#NYWC Games-A-Palooza Notes

We kicked off the Idea Lab on Thursday with a party and some guidance on how youth leaders can avoid messing up game leadership. Also, we explained the plan for the Idea Lab sessions. Thank you for joining us for games galore as we kicked off the NYWC. Thank you for taking the time to learn some new games, play some old games and win some prizes.

 

Dan Istvanik: Read My Lips
Sara Galyon: The Question Game
Kent Bjurstrom: Stiff Arm
Dan Istvanik: Santa Frost Rudolph
Paul Turner: Head, Shoulders, Knees, Cups
Kent Bjurstrom: Giant Team Tic Tac Toe
Chase Snyder: Fast Math
Ryan Schmall: The Bang Game
Dan Istvanik: Tunnel Rats
Nick Mance: Lightsaber
Corey Jones: What Are The Odds?
Scott Osborne: Round Robin
Dan Istvnick: Name Tag Spelling Bee
Kent Bjurstrom: Pressure

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What Are The Odds Instructions

You get two students to face off. Contestant one will ask contestant two what the odds are that he will complete a dare. For instance, “What are the odds that you post a duck face selfie to your Instagram story.” Contestant two will pick a number based on the severity of the dare and so he might say, “One in 7.” (or no big deal, 1 in 3) was Then the two contestants will agree, shake hands, and begin to count down 3,2,1 and then say a random number between 1 and 7. If the numbers match then contestant two must complete the dare. If the numbers add up to 7 (i.e. one contestant says 3 and the other 4) then contestant one must complete the dare. And if the numbers do not match or add up then they both breathe a sigh of relief and move on. This game can continue as long as you want and as long as contestants come up with dares. (I can also write down some suggestions to help the game progress smoothly).

What are the odds…you allow us to record you singing “Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer” and share that to youtube?
What are the odds…you try to hug everyone who you make eye contact with tonight?
What are the odds…you do a model runway walk every time you walk down an aisle at NYWC?
What are the odds…you give all the money in your wallet to Bob Goff?
What are the odds…you compete the next challenge drawn from the hat (w/o knowing it)?
What are the odds…you use another person’s phone to prank call your pastor?
What are the odds…you eat a tablespoon of hot sauce?
What are the odds…you make up a new dance and teach it to this group?
What are the odds…you chug a soda in 10 seconds?
What are the odds…you text your last 10 text conversation and say, “Miss you Bea”
What are the odds…you allow a stranger to style your hair and post a selfie to Instagram?
What are the odds…you make a headdress out of toilet paper and wear it til bed?
What are the odds…you find something to wear as a cape and wear it for the rest of NYWC?
What are the odds…you find a stranger to give you a piggyback ride around the exhibit hall?
What are the odds…you rhyme everything you say for the rest of the day?
What are the odds…you draw a mustache on your face using a permanent marker?\
What are the odds…you create a short poem about NYWC and share on social media a video of you reading it?
What are the odds…you act our your favorite movie scene for everyone?
What are the odds…you share with us your most embarrassing moment?
What are the odds…you show us your best break dance moves for 15 seconds?
What are the odds…you share your best Trump impersonation

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How to Host an Innovative Silent Event

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Are you looking for an event to draw students in and build momentum for your ministry? A silent event is a one of a kind event mixing technology and music to create a high energy atmosphere of community. Students wear wireless headphones and tune into their preferred channel, so at one venue there can be multiple styles of music being enjoyed simultaneously. Even if some of your students don’t enjoy dancing, they might really enjoy people watching and just singing along. With a little research and planning, a silent event might just be the next big event for your youth ministry!

RESEARCH EQUIPMENT

Not all headphones are created equal. With a tech-dependent event, failing to research the rental companies can make or break the entire night. When we hosted our Silent Event we used the highly recommended Silent Events® Company (HTTPS://WWW.SILENTEVENTS.COM) and were blown away by their plug & play ease of use and attention to detail. We rented light-up headphones with 3 channels so students could choose which of 3 songs they wanted to listen to. Our students enjoyed controlling the volume of their headphones and it was crazy to see the wave of color change in the headphones as a song grew in popularity.

If renting the complete system is out of your budget, consider renting headphones that do not light up with only one channel or wireless receivers where students can plug in their own headphones.

Watch the videos and read the tutorials to fully understand how the equipment can work for your event.

PLAN YOUR VENUE

Does your regular meeting space create the environment for which you are striving? Maybe you need to switch things up and add special lighting or decorations to your room. Or maybe you can take this event off campus and bring your students to a unique venue for their unique event. You might also consider hosting two events in one night to get the most use out of your equipment rental.

For our junior high students, we hosted a blacklight rave in a large, dimly lit room in the church and asked everyone to wear white. The students showed up to a room filled with black lights, optional blacklight face paint they all took advantage of, and the glowing LED lights on each individual’s headphones. Later that night, for our high school students we threw a throwback party in an old mansion downtown and asked the students to wear their best throwback outfit. Having two events in one day allowed us to rent a smaller number of headphones, keeping the cost down.

Bring your best party planners into the making of this event to ensure your venue adds to the fun.

