Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Last Sunday in The Loft

Well actually we were outside The Loft half the time.

Our line up was as follows:
5:45 - Music going; Check in station manned

5:50 - Game  - Blocks
(starting the ice breaker games a little earlier in hopes to get our few "late comers" to arrive early/on time)

6:00 - Song - We Believe

6:05 - Song - Whom Shall I fear

6:10 -  Message - Rescue series - Sacrifice: Why did Jesus have to die?

6:25 - Next Steps/Offering

6:30 -PODS (small groups)

7:00 - Hang Time

During Hang Time we went out to the fire pit and roasted hot dogs and had all the fixins to go with and sat/stood around the fire and chatted.  Also we made Smores, always a crowd favorite.  Some of the students played some soccer.  Good times were had by all.
 instagram promo pics

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Social Media Promotion

 Do you use Instagram or social media to promote your youth ministry?

Lately I have been making two Instagram pics each week to promote our Sunday night youth group gathering.  I usually make one that focuses on the message and one that focuses on the food and fun.  I then post them a few times during the week to spread the word.  Hopefully students will catch on and "like" and "share" with others.  We also use a # that students can use during youth group to post pics.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sunday Night in The Loft

Sunday night we had a great time in The Loft.

We were all pretty tired from the weekend.  Most of the youth group had attended The Call and many on our team had volunteered at The Call.  So we were tuckered out.  At least I was because I'm an old man.  Good turn out of students and some guests.

So it looked like this:
Game - Clumps (always a crowd favorite)
Song - Our God is Greater
Prayer and welcome by student
Song - Inside Out
Share time - students took turns sharing what they learned at The Call.
Offering -
Prayer Time - we sat in a big circle and students would share a prayer request and another students would pray for the request.  Working on getting students to not be afraid to pray out loud.

Followed by Hang Time - we had sloppy dogs and bacon cheese fries.

I give the night a 4 out of 5 popcorn boxes!

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Call 2015

This past weekend we hosted The Call 2015.  Students from several different youth groups and their leaders gathered at Nags Head Church for a weekend of intensive learning and worship.

During our main worship sessions we were led in worship in music by the MP13 Band.  The band did a great job of leading and the students jumped right in.  Loved it!

Our first night Dave Glander shared his story of how God changed his life.  A powerful example of life-change.

Day two:

Students were picked a track for the weekend, so the students were with the same leader, same topic, same group of students for the weekend in the tracks.

We had Shane McGann from LeaderTreks leading the 4 sessions of leadership.  Shane did a great job, our students shared with me about some of the things they learned and the initiatives they did together in that track.

 I shared a message during our second worship session.  The focus was on being a follower of Jesus and not simply settling for being a believer in Jesus Christ.

Todd Kemp, youth pastor of Bagley Swamp Wesleyan Church, led our track on evangelism.  Students were equipped to share their faith and were given the opportunity to practice sharing together.

Amy Denson, youth pastor at Duck United Methodist Church, led the discipleship track.  Student learned some great spiritual habits to instill in their lives to help them grow in their faith and be more deeply rooted.

Dave Glander led our apologetics track.  The students had a great time learning to defend their faith.  One student said to me, "Dave blew evolution out of the water."

 I met with the youth leaders.  We wrote several topics we wanted to discuss together on a giant post it note.  Then we chipped away at the topics.  I also shared about our team restructure and our focus on discipleship in 2015.

Ramon Sanchez wrapped up the weekend by challenging students to take what they learned this weekend and put it into action in their lives, not just store it up but to let it go.

 This was the smoothest flowing The Call we have ever hosted.  Our volunteers knocked it out of the park!  Everyone knew what they were supposed to do and they did it.  Very little, if any, stress on me leading the event.  The sign of having great support from wonderful volunteers and good planning.

Already looking forward to The Call 2016!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sunday Night in The Loft

Baggage was our topic Sunday night.  We promoted the night as an outreach night with the specific goal of sharing the gospel.  We had a few visitors and we had some decisions made that night, one to follow Christ and several to give their "baggage" to God.

The line up:
Random Fact Countdown (DYM)
Game - Boxes (loads of fun)
Song - Chasing
Song - 10,000 Reasons
Message - "How do you deal with baggage?"  Matthew 11:28-30.
  • Come to Jesus
  • Make the Exchange
  • Team up with Jesus
We then showed a video by the Skit Guys about baggage.  Awesome video, really drove home the point, even heard back that some students were talking about the video on their ride home.

