Friday, March 23, 2018

I Can't Believe I Tweeted This: Timehop, Spring Break, and Redemption

Timehop is a fantastic app for all Young Life leaders! 

Each day, it pulls in pictures from Instagram, Facebook, Google, and my iPhone camera roll to remind me of things that occurred on that exact day in past years. Mine takes me back a full decade, to when I started using Google Photos and Facebook.

A lion's share of those photos are of my Young Life friends, many who are now adults. The Timehop app has been a fun way to help me stay connected with them, even after some of them move far away and we haven't seen each other for years.

It seems almost daily I'll see a pic of an old Young Life friend. I'll text them the pic of the fun memory and it helps us pick up right where we left off.

Check out what popped up this week in my Timehop app. Pictured here is the Twitter screenshot. 

I immediately texted it to my buddy Evan and he called me laughing. It was six years ago this week when he was a high school senior and tweeted: 

"The weeks before Spring Break keep getting slower and slower as we get closer and closer. #beach #babes #beer #3Bs." 

I replied "Don't forget your Bible! #4B's."

At the time, I was trying to be outwardly clever, but inwardly I was pretty discouraged. Evan had been in my Campaigners group for almost three years and I felt like nothing was sinking in. A few weeks later, while he was on spring break, I penned this post: "How Spring Break Broke My Heart."

But on Wednesday of this week, Timehop reminded me that God's timetable isn't always the same as mine. Six years ago, Evan was heading in the opposite direction that I was hoping he'd go. But, as God often does, he used those windy roads to bring Evan back to Him. 

During Christmas break of his freshmen year in college, Evan came over to our house to hang out. He had finally come to a point in life where he was ready to surrender his life to the Lord. That summer, he served on Summer Staff at Sharp Top Cove, and the rest is history. He fell in love with the Lord and walked with Him through college. 

Just last year, after Evan graduated, I was privileged to officiate his wedding. And just yesterday, he gave me permission to share his hilarious tweet and his story with you. I texted him, "How would you feel about me posting that tweet on the Leader Blog? Would that be too embarrassing for you?

Evan wrote back, "I wouldn't mind at all- because I'm redeemed, brotha!

I wonder what stories of redemption your Timehop app is going to be telling you six years from today?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Kickin' the Ceiling

"Hey Nate, if I can kick the ceiling, will you sign up for Young Life camp?"  

"Okay. Deal." 

Since 1941, Young Life leaders like Austin Robertshaw have been doing whatever it takes to bring kids face to face with Jesus...and to keep chiropractors in business.

Watch it here.

Monday, March 19, 2018

10 Fun Ideas for Spring Contact Work

Spring-time has arrived! If you need some fun, fresh, & frugal contact work ideas, you're in luck. Grab your middle, high school or college friends and make some memories.

Dog Park/Animal Shelter
If you have a dog, take your dog and some friends to a local dog park. If you don't have a dog, visit a local pet store or animal shelter.

Putt, Pitch, Punish 
(The Happy Gilmore Young Life Invitational Golf Tournament)

Grab a group of middle or high school friends, a bag of golf clubs, and $15. Kids need no prior golf experience to enjoy this outing. Head to a local golf course that has a driving range, putting green, and chipping hole. Pay $5 to rent a bucket of balls. Hold three separate contests.

Start with putting. Practice, warm up and design a 6 hole putt-putt course on the putting green. Lowest score on the 6 holes wins a $3 milkshake afterwards.

Pick a hole, either on the chipping green or driving range. Each participant gets 10 shots. Closest to the pin wins a shake.

Finish with the Punish Contest. Whoever can simply drive a golf ball the farthest wins. Each kid gets 10 balls.

After all 3 contests are over, head to a local restaurant to celebrate the 3 winners and buy them milkshakes. You can also spice up the outing by encouraging guys to dress "golfy." Call the golf course ahead of time and ask permission. If you go during a low traffic time, like 5pm, most courses will give you the green light.

