Episode 069

🍩 Ultimate Youth Group Guide: Crush Games, Outreach & Social all in one! πŸ”₯


November 2nd, 2023

28 mins 21 secs

Your Host

About this Episode


πŸ“… "1 Month Done for You Social Media Posting Tool"

🍩 "FREE World's Greatest Donut Event Guide"
GUIDE: https://hybrid-ministry-40060036.hubspotpagebuilder.com/worlds-greatest-donut
DYM: https://www.downloadyouthministry.com/p/world%27s-greatest-donut/games/food-8745.html


πŸ‘‹ Welcome to the Ultimate Youth Group Guide! In this exciting video, we'll dive into the power of Crush Games, Outreach initiatives, and Social Events to empower and inspire the youth.πŸ”₯

🍩 Crush Games:
Engage your youth group with thrilling Games that will ignite their enthusiasm and foster healthy competition. From exhilarating challenges to team-building activities, our guide provides all the essential tips and game ideas to keep the energy high and the fun rolling.

🌍 Outreach Initiatives:
Make a lasting impact on your community through meaningful outreach initiatives. Discover effective strategies to help your youth group connect with and support those in need. By stepping outside their comfort zones, the youth will learn valuable lessons about compassion, empathy, and making a difference in the lives of others.

πŸ‘₯ Social Media Events:
Creating a sense of belonging and friendship within your youth group via social media! This will help Hybridize your Ministry from your in person gathering to your student ministry social media


πŸ“… "1 Month Done for You Social Media Posting Tool"

😨 "Have I already Ruined my TikTok Account?"

πŸ“Ή "Adobe Premiere Pro Presets for Animating Layers"

Some of the below links are affilate links in which we do recieve a small commission based on your purchase or use of products





YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@clasonnick
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hybridministry/
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@clasonnick

Website: https://www.hybridministry.xyz


🍩 "FREE World's Greatest Donut Event Guide"
GUIDE: https://hybrid-ministry-40060036.hubspotpagebuilder.com/worlds-greatest-donut
DYM: https://www.downloadyouthministry.com/p/world%27s-greatest-donut/games/food-8745.html

//Full YouTube Video





00:00-01:45 The Best Hybrid Youth Ministry Event Out There!
01:45-09:30 The History of This Hybrid Ministry Event
09:30-17:42 Pre-Event Planning and Setup

17:42-28:21 The Debrief of the Event from Start to Finish

Try Transcribing for Yourself at Rev.Com

Nick Clason (00:00):
Youth ministry games, social media outreach events, ah, there's just so much to do and if you're anything like me, you have layer upon layer upon layer of responsibility. You need to come up with an amazing and exciting game. You need to knock social media out of the park and you need an outreach event that is going to cater to your students friends and outsiders who are far from God and from the church. How do you prioritize? And then if you do do all those things, how do you not just give your family and your people that you love the scraps and the left over pieces of your energy? What if I told you that I had the ultimate event guide, one that's going to crush it with games, an amazing outreach experience, and it's going to lean into social media for your student ministry, all of that encapsulated in one event.

Nick Clason (00:55):
See, we actually just had an event that accomplished all those things, one with an incredible amount of games and an amazing in-room experience, one that gave students an amazing opportunity to invite their friends and it crushed on social media. Better yet, we had 23% of our attenders be first time or new students who joined us. And finally, not only do we increase engagement, but we also added new followers to our social media. It is honestly one of the best versions in my opinion, of a hybrid style event. And when I say hybrid event, it's more dynamic and it's more robust than just another Zoom Bible study. I know it sounds too good to be true, right? Well, let me show you. Welcome to the Hybrid Ministry Show in the ultimate Event guide. I came up with this idea probably in my second or third year of doing youth ministry, and now I am a 13 year youth ministry veteran.

Nick Clason (01:58):
So this idea dawned on me years and years and years and years ago, and one of the things that has honestly just been super clear to me all the way back to the beginning times of my time in student ministry is the fact that hybrid matters. And when I mean hybrid, I don't mean only focusing on your in-person. I don't mean only focusing on your digital. I mean taking those two things and creating a space for there to be opportunity to reach and connect with your people beyond the hour of programming that you have for your in-person service, which is actually the reason why I just dropped this video going to be up here on the screen. You can feel free to click that where we explore and talk about the future of church ministry, especially through the eyes and through the lens of digital and hybrid.

