Hi! Happy June!! I am praying for you right now! 

Daily Prayer Email: Please send any prayer requests for your class to: studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
Preaching is not only explaining the text but also using it to engage the heart. #keller
God put you here to glorify Him. That is why you’re here. And there will come a point in your life when you will realize that life is more about significance than it is about success. #laurie
Someone will always have better coffee, music, facilities, and speaking. Showcase Christ and his gospel. No one can improve on that. #wilson

1. Connecting with college students over break: they’re bringing home more than their laundry…. https://fulleryouthinstitute.org/blog/connecting-with-college-students?utm_source=E-Journal+%2F+Parent+Update&utm_campaign=19db082c32-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_26&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e88a54a953-19db082c32-312895925

2. Your kids actually want you to talk to them about sex… http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/24/health/sex-parents-talking-to-kids/index.html

3. What Screen Time and Screen Media Do To Your Child’s Brain and Sensory Processing Ability… https://handsonotrehab.com/screen-time-brain-sensory-processing/

Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
How to Teach Junior Highers Without Losing Your Mind by Kurt Johnston
Social Media Making Millennials Less Social by Uptin Saiidi
How We Got Here: Spiritual and Political Profiles of America by David Kinnaman
7 Deadly Sins of Student Ministry Volunteers by Chase Snyder

Here are 2 video links I think you might like to see:

Here are 2 just for you:
Courage by Chuck Swindoll
Someone once wrote, “Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap your character. Sow your character, reap your destiny.”

Standing tall when tested takes courage—constant, relentless, never-give-up courage! You can be sure that the old flesh will fight for its arousal and satisfaction. All it takes is a little rationalization—just a little. Just look the other way. Just shrug it off. Don’t sweat it. And before long you have a rattlesnake in your sleeping bag. 

First: Standing tall starts with the way we think. It has to do with the mind. As I’ve said so often, being a person of inner strength is really a mental factor. It has to do with the way we think about God, ourselves, and others. Then it grows into the way we think about business, the way we think about dating, the way we think about marriage and the family, the way we think about the system that is designed to destroy faith and bring us down to a lower standard. 

Second: Standing tall calls for strong discipline. This has to do with the will. Disciplining the eyes, the ears, the hands, the feet. Keeping moral tabs on ourselves, refusing to let down the standards. People of strength know how to turn right thinking into action—even when insistent feelings don’t agree. 

Third: Standing tall limits your choice of personal friends. This has to do with relationships. What appears harmless can prove to be dangerous. Perhaps this is as important as the other two factors combined. Cultivate wrong friendships and you’re a goner. This is why we are warned not to be deceived regarding the danger of wrong associations. Without realizing it, we could be playing with fire. 

Sow the wind and, for sure, you’ll reap the whirlwind. Eagles may be strong birds, but when the wind velocity gets fierce enough, it takes an enormous amount of strength to survive. Only the ultrapowerful can make it through the whirlwind.


The Five RE’s to Remembering names:

1. Repeat Names

Repetition builds memory. This is why your math teacher assigned you 50 of the same math problems for homework every night. The more you repeat a person’s name, the better chance you will have of remembering it later.

When you meet a person for the first time, say their name as much as possible. “Cool, Austin. Glad you are here, Austin. It was nice meeting you, Austin. Hope to see you next week, Austin.” The more you say it, the more it will stick.

2. Read Names

Read a person’s name in your mind. Visualize it. Spell it in your head. If you meet someone with an interesting name or a name that could be spelled multiple ways, ask them how they spell it. Then spell it in your head along with them. This may seem weird, but it works.

I can remember the names of hundreds of NFL athletes even though I have never met them or seen most of their faces without a helmet on. Why? Because I read their names every day on my favorite NFL news site.

3. Record Names

Keep a church database, or an app with people’s names on it. After the service, write new names down as soon as possible. Add little notes like “Natalie – married, two kids, husband Jeff, works at…”

Quickly review your notes once a week and picture the people in your mind. If you have a church database with people’s pictures, that is even better!

