Life Interrupted

This Sunday we did ‘Life Interrupted’ as our 3rd of 4 weeks in the Interruptions Series.

The kids were divided into 3 teams at which times they followed tape trails around the church leading to different rooms where different things happened.

All three teams were led to three different rooms where they played a game. The classic ‘Shuffle Buns’ in Junior High and Bingo in High School. Winners received a mix CD by yours truly, a signed picture of Nick Masi and/or a Starbucks Gift Card. The trail then led all three groups to 3 different rooms where they heard a testimony from one of our AMAZING leaders on how God interrupted their life.

Then the trails led them to a room where they could have small group. And finally the trails led all back together to our Junior High room where we did Worship and a Rap Concert. Finally, we had our best snack ever afterwards. A smore bar. There were 16 flames on top of coal filled tables with ingredients all around to melt onto the graham crackers – chocolate, reeses cups, flavored marshmallows, etc. It was a big hit with the kids.

Classic night. One of our best of the year. The worship was very intense and amazing at the end and the different voices than the pastors telling their stories is always powerful for the kids to hear.

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Awkward Photos of Harvest Pastors.

These are 3 videos I made for Harvest University last week. We only ended up showing 2 of them. It was a lot of work compiling the photos but the people got a good laugh out of them. People love laughing at people they respect in an arena where it is acceptable. If you give them that opportunity they will be so thankful.

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Youth Room Playlist May 2012

New Playlist for the Youth Room May 2012 followed by Genre for your reading enjoyment.

1. Sing Sang Sung (Black Moth Super Rainbow Remix) – Air – Electronic Pop
2. Simple Song – The Shins – Pop/Mom Rock
3. Born to Lose – Sleigh Bells – 70’s Hair Metal/Bubblegum Electronica
4. Sidewalk Safari – Chairlift – 80’s Obsessed Girl Pop
5. Teenage Dreams – Nada Surf – Rock/Pop/Surf Pop
6. California – Delta Spirit – Rock/Pop
7. Sweet Sour – Band of Skulls – Rock and Roll/Rock and Roll
8. Hold On – Alabama Shakes – Alt. Country/Pop/Girls who sing like guys
9. Troublemaker – Beach House – Dream Pop
10. Dour Percentage – Of Montreal – Indie Pop/Electronica
11. It’s Real – Real Estate – Hipster Pop

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Light > Darkness

Last weekend we did a night called “APATHY INTERRUPTED.” about light and darkness from Matthew 5. Luke in High School and Nick in Junior High preached half of the message in the dark and lit a candle. The simple, Biblical image became powerful in the room as we challenged the students to let their lights shine in their school. We challenged the students to respond on facebook and gave them all candles. This was their response.

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Creative planning or, how you are a brave, constant, creative salesman pirate.

The first story in the Bible is about the creation of the world. Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God is a creator. God is creative. God creates. The first thing God chooses to tell us about himself is he creates. And he is very good at it. He goes on creating for a few days and the last thing he made was us – IN HIS OWN IMAGE. We are made in the image of a creative God. We are creative beings too. When God says “Let us make man in our image” what do we know about him if we are reading chronologically? All that there is is God creating. When he says that, all we know about him is that he is mysterious and creative. Like it or not, you are creative.

Now when I hear someone say “Im not creative.” I say, “Yes you are.” You were made in the image of a creative God and you are a creative being. Don’t enable yourself to create something lame or wimpy or stale by saying you aren’t creative. You were made better than that. God looked back on his creation and said … “it is good.” I LOVE THAT. God has such a creative heart. He is rating what he made. He is looking at what he made and saying, “This is good.” O MY GOODNESS. God creates things and judges their value. HE IS HIS OWN CREATIVE CRITIC. God is amazing too because he is honest about his art. “IT IS GOOD.”

I want the things I create to be on the same scale. How can I create something each week that is good? God spent a week creating the universe, I get to spend a week creating youth group. Here are four ways I have learned to be creative and to make a youth group that reflects God’s creativity.

1. Steal ideas
You are creative, you are also a pirate. Steal ideas. Get a good list of blogs both insanely practical and wildly unpractical – learn and take things people have already done. Then create your own blog and present your ideas to the world so they can see the creative genius you are. Call people and ask what ideas you can steal from them. Also, get an eye patch, so people know you are a pirate.

2. Be “On” all the time.
Everything you see is an idea waiting to happen. Every song on the radio / television program / youtube video / t-shirt / bumper sticker is an idea waiting to be created in your wonderfully creative brain.
– How can I utilize hip hop? How can I use European house music? How can I make the intimate acoustic moments as epic as the Bon Iver record?
– How can I create a moment like I feel watching this episode of Mad Men?
– Why is watching this youtube video of a person embarrassing themselves so enthralling?
– And even more practical – I love that logo on that shirt – “Hey sir, what is that font?” I am going to steal that logo. Be constantly creative. Be a constantly creative pirate.
Train your mind to always be on the lookout for ideas. Make your mind a factory for taking ideas and making them bring God glory.

3. Be Brave.
No more baby food games. No more! You are too brave to just do baby food games. You are too brave to teach that same sermon again! Do something unique! Teach in the dark! Type your sermon on Microsoft word in complete silence live on stage! Have the students choose between four different testimonies in 4 different rooms to hear! Do a tandem sermon with a friend! With a video! Give your sermon from the roof using a megaphone! Be brave. Be a brave constant creative pirate.

4. Sell your idea.
Sell it. You believe in it – its your message / game / worship idea. Its amazing! Even if it isn’t. Even if it is half baked and possibly terrible – if YOU believe in it, if YOU sell it, the crowd will love it. They are taking all their cues from you. Verbal AND ESPECIALLY non-verbal. If you announce a game and then stand in the back – THEY ALL NOTICE. If your prayer shows you think tonight was a failure, they will too. Example – in high school I found a deer tail, we named it “the weasel”. Every summer for Junior High Camp I bring it and tie a string to it and walk around with it as a pet. I make it say things during announcements and harass kids with it by hitting them in the face / hair. It is literally a piece of skin covered in hair. It is SO gross. The hair is turning gray. It is DISGUSTING. Yet, at the end of the week last year kids were lining up to take pictures with the weasel. Sell your idea. You are a brave, constant, creative salesman pirate.

“And you saw your youth group night, and behold it was exceedingly good.” – Me.

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The Best Blogs I read.

At Harvest University this week I talked about being a pirate and stealing ideas for youth group. I mentioned that I subscribed to numerous youth ministry blogs, here are the best ones that I would recommend to you if you don’t already read them often. – game ideas / logo ideas / video ideas – kind of the flagship youth blog – josh griffin – he posts a lot. – one of the best minds in youth ministry today – great to read his insights into students – i would also strongly recommend his book – “Youth Ministry 3.0″ – GREAT tech ideas – great place for ideas – i just recently subscribed to this

These are the best of the best – let me know if you have a great one I have missed!

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Noise Interrupted – JHM and HSM – 4/15/12

This Sunday night we started our final series for the school year – Interruptions. It is based on times God interrupted peoples lives in Scripture. We did it three years ago as our Summer Camp theme and it was one of our best. Each week has an increasingly ridiculous interruption to the normal youth group to mirror the message and the passage. This Sunday we did a Silent Film following worship, to interrupt the noise in our lives. The theme verse for the night was, among many, Psalm 62:1 – “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.”

Here is the film. It is 7 and a half minutes long, the best part is at the end. Feel free to rip and use for your youth group or ministry. If you do, share an idea back!

Lets have a free exchange of ideas – comment and tell me about some of your best ones!

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