Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Summer Movies 2018: Dates and Trailers

With the release of "Avengers: Infinity War" tomorrow, the summer movie season is already beginning. 

Our job as Young Life leaders is to lead our middle and high school friends into the adventure of following Christ. Part of that means helping them discover different ways to use their time than just settling for the big screen. But another part of our role is to meet them right where they are, and this summer, they're likely to be at the movie theaters.

We can take advantage of this by planning well. Last summer I wrote in my calendar the opening nights of the blockbuster movies. A couple weeks before one I wanted to see came out, I started talking it up with kids. We went to see a couple midnight showings and they thought it was cool that their leader was willing to drive them around in the wee hours of the morning.

One night we met at a field around 10pm to play "Glow in the Dark Ultimate Frisbee" before the movie. Another night we hit up Waffle House after the film. Great bonding memories!

Disclaimer
I haven't seen any of these movies below and would highly recommend checking out reviews on kids-in-mind.com or commonsensemedia.org before taking kids to see a movie you might regret. When in doubt, talk to your Area Director. Also, be sure to communicate well with parents, especially if you're keeping their kids out late at night. Don't just settle for "my mom said it was cool." Go ahead and make that phone call to a parent.

Below are the opening dates for some 2018 summer movies you might want to see with your middle/high school friends. You can view the trailer for each movie by clicking the movie title below.

Apr. 27 - Avengers: Infinity War

Jun. 15 - The Incredibles 2
Jul. 13 - Skyscraper
Aug. 10 - The Meg
Aug. 17 - Alpha
Aug. 17 - Crazy Rich Asians

What movies are missing from this list? Any "movie contact work ideas" you can share? Shoot us an email. 

Read more about how we as leaders can help kids engage with movies in this post, Jesus Goes to the Movies.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Need a Fun, Easy Mixer for Club? Play "Secret Agent"

Written by Robb Schreiber, area director in San Diego, California.

Secret Agent
We typically play 3 to 4 rounds. It feels too long if you play beyond 4.
We pick a leader or a kid to be the "secret agent" of each round.

We tell the club there is a secret agent in our midst and the third person the agent talks to will be given a prize. Everyone in club is to introduce themselves to another person. Tell them your name and then pick a fun get to know you question. This week, we projected the following questions on the screen:
  • If you could take home any animal from the zoo as a pet, what would it be?
  • Favorite restaurant?
  • Favorite OR least favorite thing to do at the beach?

Any question will do - the big win is getting to know names and getting to know one another.
This is a great way to give our leaders and student leaders the opportunity to be intentional in seeking out the new kids.

As the first round goes on everyone is mingling and we play the song "Secret Agent Man" in the background. 

When the third person talks with first-round secret agent the secret agent yells "winner winner chicken dinner" or something to that effect. Stop the music, the secret agent and winner come up front. The winner gets introduced to the club and they get to grab a prize. We have used cash, candy bars, gift cards for free burgers, movie, frozen yogurt, coffee, etc. with the catch of being able to redeem with a leader.

Seconds later, we announce there is ANOTHER secret agent amongst us! Same process ensues,
introduce yourself to others and tell them your name and answer another get to know you question. After the third person shares with the second round secret agent the secret agent announces that there is a winner and bring them up front to be introduced similar to the first round.

OK, one last secret agent is in our midst and repeat for a third time.

Pro Tips
  • If you have 3 different prizes, save the best for last and even announce what the next prize is.
  • If they see that the prizes are getting better each round, it motivates them to keep doing the mixer.
  • Make sure not to play the song too loud, it'll make it difficult to hear and talk with one another.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Tomorrow, April 21, is a Missionwide Day of Prayer

Tomorrow, Saturday, April 21, is a mission-wide day of prayer. Read what our president, Newt Crenshaw, wrote about it below. 

In Luke 24 we find two friends walking together along a seven-mile stretch of road between Jerusalem and Emmaus. They were downcast and discouraged. Jesus had been crucified, and now his body had gone missing from the tomb. In the middle of their sadness and confusion, we find these tender words: Jesus himself came up and walked along with them. 

On April 21, I would like to invite you to go for a walk and expect Jesus to join you. We have decided to celebrate this Young Life Day of Prayer by inviting our entire mission to Move Forward together in the presence of our risen Lord. 

You might choose to walk and talk with your leaders or committee members, a fellow staff person or a friend. I would even encourage you to invite new partners to join us in this Day of Prayer as we unite our hearts for the sake of young people in our communities. You might walk around the perimeter of a school, through a barrio or around a camp. The board of trustees and I will kick things off with a prayer walk around Los Angeles as our meeting concludes April 20. Whatever vision the Lord gives you, go walk it out and talk it out with Him! 

