Tag Archives: Fear

2016 Goals Revisited

In January of this year, I posted my ministry goals for 2016.  When you make goals, it’s a balance of faith, attainability, and measurability.  Let’s take a look and see what God did this year…shutterstock_407994838-800x400

  1. Short Term Mission Trip – Mission trips are a part of our ministry every summer in a cycle of local, out-of-state, international, and work trips. This way, the 4 year high school experience will allow for various types of mission work. This year a trip to New York is in the works.  Grade:  A.  What a tremendous trip.  Click here for the recap.
  2. Inter-generational Ministry Continued Improvement – A tech class for seniors, service projects combined with adult small groups, guest speakers, mentoring initiatives, and integrated mission projects.  Grade:  B.  There is still room for improvement, and that will be reflected in the 2017 goals, but we did host the tech class for seniors, involve adults in combined service projects, and the mentoring initiatives are starting to grow.
  3. Better Timing – Each year I look at my schedule and there is always at least one “why did I schedule that there?”.   This year I want to make a more conscious effort in the timing of events and programs. Team with parents in working out better schedules. Not all conflicts can be avoided, but why not adjust the schedule if it can be.  Grade:  B+.  For the most part, this was much better this year.  I was very strategic in providing rest for leaders, including student leaders, at key times.  Events were pretty well spaced out for maximum impact and family time.
  4. Family Series – I have been trying to find more ways to gather the family together in a youth ministry context. This year, I plan to teach a small series on the family with the entire family.  Grade:  B.  We did it, but it was not as well attended as I had hoped.  It’s difficult when parents are serving in other ministries (not a bad thing) or various other reasons…but the series went well and was well-received.
  5. Co-Mission Event – Continue the annual co-mission, which is a mission conference for students. This year, there may be some changes to enhance and improve the evangelism training for the students.  Grade:  A.  There were several adults and leaders that mentioned this was one of the best Co-Mission events we have had.  We made some practical changes and resulted in a challenging, but encouraging training for the students.
  6. Series on Fear – I read recently teens have a wide array of fears. Fear is often what keeps them from doing right and what tempts them to do wrong. Fear takes them places they don’t want to go and holds them hostage when they want to leave. Fear is something we need to talk about.  Grade:  A.  I tweaked this a little and did a “Fear Factor” event instead and used it as a platform to discuss their fear.  This event was one of the highlights of the year for sure. 
  7. Winter Retreat – In the past, the winter has been difficult to draw up enough interest for a retreat. Part of it is timing with winter sports, weather, and life. But this year we hope will be different having a younger group.  Grade:  A-.   Not greatly attended due to sports conflicts, but overall was a valuable that provided spiritual growth and group unity.
  8. Service – Each year we place a heavy emphasis on service and provide ample opportunity to serve in the church and in the community. This year is no different with continuous plugging in of students in church life and a community/church service project scheduled every month.  Grade:  A.  God blessed us to be able to participate in a service project every month again this year.  That truly is a staple in our youth ministry and the benefits are too numerous to count.
  9. Global Emphasis – With the World in Need month continuing this year, we plan to place an emphasis on the issue of poverty across the world. We hope to encourage the students to not only pray but be a world-changer and do something about global poverty.  Grade:  A.  Whenever you can expand the worldview of a student and raise awareness of poverty, it’s hard not to look at it positively. 
  10. Apprenticeships – Along with having a youth intern this year, I want to encourage the student leaders to seek out mentoring opportunities. These will be called apprenticeships within the student leadership team, but outside the group it is simply the older students helping the younger students with life. Mentoring needs to happen both up and down…being mentored, and mentoring others.  Grade:  A.  What a great experience.  I was blessed to have an incredible intern who was eager to learn and dive into ministry.  I strongly encourage others to consider having an intern work alongside you at some point in the year.
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How to Plan a Fear Factor Event

I read recently teens have a wide array of fears. Fear is often what keeps them from doing right and what tempts them to do wrong. Fear takes them places they don’t want to go and holds them hostage when they want to leave. Fear is something we need to talk about.  So that is what got me thinking of doing a “Fear Factor” Event for my youth ministry.  Sure, they may have never heard of the show or might have seen some re-runs…but this stuff never gets old.index

Here’s your planning kit for Fear Factor:

Challenges

  1. Baby Food Taste Testindex
Empty a variety of different jars of baby food into individual bowls (make sure you know which is which). Label the bowls with numbers and challenge players to taste every bowl and try and guess what it is. To make it more of a challenge, add some food coloring into the food that might be given away by its color. Make sure to have paper and pencils handy so guests can write their answers on them. Points awarded for participants and CORRECT guesses.