Foot Golf
Another fun twist on golf is the new and fast growing sport of soccer-golf or FOOT GOLF. Here's an article explaining the game, but it's basically playing golf with a soccer ball and your foot on a real course. I've yet to play, but it sounds amazing.

Stick Ball
My personal favorite. It's simply a twist on baseball, playing on a tennis court with a broom handle and tennis balls. Buy a wooden broom and unscrew the handle from the bottom bristles. Use it for the bat and grab 6 tennis balls. It's much harder than it looks to hit a tennis ball with a skinny broom handle. Watching people strike out is funny. Hit it over the tennis court fence for an automatic home-run. 3 strikes and you're out, pretty much the same rules as baseball except only 2 bases, the net and home plate. Trust me, its a winner. We played a ton last spring/summer. It became a YL tradition.

Take a group hiking. Ask your local outdoor store for advice on a good trail.

KanJam is a fun and simple frisbee game. Think 2 on 2 Ultimate Frisbee in the back alley with trash cans as your end zone. Set it up in the parking lot of the local late night hang out spot beside a set of corn hole boards. You and your high school friends can be entertained for hours. It's also a great pre-club hangout idea.

Build Your Own Frisbee Golf Course
Some friends and I recently mapped out a frisbee golf course around the local university. "Throw off the parking deck and hit the middle column on that building, par 4." It's free fun...unless you accidentally dent other people's cars with your frisbee.

Cards On A Roof
Find a mostly flat roof on a not so windy night. Grab a few high school friends, a blanket (or lawn chairs and a folding table) and some playing cards. Add a set of iPhone speakers and 6 pack of Stewart's Orange n Cream Soda. Bam. A night to remember.

Dizzy Shoe Game
Thanks to Mackenzie Olson for submitting this idea. Mackenzie writes, "Anytime we're at camp or when there is nothing around to do, I like to con kids into playing the Dizzy Shoe Game. But I don’t call it that… I only ask if they want to play a game. I make everyone put one of their shoes, or a stick, over their head and make them look at it (this is key to the game- the looking up part) and I make them spin around as fast as they can 15 times. Always screaming for them to spin faster. Once they get to 15 they are to throw the shoe and attempt to jump over it. If they truly looked up, and truly spun 15 times quickly, there is zero chance of succeeding and 100 percent chance of laughing very hard. A word of Caution: this is ALWAYS to be done on grass." Thanks Mackenzie for this fun idea. I've already used it multiple times when hanging out with my high school friends and it's been hilarious.

And of course...

You can always build an Eno village or
play some Spikeball!

If you have other ideas to add email us here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

You're Invited to a Work Week at a Young Life Camp Near You!

If you've never been to a Young Life Work Week, this could be your year! Check the dates below and mark your calendars. It's a great opportunity to add another YL shirt to your collection, to join old friends, and to make tons of new ones. It's also a chance to help prepare our properties for kids to experience the BEST WEEK OF THEIR LIVES this summer!


FREE!! Your all-expense paid week will include housing, great food, club, fun activities, a t-shirt, and lots of hard but rewarding work!


College-aged young adults looking for a fun, rewarding, community-filled time to start your summer while serving a Young Life camp.

What To Expect

Work projects in the morning and part of the afternoon, free time before dinner, club in the evenings with plenty of time to connect with each other.

Contact your closest camp to sign up!

Camp Buckner
June 1st
Allie Dunivant

Carolina Point (Brevard, NC)

May 18th-20th
Kyle Gray

Castaway Club (Detroit Lakes, MN)

May 22nd-27th
Lisa Poll

Clearwater Cove (Lampe, MO)

May 13th-18th
Josh Zillner

Crooked Creek Ranch (Fraser, CO)

May 17th-21st
Rick Lowe

Frontier Ranch (Buena Vista, CO)

May 13th-19th
Bev Palm

Lost Canyon (Williams, AZ)

May 16th-21st
Bianca Puente

Malibu Club (Egmont, BC, Canada)

