Kick-Off 2017 – Bazooka Ball

For the past few years we have started off the new year for our students with a fun activity.  We take a break from our regular programming over the holidays and so try to jump-start January with something that creates a little bit of a buzz.  Last year we had a Black Light Bash and played 9 Square using black lights.  Pretty fun.

This year we played Bazooka Ball.  Our students were introduced to the game at our church camp (Butler Springs) and they love it.  Any time we go to camp, either during the summer or for a retreat, the students want to know when we get to play Bazooka Ball.  So, to get back into the swing of things in 2017, we brought Bazooka Ball to WCC!

And a good time was had by all.

This recap video shows a little bit of the action.  As we were cleaning up, one of our junior high students came up to me and asked, “Will we play this again next year?”

A good sign that the game was a success.

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Social Media Tips for Parents

I receive a regular email from a youth ministry organization called YouthSpecialties.  They offer training, resources and events for those in youth ministry.  This week’s email contained a helpful video of an interview with Jakob Eckeberger, a volunteer youth worker and an employee of YouthSpecialties who is involved in the social media side of things.

Eckeberger offers some tips and insights to parents about social media.  He makes some good observations, especially regarding the growth of technology and the fact that we live in a word with no technological boundaries.  He makes a comment that phones used to be stuck to the wall and TV’s were huge boxes that sat in our living rooms. Now, it is everywhere.

I thought this was a beneficial resource for parents and wanted to pass it along.  You can see all the original content on the YouthSpecialties Blog.

Here’s the actual interview and below the video is the breakdown that YS provided.

3 THINGS THAT INFLUENCE HOW KIDS USE SOCIAL MEDIA TODAY:

1. We live in a world with no technological boundaries.

In my generation, we grew up with some really firm boundaries on our technology. Phones had cords that plugged into walls. The internet was only available through dial-up. Big box televisions were the only way to watch TV shows. Those literal boundaries around our technology helped us come to understand who we were outside of it. Today, there are zero boundaries to our technology. This constant, 24/7 access to technology leaves a huge impact on our kids, inviting things like social media to become an important part of their personal, mental, and sociological development.

2. Social media becomes a window through which we see and experience the world around us.

This means that apps like Instagram aren’t merely used to post pictures. Instagram becomes a window through which we answer important questions like: Who am I? Where do I fit in? Does my life matter?

We aren’t just consuming answers to those questions through the images we see on Instagram, we’re actually creating our responses. We create images to tell stories of our daily life and then compare it to what everyone else is creating. This is a significant thing for kids who are just starting to figure out who there are and where/if they fit in.

3. The fallacy that everything on line is temporary.

Darrel Girardier shared a GREAT POST that touched on this. Apps like Snapchat tap into this idea that content on the internet can be easily deleted. But we know from experience (SNAPCHAT LEAKS 100,000 PHOTOS) that it’s not always the case. Once we post something, we have very little control over what happens to it.

3 THINGS THAT PARENTS CAN DO:

1. Recognize that the issue isn’t the technology, but how that technology is used.

Most of the technology available to our kids today, and specifically things like social media, aren’t necessarily evil. It’s all in how the technology is used. When we give our kids a smart phone, we’re giving them technology that comes with a ton of responsibility. We can’t protect our kids from all the bad ways that this technology can be used, but we can help them live into the incredible amount of responsibility that they’ve been given. To borrow from Walt Mueller, it’s all apart of helping students think critically and Christianly about what they post before they post it.

2. Create boundaries around technology.

Sit down as a family to create blackout times and locations in your house where every screen is turned off, and the phones and tablets are put away. Have family game nights, or dinner times when you intentionally connect with one another. Buy an old-fashioned alarm clock to have in your room so that you don’t need your phone at night.

3. Be the example.

Ideally, parents would be modeling healthy uses of technology for their kids. So set boundaries that your entire family can agree on. That way, as a parent, you can be the first one to step away from your phone or tablet. By being the example, you can show what a healthy relationship with technology looks like.

