Monday, September 1, 2014

Baby, Backpack, Bunkbed: An Easy, No Prep Mixer For Club

Need a fun, easy, no prep mixer for club? 

Explain the game from upfront, then ask folks to stand up and mingle while the music plays, similar to musical chairs. When the music stops, a command will be given. At that point, grab a partner and form whichever command was given. 

BABY: One person standing while cradling another

BACKPACK: One person jumps on another's back

BUNK BED FORMATION
BUNKBED: One person lying on the ground on their back holding the other persons ankles while that person does a pushup holding the ankles of the person lying on the ground. (As pictured here.)

The last kids to form the commanded position are eliminated and the next round begins. 

After 5 rounds start mixing it up with these options below or invent your own. Last 2 folks standing win lunch brought to them at school the next day! 


Twin Babies (4 person group)

Mama Holding Baby Boy

Baby with a Backback (3 person group)

Dancing Backpacks (4 person group, 2 people dancing while wearing backpacks)


If you have other good ideas for mixers, games, skits, run-on characters, etc.. email me here. Your idea could be shared with thousands of Young Life leaders around the world. Thanks to Matt Weatherly for introducing me to this mixer! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Stoplight Club: How Wearing A Green Shirt Can Open A Heart

***After talking with quite a few friends about this, I've landed on Stoplight Club not being the wisest choice for us to do in club. You can still use some of the ideas below for a type of 'Love Club' but my final recommendation is to not do this club.***

I posted this 'Stoplight Club' graphic on Twitter/Instagram this week and have received mixed feedback about the idea. Some leaders think it's hilarious. Other leaders don't believe it's such a wise idea. I resonate with both sides and wanted to share a few thoughts. 

First off, all the opinions on this blog are my own and not the 'official stance of Young Life.' I'm just a leader in NC trying, like you, to do whatever it takes to bring kids face to face with Jesus. I know not everyone agrees with me and am so thankful when folks speak up. I got a great message yesterday from a friend who is a leader in another area. It simply said: "Hey Drew, I'm bothered about your tweet about Stoplight Club. I wonder how kids would feel and what message it sends. Thoughts?


I love getting feedback like that. She did it right. She approached me directly and voiced her concern. Now we can have a conversation and sharpen one another. I've been wrong many, many times and am thankful for friends who offer wise counsel and correction.


After that message I called another leader friend and asked his opinion. He said "Honestly bro, if that club would've happened when I was in high school, no way I would have gone. I was way too insecure." I respect him and that statement alone gave me pause as to whether it was a good idea or not. 


My wife, who's the wisest person I know, said "If it has the potential to make kids not want to come, why not choose to do another theme? There are plenty of other fun ones." I told you she was wise. 


Even though these three trusted folks are telling me not to do Stoplight Club, there's still something in me that really wants to try it. Maybe it's my sinful pride and rebellious spirit, but being as impartial as possible, I honestly think it's just my desire to reach the farthest out kid. 


Inviting a kid to 'Love Club' just doesn't have quite the same appeal as 'Stoplight Club.' I feel confident walking up to the hardest to reach kid at the high school and inviting him to club. "Hey Brendan, make sure you wear green on Monday night. We're having Stoplight Club. Everyone in a relationship wears RED, If 'it's complicated, wear YELLOW' and if you're single and ready to mingle, wear GREEN." It's funny. It's a conversation starter. And it's a way to invite kids into a conversation about relationships. 


I know it seems like we're promoting high school dating. 


For the record, I abhor high school dating. A mom told me today about her 8th grade daughter who has already become sexually active. It breaks my heart, especially because I have two daughters of my own. In 16 years as a YL leader I've seen about ZERO healthy high school dating relationships. Maybe one or two, but it's rare.


I don't think us having Stoplight Club is going to be the reason for anyone beginning a high school dating relationship. I think us having the event opens the door for us to discuss sex and dating with our pubescent friends. If not from us, where else will they hear an alternative to the way the world defines dating? 


So say you do have Stoplight Club....


You play silly dating games. Antonio Amore is your host. You do the M&M couch skit, you sing love songs, and then you have a captive audience to listen to a Young Life leader speak truth. 


"Maybe some of you didn't even want to come tonight because wearing green makes you feel even lonelier than usual. We as your YL leaders know how you feel, 5 of the 6 of us are wearing green too. But seriously, even if you're wearing yellow or red, we all know LONELY way too well."


Then you quote the David Wilcox song, "That's What The Lonely Is For."



When I get lonely, that's only my sign
Some room is empty in me 
and that room is there by design
If I feel hollow, 
that's just my proof that there's more
For me to follow
That's what the lonely is for

You ask the question, "Why do we feel lonely all the time? Even if we have a boyfriend or girlfriend, it still doesn't fill the void."


