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Practical Tips For Helping Grieving Teens

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Sunday School Lesson Plans

Growing your Christian Youth Ministry

Every youth leader wants their youth group, Sunday school class, and youth ministry to grow. Your regular attendees can be your best salesmen. If they feel that their youth group is of great value they will bring their friends to see. Your job is to make their friends feel at home.

Discussion groups are more likely to grow and least likely to decline.

A new poll by Josh Hunt reinforces my belief that Sunday school, or children's church, based on discussion type lessons like mine are far more interesting to teens than a sermon or lecture done poorly. Josh finds:

"If your class is not growing, we have an easy solution: jump to the discussion method. It is the single most likely group to be growing AND the single least likely group to be declining. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by going to the discussion method." Read the entire article.

Subscribe to Josh's Lesson Vault. Use coupon code 4478 for a 10% discount. Free 170 page e-book from Josh Hunt in .pdf format. Download here.

Helping kids feel at home:
Upon arriving, every kid is celebrated into the youth room. That means that the leaders usually shouted out their names and added a big cheer. Within the first few minutes each teen is included into a conversation and presented with a snack or a warm drink (on a cold day). Youth room signing wall

One of the best things we did was to let the kids write on the wall. We painted it bright yellow then supplied lots of colored markers. Everyone signed their name. The wall became known as the guest book. When a new person came they were warmly greeted then asked if they'd sign our guest book. They were delighted when they found out the book was actually the wall. A regular attendee would proudly walk them over, get the makers. The newcomer was immediately involved.

272165: Getting Students to Show Up: Practical Ideas for Any OutreachEvent—from 10 to 10,000 Getting Students to Show Up: Practical Ideas for Any OutreachEvent—from 10 to 10,000
By Jonathan McKee / Zondervan

The heart was there, the vision was set, the motives were genuine . . . but no one showed up. The book will help youth workers program to an audience that they're not used to reaching. Programming an outreach event is much more than booking a band and a speaker. Unfortunately, most people don't know that-and the students they wanted to reach aren't making it there . . . they don't show up.

Youth workers are only learning how to program outreach events by "trial and error." Instead, they need a resource to not only teach them the basics in programming outreach events, but also give them tools and examples that actually work. This book will help them understand the mind set of this outreach crowd, and give them the tools to plan effective outreach programs.

 You may not be a dynamic speaker, know all the latest rock musicians, or even dress in the latest fashions, but if you love young people and desire to invest in their lives, your influence can be life-changing. This book can help.


3591EB: Gimme Five: 500 More Ways to Get Your Students Talking - eBook

These provocative and charming lists will get kids talking, laughing, debating, and thinking anytime, anywhere. A great tool for volunteer youth workers who need something to get conversation going!

Here are some Youth Ministry/Sunday School Ideas especially for Junior High age kids.

Sunday School ClassKids (especially teens) are some of God's greatest creations. Why do people always roll their eyes and think I'm nuts when I say that? Kids are dying for grownups to treat them with respect, take them seriously, and care about them. If you do that for them they will do that for you.

Of course, it also helps if you genuinely like kids. They can tell. "Kids will be what they think you think they are." The kids were an important part in helping me cope with the loss of my own daughter. I did not hide that from them and they were pleased to be helpful in that way. To learn more about that read my article, "Buckets of Love".

In addition, my junior high Sunday school class was held during the church service, right after the worship time, so they got out of having to sit through sermons that were way over their heads. I also feed them great snacks. Word got out about this. Kids invited their disbelieving friends to see for themselves. They told their parents they wanted to come again. The parents told me they were delighted that their kids actually wanted to come to church. These families became regular attendees.

We continued the Sunday school class year-round instead of breaking for the summer. We experienced a huge jump in attendance over the summer, and enjoyed an extraordinary spirit-filled time.

Anyway, if you other youth leaders are wandering around the internet you must be looking for something: encouragement, youth ministry ideas, Sunday school lesson ideas. Feel free to poke around my stuff, download what you might be able to use.

I got a lot of ideas from other website's myself but I never found a curriculum or a Sunday School lesson that was just what I wanted so I always wrote my own. The kids seemed to like them. After awhile they would prefer to skip my lame games, just sit down and get into the lesson. Sweet.

The links and products featured on the site are all things I use in the Christian youth ministry. Buying these items thru the links provides our ministry with a small commission and offers you the lowest price and a safe source to get it from.