4. Relate Names

This is the most powerful memory tip on the list. When you hear a person’s name, find an image to relate it to.

In the fascinating book, Moonwalking With Einstein, Joshua Foer writes about his experience transforming in one year from an average guy who was bad at remembering names to winning the US Memory Championship. This is a competition where you have to do things like look at a list of hundreds of names and faces, then remember all the names of each face.

“The secret to success in the names-and-faces event—and to remembering people’s names in the real world—is simply to turn Bakers into bakers—or Foers into fours. Or Reagans into ray guns. It’s a simple trick, but highly effective.” ~Joshua Foer, Moonwalking With Einstein

Our brains remember images, not words. So turning a person’s name into an image is the best way to instantly recall it. The more vivid and bizarre the image, the better.

5. Remember to Remember Names

I know, “Thank you captain obvious!” Just hear me out.

Most often, the reason that we don’t remember names is simply because we do not consciously make an effort. We hear the name, but we are too busy thinking about what we are going to say next. Maybe we are preoccupied with the stress of the service or what we have to do later. Whatever the reason, we don’t intentionally listen to the name and make a conscious effort to store it away.

If you are intentional about remembering people’s names, you will remember them.

Hope these tips are helpful for you.




  • Beanboozled. Russian Roulette with candy. Maybe you will enjoy a peach-flavored jelly bean or maybe it will taste like barf. Yum.
  • KAP IT. Water bottle flipping game, but with objectives and boundaries!
  • HEADS OR TAILS. A coin flipping game where kids guess by putting their hands on the head or tail. Guess right and stay in, guess wrong and you’re out!
  • HEAD, SHOULDERS, KNEES, CUP! Follow the instructions and be the first person to grab the cup.
  • Minute to win it! Sixty seconds to complete takes using random items from around the house. HERE ARE 30 EXAMPLES.
  • Giant cup stack. Play the cup stack game but consider giant cups or buckets. Fastest stacker wins.
  • Mannequin challenge. Have the children freeze in place while you play a worship song and capture the video.


  • TRUE/FALSE CHAIR. Think musical chairs but with true and false questions!
  • Books of the Bible team challenge. Books are listed on craft sticks in baggies. one for OT one for NT. Challenge each team to put one set in order the fastest.
  • Globe beach balls. Pass the ball around and wherever your thumb lands, pray for them.
  • Tic tac toe review. Divide the class into 2 teams. Ask questions, team 1 tries to answer. If they are correct, they get the x, if wrong, the question goes to team 2. The first team to get 3 in a row wins.
  • Family feud. Play with whatever you were talking about in large group.
  • Review game or Bible trivia. Get bean bags that you toss and the kids race to pick up the bag and bring it back to you in order to answer the question.
  • Share missionary stories. Update the kids on what the church is doing overseas.
  • Bible drill.


  • Freeze dance. Play music while the kids dance and when the music pauses all the kids must freeze in place. If they take too long then they have to do 10 jumping jacks.
  • CHICKEN IN THE HEN HOUSE. Partners will make shapes using their body. Last to complete are out!
  • Impossible shot. Create a very challenging challenge for students to take turns trying.
  • SHIP SHORE. Very similar to Simon says but directionally focused.
  • Musical chairs.
  • Four corners. Use a mega dice or colors to switch things up!
  • Simon says / Jesus says. Follow the directions and the more the leader laughs the more fun this game will be for the kids.
  • Red light/green light or wax museum. Don’t let the game leader see you moving! 
  • Crows & cranes. The leader calls out either “Crows” or “Cranes.” This lets you know if you are the tagger or the person being tagged.
  • Indoor snowball fight. Either buy fake snowballs or wrinkle up paper and throw them at each other. Consider adding a twist like capture the flag or protect the president.
  • Hip hop to it! Have all the kids hop on one leg while playing Christian hip-hop. If they stop they are out, if they switch feet they are out. The winner is the last one hopping.