Then you open God's Word and point to the One who we were created to be in relationship with. The One who knows us completely, even when we're at our ugliest, and yet still loves us. Not because we are beautiful, but in order to make us beautiful. 


What we really desire isn't for someone to ask us to Homecoming...or to cuddle with us on a Friday night. What we really want is INTIMACY...to be completely known and yet completely loved, without any fear of being abandoned. Only Jesus offers us that. 


You give a need talk from John 4 and speak of the woman at the well. 


We play silly games and sing silly songs to open a kid's heart to the Gospel. I wonder how wearing a green shirt might open their heart as well? What if they came to club actually 'looking for someone' and left club having found Someone way better than who they thought they were looking for?



That week in Campaigners we follow up on the club talk. 


We read 1 Corinthians 6:16-19


We teach them that 'purity paves the way to intimacy' (Andy Stanley) and that 'they don't make condoms for your heart.'


We let the ladies know that you don't have to shop at Victoria Secret to be a desired woman. (Proverbs 31)


We begin to teach kids how following Jesus daily applies to their love life. 


I know you don't have to do 'Stoplight Club' to be able to speak into kids' lives on this subject. I know doing it is a risk. I can't stand the thought of an insecure teenager not feeling welcomed at club that night.  Before you decide if you should do Stoplight Club or not, make sure you do three things: Seek the Lord, talk to your Area Director, & be on the same page with your team. 


I'd love to hear any feedback you have. Feel free to comment below, or email me here. Peace. -Drew Hill

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Jesus Wants The Rose

Originally Posted Aug 2013
Being a Young Life leader is hard. 

As much as we love high schoolers, many of them are just difficult to love. Apart from Christ in us, it wouldn't make much sense to love them. 

They reject us. 
They ignore our texts. 
They're mean. 
They lie. 
They have terrible habits.
They don't listen.
They're filled with hate.
They make awful decisions.  
They're too far gone.
They're just unlovable. 

Thank God for Jesus. The One who has and will always love these kids. The One who loves us when we're just as unlovable.

As we return to the high schools this fall and encounter teenagers who are hard to love, here's a powerful reminder of why we're even able to love them. 

Jesus Wants The Rose 

"But God demonstrates His love for us in this, while we were still sinners Christ died for us."  Romans 5:8 

Friday, August 22, 2014

High School Is Hard

High School is hard. Let Young Life help.


Here are some Insta-squares you can edit, post and tweet out. 



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Content Songs For Young Life Club (Download Slides, Chords, etc...)

Below are 40+ content songs to sing at club. By clicking on the links below you can download good guitar chord sheets, slides (PowerPoint & Keynote), mp3s and listen to the song on YouTube. Let me know if there are other content songs you sing at your club and I can add them. The starred songs* are the ones we'll sing most regularly in our club. 

Amazing Grace/Peaceful Easy Feeling

  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
*As I Am- Lee Younger 
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Keynote 
  4. Listen
Beautiful Scandalous Night 
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
*Beautiful Things – Gungor
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
*Change Me – Ryan Long
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
*Enough For Me- Nashville Nine
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Keynote
  4. Listen
  5. Download MP3
Gravity – Sam Heilig
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
*How He Loves – David Crowder Band
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
*I Am Yours – Jenny & Tyler
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Keynote
  4. Listen
  5. Download
I Have A Maker/He Knows My Name – Tommy Walker
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
*Keep Our Eyes Open
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Keynote
  4. Listen
  5. Download mp3
I Could Run Away – Waterdeep
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
It’s Amazing- Tony Congi
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
I’ll Find You There
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
*I Will Never Be The Same- Nashville Nine
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Keynote
  4. Listen
  5. Download mp3
*Lay My Burdens Down – Ryan Long
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
Let There Be Light- Nashville Nine
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Keynote
  4. Listen
  5. Download mp3
Light The Fire
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
Love Immeasurable- Ryan Long
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
Made to Love – Sam Heilig
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
One Of Us- Nashville Nine
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Keynote
  4. Listen
  5. Download mp3
*One Thing Remains- Jesus Culture
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
Only You
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
Somebody’s Calling Out Your Name
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
Something to Live For – Sam Heilig
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
*S.O.S- Ed Cash
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
*The Valley- Ellie Holcomb
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
Wait & See- Sam Heilig
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
What If What They Say Is True?
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
*Where Do I Go? -Andy Osenga
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Keynote
  4. Download mp3
Who Do You Say That I Am?
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
You Are Holy (Prince of Peace)
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
You Won't Let Go- Nashville Nine
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Keynote
  4. Listen
  5. Download mp3
Your Love Is Deep – Jami Smith
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen
You Will Find Me- Andrew Ripp
  1. Chords
  2. PowerPoint
  3. Listen

Other suggested songs (from you on Twitter)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

10 Ways High Schoolers Can Take Ownership At Club


One night last semester, right after club, our newest leader asked me how it compared with a typical club. "Was it better than normal, average, or not quite as good?"