March 17-21st
Brooke Watson

Saranac Village (Saranac Lake, NY)

May 30th-June 2nd
Megan Funk

SharpTop Cove (Jasper, GA)

May 13th-17th
Corinne Watters

Timber Wolf Lake (Lake City, MI)

May 7th-11th
Mekoe Peterson

Trail West (Buena Vista, CO)

May 13th-19th
Brenda Saewert

Washington Family Ranch (Antelope, OR)

March 9th-13th
Gary Hopkins
March 23rd-27th
Wayne Patterson

Wilderness Ranch (Creede, CO)

May 10th-16th
Chris Payton

Windy Gap (Weaverville, NC)

May 16th-21st
Erika Knox

Woodleaf (Challenge, CA)

March 20-24
Ryan Green

Monday, March 12, 2018

Hype Club Music: DJ Promote's Newest Party Edits

Do you need some clean, hype music for club? Thankfully DJ Promote has hooked us up with some current edits. DJ Pack 6 just came out and has lots of current mash-ups. These songs work great to play in the background as kids enter club or during games and mixers. (Thanks for the heads up Ty Gallenbeck!)

Download all 24 tracks on Bandcamp and pay what you want.

1. All The Way Up - Tommy Bustillos Intro Hook Edit - Fat Joe & Remy Ma
2. I'll Be Around vs Passionfruit 112 BPM Blend - The Spinners, Drake
3. DaDaDaDa vs Carnival Mashup - Wuki, Busta Rhymes, Quintino      
4. Saria's Turn Up Clean Edit - GTA
5. Bad & Boujee vs Bruh 128 BPM Club Blend - Migos, Lil Uzi Vert, Curbi, Mesto
6. Magnolia vs Everyday We Lit Hook Blend - Playboi Carti, YFN Lucci
7. Eye of the Tiger Mashup Short - Survivor, Kill the Noise, AWOLNATION, R.City, Nom De Strip
8. Eye of the Tiger Mashup Extended Intro - Survivor, Kill the Noise, AWOLNATION, R.City, Nom De Strip
9. Congratulations vs Storm 128 BPM Blend - Post Malone, Fresco, The Arcturians
10.Congratulations vs Apocalypto 128 BPM Tropical Blend - Post Malone, Fresco, DJ Freky 
11.Rolex (Steve Aoki Remix) Clean Edit - Ayo & Teo
12.Rolex Clean Edit - Ayo & Teo     
13. Tunnel Vision Hook Only Edit - Kodak Black  
14. Yeah (Madness Remix) Short Super Clean Edit - Usher ft. Ludacris & Lil Jon
15. Yeah (Madness Remix) Short Club Edit - Usher ft. Ludacris & Lil Jon
16. Differentology vs Jump Blend - Major Lazer, Bunji Garlin, Busy Signal
17.Differentology vs Jump vs Rumbla Blend - Major Lazer, Bunji Garlin, Busy Signal, Olly James, KANDY, Max Styler       
18. Differentology vs Jump vs Jump Remix Blend - Major Lazer, Bunji Garlin, Busy Signal, Nitty Gritty        
19. Jump In The Line vs Jump 112-128 BPM Blend - Harry Belafonte, Codes, Major Lazer   
20. Jump In The Line vs Jump vs Jump Remix 112-128 BPM Blend - Harry Belafonte, Codes, Major Lazer, Nitty Gritt     
21. Jump In The Line vs Jump vs Rumbla 112-128 BPM Blend - Harry Belafonte, Codes, Major Lazer, Olly James, KANDY, Max Styler  
22. Waterman vs Bombjack vs SOS 125 BPM Blend - Olav Basoski, Spyder, Ummet Ozcan, Ambush, Codes           
23. Get Lucky Mario Paint Intro - Daft Punk, Jeonghoon, DJ Promote
24. I Took A Pill In Ibiza Clean Twerk Edit - Mike Posner, Dirty Audio, Mr Collipark, JD

Here is a link to the DJ Pack 5 songs that came out in 2017.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Battle of the Brackets Challenge (Pick'em Group for Young Life Leaders)

Starting tonight (Sunday, March 11, 2018) after the selection show, you can begin making your picks for the 5th annual Young Life Leader Battle of the Brackets!