Nick Clason (02:41):
If you're interested, hop over into that. But about 10 years ago is when I had this idea for what I call a bracket, and I'm a huge March Madness fan, college basketball. I love the selection committees. And if you're not a sports fan, essentially what they do is they create rankings or seedings, so to speak. And so there are four regions and each region has a one seed. Each region has a two seed, each region has a three seed and so on down all the way down to 16, and then the one seed plays the 16 seed. Usually a pretty easy matchup only in the history of the NCAA tournament has one 16 seed upset, a one seed. The 15 plays the two, the 14 plays the three and so on and so forth. And they're in various spots. So the one 16 are up here and the two and the 15 are down here in the bracket so that eventually they wait until the very last chance for the one and the two to eventually play.

Nick Clason (03:34):
Then once all the teams get out of those brackets, that creates your final four one winner from each region they play in Final four matchup and then the winners of each side of that end up meeting in the middle in the championship. And so I was like, this would be fun to lean in to March Madness. And so I just created a bracket out of my head. I was like, let's do little Debbie hostess cakes, and then I put one of my student ministry leaders, shout out to Aaron Koontz back in Beaver Creek, Ohio, and I did one of our favorite events, dare to Share. I put Dare to Share in there, and so students would vote on a thing versus another thing, and it was so totally random, but I offered it just as an online thing. This is before I had an Instagram.

Nick Clason (04:17):
This is before Instagram even had the poll feature, but I kept doing this. The one time I submitted an option called a Bracket of Awesome Things to Download Youth Ministry. This was probably like eight, 10 years ago at this point. My number one seed was Chip and Johanna Gaines and just leaning into the hype that they had with the Fixer Upper and H G T V movement back then. But I just kept honing in and creating this. And I remember one time I made a Christmas movie bracket. I had become in charge at my last church of social media and I just threw it together. I was running out of ideas of things to post. I was in charge of something like two or three posts per day, multiple days per week. And I was like, let's do a bracket. And I launched it and I was on a team at that time of six or seven other youth pastors, staff members, and the team went nuts.

Nick Clason (05:12):
I made Elf the number one seed and then I made white Christmas the 16th seed, and I had some diehard white Christmas fans dropping the comment below what your favorite Christmas movie is, and if it's white Christmas, I'm sorry, you're wrong. It's terrible. But that being said, they were livid and they were mad at how I sourced it and how I came up with the seeding, which by the way, side note just was in my head and they wanted a redo. And so we launched this event called something about a serial bracket. I can't remember what we can't remember the exact name of what we called it, but we had back at that last church, we had a full YouTube show. So we set up SportsCenter style desks and anchors. We all wore jerseys and we did analysis and we kicked it over to sideline reporters and we announced the seatings.

Nick Clason (06:03):
We announced the matchups, and then while when that show launched live on YouTube, people could hop over to our Instagram and they could vote. And what happened was the senior leadership must not have had anything to announce that week, and so they announced our show that week. And so we were like, man, we need to turn this into something. At that time, it was Christmas break, we weren't meeting, so it was just going to live as a thing online on our YouTube channel, but because it got announced, we're like, we need to capitalize on this just a little bit more. And so we offered, and this is

Nick Clason (06:36):
In the height of Covid, so we're not doing a lot of in-person connection with other people. If we were, it had to be masked. I mean it was awful, but it was January just after Christmas 2021 and we're like, let's do a drive-in. Kids can come watch it on their phones. Or you know what? Actually maybe we bought big old screens that they could watch, and then we did a FM tuner thing. They could listen to it in their car radio. So I don't know, we probably had 10 to 20 cars show up, not a ton. And we bought so much serial, we went to Sam's and we looted that place and then it was like negative 10 degrees. And so me and my other leaders, we have giant coats on, we're walking car to car, passing out cereal, passing out milk. But that was the inception.

Nick Clason (07:28):
That was one of the inception points of this idea of a bracket. And what it does in my mind is it creates some sort of event around an in-person topic cereal. The one that I'm going to explain to you today is donuts and I like to kind of hone in. Yeah, that's what I've done over the years. I've honed in on a specific topic. We've also done this with drinks like World's greatest drink, world's greatest donut cereal madness. This coming march, we're planning on doing a potato one called Starch Madness. And so it creates that event, but the reason I like it is that it marries your social media because all the voting happens online

Nick Clason (08:04):
With an in-person event. It is the ultimate style hybrid event in my opinion. And I know that I've had people who are like, when you mean hybrid, what are you talking about? And they just think we're just talking about Zoom groups and it's more than that. And so we hosted this event at our church. Like I said in the intro, we had 23% newcomers, we had multiple new people added to following us on social media, and it's creating some sort of hype and some sort of buzz around our student ministry. There are so many benefits and values to it. And so what I want to do is honestly just walk you through the pre-planning, the actual event. I'm going to share with you the planning center document of it, and then give you just kind of a recap about why it's valuable, why we're going to keep doing it, and how you can take something like that and adapt it into your student and social ministry.