CREATE MULTIPLE PLAYLISTS

Renting the highest tier headphones, the unique technology allows for your students to listen to one of three channels. If you want your event to flop, only pick songs that you enjoy. If you want success, get help in creating your playlists. Ask students for input and research lyrics to avoid embarrassment. You have so many options to choose from so you might want to create a theme for your playlists.

At our silent event, we had these three playlists:

Party

Random

Throwback

If you click: The Party Playlist you will see these are generic songs with more modern dance options.

The Random Playlist is weird and fun songs to switch things up.

The Throwback Playlist includes popular songs from past decades.

Let your students know that if they don’t like a certain song they can change to another station on their headphones. Pay attention to how the songs will flow through the night and make sure you save a crowd favorite to end the night on a good note. Our last song for our high schoolers was “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi and the entire group sang it together at the top of their lungs!

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Reach Your Goal

In youth ministry, there is always a goal behind your events. If you are using a silent event to bring in new students, how are you going to collect their information and get them plugged into your youth ministry after the event? If your silent event is to build community, how will you further leverage this technology to bring people together and how will you measure if it was successful?

The goal of our silent event was to unite and build up life groups, so in order to attend students had to be involved in one of these faith communities. At the event, we leveraged the technology by creating a Mp3 Experiment where students participated together in their small groups in an audio adventure. Students listened to synchronized instructions to complete humorous coordinated tasks. We started the night with the Mp3 Experiment, which made for an easy transition into the dance music. For ideas on creating your own Mp3 Experiment check out the amazing work of Improv Everywhere.

A silent event might just be the innovative event you have been looking for in your youth ministry. Take the necessary time to research and plan to ensure this event is something your students will love. If you’ve seen a fresh event that you would like to share with our readers, let us know in the comments!

(Originally shared to the Youth Specialties Blog at https://youthspecialties.com/blog/host-innovative-silent-event/)

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5 Reasons Why The Star Is a Must-See Movie

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Can you remember the last faith-based animated film that you enjoyed in the theater? Yeah, me neither. That’s because the last major release animate faith-based film was the Prince of Egypt in 1998! But that’s about to change because, on November 17th, The Star will be released nationwide!

The Star is an inspiring and uplifting story of the birth of Jesus, told from the animal’s point of view. My wife and I had the opportunity to prescreen this movie and were pleasantly surprised by how funny the whole film was. You will enjoy The Star just as much as your kids so buy your tickets now.

Here are 5 Reasons Why The Star Is a Must-See Movie:

1. The Star can bring the story of Jesus to people who will never enter the doors of a church.

2. When we purchase a ticket, we are voting for what we want Hollywood to produce more of and we need more animated Bible stories for our kids.

3. The Star has the potential to positively impact your church, your community, and our society.

4. The Star will help you organically return to the reason for the season.

5. When a little girl cheers, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” after The Star Movie, you know it’s an inspiring story the whole family will enjoy.

In Sony Pictures Animation’s The Star, a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.

Get your tickets here: http://www.thestarmovie-tickets.com

Book Review & 4 Book Giveaway: The Impossible by Joyce Smith

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There is no denying the power of story. When you read a story of amazing faith, it captures your attention. You lean in and begin putting yourself in the shoes of the author. The Impossible: The Miraculous Story of a Mother’s Faith and Her Child’s Resurrection by Joyce Smith shows readers the power of prayer as a mother pleads with God to save her son.

The Impossible pulls readers in by reminding us that our lives can change in a moment. Joyce Smith writes, “I’ve heard about these scenes. I’ve seen them in plenty of movies. But never would I have imagined that the one sitting in a hospital waiting room and needing consolation would be me. I didn’t want their pity, I didn’t even want their words of comfort. I yearned for—I needed—their prayers.”

As Joyce approached her lifeless son, she pleaded with God. “All of a sudden, everyone and everything in that room faded away and it was just me and John and God. With a voice that I thought was quiet, but that actually bellowed through the room, down the hallway, and throughout the entire emergency room, I declared, ‘I believe in a God who can do miracles! Holy Spirit, I need you right now to come and breathe life back into my son!’ I sobbed an exhale and closed my eyes. And in that instant, I heard the sound of a miracle. Beep…beep…beep…John’s heart monitor—and John’s heart—sprang back to life.”

This moment in time will impact everyone who comes in contact with John Smith. Pediatric critical care physician Jeremy Garrett said it best when he explained, “There was no controversy in the sequence of events. If we put it into a medical algorithm, we’d say, ‘Patient’s dead. Mother prayed. Patient came back to life.’”

This book will be available beginning November 7th and you can find it on Amazon.
For more information, please visit: www.theimpossiblebook.com

To be entered into the drawing for one of these 4 books: Share this post to social media!

 

Valuable Life Lessons from Mom: Yes Be Yes

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Did your mom say short repeatable statements that have stuck with you through the years? Maybe they were just silly little phrases like, “Someday your face will freeze like that,” or  “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

Growing up my mom quoted either the Bible or Benjamin Franklin. She would quote Franklin saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” “A place for everything, everything in its place,” “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” And she would quote the Bible saying, “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’” These were simple phrases, but over time they shaped my character.