Enter your bracket in the Young Life Leaders group on ESPN.

The winner will be featured on and leaders around the world stand in awe of your ability to predict the future. In addition to featuring your pickin' skillz on the blog, you'll also receive a YL Swag Prize Pack in the mail. Let the games begin! 

Last year's top finishers are pictured here. 

Tons of ideas for Battle of the Brackets Club.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Battle of the Brackets Theme Club Ideas

March has begun and the NCAA tournament starts next week! If you're hosting a Battle of the Brackets club, below are some ideas to get you ballin'. 

And don't forget to enter your bracket in the Young Life Leaders group on ESPN. (Brackets open on Sunday night, March 11, 2018)


Encourage everyone to wear gear from their favorite college team, and if they don't have a college team they love, just wear any sports gear. Give a prize to whoever looks the sportiest.


Indoor Knockout

Play knockout with a nerf hoop. If you have a big club, borrow a couple hoops. You can go with the stand-alone kind or the one that hangs on a door. Ask folks on your YL committee who are parents of young children if you can borrow some goals for the night.

Dunk Contest/3 pt Competition

Again, use a nerf hoop. Have "celebrity judges" who are dressed in skit clothes and use accents and award for creativity, style, and level of difficulty. Make score cards for the judges. 

Pre-select your participants. Have them wear costumes: basketball jerseys, headbands, wristbands, tall socks, etc... You can also help them think through creative ideas using props, other people, and theme music. 

You could also do a 3-point competition with similar style.

Free Throw Competition with 

Arizona St. University has a hilarious tradition called "The Curtain of Distraction." They have a curtain in the front of their student section and when the opposing team is shooting free throws, they open the curtain and someone in a crazy costume pops out. This has Young Life club written all over it.

You can watch an ESPN video about it here.  It wouldn't be hard to recreate a similar curtain at club and pick 4 contestants to each shoot 5 free throws and have different folks come out to distract them. If you pull this off, email us a pic and we'll feature it on social media and add it to this post. 

Draw 64

Put the #'s 1-64 in a hat/bowl/bag. 64 kids will draw and then represent the corresponding team to that number (as the teams are seeded in the NCAA tourney). As the tourney unfolds, whoever is paired with the winning team wins $ off of summer camp. If you have 32 kids at club, get each person to draw twice, having a better chance to win.

Cookie Sheet Ping Pong 

Set up a cookie sheet as a mini-basketball court. Place a ping-pong ball on it, and one person on each end. The object is to blow the ball to the other side first. Have them play one round, and then raise the stakes, doing the next round blindfolded. After they are blindfolded, place the ball on a mound of flour in the middle of the cookie sheet. (via YLPlaybook.comPing Pong Ball Fight Game)

Name That Mascot

Download this screen game below (made by Amy Brooks!) and have kids "buzz in" when the image appears if they know the name of the school it represents along with the school's mascot. 

Dude Perfect
They have 27 million followers on YouTube and are fans of Young Life. Especially if you're planning a WyldLife club, you could show some highlights of their trick shots or, better yet, film your own. This could be a fun contact work idea to make a trick-shot video to show at club.

Ultimate Frisbee-Basketball

I bought two white circular laundry baskets from Walmart and cut the bottoms out of them. These were our hoops. We used zip ties to secure them on either end of the club room. We have high ceilings in our club room so we put them really high up. I also cut pool noodles lengthwise and attached them over the rim of the laundry baskets to make a cool looking basketball rim. Idea submitted by Will Orr.

