That all camps should emulate
I’ve been speaking at Camp Timber-lee in Wisconsin for over a decade now, and this past weekend I was thinking, This camp does soooooooooo many things right… I wish every camp could visit and glean from the experience.
So here’s the next best thing. Here are 7 things I see them doing right again and again and again for their winter camp weekend retreats…
1. Kids start having fun the second they arrive.I’ve been to countless camps where kids don’t get to do their favorite thing—hang out—until literally the second day after lunch. Really. A lot of camps immediately file kids into a long program, then small groups, then bed, then breakfast, then another program, some forced rec time, then lunch… THEN finally free time! Camp Timber-lee has free time programmed for the Continue reading “7 Things This Camp Does Right” »
This semester I’ve had the privilege of hanging out at a middle school just 14 minutes from my house and we’re getting ready to start a campus ministry reaching the campus… but it’s not easy.
I met the principle earlier this year when I was doing research for my bullying book. I love this guy. He’s an amazing educator who is more “encourager” than “disciplinarian”… the school is so lucky to have him. I got to know him a little better when he brought me out to teach my Parenting the Smartphone Generation workshop to the school’s parents, and I’ve been hanging out on campus about once a week with him during lunch since.
One day I mentioned that it would be cool to see a Campus Life or Young Life club on campus and he welcomed the idea. So I literally walked into the church across the street, met the youth pastor and said, “Do you want to help me reach this campus?” Continue reading “On a middle school campus” »
Remember when we looked like this?
We’ve been revamping this thing for years! And hold on to your hats… because it’s about to get even better.
In the next couple weeks you all are going to see some welcome changes around here. Many of you have noticed that both my blog and TheSource4Parents.com have both been completely revamped: mobile friendly, new content at the forefront, much easier to navigate. Well the youth ministry site is about to get the same revamp (longtime needed)… Continue reading “Remember when we looked like this?” »
It’s almost Super Bowl time… and that means our annual free BIG GAME Quiz! And this year… we’ve also included a free SlideShow game as an alternative!
For those of you have been following TheSource4YM.com for the past few years, you probably look forward to the fun little FREE resource we provide every year called the Super Bowl “BIG GAME Quiz!” (I just posted it and the free slideshop game HERE). The quiz is done by my sports-fanatic friend Todd Pearage (who many of you might know as the creator the DYM game “Sportsball”).
This FREE quiz/activity is a fun little party game you can use at your Super Bowl party at your church or your home Continue reading “Super Bowl Party Quiz” »
“How can I become the best youth pastor possible?”
Wow! Talk about your huge questions! I just received that exact question in an email. Well, actually, he asked…
Can you please give me your best advice on how to become the best youth pastor possible? The students deserve the best and so I want to give it to them. Even if you just want to give me a Top 10 list of books that would help me, that would be helpful.
Trent, Wow, how to summarize youth ministry… in one email. That’s a big question. I’ll simplify it to three vital practices and then link a bunch of helpful reading as requested Continue reading “the three vital practices of today’s youth pastor” »
We have posted some really helpful free resources in the last month or two. I wanted to highlight a few in case you missed them.
NOTE: Whenever I meet any of you in person at conferences and events around the world, the one common statement I hear is, “Thanks for your web site.” Of which I always respond, “You welcome. What is it you use the most?” The responses are always intriguing. I think “games” is the most common response I hear from youth workers, and the “youth culture articles” is the second most common answer. “Parenting help articles” is by far the number one answer from parents.
I’m glad you like them… that’s why we keep them free.
Here’s a few you won’t want to miss Continue reading “Helpful new free resources” »
It’s almost Super Bowl time… and that means our annual free BIG GAME Quiz!
For those of you have been following TheSource4YM.com for the past few years, you probably look forward to the fun little FREE resource we provide every year called the Super Bowl “BIG GAME Quiz!” (I just posted it HERE). This quiz is a fun little party game you can use at your Super Bowl party at your church or your home. People fill out the quiz as they enter your party, predicting scores, catches, runs, etc., then you fill out the results during the game and tally up the winner (and PLEASE… remember to tally up the answers during the game because that’s how the quiz works). Continue reading “The Big Game QUIZ” »
Effectively Resourcing Today’s Youth Workers
An Interview with Doug Fields & Josh Griffin
Both Doug and Josh have served on the front lines of youth ministry for literally decades. They are two of the leading thought-leaders in our profession and know incredibly well what it takes to equip teams of volunteers with the tools they need to effectively reach today’s young people with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. I was excited to sit down with them recently to talk a little bit about serving youth workers and running my favorite youth ministry resource organization: DownloadYouthMinistry.com (DYM).
* Be sure to peek at the freebie they are giving away to my readers at the bottom of this post… no strings attached!
JONATHAN: What are some of the resources each of you found yourselves on the hunt for in your own ministries decades ago?
JOSH: When Doug started, way back during the middle of the Civil War, there weren’t Continue reading “An Interview with Doug Fields & Josh Griffin” »
Youth ministers know we have a FREE TRAINING TOOLS page with all kinds of free training, including FREE TRAINING VIDEOS. (How to connect with kids, how to get teenagers talking, how to share your faith, how to lead games, how to lead skits… check it out!)
We’re halfway through our summer ministry. Take a peek at our brand new Summer Youth Ministry training video if you haven’t seen it yet!
CLICK HERE FOR THIS NEW FREE TRAINING VIDEO
Recruiting volunteers ain’t like it used to be. Volunteers have changed. Have you changed too?
I love ministry leaders.. and ministry leaders love FREE. So Saturday, April 9th I’m teaching a free training workshop in Northern California for any ministry leaders who recruit volunteers! (Thanks Youth for Christ for hosting this!)
The training is based off my two Group books on the subject (The Skinny, and The New Breed), equipping ministry leaders to Continue reading “Free Ministry-Leaders Training in NorCal” »