Nick Clason (08:52):
If so far you've found this episode helpful, though alike would cost you nothing and would really mean the world to us even more. A subscribe is really a next level opportunity to just engage back with us. Either one of those two things like subscribe would mean the world to us and we would love to connect with you further and deeper because more than just donuts, more than just brackets, we are talking about this world of not just physical, not just digital, but hybrid ministry. So let's move on and let's hop in to the setup and the event planning, the pre-event side of this event that I'm talking about, the world's greatest donut. So we know, we knew that we wanted to do this voting style event around donuts that would last around a month. The way I set it up is I will do round one.

Nick Clason (09:42):
We have a Wednesday night and then a Sunday morning in our environment, and so the voting is going to be live on a Wednesday. They'll vote on the topics and the rounds, and so round one we do all the voting. So that's where Instagram and the stories, that's where the most decisions need to be made. So because of that in round one, then we will announce the winners on Sunday, and then we will resume voting the following Wednesday for the Elite eight. We'll announce the following Sunday of the winners of that, and then we'll move to the final floor when there's the most activity, when there's all the contestants are still alive, no one's been eliminated yet. That's round one. And that to me is the most exciting time for the actual bracket. So because the actual bracket is exciting at that time, that's when we decided to lean into an event.

Nick Clason (10:31):
So we knew we had this bracket. In fact, I created this resource. It's a link in the description on Download youth ministry on the world's greatest donut bracket. It's on there right now. Feel free to go grab it. It's got all of the digital elements and it's got a few games in there, but not all of what I'm about to share with you. So make sure that you hang around to the rest of this video. However, we knew we wanted to do an event centered or a month centered around voting, and then we wanted the first night, the kickoff night to be a big deal. And so the question kind of always is do you focus on the kickoff of the bracket or do you focus more on the championship round of the bracket? I've found the beginning to be more exciting. Like I said, we did a cereal bracket most recently here at this church, and we have in our space, we have eight different garage door bays that lined the side left and right of our meeting space.

Nick Clason (11:26):
That's actually where our small groups meet on Sunday morning. Those doors are up, they go in there and then they close down, creates little rooms for all of them. It's really cool design. Sometimes it also makes 'em feel like caged animals, but nonetheless, we did an event back in March where we voted on serial and we had the one in 16 matchup in one bay. We had the three and 14 matchup in another bay. We had the eight and nine matchup in another bay. And so all the bay doors came up. There were tables in there with basketball themed tablecloths on and then cereal boxes with a number pasted on it, one versus 16, and then all the bowls of cereal there. And so as we're wrapping up our programming, we had adult leaders sitting in there pouring milk into each of the bowls so that students could grab that and then they could go eat and just literally had one kid eat 16 or 25 bowls of cereal that night, tried every single one of the things in the matchup.

Nick Clason (12:19):
So that was a super fun way to just kind of lean into the kickoff portion. And so we had that same question. Now we have donuts and what are we going to do? And so in our space where we have tables, and so we ended up deciding to buy a little half fishbowl things. All the supplies by the way, are going to be linked in the comments below, in the description below. Make sure you check that out. But we had little fishbowl things, half fishbowl things sort of decorative. It's not like a fishbowl where the tops right there, but it's like off to the side a little bit. And we filled each table with donut holes. We ordered several dozen donut holes, and that's what we did. We went donut holes instead of actual donuts. It's cheaper. It's also quicker. You can pop 'em into your mouth as opposed to committing to an entire donut.

Nick Clason (13:04):
And so we have 16 round tables, and so every table had a tablecloth and every table had a vase full of donuts. That was our decision to supply the donuts without breaking the bank on the budget. Don't get me wrong, it was still expensive, but it's less expensive than a dozen donuts per table or something like that. So we had donuts on every table, and then one of my favorite elements or pieces of the event is we bought a giant vase and then we filled it with donuts. We counted 233 donuts that we filled into this vase. The funny part was that we put the donuts in and then the weight of the donuts actually started to smash 'em down, and so it was full, and then the weight of the donuts started smashing 'em down. So there was a gap. So we actually had to go back and add more donuts at the end.