How to Play
  • Divide the club into two teams.
  • Just like ultimate frisbee, you cannot run with the ball; you can pass to your teammates up and down the court with the intention of trying to score just like in basketball.
  • No goaltending.
  • Here is where the fun comes in. After every basket scored, switch out the basketball you’re using for another one that is slightly crazier, and do a tip off with that new ball. The tip off is key. Great photo ops and amazing for slo-mo videos.
  • The first ball you might use could be one of those big lightweight rubber balls you buy in the big ball bin at Walmart.
  • The second ball can be a squishy/spiky/weird ball, but then get creative with it. Our third ball was a ball covered in shaving cream. The slo-mo tip off video of that one is always epic. Our fourth ball was a head of lettuce. And last but not least we finished with a rotisserie chicken (this year we did a whole raw chicken which held together better but could possibly give kids salmonella). It’s always high intensity and because it's ultimate frisbee rules, the whole team tends to get involved via passing.
  • Get a leader in an afro and a referee outfit to be the referee who officiates and throws the tip off ball every time. Play the “Ya’ll Ready For This” song during game play.


Basketball Watch Party

Go ahead and plan now to watch some of the games with your middle, high school, or college friends. Look into local restaurants with TVs and see if you can reserve a room for your Campaigners group to watch the Elite 8 or Final Four rounds.

If you have other ideas to add, email us here.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

13 Lucky Ideas for a Sham-Rockin' St. Patty's Day Club

This year, St. Patrick's Day falls on Saturday, March 17th. Probably best to hold your Shamrockin' Club the week before. If you have a Monday club, you potentially could have it on March 19th. 

If you do it after the actual day, you can get cheap deals at Walmart on leftover St. Patty party favors. Below are 13 lucky club ideas.

Wear Green, Win Green

You could call it "Green Club." Encourage everyone to dress in green. Some folks may even paint their faces. Most green on one person wins "green," $50 off of summer camp.

Patty O'Furniture

Have a skit character host the evening. He/she could be "Patty O'Furniture" wearing green tights, red wig, bow tie, shamrock shades (see "party favors" below), Irish hat, beard, etc... A terrible Irish accent is a must. He/she should repeat Irish phrases like "top o' the mornin' to ye" and "let go of me Lucky Charms."

Ms. Shamrock

Host a "Ms. Shamrock" competition for the ladies similar to the "Mr. Christmas Tree" for the fellas, just tweak things to be "Shamrock-y" instead of "Christmas Tree-y.

Party Favors

Order party favors to pass out at club.

Irish Tunes

Irish Wristwatch

Invite 3 contestants to leave the room. Call them in, one by one, and have them see how many times they can correctly say the phrase "Irish Wristwatch" in 30 seconds. Don't say the phrase out loud. Just have them read the phrase off the screen or a piece of paper. Award either a green watch or a box of Lucky Charms as a prize to the winner. 

Nostril Shooters

Have a relay race where teams race to shoot marshmallows out of the noses into a bowl of Lucky Charms sitting on someone's head. At the end, if you want it to be over the top, you could have a leader pick up a spoon and start eating the marshmallows out of the bowl.

Classic YL Lucky Skit

It's an oldie, but a goodie! Based on an old Monty Python sketch. You can watch a video of the skit here. And another version here. There are quite a few on YouTube. You can download a script here, but I would edit it to make it your own with some lines that were tailored for your school's club.

Gettin' Jiggy With It

Have leaders or kids learn an Irish Jig ahead of time and perform the dance for everyone. You could then open up the stage for a competition. Watch videos on YouTube like this one to learn how to do an Irish Jig.

Feeling Lucky Mixer

It's an easy mixer with no prep other than going to the ATM. Give one student a $10 bill and tell him/her to give it to the 11th person that shakes their hand and says "Top of the mornin to ye laddy." Have everyone shake hands and meet someone new and tell them that someone has been given $10 to give to the 11th person that shakes their hand. Play some Irish Jig in the background.

Just Dew It

Have 3 teams of two come up and whoever finishes a two-liter of Neon Green Mountain Dew and a small bag of Lucky Charms wins! 

