Sunday Morning Squirrels:

The weekend was crazy. The week was crazier. I love summer ministry.

Countdown Video:

Hero Dads

In honor of Father's Day, we showed dads being awesome!

Games:

Hot Hands

This was a lot of fun! It's a great mixer game where you just have students circle up in groups of 3-8. They stack hands until the buzzer goes off and the student with a hand on top has to answer the question on the screen! It's a Gold Member Perk from DYM, which you can become for free! Click here to become Gold and to get the game and other cool resources.

Vowelless

A fun game we played with a group of students who had their hands on top during the last round of Hot Hands. We brought students up to guess the name of the Bible without the Vowels! Some were easy. Some were SUPER hard! Click the link to download it!

Songs:

Cornerstone

Bible Study:

Summer is all kinds of here. Students had a hard time with this one, but we got through it. We looked at the jobs of each person in the Trinity. Honestly, I didn't feel super prepared and I could sense that coming out in my talk. We made it, but it was rough. REALLY looking forward to next week when we look at how the illustrations of the Trinity all breakdown at some point. 

Main Idea:

God is at work in your life!

Scripture:

John 3:16

Revelation 4:11

Colossians 1:15-20

2 Corinthians 5:19

Ephesians 1:13-14

John 16:7-11

Resources:

One month free Sidekick and DYM Gold Member Access: Click here!

Wholesale Mexican Blankets!

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Summer is upon us!

So do you promote your students at the beginning of summer or at the end? Or do you have some crazy strategy where some students promote at one point and the rest at another time?

Promotion strategy is a huge part of how we launch students on one side of our ministry and how we bring students into the ministry on the other!

Here are some questions to consider!

  • How do you launch 8th grade students into freshman year?
  • How do you bring up new 6th or 7th grade students?
  • What events do you have to include parents in the promotion?
  • Who gets to be a part of what summer event?
  • Why in the world would you promote in the middle of the summer?

Mentioned on the podcast: 

DYM Community Facebook Group

Got a middle school ministry question?

Email talkingsquirrelspodcast@gmail.com

Need student ministry resources?

Check out www.downloadyouthministry.com

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A statistic has been going around a lot recently about the influences on students.

Engagement by hours per year:

Church = 70-100 hrs (if they attend)
Camp = 70 hrs (if they attend)
Parents – 400 to 600 hrs
School - 1600-1800 hrs
Online – 2000-3000 hrs (Youtube, Netflix, Instagram, etc.)

If our students are online, maybe we should consider being online in order to reach them too!

Some questions to consider:

  • How can we be a presence online? YouTube? Instagram?
  • How can we create content without spending a ton of money?
  • What could some youtube channels and Instagram stories be focused on?
  • How can we get students involved with our online strategy?

Mentioned on the podcast: 

DYM Community Facebook Group

JHM YouTube Channel

DYM Webshow on Digital Presence

Got a middle school ministry question?

Email talkingsquirrelspodcast@gmail.com

Need student ministry resources?

Check out www.downloadyouthministry.com

Do you listen to the Podcast? Consider leaving a review of the podcast!

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Sunday Morning Squirrels:

I'm honestly having a hard time remembering a Sunday where I felt so tired! Oh well, there's another one in the books!

Countdown Video:

3 is a Magic Number

I just had to. SchoolHouse rock wins nostalgia for me and makes my students raise their eyebrows at the screen. Win Win.

Games:

XTreme Tic Tac Toe

So we have these little tables set up with tic tac toe boards. Then we paired up rows, gave them three cups, and told them to take turns placing the cups. If the row WON the round, they moved up. If they lost, they moved backward. The front row had to win twice in order to solidify its win.

JINX!

The first Sunday of the month (or thereabouts) we bring up all the birthdays to play an upfront game and give them a gift card to the coffee shop downstairs. This month we played "JINX" from DYM. Great game, easy and quick!

Songs:

Let It Be Known

Here As In Heaven

Bible Study:

Starting a series on the Trinity sounded like a great idea! This week's lesson was honestly kind of rough until I figured out how to APPLY the idea that God is Three. Again, dealing with concrete thinking middle school students is a challenge!

But we prevailed and today turned out pretty good!

Main Idea:

Worship the MYSTERY of God.

Scripture:

Genesis 1:1 and 26

Matthew 3:16-17

Matthew 28:19

John 14:16-17

Romans 1:7

1 Peter 1:1-2

Acts 5:3-4

1 Corinthians 3:16

Resources:

One month free Sidekick and DYM Gold Member Access: Click here!

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Fails. They happen a lot. More often than we'd like to admit. They don't always make us feel like rock star ministers and they certainly make for viral videos.

But the reality is that when we fail, we learn.

In ministry, we might have an amazing idea for an event or plan out the semester and find out that... it failed pretty hard.

But when we fail, we can learn from what went wrong and make a better plan next time!

Right?

Some questions to consider:

  • What was the last big FAIL that happened in your ministry?
  • How did you learn from it?
  • Who can benefit when you fail?
  • Why do we like to cover up our fails instead of bringing them to light and learn from them?