Gave students the opportunity to take some next steps:  (we use a communication card for this)
Trust Jesus as Savior (we had one make that step!!)
Give your baggage to God (several took this step!)
Invite ______________ to youth group next week (several wrote in friend's names!)

Closing Song/Offering - Inside Out

During Hang time we had waffles.  Waffled mac n cheese, waffle pizza, waffle cinnamon buns, waffle corn dogs, waffle quesadillas, waffle tater tots, waffles with chicken nuggets, regular waffles, Belgian waffles, lots of toppings, whip cream, fruit, etc.  The waffle night was a smashing success!

I have been making instagram photos (see above) each week and shooting them out there a few times per week, I usually make a couple different ones for each week, only takes about 5 minutes to do.  Great way to promote your students ministry happenings.
Waffle Pizza

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Stop the Bottle Neck

Last fall I spent a few days alone thinking about our youth ministry and evaluating.  Discipleship came to the top of my list (see previous post).  Underneath discipleship came "Restructure".  Looking back I realized that what was holding us back from improving and moving forward was me.  So I started to think about how that could change.  It's terrible to be the youth pastor and to be the cause of the bottle neck.

Our old structure consisted of me as youth pastor, volunteers as POD leaders (small group leaders).  I did most of the planning, etc.  I realized that I need to do what I do best and then let others on the team rise to the surface and do what they do best.  So while most of our adult volunteers are still POD leaders they also fill other ministry roles within the youth ministry.

I sat down with a big sheet of blank paper and started a flow chart.  I thought of the different leaders we needed to do ministry more effective.  Lots of scribbling and marking out and drawing boxes and lines and I came up with this:

My focus as youth pastor will be with the Worship Coach/Minister in planning youth group worship and also investing into the student leaders and my adult leaders.  (I'm the only staff, everyone else on the team volunteers)

Worship Coach/Minister
- will work with the students worship band in training and equipping them to lead us in worship in music.

Associate Youth Pastor - works with me on youth worship and overseeing our 5 "Coaches".

POD Coach - works with the POD leaders to make sure they have what they need and to encourage them.

Communications Coach
- works with student leaders on our check in system; entering student data; assimilation process.

Hospitality Coach
- organizes our food (super important!) and works with our volunteers in the kitchen as well as students involved in serving.

Discipleship Coach
- will follow up and hold POD leaders and myself accountable for discipling students one on one.  Creating a spreadsheet and keeping it up to date so we can view our youth group's process "at a glance".

Tech Coach - oversees the students who operate the audio and video as well as our social media.

Our goal in this process is to involve students in every process, to train them up to lead the youth group.

We are only a couple weeks into the transition of structure and so far it seems to be working well.

Your youth ministry can do the same thing.  Your structure may look different because we aren't all the same in what we do and how we do it BUT you can sit down and think about all the positions it would take have a healthier and improving youth ministry.  Get alone with a big sheet of paper and start evaluating and dreaming.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Last Night in The Loft

We had an awesome time at youth group last night.
Our POD's and message all centered around God being all-present, all-knowing and all-powerful.  Good discussion happening in the POD's in this new curriculum.

Here is the line up from last night:
5:30 - Team meeting (We do this each week.  It's a 15 minute meeting)

5:45 - Music going; Balcony coverage (balcony coverage is an adult from the team outside of The Loft making sure students come straight to The Loft)

5:55 - Game - Prizes (started the game early before "start" time to pull students into the center of the room)  Game was a quick contest between two students.  The students had to run around the room and get a combination of a hoodie, sweater, jacket, etc. from others in the room, then the first one back to the front and to put all 4 on, one on top of the other, won.  The prize was a $10 iTunes card

5:57 - Start Countdown (we started a countdown with background music during the game time)

6:00 - First Song - I Am Free

6:05 - Student Prayer - (had a student open in prayer; lined this person up a head of time)

6:06 - PODS - small group discussion time (POD leaders get their discussion guides earlier in the week for prep time)

6:40 - Wrap up Pods

6:43 - The Loft - Message
 - Why is God Great?  How does He use His Greatness?
Used this video to open the message about the greatness of God  -

7:00 - Closing Song - Mighty to Save

Hang Time - first song, on Spotify, Sunday night playlist, 
Hallelujah, God is Near, Robbie Seay Band

 12 Foot Sub during Hang Time

I did my part to help eat the sub

So did these guys