Leprechaun Skit

If you haven't used the classic YL skit "Little Nemo" in a while, now's a good time to do it with Lil Nemo being a Leprechaun. Here's a YouTube example.

Irish Trivia 
(shared by Wes Wilson)

Here are the questions and answers below.

Q: What is the name of the lead singer of Irish band U2? 
A. Bono

Q: What are the colors of the flag of Ireland? 
A: Orange, white, and green

Q: What university’s mascot is The Fighting Irish? 
A. Notre Dame

Q: According to legend, Saint Patrick drove what creatures out of Ireland?
    a. Snakes
    b. Spiders
    c. Banshees
    d. French people

Q: The shamrock has been used over the centuries as a specific remedy for what? 
    a. Dehydration
    b. Snake bites and scorpion stings
    c. Urinary and kidney stones
    d. Girl cooties

Q: According to legend, leprechauns all engage in what trade?
    a. Tailoring
    b. Shoe making
    c. Blacksmithing
    d. Mattress testing

Q: Some traditional Irish St. Patrick’s Day foods include what?
    a. Corned beef and cabbage, soda bread 
    b. Sweet potato bread, soup 
    c. Mashed potatoes, carrots, rye bread 
    d. Mint pie, pretzels, curly fries and a large milk shake

Q: The most common hair color in Ireland is what? 
A. Brown

Q: Which holiday’s origin traces back to Ireland?
A. Halloween

What is the most important crop grown in Ireland, both historically and now? 
A. Potatoes

Tie Breaker
Q. What is the cereal Lucky Charms’ tagline? 
A. “They're magically delicious!” 

If you have any other ideas to add, email us here

Monday, March 5, 2018

How To Honor Graduating Seniors

Before you know it, the seniors in your Young Life club will be graduating. One special way to honor and celebrate them is with a "Blessing Service." Go ahead and get a date scheduled on the calendar now as the end of the semester will sneak up on you.

Blessing Service Options

There are a few different ways you could set-up this rite-of-passage event:
  • Area-wide ceremonies done with YL leaders speaking over senior leaders.
  • Co-ed ceremonies done with seniors from one high school where both male and female YL leaders share about each senior.
  • Campaigner groups where only dads are invited to share about their sons or moms to speak blessings over their daughters.
  • Campaigner groups where both parents are invited to speak over their son or daughter.
My personal preference is the last option, with a Campaigners group of only guys or only gals and both parents speaking over their child. In our culture, it's becoming less common for both parents to be in the picture, so this allows at least one parent to be there to speak.

Rule Of Thumb: 12 Max

If you want each senior to have a chance to be celebrated individually, you will need an average of 5 mins/senior. 12 seniors= 1 hour. Anything over 12 seniors will probably take too long and should be divided into a smaller group.

How To Give A Meaningful Blessing

If you choose to do something like this in your area, I would coach whoever is giving the blessings to prepare well by choosing a few specific things to share. I have watched ceremonies happen where one senior gets spoken about for 10 minutes with well prepared and meaningful blessings. The next senior gets only one minute of poorly prepared thoughts.

Help your leaders/parents prepare by giving them a loose structure:
  • A story that is either funny and memorable or meaningful. It can be about a shared experience with the speaker and senior or one that happened in the senior's life that describes their character.
  • 2-4 Character traits that you have seen exhibited in the senior's life (ex: honesty, courage, integrity, unselfishness, leadership, perseverance, etc...)
  • A Bible verse that describes their life or that is your prayer for them. A thoughtful prayer for them.
  • Specific things you are actually praying for God to do in and through them.
  • Hugs, hands on their shoulders, looking into their eyes as you speak are all a very valuable part of this experience.
Make sure to snap a pic of each parent and child while they're speaking over their child. Email the parents copies of the picture!

