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Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In This Issue

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Featured: We Just Gave Our Website a COMPLETE MAKEOVER With all New Front Page Features. Check This Out!

THE SOURCE fans who have been around for a while have seen our web site grow and change over the years.

People who remember this web site from the 90's may remember when it had a different name and looked like this:



Ah... those were the days. Then we went full time and started THE SOURCE FOR YOUTH MINISTRY. Some of you may remember that change when it first looked like this:



But then we grew tired of the "Halloween" colors.

In the end of 2003, we ditched the dark colors and came up with this:



This design was far superior. We introduced the "Printer Friendly" button, the "email this page to a friend" and a ton of new pages and features. This basic design stuck with us until recently with only mild changes to the left hand side bar.

Well... words cannot describe how cool our new web page is-you can only experience it. Here's what it looks like:



Aside from the switch from side to top menu access and the ease of navigation, the page now has some exciting new features which are just a taste of what we have planned in 2008!

When you jump on our new front page check out brand new features that will be updated weekly such as:
  • YOUTH CULTURE WINDOW: Each week this section (and new RSS feed) will give us a glimpse of youth culture today. This week test your knowledge of the songs your kids are listening to.

  • OUTREACH RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: This section (and new RSS feed) will feature our weekly highlighted "outreach" resource that can be used to reach out to kids and point them to Jesus. Most of these resources use current topics and/or discussion starters to springboard conversation about relevant issues today. These conversations always point toward a relationship with Jesus and often provide an opportunity to share the Gospel. Many of these resources are new and favorite resources from our Movie Clip Discussions page, our Music Discussions page, or our Curriculum & Jumpstarters page.

  • SPIRITUAL GROWTH RESOURCES OF THE WEEK: This section (and new RSS feed) will feature our weekly highlighted "spiritual growth" resource that can be used to help believers grow in their faith. Most of these resources use current topics and/or discussion starters to springboard conversation about relevant issues today. These conversations always provide teaching about how students can grow in their faith, living out the truth of the Gospel day to day. Many of these resources are new and favorite resources from our Movie Clip Discussions page, our Music Discussions page, or our Curriculum & Jumpstarters page.

And those of you who are a little "techy"... take advantage of our new RSS Feeds: Our new RSS FEED page provides feeds for many of our continuously updated pages that other ministries and individuals might want to feature on their web pages.


And COMING SOON:
  • JONATHAN'S BLOG: In just a couple of weeks Jonathan will be bringing back his popular web blog with personal stories as well as insights about youth ministry, youth culture and some of the other wacky things that enter Jonathan's head!

  • TRAINING TOOLS: We are revamping our "I Need to Know How To..." page to be a collection of training tools that helps you make your leaders better. Each of these tools will be more than just an article-they will be ready-made resources to equip your leaders and make you look like a pro.

  • COMMENTS: In the first quarter of 2008 we will be adding the ability to add comments to many of our featured articles and resources.

  • RATING/VOTING: In the first quarter of 2008 we will be adding the ability to vote how well you liked an article, resource or idea. This will also give us the ability to post the most popular resources from a given section, helping you know what is cutting edge and relevant on the front lines.

  • OUTREACH EVENT IDEAS: We will be converting our EVENT IDEAS page to a page called FUN EVENTS. Then we will be adding a brand new page called OUTREACH EVENT IDEAS that will feature events that you can use to reach out to kids and point them to Jesus.

You just keep up the good work hanging out with kids, and we'll keep expanding our web site and adding even more resources to make your job just a little bit easier!

ALL THIS ON THE NEW
www.TheSource4YM.com



Something You Can Use: Christmas Games, Ideas, Video Clip Discussions...

Looking for some Christmas ideas?
You've come to the right place!