  • SILENT BALL. Leader counts down, “3, 2, 1, silent” and passes the ball to another person in the play area. Drop the ball, make a bad pass or make a sound and you’re out.
  • Guess the time. Choose a time like 60 seconds and everyone tries to guess how long that is. Start the timer and kids hop up when they think 60 seconds is over. Time doesn’t stop till last kid stands. Note time when first kid stands just to get reactions.
  • SLEEPING LIONS. The room of kids go to sleep and the lions try to get them to wake up by telling jokes or being silly. Anyone who wakes up becomes the lion.
  • DOGGIE, DOGGIE, WHO STOLE YOUR BONE. Similar to heads up seven up but with an object that the kids go get.
  • The Quiet Game. Teams have to sit absolutely still and quiet for a timed period. Anywhere from a minute to five minutes.



  • Pictionary.
  • Hangman.
  • Parachute games.
  • I spy.
  • Rock, paper, scissors and creative variations. Egg, chicken, eagle.
  • Relay Games.
  • Feather blowing competition. Kids try to blow one another’s feathers off a table using a straw.
  • Juggling contest.
  • Keep the balloon up.

Consider using lesson review words or phrases in these games.


6 Tips to Running Better Games by DYM Games Guru Ken McIntyre


I recently had a coaching session to discover my core values (principles that dictate behavior patterns). I wasn’t all that surprised to find out that my top three core values are: (1) fun, (2) competition, and (3) transformation. Everyone else around my table had core values that seemingly had more depth, such as generosity, compassion, and forgiveness. I wasn’t bothered by it, though. In fact, my first thought was “That’s why I love youth ministry games so much!”

A youth worker once told me “if you can make them laugh, you can make them listen.” Games leverage fun to quickly gain relational access to a student. Without this relational access, it’s significantly more challenging to convince them they should listen to you, especially for new students. I operate under the notion that games are part of the toolkit God has given youth workers to advance the Gospel. Games aren’t the point; the Gospel is.

If all of that is true, youth workers should make a point of running incredible games! I get the opportunity to travel and hang out with other youth pastors and their groups frequently. Here’s what I’ve noticed: some youth ministries are knocking games out of the park, other youth ministries make me wish I was knocked out just being in the same room!

With that in mind, here are 6 Tips for Running Better Games in your youth ministry.  Continue reading


YS Idea Lab: Best Youth Group Games with Les Christie by Jacob Eckeberger


If you don’t have time to watch the entire video and catch all the wisdom Les gives us, here are some key points:


I’ve made the mistake of picking games that are only fun to play, and I never understood why kids weren’t as excited about the game as I thought they would be. Now I know. If the description of the game is boring, students won’t get excited about it. If it’s not fun to watch, then the kids who can’t participate will be uninterested. That’s a huge factor if you’re playing a game that involves a level of elimination. Picking a game that’s fun at all three levels will help the entire experience be a blast for the group.


Les says several times in this YS Idea Lab that he looks for games that make people better friends in the end. By choosing a game that rallies the entire group to overcome a challenge, you’ll help students learn how to work together instead of against each other. Les gives a great example of a game called People of the Mountain. It’s a take on the classic King of the Hill, which is all about overcoming people. In People of the Mountain, the object is to fit as many people on top of a table as possible. Les takes a really sturdy, 3’x3’x1′ solid oak table and surrounds it with wrestling mats on the floor. He then challenges the students to see how many people they can squeeze on top of the table at once. Their record is 17, and each time they play the game, they work together to try to beat that record.


Students will remember the last few seconds of the game that they play. When you stop a game at the most exciting point, it will help carry the excitement over to the next time you play the game. If you let the game go on too long—to the point that it’s not exciting anymore and they’re ready for it to end—they’ll be less enthusiastic about it the next time you play.