I turned to one of my high school friends and asked, "What do you think Christian?" His response surprised me, in a good way.

"I think it was my favorite club ever, but probably because I got to help lead it and be involved in pulling it off instead of just sitting in the crowd. Last year I never realized how much work went into making club happen, but now that I'm helping run sound and PowerPoint, its cool to see behind the scenes."


I'm terrible at delegation. I'm a procrastinator. And I typically would rather just do something myself than ask for help. That combination doesn't make it easy to include my high school friends in helping lead club...BUT I'm learning it's worth it.

Brian Summerall says it this way:"Why do seniors stop coming to club? Because they are tired of sitting there. We have made them consumers of a product rather than producers of change. I would argue that even seniors that do not know Christ long to be a part of something significant... it’s what they were made for. What they do not know yet is that as they engage in the process, they will meet Jesus along the way."




10 WAYS TO BE PRODUCERS 
(RATHER THAN CONSUMERS)

DJ

Last year one of my high school friends invested in some speakers & turntables so he could start DJ-ing parties/weddings. The beautiful thing was he was excited about using it for club as well!  We always have a pre-club hangout with enos, cornhole, spikeball, etc... Having my buddy Tyler DJ made it feel like a legit party. Plant the seed in some parents' & highschoolers' minds. Who knows? Maybe someone will make an investment.  

Hosts

Invite upperclassmen to be the ones running the club card table and selling t-shirts. Get seniors to pass out announcement info sheets and camp flyers as kids are leaving club. Cast a vision for them to be the hosts, welcoming new comers and thanking them for coming. If you have drinks or snacks before club, invite kids to be the ones serving those. Also ask upperclassmen to be the ones running outdoor yard games.

Photographer

Find kids who own nice cameras and love taking pictures. If you can't find anyone, go to the high school yearbook class and ask for volunteers. Ask them to shoot pics before and during club, instructing them to not be distracting, especially by taking pics during the talk. Get them to post the pics online (that same night if possible) and tag their friends. You can also ask them to make a slide show of the best pics and have that running as kids enter club to music each week.

Videographer

Find a teenager who would be willing to shoot some footage during club each week. Even an iPhone works pretty good. With current video editing software, its fairly easy to edit that footage down to 1-2 minutes, so each week at club, you show quick highlights from the previous week. At semester's end, add those together to have a 10 minute semester in review. Who doesn't love seeing their mug on the big screen?

Video Editor/Creator

One of my high school friends spent HOURS creating & editing a few videos for our first club. He made an incredible 2 minute video that we'll play every other week. It runs through our basic announcements that don't change from week to week. (Subscribe to the Text Message Group, Follow on Insta/Twitter, Fall camp dates, etc). He also created a video of highlights from last year that helped all the first timers get a good picture of what a year of club might look like. The kids LOVED it!

The YL Club Band

It takes way less time to just do music yourself. But....we had just two band practices in the two weeks prior to first club and over ten kids came to each one. It was fun hang out time and they got to be on stage at club. You think they invited their friends to come hear them play music? You betcha. You think we had new kids come up to us after first club asking if they could be in the band. Yeppers. Here's some other ideas on starting a club band.

AV Crew (Audio/Video)

It's awesome to have some tech savvy detail oriented teenagers running your sound, lights, slides, videos, etc... Ask the right people, train them well, and thank them for being a HUGE help behind the scenes.

Skits/Games

Why not have high schoolers run games as skit characters. Kids love seeing their friends make fools of themselves. Set them up well by having extensive practice. Help them get great costumes, the right intro music, the props they need, and picking the right volunteers. "The best way to raise up a leader is to assign them a task and help them succeed." John Maxwell 


Tunnel Makers
We ask all our seniors to make a tunnel for the kids to enter through and exit club. It's a fun tradition that gives the seniors ownership. 

The Flow-Bros

You loved being on safety patrol in 4th grade. Invest in 2 orange vests and assign 2 upperclassmen guys to be 'Traffic Flow Bros' and direct parking each week. Parents will appreciate having clarity on where to drop off kids and the neighbors will be happy no one parked in their grass. Make sure to teach the Traffic-Flow-Bros how to speak to parents when they roll down the window and ask 'what time is pickup.'


