Stuff Youth Ministers Like #5: Red Vines

You’ve only got a couple hours until youth group starts and you realize you forgot to buy food. With only $20 left in your budget and the need to feed 200 teens, as a youth minister, you know there’s only one item that can save you now: Red Vines.What is it about Red Vines that we as youth ministers love so much?

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Stuff Youth Ministers Like #4: Gross Icebreakers

Maybe it’s because these games immediately evoke a reaction – be it laughter or gagging – from a sometimes apathetic and lethargic group of teenagers. Maybe it’s because we are able to relate the caramel onion to the reality of sin; it may look good but it’s actually disgusting. Or maybe it’s just because after a week of parent phone calls, late permission slips, and teens texting through an entire teaching . . . a disgusting icebreaker is our way of saying, “I win.”

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Stuff Youth Ministers Like #3: Saying “Awesome”

Ok. Admit it. You’ve used it. You know you have, but perhaps you don’t know to what extent. Perhaps you don’t realize that it’s the one word you use to describe every youth ministry activity that you’ve planned. For some reason, the word “awesome” is always on the tip of your tongue. At some point […]

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Stuff Youth Ministers Like #2: Retreat T-Shirts

I remember the day I really became a youth minister. It was a cool, fall morning in Wisconsin, and as I rolled out of bed at 11:45 AM and like a zombie walked toward my closet, my heavy eyes searched for some daily attire. I pulled out a t-shirt. “Come Alive – Retreat 2011.” And […]

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Messy Game Ideas: Ketchup, Eggs, and Spam, Oh My!

What do ketchup, spam, ho ho’s, peanut butter, eggs, soap, and pickles have in common? They make awesome games for youth ministry! Spring is fast approaching and for many in youth ministry that means (even more so now) teens will be away on vacation, involved in athletics, preparing for final exams and beginning their summer jobs. As always, families must coordinate schedules and get togethers. By the time it hits Sunday, most people are more likely to be found in bed rather than going to Mass. It is our job to get them there and to be excited about our faith. Why not spice up your life night with some wild and messy activities.

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Stuff Youth Ministers Like #1: Shaving Your Head To Get Teens to Youth Group

Whether you’ve been in Youth Ministry since the revolutionary invention of the overhead projector or you’re fresh out of college with a guitar strapped to your back and a Frisbee in hand, there’s a good chance that you’ve asked yourself the question, “How do I get teens to come to youth group?” I remember asking […]

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These 40 Days of Lenten Music

In just over a week we enter into the sacred season of Lent. Forty days of fasting, prayer, almsgiving, and a call in this “Year of Faith” proclaimed by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, to strengthen our faith and to help strengthen the faith of others. So what will change? In our own lives, […]

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Going Deeper, Part 3: Hand Motion Sickness

Don’t get me wrong, Catholics pray with their body. We lie prostrate, we kneel, we sit, and we fold our hands in a posture of prayer. Sometimes we even extend our hands over our head in an open posture of worship. All of these postures, even the hands over the head, are rooted in Scripture and the Tradition of the Church. They reflect the interior disposition of the soul and it’s receptivity to Christ. So what about hand motions? Why do I say it is not prayer?

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Watching YouTube “Religiously”

By now, anyone who has, or who works closely with teens has undoubtedly heard about the “Why I hate religion but love Jesus” video that has gone viral on YouTube. Forgive me for not linking to it… my Mom taught me to keep gasoline away from matches (after my brothers and I almost launched our riding mower into outer space in 1982). Incidentally, my mother also taught me not to use the word “hate,” but that’s a different story for another day.

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“Attitude Reflects Leadership”: What Kind of Leader Are You?

As a Youth Minister, you are the leader, the captain of your Core Team. They look to you for direction, guidance, and inspiration when it comes to leading teens closer to Christ. They want training and clear communication so that they can effectively fulfill their role, and yet, as I talk with Youth Ministers around the country, arguably their biggest frustration is with their Core Team. Perhaps the Core Team isn’t the problem. Maybe it’s the captain.

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