I really appreciate that Les reminds us to always plan to include every student in the game—especially those living with physical or mental challenges. There’s always a way to incorporate them, and having them involved will go a long way to making them feel a part of the entire group.

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


What’s in a Game?


Whether you love games or despise them, I’ve seen four effective ways to use them in youth ministry.

1) Teaching

When it comes to most students, experiential beats abstract every time. So when you can use a fun game to hammer home a teaching point, you’ve created a real win. For example, if you know you’re going to teach on spiritual gifts, start the night off with a game where each team member is given a different ability or special tool to help reach the goal. This way you can give students a practical picture of how different parts can come together for the benefit of the whole group. Games and activities are powerful illustrations for your teaching because, after students have returned home, the games are what they’ll remember.

2) Team Building

Games are some of the best ways to build unity and teamwork. Students can bond with and deepen their trust in each other when they have to overcome a challenge together. Team building games also tend to bring relationship conflicts to the surface, allowing you to help students work through these difficult situations. There are several great, free team-building games available on the LeaderTreks.org Freebie Page.

3) Community

Youth group can terrifying for a new kid. Icebreaker games or interactive experiences create a comfortable atmosphere where students can be themselves. A little over a year ago, our group made a dance music video called The Interlude at a retreat. We use The Interlude almost every week to create an inclusive environment where all are welcome into the community. We play the video on the big screen and have everyone dance to it together. Because if everyone looks stupid, no one does.

4) Fun

Sometimes you need a game for the simplest reason of all: because it’s fun. Remember that we aren’t dealing with grad students, interns, or employees. We’re ministering to teens. They spend most of their day sitting in desks, listening to lectures. So use a game to help them let loose! Play ultimate Frisbee, dodge ball, or kickball so students can simply enjoy being kids. Plus, games show students that being an adult can be pretty fun too. Fun has value in and of itself.

Do you use games effectively in your youth ministry? How have you seen games contribute to the overall discipleship of your students? I would love to hear your thoughts.


10 Active Indoor Games to Help Kids Workout the Squirm and Grow in Their Faith by Children’s Ministry Magazine


The cold winter months can make kids stir crazy. Stuck inside, they dream of a warmer season when they can run and play with endless energy outdoors. And then they enter your Sunday school classroom, after a week of being cooped up at school and home, with a God-given, wiggly case of the fidgets and squirms. So tap into kids’ natural energy and exuberance with these active indoor games specially designed to let kids move while teaching them more about their faith.

1. Reaching for Hearts

Use this game to teach kids how important it is to support each other as Christians trying to spread the good news about Jesus.

Bible Connect: Mark 16:15; Romans 1:16

Stuff: You’ll need candy bars and clear packing tape.

Kids love our Sunday School resources!

Play: Before kids arrive, tape candy bars onto the wall high enough so kids can’t reach them without standing on chairs.

Tell kids the object of the game is to reach the candy bars without the help of furniture or other people.

Let kids try to grab the candy bars. Once they’ve given up, have them form groups of three and work together to reach the candy bars. Two kids can form a step by locking their hands together and lifting the third person high enough to reach a candy bar for all three.

Cool Down:

Ask kids to compare their first attempt to reach the candy bars with their second. Ask: What ways do you tell your friends about your faith? Why is it important to work together and support each other as Christians? How can you support a friend this week?

2. Protect Me

This game teaches kids that it’s important to surround themselves with good influences for protection from temptation.

Bible Connect: 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 6:14

Play: Ask for two volunteers-one to be the Tempted and the other the Temptor-in a group of no more than eight kids. The object of the game is to protect the Tempted, who’ll stand in the center of the group’s tight circle. The Temptor tries to tag the child in the center by reaching through the circle. Kids in the circle can maneuver to keep the Temptor out, but they must stay locked arm-in-arm. When the Tempted gets tagged, new kids get to be the Tempted and the Temptor.

Cool Down: Ask: How have you been tempted this past week? How does having Christian friends’ support help you resist temptation?