2.  Bigger or Better

Some people laugh in the face of gross or gruesome but them go weak in the knees at the thought of something as unassuming as talking to your neighbors. Time to face your social anxiety fears!

In this game you will provide all players (or teams) with a PAPERCLIP. The idea of the game is that they must go around the appointed challenge houses and try and trade it with them for something bigger and better. They can then try and trade that item for something bigger and better to someone else.

Points awarded upon return for best bigger or better.

  1. Iron Toes – Fill a bathtub or kiddie pool with water, marbles, and tons of ICE (you want it to be freezing). The object of the game is for players to stick their foot in the ice water and grab as many marbles as they can in a two minute period. Alternative:  Proof is in the pudding: Contestants dig sardines out of chocolate pudding with their toes. Use time limit
  2. Worm Pie

Place ten gummy worms at the bottom of a pie tin (you’ll need to make one for every player). Next, fill the pie tin with whip cream. On the start of go all players must place their hands behind their back and retrieve all 10 gummy worms with their mouth. This game is perfect for PICTURES, so make sure you have your camera ready! Give time limit and give points for each worm “retrieved”.

Alternative:  Get live worms.  Put them in a large container.  Give a time limit of 1 minute.  See how many they can “retrieve” and put into a container.

2nd Alternative:  Contestants must place their hands in a bucket of live worms and find as many pennies (pre-placed) at the bottom as they can.  Give Time Limit of 1 or 2 minutes.

5.      Lice Pickers

In this game I gave all the players a pair of tweezers and a cup and challenged them to pick as much lice (rice) as they could out of the shag rug and place them in their cups for extermination. They were not allowed to pick up the lice with their fingers, they had to use the tweezers.  Points were awarded by how many lice the players could collect in one minute.

ALTERNATIVE:  Instead of tweezers give each of the child a coffee stirrer straw, and have them suck the lice onto it and transfer it to the cup without touching it with anything other than the straw.  We did this version at my daughters party and it was a hit.  We did not use a shag rug, we mixed the rice in the yarn hair of one of her old cabbage patch dolls.

  1. Pickled-Pigs-Feet Game of Chance:

Make several of each of the following playing cards: 0, 1/4, 1/2, 1, and 2 (i.e. 3 0’s, 6 1/4’S, 3 1/2’s, 3 1’s, and 2 2’s). Have the players sit around a card table and play poker. At the end of the play, each contestant adds up the amount on his/her cards these amounts are the number of pigs’ feet they have to eat.  Points awarded for each participant.

  1. Bobbing for Sprouts – Bobbing for apples may be a time-honored tradition, but there’s not much fear to freak-out over there. Try bobbing for “monster eyes” (brussels sprouts) in a “blood bath”(water with red food coloring).
  2. FROG EGG MUNCH

Frog egg munch time! Have each participant roll a die to find out how many servings of “frog eggs” (tapioca pudding with green dye) they have to eat. To easily serve, spoon your green goop onto saltines crackers.

9.     Walk on Glass

For a walk on glass competition, break several bags of potato chips into pieces of different sizes, including smaller crumbs and larger pieces. Pour the chips on a flat surface, such as flattened cardboard boxes or a plastic tarp. Keep the area hidden from the teens until you’re ready to play. Blindfold the teens and tell them that they’re about to walk across broken glasses. This is a simple activity that doesn’t involve food, but still gets the teens into the Fear Factor feel.

  1. Gross Food Challenge

Go to an “ethnic” food marketplace to purchase tongue, hoof, leg, fish…whatever.  Provide a variety.  Please make sure they are cooked and safe to eat.  Points awarded for all the brave souls.