Nick Clason (13:48):
So I don't even want to know what the bottom donuts looked like. They probably were a little mini pancakes, but we let students vote simply, how many donuts do you think are in here? We had a Google form for that. They shot it with a QR code on their phone. We also had an iPad set up where they could just type in a Google form. All we got was their name and their number, but if you have a marketing brain or a marketing department, you can use that to capture an email and start to create a little list and start to market to those people as well. That's another kind of next level tip if you want to lean into something like that. But then it also made it easy to just have it all dumped into a Google sheet and I could command F find the closest number.

Nick Clason (14:32):
And so one person, we had 2 33 in the thing and one girl guessed 2 32, so she won it, and this little sixth grade girl carried out this giant vase of donuts and it was hers. She got to take it with her, she got to keep it. She got to bring it in her car with her. Then the actual bracket side of things, we printed, because we are doing this so much, we printed a generic bracket on a giant vinyl banner. When you walk into our space, we have a big window with an indoor half kind of sports court right there on the other side of it. And so for the cereal bracket, I took gaff tape and I taped out a bracket and then I pasted or taped the cereal to the window. But this time around we're like, what if we just print a vinyl banner and then we can swap out whatever we're voting on at that time?

Nick Clason (15:24):
So we made the investment on the front side knowing that we're going to do this. We love these style of hybrid events in our ministry, so we bought the big banner. It fit perfectly in our space. I can drop the artwork for that in the description, but it's going to vary a little bit for my ministry. Your ministry. It's also got our logo on it, but you can find any bracket online, any generic non-branded bracket online, add it, print it, make it into a banner if that's something that you want to do. What it does for us is when you walk in, it immediately draws your attention. It's not there most of the year. And so when it's there, you're like, oh, it's different. And then people know and notice that there's a bracket going on, there's a voting happening. And the other crazy thing is that people get really into it on their opinions.

Nick Clason (16:17):
What things are seeded? How such and such donut beat that donut. For example, the beignet took down, what did it take down? The chocolate cream filled donut lost to a beignet. I think beignets are good, but are they the best? I don't think so. And I think they're super kind of niche and they're really just, honestly, they're like funnel cake. And so anyway, that giant bracket in our actual space, we also allow, because we have a lot of students, a lot of kids, young kids that don't have social media yet, we allow them to vote on a paper bracket as an additional means to let their voice be heard. We got donut shirts for all of the staff and we all wore them. And so that was kind of like the event setup space. In addition to that, we had some donut balloons blown up and kind of scattered throughout the lobby.

Nick Clason (17:13):
So they walked in. On the left was the big V to vote, regular check-in, back behind check-in was the banner with the voting and the brackets printed out and people could let their voice be heard that way. So now let's dive into the rest of the event. I'm going to put the planning center event sheet right here. We're going to walk through it and I'm just going to explain to you what we did, why we did it, and just my thoughts on it, and feel free to take and adapt any of it to your ministry. So all the setups done, students are walking in. We had a countdown, which if you buy my product on Download Youth ministry, it will come with a specific donut themed and then a specific donut themed five minute countdown that I created with just random facts and stuff like that.

Nick Clason (18:00):
So that was what was playing on our TV and our screens all throughout our space. And when the time hit zero, myself and my boss, Darren, we were both on stage and we were hyping up the crowd, welcoming people, letting them know that voting had been live all day on Instagram. We were letting them know who was winning what matchup students could with the screen behind us. We then had a screen that said, voting is live now with a QR code. They could shoot that and take it to Instagram. I think we gained three to six or something like that. New followers on our Instagram, not a ton, but still some students who were. So we had 23% new students. So we're introducing our students to our Instagram, and if any of them are into this idea now they're following us. So now we have them on our Instagram opportunity to reach out to them, but we just did some like, Hey, here's what's going on.

Nick Clason (18:52):
Here's the bracket, explaining what a bracket is. It's going to be lasting for a month, but it's all about you and your voice and letting your voice be heard and voting is live on Instagram every single Wednesday. We also kind of teased our next series, which we're talking about big issues, elephants in the room that we often don't want to address. So we use that moment to sort of tease the topic. We didn't spend a lot of time on that. And also we had a message drop, if you've heard me before, link in the description of my full YouTube strategy, but we've our messages. And so we had a message live on YouTube, but we didn't do live teaching that night. You can do that. It's your call. It's philosophical decision for an event like this. We like to kind of pull the teaching and let this be a truly invite night, a truly bring your friends style event style night.