3. Snowball Fight

This game reminds kids of the power of God’s grace.

Bible Connect: Isaiah 1:18

Stuff: You’ll need newspapers, masking tape, a timer, and disposable wipes.

Play: Form two groups. Divide your classroom into two equal-sized areas with a masking tape line. Give each group an equal amount of newspaper. On your signal, let kids make newspaper “snow” balls and quickly throw them back and forth at the opposing team for two minutes. The object is to get more “snow” on the opponent’s side when time’s up.

At the end of the game, have kids collect the newspaper and place it in your church’s recycle bin. Have kids clean their hands with disposable wipes.

Cool Down:

Ask: How did your hands look after the snowball fight? How is the newspaper like sin? How are the wipes like God’s grace?

4. Sock It to Me

Just as socks protect our feet, kids will discover that God protects us.

Bible Connect: Psalm 91:14-15

Play: Ask kids to sit in a tight circle and remove their shoes. Choose two kids to be It. They’ll sit on their knees in the center of the circle. The rest of the kids forming the circle must stay seated with their feet in the center of the circle. The object of the game is for the It kids to take off the circle kids’ socks before those kids can get the It kids’ socks off.

Cool Down:

Ask: What kinds of things are you exposed to in the world? How are socks like or unlike God’s love? How does God’s love protect you from inappropriate things?

5. Belly Laugh

This silly game reminds kids that God loves a joyful heart.

Bible Connect: Psalm 9:2; Psalm 28:7

Play: Have one child lie on his or her back. Then have another child lie with his or her head on the other child’s belly. Have the remaining kids lie down with their heads resting on another child’s belly.

Choose one person to start the game by shouting, “Ha!” The next person will shout, “Ha, ha!” and each child continues to add a “ha” as they work around the group. Sooner or later the group will burst into laughter, with heads bouncing off bellies with joy.

Cool Down: Let kids take turns telling a funny story or joke. Tell kids that God wants us to experience joy every day through fun and laughter.

6. Pressure

Getting “pushed around” by others in this game lets kids think critically about peer pressure.

Bible Connect: 1 Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 6:11

Play: Form groups of eight. Have seven kids form a close circle with their arms on each other’s shoulders. One child stands in the middle, crosses his or her arms, and tries to keep his or her feet firmly in place on the ground while the circle presses in. Kids in the circle work together to force the child to give up his or her ground. Give every child a chance to be in the middle.

Cool Down: Have kids discuss how they experience peer pressure at school. Kids can brainstorm how they can work together to tackle negative peer pressure. Talk about the importance of relying on God when the pressure is on.


3 Guaranteed Ways to Make Games Fun Again by Tyson Howell


It’s a youth ministry staple.

We all do it  –Almost weekly.
You’d think we’d  have it down pat by now.  Unfortunately it is a problem for veteran youth workers and rookies alike.
We often fail at choosing and leading games!

  • I am not quite sure why…
    • Do we not put enough effort into it?
    • Is it because games are not spiritual so it is a low priority?
    • Do we think we can “wing it” with games and it will still work?

If you are reading this blog, chances are that you work with students.  Chances are you run games with these students.  And I hope you want them to be effective and good.Well, here are 3 ways guaranteed to make it happen.

  1. Follow the Leader

If you are having fun then your students will have fun.  It is a very simple but true formula.I see it all of the time.  A leader is leading a game and they look board doing it.  Then all of the volunteers are leaning up against the walls on their phones.No student is going to be excited and involved with this kind of leadership.  If you and your team are more excited then the students, watch out.  This is the recipe for an awesome game.

  1. Skill less

You are not training professional athletes!  Keep the games VERY, VERY low skill.  When picking a game to play it should not require high levels of coordination.A 3 on 3 basketball tournament requires large amounts of skill.  A game of tag requires far less skill.The more skill required the more students you alienate.  The less skill required the more students can get involved.  That is a recipe for fun.