It's also a great chance to take a group photo of your seniors and give them an empty 8x10 frame with a mat they each can sign. Then, get photos printed the next day and pass them out at your last Campaigners group for folks to put in their frames. Makes a great dorm room decoration.

Below is an email I wrote to parents. You can also download it here. Feel free to adapt it and use it if that saves you time. -Drew

Parents of the NWYL Senior Guys,

It has been a high privilege to get to know your sons and be involved in their lives throughout high school. I love these guys so much and desire to send them off well as they become men and head into this next season of life.
I would love to invite you to a cookout and a “blessing service” for your sons on Sunday night, May 22nd, at 6pm at the Smith’s home, 1000 Rocky Rd. The Smiths are providing burgers and hot dogs and I’m asking everyone else to bring drinks, sides, or desserts. Would you please reply to this email and let me know how many in your family can come and what you would like to bring? Siblings are invited as well.
Working with teenagers over the last 20 years, and being both a father and a son, I can tell you how valuable a parent’s blessing can be and how hurtful it is when it’s absent. I still keep a note in my Bible from my dad that he wrote me many years ago, simply saying these 12 words “Drew, I’m thankful you’re my son. I’m proud of you. Love, Dad.”

After we eat I'd love to spend an hour honoring these senior guys. They don't know I'm asking you to do this so I'd like to keep it a surprise. I'm asking one or both parents of each guy to spend around 5 minutes sharing about your son. With 10 guys, at 5 minutes each, it will take us close to an hour for the sharing time, so please be aware of how long you’re speaking, it’s easy to get long winded when sharing a story. On the other hand, don’t rush. This is a valuable time and it’s important for your child to feel the weight of this moment.
When you share, I would love for you to do 2 things:

  1. Tell them how proud you are of them and how much you love them.
    • Share character traits you've seen him exhibit (honesty, courage, integrity, unselfishness, leadership, perseverance, etc...).
    • Feel free to share a brief story about how you’ve seen those traits be a blessing to you and to others.
  2. Speak vision over them about their future.
    • Recognize how God has uniquely gifted them.
    • Share how you’ve seen them grow and mature.
    • Share who you envision them becoming in the future.
    • If you want to pick a Bible verse to read or a specific prayer you are praying over them, that's great as well.
    • The principle of “speaking vision” is for your son to hear you say ‘I love you, I believe in you, and I’m in this with you.
I know this may be difficult for some for a number of reasons. If you’ve never had a blessing from your parents, it is sometimes difficult to give it to another. You may feel regret, wishing you had more time with your son as they’re about to leave home. You may feel too timid to do this in public in front of other parents. Whatever the case, I promise you it is worth it to take the risk and bless your son. Your words hold immeasurable power!

You may even want to write out your words to read. This could be an emotional time, so having it written down will help you say all you want to say and it will also preserve it for them in the future.

If you are unable to be present, but your son is able to come, would you write down a blessing and email it to me so I can read it over him on Sunday night. You could also perhaps send a grandfather, a close uncle, or close family friend to step in on your behalf.

When you share about your son, I suggest putting your hands on their shoulders and looking them in the eye as you speak to them and not just about them.

Instead of saying, “John has always had a kind heart for people who need a friend.” Look at John and say “My son, you have always had a kind heart for people who need a friend.”

I really believe this will be such a special night that they’ll remember forever. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Would you email me back by Thursday at noon and let me know how many in your family can come and what food you can bring?

In 1 Thessalonians 2:8, the apostle Paul writes, “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our very lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” Your sons have become so dear to me and I’m thankful for the blessing it’s been to share life with them for these 4 years.

Drew Hill

If you’d like to read more about this concept of giving a blessing, I’ve attached a chapter from the book “The Blessing” by John Trent and Gary Smalley.

If you have another creative way to celebrate this rite of passage with seniors, email me here and I'll add it to the post.

Special thanks to Ken Tankersly, my former regional director, for instilling in me a value to celebrate people well. And another shoutout to my current area director, David Page, for passing along his insights on this blessing service tradition he's done for years.