Another favorite game of mine was the first game I can remember that I was in when I was in high school.
It only takes a can of whip cream and a lot of cheesy poofs! Have 3-4 pairs (6-8 students). Have one from each pair sit in a chair with a trash bag over them (to protect their clothes!) Spray whip cream on their face (if you can get swimming goggles to cover their eyes, thats a plus!) Then have their partner stand about 5 feet away and when the music starts have them to toss cheesy poofs onto the whip cream! The pair that has the most wins!
Back to the Future ranks in my top 5 movies of all time. I'm really excited to get it on Blu-Ray, hopefully for Christmas! When I saw the commercial for it earlier today I thought about how we often change who we are in ministry and forget our roots...we forget the things that worked and we are constantly reading and learning trying to figure out that cool thing to do. When really we just need to hop into our DeLoreans and head back to the parts of our ministry that were very successful. There are many great songs, games, skits and talks that are as relevant today as they were when we used them years ago. But there are also some things that just should stay in the past!
Since I have started in youth ministry in 1997 I have a record of every game, song, skit, and talk that I have ever done. I have note books from every church. I can go back to almost any Sunday or Wednesday night and tell you what songs we sang, we skit or game we did, and the talk with scripture that I used. I'm really not sure why I kept every one in the early years...but I know that today I keep it so I can look back and learn. I can see so many things from my past in ministry. I remember some really cool games and skits. I remember also which songs that bombed and that will never be played again!
During the next couple weeks I plan to look through every single one of these and see what are some things that I can bring BACK TO THE FUTURE!
Last night I blogged about our great night with Trunk or Treat. As I reread it this morning I realized that I need to talk more about the importance of the student ministry sponsoring the event.
In my mind I feel that too many times in ministry we have our ministry silos. If we aren't careful in the church world, we isolate ourselves to just our ministries and our ministry silos. That is why I feel that it is very important that in student ministry we connect to other ministries and the rest of congregation. Too many times in the church, different ministries, departments, Sunday Schools, Scouts, and leadership get stuck in their own silos. They only support, attend, and cultivate their own area which at times can really hurt the church and potential ministry.
This year, I have been working more and more to prevent this from happening in our student ministry. We have intentionally reached out to our older adult Sunday School classes. Some our older guys have offered to do yard work and small projects without pay. Last week I went and led music for one of their Sunday School Class outings. I have asked them to be a part of our Snack Supper. We extended an invitation to them to be a big part of the Trunk or Treat by having games last night. I have also made sure that our student ministry is very active in helping with our Children's ministry through helping with Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and many other things.
Last night at Trunk or Treat, several of our youth for the 4th straight year had their own trunks and gave out candy. Other youth helped supervise the moon walk/bounce houses that the student ministry donated out of our budget. Our student leadership was the judges for the trunk contest and the costume contest. I feel that it is very important to show the students how important they are in the church. It is very important that they see that they are the church of today. It is very important that we are a part of other parts of the church.
Tonight we had our 4th annual Trunk or Treat sponsored by our Student Ministry. Four years ago when I arrived here at Blair Road UMC, my friend Scot Herring suggested that I start one up here, as he did at his church. At first I told him that it was a Children's ministry event...why should I start one here...why don't I just tell our Children's Director the idea and that be that! He told me that it was a great opportunity to have the student ministry take the lead.
The first year we had 8 cars and maybe 40 kids show up...it was really sad. But the next year, we worked hard to get the word out and the excitement. It grew more the next two times. Tonight we had close somewhere between 600-800 people. We moved it inside due to the weather being a threat of thunderstorms. At one point you could not move in our gym with people and kids waiting in line for free food, kids playing games, two lines of 30+ (in each line) waiting for the moon bounce. I went over the other building where we had everyone with candy in the halls and class rooms and it was packed. It was such a great sight to see!