Well, it's that time of year again. Break out the incredibly fashionable sweater your Aunt Agnus knitted you, pull another candy cane off the tree, and get ready to offer your students a great Christmas season. We have some great resources to help you make the most of this special season. We have ideas for fun and ideas to help your group grow. Take a peek:

Jump on our web site www.TheSource4YM.com, scroll your mouse to the top blue drop down menu where it says FREE RESOURCES & IDEAS, then click where it says HOLIDAY IDEAS. That page lists a bunch of the free resources and ideas we provide by topic. Once on that page, look where it says "CHRISTMAS" and check out some of the ideas linked on our web site. You'll see anything from a "Christmas Light Project" to games like "Christmas 12 bags of Doom." You'll even see video clip discussion ideas and full program agendas like "Christmas-Keeping it Real."


A FEW HIGHLIGHTS:

Here's one of the new games on that page that we just added last week:


Siamese Gift Wrap
In this game, get 4 pairs of students upfront, sitting behind a table FACING THE CROWD with a package box, scissors, wrapping paper, tape, and a bow in front of them.

When the game leader says GO, each pair will have to gift wrap a present...using only one arm each! Specifically, one student must use only his left arm, and the other student must use only her right arm. Have them hold their "unusable" arms behind them while seated at the table.

The first couple to finish their gift wrapping, wins. If it is a tie, include the quality of the wrapping job to decide the winners.

NOTE: To ensure that everyone in the audience can see this game, you may want to use a live video feed.

And here's a great event that would fill an entire evening.

Christmas Light Project:
Similar to Video Scavenger Hunt on our Events page, teams go out with a video camera to capture on video a list of Christmas Decorations. See description below for suggestions.

Sometimes we list the items with descriptive words so they have to figure out what is needed on the list. This works at night. Have students bring flashlights.

The unique part of the event is that the group must add a dramatic flair to the video, like a mini movie. Each group must create a documentary movie while getting the items on the list. The rule is that everyone on team must be captured on the video (in front of the item) to get "credit" for their team.

We ask everyone with camcorders to bring the necessary equipment so we can watch the videos when we get back. Have a chaperone judge it, giving extra points for creativity.

Suggested list:
  • house with all white lights

  • a baby doll in a manger

  • camels

  • three wise-men

  • Mr. and Mrs. Claus

  • Snowman

  • wooden nativity

  • luminaries (candles, lights)

  • group of live Christmas carolers

  • Extra points if you get a homeowner in the video with said object, person dressed as Santa, etc.

  • Extra points for house with the most different colored lights

  • Idea by Tara Spradley
And if you're looking for a discussion with scripture and a wrap up, try any of these great Christmas MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSIONS:

FIND A BUNCH MORE IDEAS ON OUR
HOLIDAY IDEAS PAGE



A Peek at the Brand New Podcast: Willow's Scott Rubin joins Jonathan and the gang for a hilarious and informative podcast on middle school ministry, going deep, Soulja Boy's song and dance... and more!

Listen to this brand new episode for free on iTunes now!
(CLICK HERE) Or, if you don't have iTunes already...
jump on Apple's web page for a free download,
then click on our podcast page.


EPISODE #9
In this episode Willow Creek's Middle School Ministry Director, Scott Rubin, joins Jonathan, David and Todd for an informative and funny podcast about youth ministry today. Scott brings a wealth of experience to the table as a 15 year Willow Creek veteran, managing a fantastic team of paid staff, a TON of volunteers and running a ministry that puts caring adults alongside middle schoolers, helping them begin and grow a deepening relationship with Jesus Christ (imagine trying to do this with literally 1,000 kids!). Scott also teaches at the National Youth Workers Convention each year and is currently authoring the newest upcoming additions to the YS middle school book series MY FAITH with Mark Oestreicher.

Episode Highlights:
  • In the "Youth Culture Window" section, the guys discuss hip hop artist Soulja Boy's hit song "Crank That and the craze surrounding it as well as its popular "Superman" dance.

  • Todd actually brings up the J. Geils Band! (80's reference)

  • Scott shares the SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF MIDDLE SCHOOL MINISTRY, wisdom that spills well over into the realm of high school ministry.

  • Jonathan's confesses what he would do to a junior high worker that would put his child in danger!

  • They close the episode by answering some great youth ministry questions in the "Help Me" section.

Listen to it for free on iTunes now!
(CLICK HERE)


CLICK HERE FOR OUR PODCAST PAGE



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