  1. Hot Sauce Challengelarge.3

Who could take a small spoonful of hot sauce.  Points for trying.  Extra points if no water/liquid was needed afterwards.

  1. Worm Eating Challenge

No need to tell them.  Show them that you aren’t scared to eat a worm.  Bravery of anyone that tries gets points.  They must all eat at ONCE, so the gig is not up.

 

Devotional

A few years ago, there was survey done about the biggest fears of youth.  And it was interesting, it had nothing to do with some of the challenges you will face tonight or have seen on re-runs of Fear Factor.  They were much deeper…here are a few examples…

  1. Fear # 10: “I will never have a happy marriage and family.”
  2. Fear # 9: “Someone I know or love will die of AIDS (maybe me!).”
  3. Fear # 8: “I feel like I must have sex to be accepted.”
  4. Fear # 7: “I cannot find time to do everything.”
  5. Fear # 6: “I can’t tell right from wrong.”
  6. Fear # 5: “Peer pressure scares me.”
  7. Fear # 4: “I (or someone I know) will be a victim of violence or crime.”
  8. Fear # 3: “I will not be able to make it financially.”
  9. Fear # 2: “I can’t get a good education.”
  10. Fear # 1: “Something bad may happen to my family.”

(Leadership Journal – Thom Rainer)

It is interesting that God does not leave us with our fears.  That would make Him a horrible Father to us.  Can you imagine me saying to one of my kids “Oh, you are scared of that giant scary monster little girl…well, deal with it”.  No, my desire is to protect my child, help them…and relinquish their fears.

And that is what God does in the Bible.  In fact, there are at least 365 passages (one for each day of the year ) can be found in the Bible that tell us to not be afraid, to not worry or be anxious, to look to Christ for strength and comfort, and be transformed to have a worshipful fear and awe of God.

Just look at all the passages where God told people not to be afraid:  Joshua when he was leading the people of Israel, Mary & Joseph when they saw an angel, Jesus to his disciples, Paul to Timothy, and the list goes on…

Whatever your fears may be – let me just leave you with this – God is the answer to your fears.

  • If it is your future – God has plans for you before you were even born.
  • If it is peer pressure or choosing right from wrong – God’s Word is clear in what decisions you should make
  • If it is death – God tells us that we no longer have to fear death – because if we trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior – death has no more power of us…Jesus defeated death on the cross.

Whether big or small, don’t let your fears stop you.  With God in your life, you can overcome them.  And as we go to houses to do the fear factor challenges…let each challenge be a reminder of how you can overcome fear…with God on your side.

 

Church Involvement

Rather than just having all the tasks at the church or in the youth facility, take it to the church.  What I mean is, have some people in your church host some fun fear factor challenges.  Make it easier on them by providing a supply list.  If you want to make it even easier, give them the supplies.  When the fear factor teams are made, supply each team with a map to each of the houses.  Have each team rotate houses, and have the host homes do the same thing for each group.

 

Scoring/Score-sheet

This is totally up to you, but award points based on participation and completion of tasks.  Reward those that are brave enough to eat, grab, hold, or do whatever that is required in these challenges.  They deserve some points for their team, and a towel.

 

Quick Recap of Plan

  1. Contact host homes for fear factor challenges
  2. Begin working on challenge list
  3. Re-Contact host homes that have accepted invitation – give them detailed description of fear factor challenges that you have picked.
  4. Complete devotional
  5. Gather vehicles
  6. Put together maps/instructions in folder for each group
  7. Optional – provide color bandanas for teams for team spirit
  8. Print out score-sheets for each team
  9. Buy awards for winning team – candy, trophy, etc.
  10. Schedule of Fear Factor night: FOOD/DEVOTIONAL/CHALLENGES/RESULTS & AWARDS 12993529_10156729545910246_6854674320991839023_n
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2016 Youth Ministry Goals

In Philippians 3:14, Paul was not talking about youth ministry goals.  But I still love the phrase “press on toward the goal”.  In ministry, you must do just that…”press on”.  It is important to reflect on your past accomplishments, like I did last week, and grow from your mistakes and build on your successes.  But, it is also vital in ministry to look ahead, plan, and seek God’s guidance for the year ahead.  Below are 10 goals for the 2016 ministry year.  Hopefully these will provide you with ideas and/or encouragement for the coming year.shutterstock_263635745