James 5:12 says, “But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.” This verse teaches the value of our words and from it, we can draw a few life-changing principles.

When you say you are going to do something, do it. 

Deuteronomy 7:9 says, “Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.” If we want to resemble our Father, we must keep our word.

As a Christ follower, we are called to honor our commitments so never make a promise you can’t keep. If you forgot about an important meeting, don’t promise to remember in the future because your memory will let you down and mistakes will happen. Instead, repent and determine steps you can take and systems you can put in place to plan better for your next meeting.

When you give your word, keep it. 

James 1:26, “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.” Keeping your word matters in both the big things as well as the small. If you commit to selling a phone online for one hundred dollars but then someone offers to pay more, do you fulfill your commitment to the first buyer or do you try to make a little extra cash? Your integrity and honesty matter more than any amount of money.

To be a high-level leader you must be trusted. And to be trusted, you must have integrity. When you say “yes” to something, this will most likely mean “no” to something else down the road. Be ready to keep your word even if it might cost you something later.

When you speak, speak truth.

Proverbs 12:22 says, “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.” When you are telling the truth or making a promise, avoid the extra jargon and simply let your words be true. When you are a person of integrity, you don’t need to swear by anything or make an oath, you just give a straightforward answer. James 5:12 says, “But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.”

My mom was wise to teach me to “let my ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and my ‘No,’ ‘No’” because it set me on the path of integrity. Is there a verse you are repeating over and over to your kids to set them down the right path? If not, consider adding James 5:12 to challenge them in their honesty and integrity.

Book Review & 2 Book Giveaway: Don’t Quit by Jessica Bealer & Gina McClain

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Hey ministry leaders! Have you checked out this brand new book—Don’t Quit: The Best Things in Ministry Come Over Time. This is the latest leadership book from Orange and I want you to check it out.

Share this post on social media and I’ll send two lucky winners a copy of the new book! 

Here are some of my favorite quotes to give you a taste of the great content:

“At times, you will question your calling, but don’t sacrifice your mission for the security of the easily maintained. Take a risk and watch God move.”

“Every action you take, every event you host, and every procedure you have in place is your strategy in action. If your strategy is not moving you closer to your goal, then the strategy is not working.”

“God has big plans for His church and He’s willing to use anyone to accomplish them. The only requirement is obedience.”

“Limitations don’t have to be negative. Many times, they can be catalysts for creativity.”

“Unrealistic expectations paired with a fear of failure make for a disastrous combination, a dumpster fire waiting to happen.”

“Creating a common language that both conveys your values and unites your team is deceivingly hard. To be memorable, it has to be clear, easy to say, founded in vision, purposeful, and have a touch of cleverness.”

“God never intends to leave you where you are. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s time to start looking for another job. What I mean is that you should be consistently growing in wisdom, discernment, knowledge, and capacity. A great leader is never content with the status quo.”

“You’ve got to own your development, set your pace, get accountability, and invite inspiration.”

“Awareness of growth opportunities means you will be prepared to respond when God is moving in the heart of your volunteer. Knowing when a leader is ready for more is great. Knowing where you can give them more is strategic.”

“We don’t lead in a bubble. When we decide to stick our heads in the sand and pretend we don’t need to grow, everyone around us suffers. But when we choose to remain on the wall—to face what needs to be faced, open ourselves up, and become ridiculously teachable—those we lead are inspired to do the same. Grit is contagious.”

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Camp KidJam: A Valuable Gift for Your Church

 

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Does your summer camp contribute the strategy of your church? Are you looking for a camp solution that your students will love, and your small group leaders will love even more? Last year, I explored Camp KidJam and found it to be the complete package I was looking for in a summer camp experience.

Camp KidJam Is Built on a Strategy
Camp KidJam is part of the strategy developed by Orange and designed around the principles of 252 Kids. Students will grow in wisdom, faith, and friendship and the lessons learned will flow seamlessly into your weekend environment. Camp KidJam is built around the small group model so after every Jam Session, you will have the opportunity to make the lessons personal through a designated small group time.

Camp KidJam Develops Leaders
Both students and small group leaders experience leadership training. While students are participating in challenges and tracts, SGL’s get a chance to recharge and discuss tough ministry questions. Students sign up for tracks matching their interests and are challenged to grow musically, athletically, or creatively. These intentional leadership opportunities are a unique element of camp that both SGL’s and students love.

Camp KidJam Delivers A Quality Program
If you asked your students today to name their favorite experience from camp last summer, could they remember something? Camp KidJam creates unique memories that will bring a smile to your student’s faces. From the Awesome Sauce Leader to the full worship experience, your preteens will create memories that will last a lifetime. The skits and teaching time will leave students at the edge of their seat wanting more.

Camp KidJam delivers a top-notch program that is a proven gift for your church. The students will grow closer to one another as they grow in a personal authentic faith and the small group leaders will thank you for being a part of the week. To learn more about Camp KidJam check out http://campkidjam.com and also watch this highlight video from our experience last year.