Star Wars Game for May the Fourth

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Star Wars Day (May 4th) is just over a week away!

If you are looking for a fun youth group game to do in your youth ministry in honor of Star Wars Day check out the “Star Wars or Star Trek” game I created for Downloadyouthministry.com.

Here is the game description from DYM:

It’s so simple, it’s pure genius!

The “Star Wars or Star Trek” game gives the name of a character and then the contestants must answer whether the character is from Star Wars or Star Trek. This resource includes 14 questions, title slide, and a blank side to add more characters as an option.

Here is what one youth leader who bought the game says about it:

This is a good game. It comes with all of the picture files and the powerpoint presentation. Works great on my iMac. The fonts in it were already installed is awesome. Good character list including Deordi La Forge, Worf, Spock, Admiral Ackbar, Han Solo and 9 others.

You can purchase the game here:

http://downloadyouthministry.com/shop/star-wars-star-trek/

Have fun and May the Fourth Be With You!

Why we teach about other religions in youth group

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In our youth ministry we are finishing up a teaching series on world religions.  This has been a great series and it has created great dialogue with the students.  It has not just created great dialogue about other religions, but about Christianity as well.  It has created such a buzz that adults in the church have asked if they could sit in.  Some may think that it is odd for us to teach about other religions in youth group.  I believe that it is very important to cover at some point during a student’s time in youth group.  Here are the reasons that we gave our students and parents for why we study other religions:

1) You can learn more about your own faith through the study of other religions.

2) It is always healthy to know where other people are coming from.

3) We cannot minister to others if we do understand where they are coming from.

4) There are things that are godly in other religions, and we need to celebrate those things as “bridges”. However, just because part of a religion is correct does not make the entire religion correct. Its’ important to see where we agree and where we disagree.

And, yes, You can do this and still remain a good Christian who loves and worships Jesus

A Look Back @ 2013

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Each year on the first Wednesday of the new year we have what we call “A look back @ [insert previous year]”.  On this week we take a look at the big news events that happened in the past year, popular trends, the top movies of the year, the top video games of the year, and the top music downloads of the year.  I also give them my personal top albums of the year to promote getting them into more positive music (usually Christian).

We also take a look at the highlights of the past year in The Underground (our youth ministry).

We end it with have them write a letter to themselves to be opened the next year, and pass out the letters to the students who wrote one the previous year.

This has become a fun tradition for all of us to reflect on the past year, and to look forward to the upcoming year.

Here is a shortened version of the video recap we showed for 2013:

(it is shortened because we cannot show many of the pictures from our Missions Road Trip due to the privacy laws of the ministry we volunteered at)

Updated Rules for Hosting a Super Bowl Party

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Since the NFL came down so hard on churches hosting Super Bowl parties a few years ago I have been worried/confused on what our youth group was allowed to do for any type of party for viewing the Super Bowl.  The good thing is that the NFL since then has made some good steps in helping out churches.  However, there are still rules that we need to be aware of.

Here are the updated rules and regulations that I found for a church hosting a Super Bowl party this year:

1) You must show the game live.  If you have to delay the viewing you may DVR the game, but you cannot use the recording after the event or even keep the recording.

2) You can only show the game on equipment that you already normally use for ministry.  Before they had rules on how big the screen could be.  I could not find any regulation on the size anymore.  What they care about more is that you cannot rent or bring in something to view the game that you don’t already use for your ministry.

3) The viewing must take place at your normal meeting space.  You cannot rent a space to use for the party.

4) You cannot charge admission for the party. The NFL has stated, however, that churches may take up a donation to help with the cost of the event.

5) You can now call it a Super Bowl Party instead of having to call it “Big Game Party” or what other creative name you have used in the past. You can also include the names of the teams that are playing.  This is a recent change in their rules.  However, you cannot use the NFL Shield, Super Bowl or Team logos to promote your party.  So, just stay away from ALL logos.

Most information provided by: http://www.christiancopyrightsolutions.com/news/make-sure-your-church-2014-super-bowl-party-is-legal/

Senior Graffiti Wall

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One tradition that we have in our youth ministry is “Senior Graffiti Night”.   This is an event we have for our high school seniors at the beginning of each school year.  For this event we have a wall in our youth room that we paint over with gray paint.   Then after a midweek youth group service we have “Senior Graffiti Night”.  We set out a bunch of cans of spray paint and let all of our high school seniors paint whatever they want on the wall.  (of course we give them the disclaimer that they can’t paint anything inappropriate) What they paint then stays on the wall till the next fall when we paint it over and let the next class of seniors paint it for their “Senior Graffiti Night”.

This event has become a fun tradition in our youth ministry that reminds the seniors that they are an important part of the youth group, and that they are leaving a legacy behind to the younger students.    It also is something that our younger students look forward to.

 

12 Days of Christmas: Day 11 “Christmas Sermon FREEBIE”

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Hard to believe that we are already to Day 11 of the 12 Days of Christmas.  Today I am giving away the notes, graphic, and audio of a sermon I did this past Christmas called “The Change That Christmas Brings”.  My post from day 2  of the same name contained parts from this sermon.

You can download my sermon notes here:

The Change that Christmas Brings

You can listen and download the audio of the sermon here:

Sermon Audio

You can also click on the title graphic above to download the full sizeof the sermon title graphic.

Blessings!

12 Days of Christmas: Day 9 “Relational Giving”

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Do you remember giving your parents a coupon book for their birthday or Christmas?  I remember that I usually gave those as a last resort because I didn’t have any money or other ideas and thought that a coupon book was an easy way to make my parents happy.  However, I realized later that it became a more involved present when my parents actually used those coupons.  The above comic strips from the “Zits” cartoon show some humorous versions of a Christmas coupon book a teen could give his parents.  I was never smart enough to include simple ones like these.  For some reason I actually included chores that I hated doing.  Oh well.

 It is amazing how quickly the holiday season can become something that families survive rather than celebrate.  I love holidays because they are scheduled times for people to remember to slow down and celebrate.  However, the celebration that is supposed to be a time for relaxation can easily become a time of stress and bloated schedules.  

One area that can easily add stress to families if not kept in check is gift giving.   I personally think that the gift giving part of Christmas is fun, and a way to creatively show someone that you care about them.  However, I do see that when it becomes just an obligation and money thing that it misses the point.   That is why I think that it is good sometimes to encourage “relational gifts” instead of just buying gifts.  Relational gifts take more creativity and effort than just fulfilling someones Amazon wish list.  Those coupon books you gave as a kid is a great example of what a relational gift could be.

A great resource to use next Christmas with your students to teach them about giving relationally is www.adventconspiracy.org.

They have great resources for teaching and for your students to get involved in a practical way in what God is doing around the world.

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