The YS Idea Labs are filmed on location at the National Youth Workers Convention. Check out more YS Idea Labs HEREand register early for NYWC to save BIG: NYWC.COM.

Louisville Women’s Bball Signing Day #hello

This week high school seniors were able to sign their Letter of Intent and commit to play basketball at the next level. The University of Louisville Women’s Basketball program signed another highly ranked class. To introduce the ladies of the class of 2016 to the rest of Card Nation, the coaching staff put together a pretty creative video. Great to see the personalities of the coaches on display.

You may never listen to Adele the same way.

Spring Break House Build Trip Info Meeting

During Spring Break, 2016, our high school students and adults have an opportunity to travel to Puerto Penasco, Mexico, and help build a home for a family in need through 1MISSION, a community development organization giving people in poverty the opportunity to earn a house by serving their community. Recently I posted some information about the trip and wanted to follow that up some further details.

An information packet is available, which breaks down the anticipated cost of the trip and gives information regarding our schedule, housing, travel, etc. While the packet won’t answer every question, it will provide the basic information for those interested in the trip.

One of the big concerns about traveling to Mexico is safety.  While there are some dangerous areas in Mexico and you should always be aware when traveling out of the country, the area where we will be traveling is safe for travel.  1MISSION has hosted numerous groups and recently hosted 400 students who built 13 homes for families.  Also, 1MISSION just celebrated their 400th home being built!  They have a lot of experience in the area where we will travel and will provide us with good information so we are safe.

Another concern with a mission trip is cost.  Flights out of the country are not cheap and we are doing our best to keep costs as minimal as possible.  Currently, the estimated cost of the trip is $1200.  For our WCC students and adults, a portion of the trip will be underwritten by a generous gift given toward missions.  At least $300 will be available for each WCC student and adult who wants to go on the trip.  Also, we have fundraisers planned to help defray the cost.

We will have an Informational Meeting on Sunday, November 22, immediately following our morning services.  Anyone who is interested in hearing more about the trip or asking specific question is invited to attend.

We do have a deadline set for the trip.  In order to make plans and secure air travel and other details, we are asking participants to make a $50 deposit by Sunday, Dec. 13. That will help us know how many are committed to the trip and we can move ahead with details.

Below is a brief video that shows what a house build looks like.  More information on the trip can be found on the 1MISSION website.  They have a link that provides responses to Frequently Asked Questions regarding serving in Mexico.

Shia LaBeouf Youth Pastor?

I’ve had the email sitting in my inbox for a couple of weeks now. It is a promo for Student Life camps. I have never attended a Student Life camp, but whoever came up with this video is genius!

If you have haven’t seen Shia LaBeouf’s Intense Motivational Speech, you need to watch it. It only has over 17,659,000 views. He really is intense and it’s fun to watch. In fact, this summer at MOVE Summer Conference, one student did his best Shia LaBeouf impersonation presenting the speech. If you haven’t seen the original, go check out Shia LaBeouf’s Intense Motivational Speech.

Here is how the Student Life used parts of Shia LaBeouf’s speech to promote their camp. Pretty good!

Shia LaBeouf is a Youth Minster from Student Life on Vimeo.

Fatherless to Fatherfull

Last night my wife saw this video in a post on Facebook.  Since we have become involved with adoption, we feel like we are a part of a growing adoption community.  This video is such a great description of what adoption is.  The kids couldn’t be any cuter and their delivery is certainly on point.

As Father’s Day approaches, it is a great reminder of how God wants to be our “really” Dad.  Enjoy and share!

Honoring our Grads 2015

Each year near the end of May, we take a few minutes at the start of our worship service to recognize our high school graduates. For the past few years I have put together a brief video of our high school seniors. It’s been a good way to get their faces in front of the congregations since many in our church family don’t know all the graduates personally (and another way for mom and dad to use those senior pictures!). I created the video on Animoto and love how easy it is to put together.

Congratulations to the class of 2015!