Youth Specialties Blog

Tech Tuesday: Do you want to know a secret?

By Youth Specialties on February 18 2014 | 1 Comments

We're starting a new weekly post called Tech Tuesday*. The idea is that we will point you towards technology that could help you in ministry, or that your students are probably tapping into, or that is just cool and fun. This week we've got one you should know about, because chances are your students are already using it. 

Check out this article about a new app called Secret, which was highlighted in Wired Magazine. Here's a little snippet:

When you sign up for Secret, the app pulls in cleaned data from your phone’s contact list and uses that to define your social circle. So anything you post gets automatically pushed into your contact’s feeds, meaning on their end they know a friend posted it, just not which one.

Deep down we all want it, but earnestness on social media is embarrassing.

Like Facebook and Twitter, Secret’s declared purpose is to connect people. But unlike its more popular counterparts, Secret isn’t about bolstering our digital identity—it’s about covering it up.

Have you heard about Secret yet? What do you think about anonymity and social media? Let us know what you think and what your students are saying about it, too!

*Note: Just because YS is telling you about a new app, tool, software, etc., does not mean that we endorse or support it. It's just our job to make sure you're in the know so you can minister to teens effectively.

By Youth Specialties on February 18 2014 | 1 Comments

Trending Links: Social Media for the Church, Using Technology, Dealing With Shame, and Focus.

By Youth Specialties on February 12 2014 | 0 Comments

the Social Church - Justin WiseThis week around the web, we've collected some awesome articles that you should check out. Up first is a new book by Justin Wise on Social Media for the church. Folks have been raving about the book and praise the practical methods on how to get the most out of what you are putting into it. Is your church on social channels, is your youth ministry? Visit to buy the book or to download a free chapter from the book and see what Justin has to say.


StickyFaith: Our Surprising Collaboration - Thoughts from a Participant

You know that we love what the folks at Fuller Youth Institute are doing through their Sticky Faith materials and cohort. Their stuff works, and we continue to have the priviledge to partner with them in helping to equip and empower youth workers across the country. Recently, one of their past co-hort participants wrote in on one of their biggest surprises about the cohort - something you might be surprised about too.

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From Distraction to Interaction: Mobile Devices as Ministry Tools

We all are blessed with the gift of technoloy and having so much of it at our fingertips throughour mobile devices. However, our gifts can be a real annoyance sometimes when we can't get our students to pay attention and take their eyes off of their little screens. This post from CYMT (Center for Youth Ministry Training) tries to help us move from distraction to interaction, helping us use mobile devices as tools for our ministry.

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The two brain systems that control our attention: The science of gaining focus

If you are anything like a student, or even a youth worker, that we know - we have the tendancy to get distracted. However, there is a way that we can regain our focus. Take a read through how one girl did some research and came up with some ideas on how we can regain our focus again.

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Strongest Negative Teen Emotions: Shame

A great post by Rachel Blom at DYM about how to help students navigate the strongest teenage emotion: shame. Head on over to DYM and take a read on Rachel's words on how we can best understand the root of this emotion, but also her suggestions on how we can live out the full potential of a youth worker and minister to students through their shame.

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By Youth Specialties on February 12 2014 | 0 Comments

YS Idea Lab - Bob Goff: Ideas On Turning Into Love

By Youth Specialties on February 11 2014 | 0 Comments

Bob Goff has become a dear friend to YS and has become a highlight to us every year at NYWC. In this week's YS Idea Lab, join Bob as he shares stories, experiences, and thoughts about how to turn into love for those around us. How could you turn into love to those around you? Hope on over to our YouTube channel and let us know your thoughts. Visit this video on YouTube and leave your comments.

By Youth Specialties on February 11 2014 | 0 Comments

Trending: Redefining Beauty, Super Bowl Surprises, Duffy Robbins on the DYM Show, and More.

By Youth Specialties on February 05 2014 | 0 Comments

Trending links from around the web:

Redefining Beauty - Selfie - Youth Specialties

Download Youth Ministry Show - Episode 236: The One with Duffy Robbins

Biggest SuperBowl Surprise - Jonathan Mckee

To Stick Around or Jump Ship - YouthMinistry360

By Youth Specialties on February 05 2014 | 0 Comments

Planet Wisdom in a Minute and a Half with Crystal Kirgiss

By Jonathan Matlock on February 03 2014 | 0 Comments

Crystal Kirgiss does a great job of explaining Planet Wisdom in only 90 seconds.

Learn more and register now

By Jonathan Matlock on February 03 2014 | 0 Comments

Super Bowl Resources

By Jonathan Matlock on January 30 2014 | 0 Comments

Deciding if you are rooting for the Broncos or the Seahawks is the easy part of hosting a Superbowl party for your youth ministry.  Coming up with fun and games to entertain everyone when the commericals aren't on is the hard part.  We've found some great resources to help you get ready for hosting an event for the big game.  

Over at YouthWorker Movement, they've posted 6 Easy Prep games you can play during the game.

Pass the Football
Supplies: Football, prizes

Think of a magic word – let’s say “Football” or “Touchdown.”  Whenever the word is said during the game or the commercials, you have to pass the football to the person on your right.  Whoever has the football at the end of a predetermined time (half-time, two-minute warning, the first commercial with a talking animal, first person to lip sync, etc.) wins a prize.


Super Bowl Trivia
Supplies: copies of the Trivia game, pens/pencils, prizes

Every youth group will have a mix of football fans and non-football fans.  Here’s a 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII trivia game that will work for both.  This is updated for this year so you don’t have to do the research yourself…how easy is that? (A PDF is in the link but you can send me a quick email if you need a different format.)  Whoever gets the most right answers wins, and you’ll have to have someone pay attention to the game for a few of the answers.

Click HERE for all 6 games ideas.

You can also check out the 2014 Big Game Party plan over at The Source for Youth Ministry. They have links to make sure your showing is legal and a Quiz to keep the fun going the entire game. They also have a great article What Kids Will See at Super Bowl 48 to get you thinking about what's going to be on and how to talk about it with students. 

We hope you have a great party and a great time hanging out with students. 

By Jonathan Matlock on January 30 2014 | 0 Comments

Selfie - Redefining Beauty

By Jonathan Matlock on January 29 2014 | 0 Comments

Dove continues their series of videos aimed at young women talking about beauty.  This one is centered a group of girls and their mom's that have been given the task to take selfies for a photo exhibit. It's a great way to start a conversation around what real beauty is. 

The our friend Jonathan McKee over at the The Source for Youth Ministry even wrote a discussion for it so you could turn it into a lesson.  Click HERE to check it out

By Jonathan Matlock on January 29 2014 | 0 Comments

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