church’s Jr. High Ministry), this upcoming weekend is our PROMOTION SUNDAY for incoming 6th graders. Here is a copy of the email that I just sent out to our youth leaders regarding their roles this weekend. Hopefully this content will be useful to you in your youth ministry setting!

EMAIL I SENT:

So here are the 3 big things to be thinking about as we approach Sunday morning: 

1) THIS WEEKEND IS ALL ABOUT THE NEW 6TH GRADERS! This weekend I want you hanging out with 6th graders. Your priority is to find a new 6th grader/graders and stick with them the entire service. If you are a guy, make a beeline for new 6th grade guys. If you are a girl, make a beeline for new 6th grade girls. Go out of your way to get to know all about them. There will be special seating this Sunday roped off just for our 6th graders. SIT WITH STUDENTS DURING THE SERVICE. No one should be standing/sitting anywhere else during program Sunday morning except for sitting with 6th grade students. (the only exception is for those who are running tech in the back).

2) THIS WEEKEND IS ALL ABOUT BUILDING NEW RELATIONSHIPS. Get to know students this weekend. When you meet a new kid, grab some coke’s (found in a bucket by the tech booth) and sit at connection central or the couches with students. Ask them about their hobbies, likes, dislikes, favorite movies, favorite foods, bands, etc. Our goal at IGNITION is that every student is known by name by one of our leaders. 

3) MODEL AUTHENTIC WORSHIP AND FUN FOR THE NEW 6TH GRADERS. When worship is going on this Sunday, sing with all your might! When a joke comes from the stage, laugh even if it’s not that funny! When the message is being taught, model to your students by taking notes yourself and following along. If you see students acting up, let them know (nicely) to pay attention. They will look up to you as models of what they should/shouldn’t be doing. This weekend will be as fun for them as you make it! :D

High-res Hey youth workers! Mark your calendars and shout out to all your youth ministry friends because you won’t want to miss out on the brand new heartyouthministry.com ! July 5th is the official launch of a HUGE redesign/reboot of iheartyouthministry. What’s in store for iheartyouthministry? Glad you asked. Check out some of the new features that are coming your way: 
-YOUTH MINISTRY HANGOUTS: Are you looking for other youth workers to connect with? Do you have youth ministry questions that you need answered? Are you looking for free youth ministry training? Is there nothing else good on tv? Then YOUTH MINISTRY HANGOUTS are just what the doctor ordered! Every Thursday at 12PM (PST) iheartyouthministry.com will be hosting YOUTH MINISTRY HANGOUTS. You can log in and video chat with Rob and some of his youth ministry buddies live via GOOGLE+ . Or, if you don’t feel like being in the video chat..no worries! Just grab some grub, kick back and view the YOUTH MINISTRY HANGOUT live streaming from iheartyouthministry.com .
-IHYM RESOURCES: IHYM RESOURCES is going to be a page on our site where churches will be able to  access, download and use awesome youth ministry creative content for FREE. It includes youth ministry graphics/series/messages/bumper videos/etc. that the youth ministry staff at DAYBREAK CHURCH has done and will be updated with new content every month.
-IHYM LESSON BUILDER: Looking for quality youth ministry small group studies? Is it coming down to the wire and you need a quick youth ministry lesson ASAP? The IHYM lesson builder will be a FREE resource for youth workers to browse & download youth small group curriculum and use it in their ministries! Did we mention that it’s FREE???!!!
So get ready for the new iheartyouthministry.com coming July 5th! And to celebrate, we will be giving away FREE youth ministry resources all day on July 5th! For more information on how you can win free youth ministry resources, stay tuned by “liking” the new iheartyouthministry.com facebook page by clicking here. See you on the 5th!

