Thursday, January 29, 2015

Watch The Seattle Seahawks Share The Gospel

One of our fellow Young Life leaders, Clint Gresham, is also a Super Bowl champion long snapper for the Seattle Seahawks. In his 5 years in the NFL, he has never botched a snap. He's arguably the best long snapper in the League.

But there's one thing that's way more important to Clint than winning a Super Bowl, and that's Jesus Christ. And he's not the only Seattle Seahawk who feels that way. Check out this film the Seahawks made to share the good news of Jesus with the world.

The Making Of A Champion

Follow Clint's Super Bowl Blog

Follow Clint on Twitter

Follow Clint on Instagram  
(He even posts pics of his Campaigner group meeting in the Seahawks locker room.)

Read more about Clint here

Camp Musician Of The Month: Judah & the Lion

Our featured camp musician for the month is Judah & the Lion. Find other Young Life camp musicians here

Three very different people from very different places, united by a shared love of music. Judah & the Lion met while attending Belmont University in Nashville, introduced to each other through music and mutual friends.

“We all had similar stories, despite the fact that we’d grown up in different places,” explains mandolin player Brian Macdonald, “Judah is the Southerner, I’m the Chicago city slicker, and Nate is the laidback, bearded Rocky Mountain guy."

Whether you’ve heard the band play live or merely listened to those first two releases, you can feel the growing connection between the trio, a musical bond of true and deeply felt emotion. Judah & the Lion possess a resonance beyond their years and a sincerity of feeling that comes in part from childhoods spent performing at youth groups and at Sunday worship.

Recorded March of 2014, their newest album 'Kids These Days' embraces the band’s folk trio roots and expands from there- banjo/mandolin/harmony forming a sonic backbone that incorporates everything from keyboards to electric bass into a heady mix of old and new instrumentation.

On 'Kids These Days,' the band explores a new range of emotional territory, writing about love and fear and joy and all the nuanced spaces in-between. The songs on this album are about past and future, adventure and family, confusion and hope – a collection of stories about being young, about finding your way, while discovering - yourself.

Kids These Days: here on iTunes.

Visit the website:

Follow on Twitter : @judahandthelion

Watch Judah & the Lion here.

Email Judah & the Lion to play at your next Young Life event.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Religion Vs The Gospel

I read this blog post from JD Greear today and thought it was super helpful for us as Young Life leaders. Be sure to read the whole post, but especially the part below. It struck me as a simple way to help our middle and high school friends understand the difference between religion and the Gospel. 

Religion says you 'should' not
The Gospel says you 'need' not. 

Religion is constantly shouting, 
  • You shouldn’t sleep with your boyfriend/girlfriend! 
  • You shouldn’t get drunk! 
  • You shouldn’t lose your temper!
That’s not good news.
That’s condemnation. 

But the Gospel says:

  • You need not give yourself to your boyfriend...because God’s love will never fail you. 
  • You need not get drunk...because Jesus offers a more sure refuge. 
  • You need not lose your temper...because God is in control.

WyldLife Wednesday: How To Start Campaigners

Written by Julie Clapp 
YL Regional Initiatives Coordinator, North Central Texas.

“Can we really go deep with 13-year-olds?” It’s a common question as people think about leading WyldLife Campaigners. And the answer is “yes!” 

When we open up Scripture with younger kids, God uses His Word to change their hearts and lives. Middle school kids may not always be able to verbalize what they’re learning, but they do think about what they hear at Campaigners as God grows these seeds of truth. If you’re ready to start Campaigners, here are three things to keep in mind:

Think about your vision for Campaigners. What do you want kids to experience and learn in a year? Perhaps it’s as simple as giving them a genuine respect and appreciation for Scripture. Maybe it’s giving kids a picture of the heart of God through stories about Jesus. Consider selecting a theme and planning lessons accordingly. One example: “Jesus knows what it feels like to be…” (tired, sad, tempted, lonely) Maybe it’s giving kids the opportunity to process what they hear at club. Ask the club speaker to prepare questions that can be used at the next Campaigners. Since WyldLife talks are short, it allows kids to walk through the Scripture in more detail.