Churches around the globe are experiencing a sharp lack of volunteer Sunday School teachers. It does require a high degree of commitment and can also be a little scary for a new volunteer to contemplate being in charge of a group of Junior High age kids for more than an hour. My greatest fear in the beginning was, "What if my brain freezes up in the middle of a lesson, I lose my train of thought?" So every Sunday I came in with a Sunday School lesson plan guaranteed to keep me on track. Click here to discover how these lesson plans can help you too.

PrintMaster v7 Platinum

When kids are sick drop off a Get-Well-Soon gift bag to brighten their day :

Send a homemade Get-Well card to the kids that are out sick. It's easy and simple. The PrintMaster v7 Platinum software (shown on the left) is the most popular program for this purpose today. This is way cheaper than buying cards. You can substitute your own photo's of the student from class or group. This way it becomes a keepsake and a constant reminder that someone at church cares about them.

Or: If you're really energetic make a care package and drop it off. Include a movie or a puzzle book , can of chicken soup, your handmade card, a copy of the lesson plan they missed, and small gift like an i-Tunes Gift Certificate. Put it in a decorative gift bag and you're ready to be the hero.

The kids will feel pretty special. Parents will really appreciate the special attention you give their kids.

I have referred to this valuable book countless times. It's a great resource when you hit these hard problems. If you stay in Youth Ministry long enough you will encounter these challenges.


434143: Best of Try This One From Group Magazine  

 The Best of "Try This One" by Group.

A plethora of ideas for every aspect of youth ministry from discussion starters and games to fundraiser and outreach programs.

282495: The Youth Worker"s Guide to Helping Teenagers in Crisis The Youth Worker's Guide to Helping Teenagers in Crisis
By Rich Van Pelt & Jim Hancock / Zondervan

Crisis-management expert Van Pelt and respected youth worker Hancock unfold step-by-step plans and biblically based advice for managing scenarios from substance abuse to natural disasters. You'll learn how to respond quickly and effectively to crises; balance legal, ethical, and spiritual outcomes; forge wide-ranging preventive partnerships; bring healing when damage is done; and much more.

Always be quick to offer an apology:

If you misspeak, hurt a kids feelings, show up unprepared, or just do something dumb, be quick to apologize. Whether you are wrong or not an apology shows you are willing to humble yourself before the kids. It proves that you do not think more highly of yourself than them. It proves they are important.

Humbling yourself before children never detracts from your leadership authority. It does increase their respect for you.

Dress up your youth area or advertise a special event with a custom banner.


Cross In Sky Personalized Banner 24

Hundreds of styles and sizes to select from. Least expensive I've ever found.

ShindigZ is a great source for Party supplies and inexpensive prizes and gifts.

Free shipping of orders over $85.00. Use coupon code WSXDK4

Cross In Sky Personalized Banner 24"x72" Horizontal Vinyl Banner Each

Dare to Compare! Prices as low as $14.79 Quick and Easy! Over 1,000 designs to choose from Our exclusive customizing tool allows you to move, rotate and size. Weather-resistant Vinyl Banners Printed on durable 10 oz white vinyl Features metal grommets for hanging 7 sizes available Attach N' Go Banners It's as easy as 1, 2, 3! Peel, Place, Enjoy Printed on safe, low-tack material Perfect for anywhere, no cords or tape needed 3 sizes available


Ultimate protection for everything you do online 

A great way to build relationships with kids is to visit them in their home (always with parents present of course). Offer to update the spyware and virus detectors on their computers. The software suggested below is free, works better than most, and is easy to install and run. Home computers are more at risk than ever. This will actually be a valuable service to them. While you are loading and updating the software you'll have time to talk, get to know the families, see the kids rooms, meet the pets. This helps you understand where the child is coming from. It also helps the kids (and parents) accept you into their lives having had already visited their home. You don't need to be a computer nerd to do this. Try it on your computer first to familiarize yourself with the process. Spy-Bot Search & Destroy
a-squared Anti-Malware This one gets the real bad stuff.
Get AVG PC TuneUp absolutely FREE - Ad-Aware 2007 Free
Free Registry Repair - Fix Registry, Optimize PC Speed! Get a Faster PC Today. Try Now.

In addition to good spyware protection you can speed up their computer just by deleting the cookies and browsing history. On Windows, hit the START button, go to Control Panel, then click on Internet Options. Then click on Delete Browsing History.

USB Jump Drives make great prizes and help ensure that the kids data is backed up.

If discipleship (teaching) is done well your Christian youth ministry will grow. Teenagers are thirsty for the truth. This website contains many essential tips that will help you have a flourishing youth ministry and teen Sunday school class.
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