Hey youth workers! Mark your calendars and shout out to all your youth ministry friends because you won’t want to miss out on the brand new heartyouthministry.com ! July 5th is the official launch of a HUGE redesign/reboot of iheartyouthministry. What’s in store for iheartyouthministry? Glad you asked. Check out some of the new features that are coming your way: 

-YOUTH MINISTRY HANGOUTS: Are you looking for other youth workers to connect with? Do you have youth ministry questions that you need answered? Are you looking for free youth ministry training? Is there nothing else good on tv? Then YOUTH MINISTRY HANGOUTS are just what the doctor ordered! Every Thursday at 12PM (PST) iheartyouthministry.com will be hosting YOUTH MINISTRY HANGOUTS. You can log in and video chat with Rob and some of his youth ministry buddies live via GOOGLE+ . Or, if you don’t feel like being in the video chat..no worries! Just grab some grub, kick back and view the YOUTH MINISTRY HANGOUT live streaming from iheartyouthministry.com .

-IHYM RESOURCES: IHYM RESOURCES is going to be a page on our site where churches will be able to  access, download and use awesome youth ministry creative content for FREE. It includes youth ministry graphics/series/messages/bumper videos/etc. that the youth ministry staff at DAYBREAK CHURCH has done and will be updated with new content every month.

-IHYM LESSON BUILDER: Looking for quality youth ministry small group studies? Is it coming down to the wire and you need a quick youth ministry lesson ASAP? The IHYM lesson builder will be a FREE resource for youth workers to browse & download youth small group curriculum and use it in their ministries! Did we mention that it’s FREE???!!!

So get ready for the new iheartyouthministry.com coming July 5th! And to celebrate, we will be giving away FREE youth ministry resources all day on July 5th! For more information on how you can win free youth ministry resources, stay tuned by “liking” the new iheartyouthministry.com facebook page by clicking here. See you on the 5th!

Youth Ministry 101: Helping Your jr. high & High School Parents

As I’m writing this post I’ve just finished up a meeting with a couple of Jr. High parents who were concerned about their students falling through the cracks (their students hadn’t really gotten “plugged in” deeply to our youth ministry) in the church.

As I was listening to their concerns, a few thoughts came to me about partnering with parents. Here are some simple things to remember when it comes to caring for the parents of the students in your Youth Ministry:

1) OFFER THE PARENTS IN YOUR MINISTRY HELP & HOPE. Make helping parents a priority! No one is more invested in the well being of the students in your youth group than their parents. Parents want their kids to grow and to get connected. Do your best to be helpful as often as you can. Every week, when parents are picking up their students ask “how is your family doing? or “How can I be praying for you guys this week?”. Be a resource for parents who are having a rough time with their kids. Two words to keep in mind: HELP & HOPE!

2) KEEP THE LINES OF COMMUNICATIONS OPEN & OFTEN. Parents love to be “in the know”. You can never give parents “too much” information. Send out weekly parent emails, send group texts, create a special page on your website just for parents. Do whatever it takes to keep the parents in your ministry informed. Informed parents are happy parents!

3) FIND WAYS TO PARTNER WITH PARENTS. More often then not, parents would love to help you out and be more involved. Maybe you could have some parents come in during the week to help with office work ( I know a lot of youth workers would love that). Create a parent prayer team or a carpool cohort…you get the idea. Find some creative ways to partner with the parents in your ministry but getting them involved. The more involved they are in your youth ministry, the more buy-in they will have. 

That’s it. Keep it simple. When it comes to the parents of our students: Offer help & hope, communicate openly and often and find ways to partner with parents!

Youth Ministry Idea: “Classy Youth Ministry Tour”

This past weekend we had our incoming 6th grade Parent meeting at Daybreak Church. We used this time to get to know brand new parents, inform them about our purpose/strategy/programs and offer them help and hope as they enter the crazy years of parenting middle school students! 

One idea that we tried that worked pretty well was our Jr. High Ministry “Classy Tour”. Basically we had one of our volunteers show parents what a typical Sunday service would look like for their jr. high students by taking photos of the various elements and putting them up on the screen. It was super funny and the parents loved it. The great part is that it’s super easy to do!

1) Grab a camera

2) Take photos of one of your volunteers engaging in all the activities that would take place during one of your youth ministry services. 

That’s it! Like I said, it’s a simple/silly idea, but it was a big hit!