A Safe Place
Middle school kids want to be loved and accepted, so we need to provide a place where they experience both. The first step is letting kids know there are leaders who care about them. That may mean waiting a semester before starting a Campaigners group. Also, younger adolescents are not always certain how to act around the opposite sex or older kids, so smaller groups divided by grade and gender work best at this age. Finally, consistency and presence are important. Kids may not remember specific lessons, but they’ll remember leaders who were there week after week.

You won’t spend an hour with your noses in the Bible. Start with food and games. Give kids a chance to talk, have fun and play for 30 minutes. Then spend 15 minutes talking about God’s Word. Use crafts, activities or games to help this group that learns by doing and experiencing. Surprise kids with a Campaigners activity one week by applying what they’ve learned in a real way. Or have a “cabin time” Campaigners at the end of club and give kids the opportunity to talk about what they just heard.

Bottom line? The Bible is God’s word and it applies to all people of all ages. Middle school kids are looking for truth in a changing world. Our challenge as leaders who know them and love them is to think through how to communicate this truth in an age-appropriate and applicable way.

Resources Recommended by WyldLife Staff
(Some of these shouldn’t be used as is, but are great places to start and then adapt.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

25 'Person of Christ' Club Talk Ideas

We open each semester by giving Young Life talks about the person of Christ. Who is Jesus? What is He like? What does He reveal to us about God?

Below are 25 POC talk ideas.

1. Jesus Is Human, Yet Divine

  • The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” “Yes, it as you say” Jesus replied. Matthew 26:63-64
  • The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. -John 1:14
  • God became man.

2. Jesus Came For The Sick

  • "The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost." - Luke 19:10, Mark 10:45 
  • Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. -Matthew 4:23

3. Jesus Was Authoritative, Yet Humble

  • They were amazed at his teaching, for he taught as one who had real authority- quite unlike the teachers of religious law. -Mark 1:22
  • Mark 2:1-12- Authority to forgive sin.

4. Jesus Hung Out With The Outcasts

  • That night, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors and many other notorious sinners. The Pharisees were indigent, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” they asked his disciples. -Matthew 9:10-11

5. Jesus Was Angered By Hypocrisy 

  • How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. -Matthew 23:27

6. Jesus Satisfies Our Desires

  • John 4- The woman at the well. 
  • He quenches our thirst. He is the Living Water.

7. Jesus Is Unpredictable, Yet Reliable

  • He was not the king people expected. This talk could go many different directions. Here are some ideas
  • Matthew 14:13-34 -Feeding the 5,000. 
  • John 10:37-38 -Jesus puts his money where his mouth is.

8. Jesus Was Tempted In Every Way, Yet Without Sin

  • He faced all of the same temptations we do. -Hebrews 4:15
  • But you know that Jesus appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him there is no sin. -1 John 3:5

9. Jesus Made It Possible To Have A Relationship With God

  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. -John 3:16-17

10. Jesus Made Nobodies Somebodies

  • Jesus chose disciples who were fisherman and outcasts. They weren't chosen by other Rabbis, they were the leftovers, the second string, the JV team. 
  • Read Mark 1:14-20. 
  • Here's another helpful article about the disciples. 

11. Jesus Is Gentle, Yet Powerful

  • Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me." -Matthew 19:14 
  • Contrast with the miracles in Matthew 8

12. Jesus Can Sympathize With Our Struggles

  • This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses. -Hebrews 4:15
  • He enters into our despair- John 5:1-9 (Pool of Bethsaida)

13. Jesus Understands Our Sadness

14. Jesus Has Your Best Interest In Mind

  • In the story of Lazurus (John 11:1-46) it seems as if everything has gone wrong, but Jesus always has the big picture in mind. He turns broken things into something beautiful.

15. Jesus Wants To Be Your Friend
  • In Luke 19:1-10 we find the story of Zaccheus. God's desire to pursue a relationship with Zaccheus was not dependent on how good of a person Zach was. He didn't wait for Zach to come to Him, he pursued a relationship with him. Our worship of Jesus grows out of our friendship with Him. 

16. Jesus Can Make You Clean Again
  • We find the story of Jesus healing the Leper in Mark 1:40-44, Matthew 8:2-4, & Luke 5:12-14. 
  • Jesus has the power to cleanse us from physical and spiritual disease. He is moved with compassion for us. 

17. Jesus Came To Give Us Life To The Full
  • John 10:10- Abundant life
  • Luke 5- So many fish it breaks the nets
  • Matthew 14:22-46- Peter walking on water.