I worried all day about not having it in the parking lot with the large chance of rain. I worried that no one showed up. But as I talked to a few of my adults....GOD showed up and so did the people. The great thing about having it indoors, was that people came into our church. They saw our ministries in action. They saw the hands and feet in action. They saw what we are really all about. They saw more than the parking lot many of them pass every day.
Last week in my youth group, I did our second week on being INKED. The topic was being INKED in Service. During the week before I wrote, then rewrote, then tweaked it some more. Then on Sunday morning I added another piece to it. I was kinda unsure about it and then one of my adults showed up early for Sunday School and he asked what we were doing that night. I told him my idea and that I was unsure if the students would get into it or not. He thought it was just what the students needed from what he observed from his own daughter and our guys small group.
I started off by reviewing being INKED in Love and the students brought up several things that they had thought about after the lesson the week before. I then transitioned into asking the students what it meant to serve. Many students gave mission trips, helping the homeless, and ushering in church. I told them that I wanted them to think outside the box. God calls us to love and serve our neighbors. How about when:
We think and act not only in our own best interests, but also take seriously life in our school, congregation, community and our responsibilities to all of God’s people.
We place our friends' and family's interests ahead of our own.
We are knit into relationships of mutual care.
We act with a focus on generosity, justice and inclusion.
So after that I went old school and asked the students to either close their eyes and listen or to read the lyrics.
I then asked the students to break out into groups with their friends of 4-6. They were first really shocked that I asked them to pair up with their friends, because I usually ask them to find someone new. After the grouped up. I asked them to come up with a way to serve our congregation during the next month. I asked them to write the idea up and give it to me before they left. Their mission was to be their own and they were asked to document in picture or video their mission.
Here is what they came up with:
Group 1: Volunteer for yard work for free to the elderly in the church
Group 2: Bake Cookies to hand out after both services
Group 3: Make Candy bags for the kids Sunday School, take flowers to people on prayer list, write Bible verses on Post it Notes and hand them out
Group 4: Bake Cookies and Brownies to hand out to the Contemporary Service twice
Group 5: Pick up trash on Church property and volunteer to take down chairs after service.
Group 6: Provide dessert for Wednesday night supper
Group 7: TBA
UPDATE: Group 2... gave out bags of freshly baked cookies on October 24th to the early service and everyone was blown away.
For the past three weeks, I have been teaching a Simply Youth Series called Inked. As I stated in my previous post, Be who you are Part II, I adapt series and teaching aids to who I am and who my students are. I have used the series main scriptures, the idea, and some of the main points and made it my own.
For the first week I talked about being INKED in Love.
It is cool to have a temporary tattoo, anybody who has a quarter or two can pick one, two, or a whole sheet. It takes a couple seconds, some water, and the application is complete. Depending on what you do during the next couple minutes, hour, or day determines how your tattoo looks. Most don't last more than a couple hours or a day at most. As Christians, we often have the same love for God. We show up for church, Sunday School, Small Groups, Bible Study, Youth Group, and even Retreats and only give enough for a temporary tattoo for God. Some of us cover it up. Others wash or rub it off within minutes of leaving. Others it takes until the next day. There sometimes residual signs that we were a part of the love of God for a couple days, but most never see it.
Henna Tattoos cost a little more than temporary tattoos. Most people get them when they go to the beach and you can pay $10-50 for one. They last anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks depending on your body temperature level, where the henna is applied, and how often you wash the hennaed area. The more you wash your henna tattoo the faster it will fade away. I compare them to us going on Retreats, Mission Trips, or being involved in a bible study or small group. We take the time, the energy, our resources, a little cost to be part of God's love. But the problem is that we do fully commit to God. We do not fully let go and let him be a part of our lives. So after a few weeks, no one even knows that we went on Retreat, mission trip, or that we even go to church. Or people see it as a season. They see that we get God's love only at this moments in life, kinda like we only see Henna Tattoos during the summer after coming back from the beach.
A tattoo is a marking made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment. IT is there for life! We need to have a life marked in Christ. We need to live it daily and allow everyone to see it. We need to make the commitment and stick with it.