  1. Short Term Mission Trip – Mission trips are a part of our ministry every summer in a cycle of local, out-of-state, international, and work trips. This way, the 4 year high school experience will allow for various types of mission work. This year a trip to New York is in the works.
  2. Inter-generational Ministry Continued Improvement – A tech class for seniors, service projects combined with adult small groups, guest speakers, mentoring initiatives, and integrated mission projects.
  3. Better Timing – Each year I look at my schedule and there is always at least one “why did I schedule that there?”.   This year I want to make a more conscious effort in the timing of events and programs. Team with parents in working out better schedules. Not all conflicts can be avoided, but why not adjust the schedule if it can be.
  4. Family Series – I have been trying to find more ways to gather the family together in a youth ministry context. This year, I plan to teach a small series on the family with the entire family.
  5. Co-Mission Event – Continue the annual co-mission, which is a mission conference for students. This year, there may be some changes to enhance and improve the evangelism training for the students.
  6. Series on Fear – I read recently teens have a wide array of fears. Fear is often what keeps them from doing right and what tempts them to do wrong. Fear takes them places they don’t want to go and holds them hostage when they want to leave. Fear is something we need to talk about.
  7. Winter Retreat – In the past, the winter has been difficult to draw up enough interest for a retreat. Part of it is timing with winter sports, weather, and life. But this year we hope will be different having a younger group.
  8. Service – Each year we place a heavy emphasis on service and provide ample opportunity to serve in the church and in the community. This year is no different with continuous plugging in of students in church life and a community/church service project scheduled every month.
  9. Global Emphasis – With the World in Need month continuing this year, we plan to place an emphasis on the issue of poverty across the world. We hope to encourage the students to not only pray but be a world-changer and do something about global poverty.
  10. Apprenticeships – Along with having a youth intern this year, I want to encourage the student leaders to seek out mentoring opportunities. These will be called apprenticeships within the student leadership team, but outside the group it is simply the older students helping the younger students with life. Mentoring needs to happen both up and down…being mentored, and mentoring others.
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Facing Your Fears – 3 common fears and steps to deal with them

What in your life takes you from bold to fearful? My guess is it comes down to three fears. Challenge yourself to face these fears, stare them in the eye, and let God have them. Which fear do you struggle with the most?

Fear #1 – Fear of manFEAR (2)

Do you struggle with pleasing others? When you feel like you have let others down, or not lived up to their expectation, does that devastate you?

When it comes to standing up for the Gospel, are you the first to run and hide? Do you take that stand, or do you limp back and forth from worldly to godly?

Do you compare yourself with others, in fear you don’t measure up? Whether it is your body image, your home, your bank account…it’s easy to let these things get you down when you fear man and man’s approval. Remember, that God looks at the heart.

Fear #2 – Fear of losing control

Are you a worrier? When things get out of your control, do you lose your boldness?

When you are in danger of a job loss, letting your kid on the bus for the 1st time, or you turn in your exam not knowing what will be your return grade…does fear enter your veins?

Do you feel like you deserve a peachy life? Does a bump in the road, no matter how small, take you completely off course?

Remember God being in control is better than you being in control. Remember you are not alone. And find purpose for your life…purpose that invests in eternity.

Fear #3 – Fear of the futureFuture

What do you have in your grips that would seem impossible to let go, if God were to ask you? Do you trust God enough to give him control of everything, including your, or does that scare the snot out of you?

Don’t you want to trust the one that knows the future, instead of denying His plan even though you cannot see past the current second hand on a clock? Trust God with your future.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 – The fear that will take care of all other fears.

Solomon takes the entire book of Ecclesiastes – to look everywhere for answers, and this is his conclusion: FEAR GOD & KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS.

With all due respect to FDR and JFK, I have to disagree. The only thing we should fear is God, the Lord himself.

Today, let go of your fears, and let God. Let God be the one you seek to please, Let God take control of your life, and Let God guide your future.

(These fears are taken from the fears of the prophet Elijah, in I Kings 19)

 

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