18. Jesus Came To Defeat Evil
  • Mark 5:1-20- Demoniac

19. Jesus Came To Give Us Freedom
  • Luke 4:14-22
  • Isaiah 61:1-2

20. Jesus Isn't Who We Often Expect
  • He's the life of the party- John 2
  • Luke 5- Big catch of fish

21. Jesus Wants To Hear Our Story
  • Mark 5:21-43- Bleeding Woman

22. Jesus Fights For Us
  • Jesus clears the temple. He wants nothing to get in between us and God.
  • Luke 19:45-48, John 2:13-17, Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-19

23. Jesus Gives Us A Do-Over
  • John 4- The woman at the well

24. Jesus Was Persecuted Unfairly

  • The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. - Matthew 26:59-60
  • He understands how it feels when you're treated unfairly.

25. Jesus Is In The Storm With You
  • He doesn't sleep through your storm.
  • Who is this that even the wind and waves obey Him?
  • Mark 4:35-41; Matthew 8:18, 23-27; Luke 8:22-25

What other 'Person of Christ' club talks have you given? Email us here and we'll add them to the post. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

10 Tips On Giving A Young Life Talk From Francis Chan & Simon Sinek

I heard Francis Chan give a talk where he shared the internal struggles he faces when speaking. To address these temptations, he asks seven questions to check his spirit and motives. Below are those questions as they relate to us as Young Life leaders. 

7 Questions To Ask Before Speaking 

Teach With Holy Fear
Am I worried about what kids and other leaders will think of my message or am I most concerned with what God thinks? 

Teach With Love
Do I genuinely know and love the kids I'm speaking to? 

Teach With Accuracy
Am I accurately presenting this scripture, have I studied God's word faithfully and let it sink into my heart and head? 

Teach With Power
Am I depending on the Holy Spirit's power or my own cool factor and good ideas? 

Teach With Integrity
Have I applied this talk to my own life? Do I believe what I say? Am I buying what I'm selling?

Teach With Humility 
Will this talk draw attention to me or to God? 

Teach With Urgency
Do my high school friends really need to hear this?  

TED Legend Simon Sinek's Public Speaking Secrets

Simon Sinek is the third most-watched TED Talks presenter of all time. Here are 3 of his top secrets for public speaking. 

When you get up to start speaking, don't talk right away. Take a deep breath, find your place, wait a few seconds and begin.

Show up to give, not to take. Make eye contact with kids one by one. If you know a specific part of your talk relates to a certain high school friend, look at them, smile and speak encouragingly. 

Turn nervousness into excitement. Most of us go through the body's signs of nervousness - clammy hands, pounding heart, and tense nerves. Say to yourself out loud, "I'm not nervous, I'm excited!" 

Let's recognize what an honor it is to be called by Jesus and remind ourselves of the great privilege we have to share the Gospel with our high school friends.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Introducing the Young Life Pinterest Page

Did you know Young Life has a Pinterest page? You can find resources for Club, Campaigners, fundraising and a lot more! Check it out here

Friday, January 23, 2015

How To Make Your Run-On Skit The Talk Of The School

A favorite Young Life tradition is the 'run-on skit.' A 'run-on' (or 'walk-on') is simply a skit where the same characters appear every week. Find ideas for run-on skit characters here.

There are two main options for how to run your run-on:

No Storyline

The skit characters appear weekly at club with no storyline, simply to run-games/sell camp/give announcements, etc... Think of "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey" from Saturday Night Live or "Mr. Good Times" (a game show host that repeatedly says "Because it's always a good time with...MR. GOOD TIMES) or "The Good Morning Young Life Guys" (that wake kids with video cameras).

Redemptive Storyline

Skit characters appear weekly in club, each week revealing a little more of their story. Typically this method is used to sell camp. 

For example: Twin brothers from different mothers, 'Montgomery' and 'John Michael' are competing in a local arm-wrastlin' contest with hopes of getting to the World-Wide Arm Wrastlin' Championships in Jasper, Georgia at a lil place called Tarp Cop Shove. (Which happens to be 'Sharptop Cove' where you're going for fall camp.) Each week they either train or have a competition. Since every good story involves overcoming conflict, villains are introduced (can be played by kids or leaders) and attempt to thwart their dreams. 