The two friends in Luke 24 poured their hearts out to this stranger on the road. (He was just that kind of person.) Then He warmed their aching hearts so deeply with His words, they invited Him to dinner. As Jesus broke the bread, their eyes were opened, and they recognized the Savior. What would happen if Jesus revealed Himself clearly to our mission on April 21? 

I believe our Lord longs to make Himself known. If you do the math in Luke 24, you will discover that the two friends covered 14 miles that day! After Jesus revealed Himself at dinner, they jumped up and walked back to Jerusalem. Or, more likely, they ran! Let’s expect Jesus to join us. Let’s pour out our hearts to Him and let Him warm them with His words. Some of us might even break bread together on that day. Fair warning: When the resurrected Lord reveals Himself to us, be prepared to run! 

You will notice that April 21 is a Saturday so that our friends who work on weekdays might be free to join us. You will also find this guide as an optional resource for that day and a brief prayer list from me focused on our Forward movement. Thank you for considering the needs of the larger mission as you pray. May we be a mission that walks together daily in the presence of Jesus. It is a privilege to join you on this sacred journey in Young Life. -Newt

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

WyldLife Wednesday: A Helpful Object Lesson for Explaining the Gospel

Below is an object lesson for explaining the gospel. Thanks to Robb Schreiber for passing it along.

Items Needed
  • A plate or saucer
  • coin
  • candle
  • matches
  • one cup of colored water (any color can be used)
  • clear drinking glass
  1. Tell the kids that you're going to explain what happened at the cross.
  2. Hold the penny up and tell the kids that the penny represents us. Place the penny on the plate toward the side. Now take the colored water which represents sin.
  3. Pour the colored water over the coin until it is submerged, just as in life we are covered with sin. Experiment with the water to see how much to put on the plate for the experiment to work right. Next take the white candle that represents Jesus and put it in the middle of the plate.
  4. Light the candle, the flame represents the life of Christ. Tell the children to watch carefully as you take the glass and put it over the lighted candle.
  5. Within a few seconds, the flame will consume all the oxygen in the glass and be extinguished. However, it will have created a vacuum which, in turn will draw the water up inside the glass (thus surrounding the candle) and leave the coin dry. Tell the kids that on the cross Jesus gave up his life (the flame went out) so that he could take our sins on Himself and we could be free. A great illustration as you present the Gospel and give a salvation invitation.



First seen on Another Day in the Ministry blog.

Monday, April 16, 2018

She Never Quit Telling People About Jesus: The Jenna Henderson Story

Written by Scott Henderson.

There were no more treatment options left on the table for Jenna’s cancer. There were no more options left to fight it, yet we still clung to an unshakeable hope. It set the perfect stage for God to do His thing—to heal the unhealable. Oh, how incredibly powerful it was going to be to witness and share this great miracle. We would share this story over and over and over again, so people could see how amazing Jesus truly is! Five months later, I held my wife’s hand as she took her last breath in this world at the young age of thirty.

Heartbroken and defeated, I wrestled with how God could allow this to happen to Jenna. She absolutely loved and adored Him with everything she had, and now she was torn away by death. How could this ever be seen as “part of God’s good plan” or “used to glorify Him?” How could God ever justify taking away someone who gave their life to love Him and share His good news relentlessly. So many lost and broken high school friends would never again be loved by Jenna in hopes that they may see Jesus. So many questions and doubts. So very few answers or hope. And then I heard it. A quiet whisper to my broken, heavy heart. Jenna was healed. She was more alive than she had ever been, and I had to share it with everyone I could.


As Jenna walked through her battle with cancer, she often journaled. She shared how God was still good, even in the midst of her suffering. As the cancer progressively got worse, she still led Young Life (and even went to camp 3 months before her death).

She never quit telling people about Jesus. Her heart was so bold in her faith, that she would say “even if one person gains a relationship with Jesus through this, it’s worth it.” It was these words and these stories that I want to share with you. It is her strength and quiet boldness I hope you receive from her—to keep living and sharing the Gospel. For outside of this Great News, we have no hope to cling to.

Worth the Suffering is a book that was born out of the depths of this tragedy. Her words and her heart are raw as she clings to the Lord through her journey with cancer. Thank you for allowing me to share this with you all. It is my hope and prayer that Jenna’s words renew your faith and give you strength. That her words push you to keep showing up and loving your high school & middle school friends in the midst of their own sufferings, and in the midst of yours.

As camp approaches this summer for all of us, I am reminded of Jenna’s inexpressible joy for the week. She wrote this, even as she was physically weak from the cancer treatments:


Rockbridge is a magical place, y’all. What a great first week of not having hair. It is literally life as it’s meant to be. I didn’t even have time to focus on my new lack of hair. I got to live life intentionally with an entire cabin of teenagers and talk to them about a God who loves them and gave His life for them.