Friday, August 15, 2014

The Most Important Text Message You'll Send This August

Many of our friends recently graduated high school and are starting college this month. What happens during those first weeks of college will significantly influence, not only their next four years, but the very direction of their lives.

Andy Stanley says "Direction, not intention, determines destination." He illustrates, "If you're going north on I-85, you're not going to end up in Florida."

We can have conversations with our friends about their hopes and goals for college, but those good intentions can easily be forgotten once the lures of college begin to entice.  Let's help them be intentional with their intentions.

If they desire college to be an experience leading them into deeper intimacy with God, we can help them go that direction. One practical way to do that is by sending a text messages or making a short phone call.

Odds are there's an active Young Life ministry in the town where your friends are going to college. If so, it's worth it to spend the time to look up the phone number of the YL staff in that area. One easy way to find the number is by using the online Young Life locator.  Text the YL staff the phone numbers of your friends going to that college. Also, text your freshmen friends the phone numbers of the YL staff.

If there is not Young Life at that college, there most certainly are other campus ministries and healthy churches around the area. Spend some time on Google and do some research along-side your recently graduated friend. By making one simple phone call, you may help connect them with someone who can significantly impact their journey after Jesus.

Even Jesus sent out his disciples in pairs. We're not meant to do this alone. Let's work hard at helping our friends find someone to walk alongside of them. It just might be the most important phone call you make this August.


Below is part of an email from Kristina Thompson, YL staff in Greensboro, NC. She sent it to all the YL staff in the Tarheel Region. I've already saved the image and texted it to my friends going to ECU. Thanks Kristina! 

Tarheel Region YL Staff,

I wanted to put a resource in your hand that you could pass along to those kids coming to East Carolina University. Would it be possible for you to put this Rush Week flyer in their hands? (I really mean in their phones.) If you save this image on your phone you can just text it to them! It's that easy, but it's another reminder to them of what's waiting for them here...Jesus and a community of people growing together and trying to share Him with more people.


Thanks to Wes Emery and the ECU YL College team for the design


None of you need to be reminded that we are engaged in a battle, as kids head to school they have a lot of choices, I'm thankful Young Life was an option for me in college and we want it to be for your friends too. Thanks for taking a moment to save a photo and to send a text. We're so grateful for your partnership in the Gospel. Here's to full steam ahead and getting ready for the crazy, awesome ride that is the start of a new year!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What I Found At Frontier Ranch

Taken on our assignment at Frontier Ranch this summer.
A guest post from Ali Smith. 

At some point during my three years as a volunteer and my four years on staff, serving with Young Life became a "have to."  Even fun things like going to camp felt like obligations.  Most of my commitments felt draining.  Everyone took from me and very few people poured into me.  Maybe you can relate?

Over the past year, I transitioned off staff as I married my husband, JR, and started serving in a new role as a staff spouse.  I left vocational ministry for a job in corporate America and began serving as a volunteer again.  Thanks to the generosity of my boss, I was able to join my husband on assignment at Frontier Ranch Session One.  Besides working remotely for an hour or so a day, my commitments were minimal at camp.  During this assignment, my whole perspective changed.

All of the things that I considered "have to's" while on staff became "get to's."  I can't believe I get to see hundreds of students every week walk from death to life.  I can't believe I get to see God use my story, shared in real life, to impact the lives of others.  I can't believe I get to live in good community with other like-minded believers.  I can't believe that I get to be part of such an incredible team.  I can't believe that I get to teach scripture to college students on summer staff. 

There are people who live faithfully for Jesus every day of their life and never see someone meet Christ for the first time.  At our camps, even if none of your personal campers accept Christ, we still get to see dozens to hundreds of campers meet Christ for the first time.  In serving with Young Life, we get to see God's redeeming work in the world.

You may be at a point in your ministry where everything feels like a "have to."  You may be weary and hanging on by a thread.  Serving with Young Life may feel like too big of a commitment for you right now.  Will you begin to see this ministry as something you get to do, not something you have to do?

You get to be a part of God's redeeming work in the world.  You get to see students grow in their relationship with Christ.  You get to teach others how to give their lives away.  You get to see God redeem broken pieces of your story as he uses them to speak life and truth to other people.  You get to have adventures with students and great friends. 


In serving with Young Life, God will teach you, transform you and encourage you.  Some days will be hard and some days will be easy.  Like Paul says in Galatians 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."  Do not grow weary in your ministry this year.  Do not get caught up in all the obligations and commitments.  Remember that we are blessed to be a part of this ministry.  It is a privilege to get to do it.

Ali has served with Young Life as a volunteer leader, staff, committee member, and staff spouse.  Her husband, JR, is on staff in Dallas, TX.  Read more from Ali on her blog. If you would like to submit a guest post, click here