Club games can be used as 'training opportunities' for Montgomery and John Michael. It's great when you can pair up the sin talk week with the run-on week where all hope seems lost (because Montgomery broke his arm). Then the cross week is where he comes back out of nowhere and wins the semi-finals with his left arm to advance to Tarp Cop Shove. Maybe even make a video to show on the bus to camp?

Many of you already know these basic ideas above, but here are three bonus ideas. They can help your run-on skit create some momentum in the school and even help motivate kids to invite their friends to club.


Instagram Fan Page

Create an Instagram account for your run-on characters. A few summers ago at Sharptop, "The Desire" was one of the program characters. The day after we came home from camp, I kept seeing online that my high school friends had become facebook friends with "TheDesire Jones." It was a fun way to keep that camp momentum going.

Give-Away T-Shirts

Connect with a local screen-printing business and ask them to cut you a deal on printing some t-shirts with your run-on characters' faces on the front. If you can't get a good deal, try to find a sponsor. Often an area business will pay for your shirts if you put their logo on the sleeve. They don't have to be super high quality, but just something to use as a prize all semester for the winners of the games you play during club.

Cardboard Cutouts

Honestly, who doesn't like to get their picture taken with a life-size cardboard cut-out? A friend who runs a sign company in town is giving us a great deal on getting two of these made of our run-on characters. We plan on breaking them out before club on week 4, after the kids have become familiar with the characters.

We'll have them set up as a photo booth and post the pics of kids with the cardboard characters on Instagram. The rest of the semester we plan on putting the cardboard characters in funny places around town (like kids' bathrooms/the principal's office/local hangout spot) and taking pictures of them to show at club.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Go Bananas Remix

John Jackson (Knoxville, TN) loves to Go Bananas. He often leads music at Young Life camps and ALWAYS goes bananas. John put together a lil urban remix of 'The Bananas Song' and has graciously shared it with us so we can all use it in our clubs. Enjoy! 

Download 'Go Bananas Remix' MP3

Listen on SoundCloud


Going Bananas At Windy Gap- Session 3, 2013

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WyldLife Wednesday: Game & Mixer Ideas

Last month we asked WyldLife leaders to send in their best game and mixer ideas. Here are some of the best!

Mixer: Islands

Idea submitted by Cierra Shook, leader in Clay County, FL

Materials Needed: Masking tape and extra large pre-cut shapes and figures of your choice.

Tape the shapes and figures to the ground. Play music while the kids go in a circle around the room and when the music stops, everyone has to fit into all of the taped shapes. If you are caught not in a shape, then you're out. As the game goes on, figures are removed until it's down to just one shape and whoever stands in it first when the music stops, wins. This game involves everyone and gets kids moving and makes them separate from their clicks, forcing them to branch out and start to meet new people and recognize new faces!

Game: Pudding Mustache

Idea submitted by Abby Morton, leader in Fayetteville, AR

Materials Needed: Each team gets a picture of a mustache and cup of chocolate pudding. 

You are given 2 minutes to recreate your picture on a leaders face! This was played at our WyldWest club and was a big hit! Rarely did a leader look like the picture with the idea of the more pudding the better.

Mixer: Balloon Battle

Idea submitted by Claire Basista, leader in Raleigh, NC

Materials needed: Blown up balloons attached to string long enough to tie around the ankle or on a shoelace.

Throw all of the blown up balloons into the middle of the room. Instruct everyone to tie a balloon around their ankle or attach to a shoelace. When the music starts, try and pop each other's balloons while safeguarding your own. Make sure to tell kids they must always be moving, or some will end up standing against the wall the whole time!

Game: Soda Sock Chug

Idea submitted by Mike Lawler, leader in Gloucester County, NJ

Materials needed: 3-4 cans soda

Pick 3-4 kids who are comfortable being up front at club and tell them they have to chug the can of soda in front of them. Just about as the kids are about to start, the leader running the game stops and says, "Wait, wait, wait! I almost forgot! Take off one of your socks and put the soda can in it!" If a kid doesn't have a sock, have one of their friends let them borrow theirs. Again, just as the kids are about to start drinking, leader will stop and again and say, "Wait, wait, wait! I almost forgot another thing. Take your soda and pass it to the person on your right!" Finally, kids start to chug their can of soda and encourage the rest of club to cheer them on.