  1. A 5 Year Old Can Understand

Here is a simple rule in doing games well.  If it takes you more the 60 seconds to explain then the game is too complicated.When it comes to games for a bunch of students, simple is more fun.You are going to lead games for your students.  So follow these 3 ways guaranteed to make them fun.


5 Ways We’re Having More Fun At Church    by Elle Campbell



When our students first walk in the door, we want them to get an awesome first impression. So we have a team of super fun and friendly greeters, wearing super fun and friendly t-shirts, who welcome them. We think it sets a great tone for the day, especially for new kids who maybe aren’t accustomed to church being a place where they can laugh and smile. Each Greeter gets a few t-shirts customized with their favorite phrases and colors. We use Spreadshirt for our tees, but CafePress and RedBubble are also good options.


As often as possible, we ask our Greeter Team to get the fun started by doing a little contest or game at the door as students arrive. To celebrate the first Sunday of the school year, we handed out cheap little noisemakers to every student (I think I still have ear damage, but it was worth it). A few weeks ago, students tried to guess the weight of a watermelon and, of course, the winner got to take it home. Once, we even let students vote on our worship leader’s new style of beard… and then we shaved his face. Live. At church. It was gross.


Continue reading


2 articles about FUN!!!

The Value Of Fun In Youth Ministry   by Mark Oestreicher

3 Reasons Your Youth Group Needs To Have More Fun  by Elle Campbell

http://whyismarko.com/2013/the-value-of-fun-in-youth-ministry/ http://ellecampbell.org/have-more-fun/

Fun is a God thing. God is the Inventor of fun, the One who designed the sensation of the tickle and created our mouths to turn up into smiles involuntarily. One might say, with some theological accuracy, God invented the “accidentally blowing Cherry Coke through your nostrils when caught off guard by something hilarious” response.

We often unintentionally teach a heresy about fun: that it’s all well and good, but isn’t actually spiritual. Fun is our non-formal curriculum when we say, “OK, we played that game, and it was fun; but now it’s time to get serious and turn to the Word of God.”

Fun is one of the last words most people would use to describe Christ-followers. It’s probably fair to say fun would be a weak ministry value if it were your only one; but let’s all stop apologizing and add fun with theological conviction to the vibe we desire in our youth ministries.

I have to believe Jesus and His boys laughed their heads off at times, especially after Andrew snorted and shot goat’s milk out his nose.

Fun is a cultural value and youth culture value. Continue reading


No Prep Need A Game Ideas   by Johnston, Griffin, Tinman

Crisis! You’ve got 10 minutes to come up with a great youth ministry game for your students. What do you do? Chances are, you reach into your back pocket and pull out an old standby game that works time and time again. Here are a few classics that can be ready in an instant.

The Look-Up Game. 
This game can be used for groups of 6 or 60! Everybody stands in a circle and looks down with eyes closed. On the count of 3, everybody looks up and INSTANTLY looks directly toward somebody else in the circle. If that same person happens to be looking at you, you are both out! Repeat over and over until there is a winner…the last person standing!

What Are The Odds?
 This is a great game that can get out of hand, or even inappropriate, if it isn’t monitored, so play wisely…but have fun!
 Person A: “Hey person B, what are the odds you’d be willing to stand on the chair and sing the national anthem in front of the whole restaurant?” (Or any challenge person A comes up with)

Person B: “Hmmm…I dunno…maybe one in 40 (or whatever odds he/she comes up with).”

At this point, on the count of 3 both people yell out a number between 1 and 40. If they match, Person B has to complete the challenge.

Dodge Sock. Continue reading


Rubberbands   by Kurt Johnston


Over the years, rubber bands have made expected and unexpected appearances in our junior high ministry.

Rubber bands, and the multitude of strange uses they provide, are a wonderful reminder of a junior high ministry principle:

Junior Highers Will Get Excited About What The Leaders Make Exciting

Continue reading