How often do we get to slow down and have deep, intentional conversations? I love camp because it creates that environment with ease. They got to hear why life is so hard and messed up, and they got to see Jesus clearly, the Jesus who came to offer them real life. I can’t think of a greater privilege God has given me than being able to lead Young Life, and that is always at its peak during summer camp.


One thing I noticed while at camp is that prior to hair loss, I felt like God gave me this story that was just bottled up inside, and unless you know me personally, you wouldn’t know to ask. I think losing your hair is a great way to share your story. People are more likely to approach you and ask. I am not one to walk up to a stranger and tell them my whole life. God knows this about me. So a silver lining of hair loss is that it makes you a walking testimony.


- Jenna Henderson, Worth the Suffering 



Thank you friends for everything you do. It is a privilege to serve alongside you in this ministry. If you would like to purchase a copy of Worth the Suffering, you can do so at www.worththesuffering.com.

If you know another Young Life leader who has faced great suffering and could use some encouragement, email us their name and mailing address and tell us some of their story. We have a few of Jenna's books to give-a-way and Scott would love to bless some leaders with a copy. We will not be able to give a book to everyone whose name is submitted, but we will select a handful of folks and send them the books.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Family Feud Club Questions & Answers

Have you ever done Family Feud club? 

Manny Ruan, a Young Life leader at Canyon Lake High School in Texas, shared with us some Family Feud questions and answers (download below) that his YL team collected from a Google survey.

Download FF Q's & A's

Here are the details from Manny:
  • We came up with random questions, some of them had to do with the area our high school is in, but many questions were generic so anyone could answer them. In the Word doc above, the number next to the answer is how many people responded with that same answer.
  • Our team made a Google survey and posted these questions and then sent them out to our friends, other leaders on social media and we received over 100 responses. When we began we took only the 100 first answers and picked out the top 6-7 answers and that's what we would use when it came down to start playing. 
  • The kids arrived to club and we put them into "families." We went with 5 people per team but you can adjust that to the number of kids that show up to Club.
  • Once the game started we got two "families" up there and just like Family Feud we lined them up side by side and had one contestant from each side go towards the middle and our host "Cleve Blarvey" would read the question. We had a leader stand with her hands out as the buzzer and kids would slap their hand and whoever was first (according to the leader) would answer and essentially the rules followed the same, 3 X's, other team could steal once the other team got their 3rd X, etc... 
  • For our club we did two rounds per family, so one question was read we went through all the strikes and then another person from the family would step up for question 2. After two questions we would get two new families up there and do it all over again with the next two questions. We did it this way to involve as many high school friends up on stage and at the end of every round the family that won would get some candy.
  • We had a large whiteboard where one of our leaders was running our scoreboard. She already had all top 6-7 answers on a paper so our host would reiterate the answer given and point up at our leader and if it was on there she would write it down. Of course you could probably do this on a laptop/PowerPoint and have it slightly more tech advanced, but our kids thought this was hilarious, so it worked for us.
  • Oh and don't forget the buzzer sound. This will get the whole club room rowdy and yelling when someone gets an X. We just had an app on our phone connected to our speaker.

Here's an example question form being used by Richardson, TX.

How to make Family Feud Keynote slides.

Family Feud Club Ideas from YLHelp.com


Additional questions you can use from YLPlaybook.com



And here's a pic of YL staff folks, Matt and Leslie Sloan (Asheville, NC), when their fam competed on The Feud a couple years ago!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Senior Club: 10 Tips to Make it Memorable

The end of this school year is in sight. It’s become a tradition in many Young Life areas to end the year with “Senior Club,” giving the graduating seniors a chance to lead club and share about their experiences. Below are a few tips to help make the night a success. 

Senior Ownership
This could be your highest attendance club of this semester. If the seniors take ownership of it, they will get people there.

Personal Invites
Even if seniors have “checked out” of YL this is a club they will come back for... if personally invited. Not just a mass text, or an Instagram announcement, but a face to face invite or phone call. I’ve watched many kids come to a Senior Club that have never been to YL before. It's an easy invite because it’s the last club of the year and the seniors are speaking. Work hard to get first timers there! Who knows, they might even sign up for camp. It's happened many times!

8th Graders
This is a great club to invite current 8th graders, and give them a taste of what's to come in the fall when they become freshmen. Get parents and middle school teachers help in promoting that this club is open to 8th graders. If there is WyldLife in your area, connect with the WyldLife leaders and get their help in bringing their middle school friends.

Also, offer prizes for the high schoolers who brings the most 8th graders. We typically give away "Lunch With A Leader" or bring kids lunch from their favorite restaurant to school.

Alumni
If scheduled in May, often college students are back home and would love to come back and visit their former club.

Time
If not carefully monitored, this club could run too long. Consider starting 30 minutes earlier than usual. You could also do a cookout, grill hot dogs, and start at 6:37 instead of 7:37. Check the sports schedule and make sure to not conflict with a big home game.

