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Finally back from Hawaii where I had the honor of teaching at the Youth Ministry Summit in Kauai. Yes, Hawaii was beautiful, but even more beautiful were the young men and women who came to the conference hungry to learn how to be good youth workers. I’ll be posting a number of videos on my YouTube channel if you’re interested in learning new games and a few of our teaching sessions.

The duality of joy. That’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. If I can only find joy when things are going well or I’m in Hawaii do I really have joy or just escapism. Joy is something deeper.

Joy is what we have when when we strip away the facade and realize that where we are in life, how much money in the bank we have or how many kids we have in youth group does not define our relationship with God or to God.

Joy is something we choose. We can choose look past that not everything in our lives is working the way we want. Circumstance may determine happiness but not joy.

This is the point of Paul and Silas singing while in prison. Prisons can be physical, mental or emotional. You can choose to sing, it may not sound great, at first. You voice may start out low and quivering with fear, distain or bitterness, but keep singing and joy will begin to swell as you realize the prison doesn’t define you.

Your circumstance is not a referendum on who you are or your character, it’s just where you are now. Keep singing. Joy will well up and will overflow. Paul and Silas didn’t sing believing they could cause an earthquake or that that doors would fling open. They just sang because they could and would have kept singing had nothing happened at all.

I don’t know where you are in you journey, but let me encourage you to dig deeper and find the joy of being alive no matter where you are in the process.

Have a great rest of the week.

Paul

Articles

Youth Ministry and Science

Why Religion Is not Going Away and Why Science Will Not Destroy it

The Outsize Influence of Your Middle-School Friends

Culture

The movie “Faith Based” takes aim at Christian Film

Youth Ministry

Don’t Let Any Of These 21 Words Define Your Youth Ministry

Youth Ministry From A Parent’s Perspective

Videos

If you want to create drama, show this at your next parent’s meeting ( I recommend you don’t) But I do recommend grabbing some quotes or taking notes because you may have some of each of these parents in your youth ministry.

Easy game to play with youth. A video about stuff melting in reverse is below that you can use.

Here is a video with several things melting in reverse. You can let kids buzz in and guess and then move on the next one.

Although they come from a secular point of view on the subject, there is still some very good information. A college group would do well with this.

There are some hard truths in here with lots of open questions. This isn’t for your youth group, it’s for you. Think it through.

This could be a great cap off to the 2019 season. Add 10 minute countdown to service to this and BAM! Magic.

Playlist

This list is all over the place, but that’s what happens you go down the rabbit hole of liking artists who are like the Christian artist you’re listening to.

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