Mentioned on the podcast: 

DYM Community Facebook Group

Michelle's Slime Fail

Ronald's Cage Fail

Got a middle school ministry question?

Email talkingsquirrelspodcast@gmail.com

Need student ministry resources?

Check out www.downloadyouthministry.com

Do you listen to the Podcast? Consider leaving a review of the podcast!

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Sunday Morning Squirrels:

This Sunday we began a new series on the Trinity. My students have asked about it several times and it felt like a good time to nail it down as a transition into summer.

Talking about a topic students are interested in will help keep the momentum and I’ve been saving this one for that purpose!

Countdown Video:

The Triangle Song

This was just a silly song just used to get students thinking about "threes". Enjoy.

Games:

Same Game

This was a great video mixer! It got students moving and engaged with others.

Minute to Win It Wheel

This was the second week of this one! Just a quick wheel made in Sidekick that chooses a game for two contestants to play. It makes it a little chaotic, but also I'm down for chaos sometimes. Google Minute to Win It Games for lots of low prep games!

Songs:

Alive

Cornerstone

Bible Study:

This week we talked about God as One. In doing this, we looked at God as infinite, a mystery, and One.

I’m excited for this series because I want to help concrete thinking middle school students understand this very abstract, crazy topic!

Main Idea:

Worship the ONE God.

Scripture:

1 Samuel 15:6

Psalm 136:1-4

Isaiah 55:8-9

Romans 11:33-34

Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Ephesians 4:4-6

Resources:

One month free Sidekick and DYM Gold Member Access: Click here!

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Woohoo! Super big news!

Talking Squirrels is no longer flying solo. Michelle Anderson is officially a part of the team and co-host with Ronald!

Now you get to hear things from a Texas AND California perspective.

You're pumped. I can tell.

Our first episode together we talk about our purpose statements for our ministries. What are they and why do we have them?

Some questions to consider:

  • What is your church's purpose statement and how can you match the middle school to it?
  • Should it have a lot of words or be really short?
  • How can you implement it in your ministry?
  • What will it look like when you "arrive" at your vision statement?

Mentioned on the podcast: 

MICHELLE ANDERSON! (Insta: @youthminmeesh) 

Instagram

Blog

Got a middle school ministry question?

Email talkingsquirrelspodcast@gmail.com

Need student ministry resources?

Check out www.downloadyouthministry.com

Do you listen to the Podcast? Consider leaving a review of the podcast!

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Today was Student Ministry Sunday, which we’ve abbreviated to SMS because student ministry is edgy.

It’s a day when we have students take over every part of the worship service and service opportunities at church.

So here’s a quick “How To” on how you could implement something like this with your church, even if you have a smaller context!

Make a Plan with Your Team

Sit down with your team and ask them everything that goes on during a Sunday morning. Then see how they can help train your students to do what they do!

What Jobs are Available?

Door holders, bulletin distributors, sound board operator, praise and worship team, announcements, prayer, and everything else!

Get Breakfast

We had breakfast tacos because that’s a thing in San Antonio. Make it a thing where you bless those who are serving!

Promote the Heck out of It

Put up posters, send out emails, blast it on social media.

Celebrate Students

We pull seniors up on stage to let them share their names and what their plans are for next year. Whoever is in town gets to do it. No slide show, just presence.

Keep it Going

Did something really work well? Let students do it more than once a year!

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It's easy to think of summer as the time to do "big events" during the student ministry calendar, like a mission trip or summer camp. But don't neglect the opportunity to do some cool, low key events to build relationships with your students and hang with them!

When you look at your summer calendar, think about some ways to incorporate some low key hangs!

Some questions to consider:

  • Can you put together something that helps out another ministry during the summer?
  • How can you "just hang" intentionally with middle school kids who can't drive?
  • Who can you empower to help you come up with some ideas?

Mentioned on the podcast: 

Chris Hargrove on DYM

Chris on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook

Got a middle school ministry question?

Email talkingsquirrelspodcast@gmail.com

Need student ministry resources?

Check out www.downloadyouthministry.com

Do you listen to the Podcast? Consider leaving a review of the podcast!

Social Media:

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Sunday Morning Squirrels:

Happy Mother's day! Did you talk about mom's today? We didn't! But we did wrap up our series on Wisdom!

Countdown Video:

Cute Animals

Funny video. Cute animals. You can't go wrong.

Games:

Sit Down If (Your Momma Edition)

Another great DYM game! Everyone stands up and only sits down if they've done the thing on the screen!

Minute to Win It Wheel

Just a quick wheel made in Sidekick that chooses a game for two contestants to play. It makes it a little chaotic, but also I'm down for chaos sometimes.

Songs:

Alive

Give Me Faith

Bible Study:

This week we finished "Get Wisdom" and it was good. We talked about how Rehoboam didn't listen to the wise advice of his dad's advisors but rather listened to his friend's advise that sounded better to him at the time. Lots of good application!

Main Idea:

Put Wisdom into practice!

Scripture:

1 Kings 12:1-19

Resources:

Get Wisdom is available on DYM for $9! Grab it and have all my teaching material plus small group questions!

One month free Sidekick and DYM Gold Member Access: Click here!

Talking Squirrels on Social:

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