Content
Will the seniors run music, games, skits? If so, help them prepare. They can do classic YL skits, make fun of leaders, pick their favorite classic songs to sing, and make videos to show at club. It's also fun to play a 'Guess that Senior' game using baby pics. 

Videos
It's a fun opportunity for the seniors to film a video together. Check out this video from the seniors at Overton Young Life in Nashville.




Senior Share
Allow enough time for every senior that wants to share to have a turn. Coach the seniors ahead of time on WHAT to share. If they know Christ, ask them to speak clearly of what He has done in their life. If they’ve been to camp or plugged into Campaigners, ask them to share of those experiences. Their words will carry much weight with the underclassmen. Although it is fun as leaders to hear kids tell us how great we are, encourage them to use this time to tell how great Jesus is instead.

Coach the seniors ahead of time on how long to share. If you have 15 seniors that each talk for 4 minutes, that will take an hour. Consider warning them ahead of time that after a certain predetermined length of time you will raise a sign in the back letting them know to wrap it up. Set the seniors up for success.

Celebration
Think outside the box about ways to make this evening special. Will you have a time when the leaders pray for the seniors? Will you give the seniors any gifts, notes, etc…Will you have a special surprise 24-ft long Gutter Ice Cream Sundae waiting for the kids out back when the night ends? If so, ask some parents to help prepare it so its ready and still frozen when everyone runs outside. Also, prepare to get sticky. Ice Cream fights are inevitable.

What other ideas have you seen work well? Comment below or email us here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

"Lean On Me" and "Cold, Cold Water" Club Song Mashup

Looking for a fun new club song mashup?

Ryan Soderberg, YL Area Director in Wauwatosa, WI shared with us this mashup they recently did at club. 

It combines the classic "Lean On Me" with "Cold Water." 

DOWNLOAD

If you have any new songs to share, email us here.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Promposals and the Young Life Leader's Guide to Prom Season

Prom season is upon us and below are a few ways Young Life leaders can serve our high school friends, parents, and school administrations.

PRE-PROM

Prom-posals

Some of your high school friends are asking dates to the prom and would love your creative help thinking of a fun promposal idea. 

One of my high school friends wrote a letter to Roy Williams, coach of the UNC Tar Heels basketball team. He asked Roy to write a letter to the girl he wanted to ask to prom. Roy did it!

Dress/Tux Shopping

Go shopping with them. Do you think your high school friend would rather go to Men's Warehouse with his YL leader or his mom? It's a toss up, but for female YL leaders, it's for sure a great contact work opportunity.

Pimp That Ride

Offer to pimp out your Rav-4 and dress up as a limo driver to escort your high school friends and their dates to dinner and prom. Maybe even check with committee folks or adults at your church who have nice vehicles they'd be willing to let you borrow.

Chef-Boy-R-Prom

Offer to cook/serve an elegant candlelight dinner for your high school friends. Do it at your house, their house, the YL house, or outside at a park. It'll be much cheaper than a steakhouse and much more memorable! 

Post-A-Pic 

Show up at the pre-dinner photo spot with a super-nice camera that you borrowed from your rich uncle. Take pics, edit them, post them on social media and tag your high school friends. They'll appreciate having some quality, non iPhone pics! 

Pray 

This is a night full of regrets for many of our friends. Let's beg God to protect them and to give them courage and wisdom when making tough decisions.

Prep

Help your high school friends think through the evening ahead of time. Tell them you know the temptations they will face. Tell them Jesus knows those same temptations (Matthew 4). Tell them to look for a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13)because Jesus always provides one. Who else is having these important conversations with them? It's one of the reasons we work so hard to earn the right to be heard. 

DURING-PROM

Volunteer
 

You might be surprised how grateful the high school administration will be to hear an adult ask if they can help supervise the prom. It's not like a ton of adults are lining up to referee boogie-dance wrastlin'.

Prom Alternative 

Some of your friends didn't get asked to the prom. They say it's not a big deal, but no one enjoys being left out. Imagine how excited they would be if you offered them another hangout option during prom. You could do something low-key or even create an event like "MORP" (Prom backwards.) Instead of the dance, you could create an evening of a fancy meal followed by video scavenger hunts, rolling houses, ice blocking, movies, and even your own little dance party. That's the stuff memories are made of.

AFTER-PROM

If your high school puts on an After-Prom event, volunteer to help. A few years back our YL team would film music videos of kids during the event. We used the YL skit closet and had kids dress up and lip-sync the song of their choice. We got some construction lights and designed a lil stage. After we shot the music videos we uploaded them on the YL YouTube page for kids to view. It was a big hit. If your school doesn't offer an After-Prom consider offering your friends a late night alternative.

Do you have other ideas that have worked for you? Email us here and we'll add them to the post.