Nick Clason (19:41):
And then we did a bunch of door prizes and giveaways. Now, here's how I do this. I use Sidekick through Download Youth Ministry. I created a little slide, I'll drop the slide into the link down below that I've referenced before and it says World's Greatest Donut, and that says You're about to win something, dude with Little Arrow pointed up and then all their names filter through. Here's how we got the names. Every single student who checked in, we created a People search, a save search in C C B Church Community Builder. That's any student who's not a leader that has checked in within the last day. And so whenever I go into that, especially if an event has started it's live, I click refresh and it populates every single student who has checked in to our student ministry within the last 24 hours. And so since we didn't have an event on Tuesday, I know that anyone who's checked in is now here on Wednesday night.

Nick Clason (20:32):
So that list is not just going to be a random full mailing list of all of our students going to be the actual live dynamic list of the students in our event space. Figure that out in your church database system, but find some way to capture all the info of the students that are actually in your space. Now, downloaded that into a C S V, copied it, pasted it into Sidekick, and then boom, we had all the names they're filtering through and we're giving away some door prizes. So what we gave away was a donut blanket that's like the shape of a circle. We gave away a little mini donut maker. We gave away donut key chain. We gave away little rubber donuts. I almost think they were like dog toys. I think we bought them for something else and we forgot. And so we just ended up giving them away.

Nick Clason (21:14):
And what else we give away? I can't remember. But we gave away six different things, just kind of like, Hey, you won and now you won. Now you won. Kids were going nuts for it. They were excited for it. And then I had this big old pillow, this big of a donut pillow, and I was like, who wants this? And the room's going crazy. I'm like, you have a chance to win it later. And so I kind of teased that, but then we're like, Hey, we got worship. So we had two hype songs. Again, philosophically not my favorite, but our students love worship and have been clamoring for it, and we haven't had it regularly for the last year. And just our worship department, which is how our church navigates it, the worship department handles all worship for all of our different ministries. So they do it for kids and students and adults.

Nick Clason (21:58):
And so we hadn't had worship. Worship was just now able to accommodate our desire to have it more regularly. And so since we started the week before, we decided not to pull the plug on it, just let it go. So we asked them for two hype songs. They sung here in your house. They sang glorious day, and then we played a donut game. And this one, full disclosure, I didn't even make. I got it off of D Y M, the Donut Showdown, a couple different people. We have myself, my boss, we have a resident, and then two interns. So there's five of us that we can kind of cycle through on the stage. And so my boss, Darren and one of our interns, Eli, they got up and they ran the donut showdown and then the winning table, because remember I said we have 16 tables.

Nick Clason (22:38):
They got a box of donuts that are more expensive, like bougie box of donuts from one of those bougie donut shops. We bought three of those, one for the winner this game, one for the winner, the next game, and then one box for our leaders in our leader lounge. So they kept track of their answers on whiteboards, and then off they went. The winning team got that. Then we created a 15 second donut on a string bumper. My resident created it. Shout out to Caleb, ADA. And then Caleb and Kaylee came out and they ran the classic Eat a donut on a string without your hands being tied. So that's another box of donuts or maybe two that we bought. Just glazed donuts just for the donut on a string game. They had to get one holder and one eater from each table. So we had 32 people come up front to the stage.

Nick Clason (23:28):
We have 16 tables, so 16 eaters, 16 holders that went on the stage, held the donuts, and then the first person to eat the full donut without using their hands. They also win a box of boujee donuts for their table. And then at that point, I hopped back up and I gave instructions for a guided rec time. And so what we did was they could go to our cafe and decorate cake donuts. So that's another set of donuts that we bought, probably three to four, I dunno, maybe even five dozen, just like unglazed cake donuts. But then we bought frosting and sprinkles and things like that. So we allowed students to have a space to decorate donuts on their own. We also offered a game called Find the Donut. That's where I gave away my big donut thing. And what I did for that was I had seven clues of things that they could do, and so they could get any of the seven clues in whatever order they wanted, but it was a speed thing, so they'd grab a clue.

Nick Clason (24:21):
I typed it out, put it on a little piece of paper. I made it into a Word doc where it was like four on 1, 2, 3, 4 on a word doc. So I could cut the word doc up and down side to side and then have four off of one full sheet of paper. And so then I printed 10 of the first clue and then cut it. And that got me 40 clues or whatever. So it was like, Hey, some of the clues were ways to get them to go interact with our staff. So go ask Darren what his favorite donut is. Go ask Kaylee what her favorite donut is. One of the stations that we created during this guided rec time was a temporary tattoo station, so go get a tattoo from the temporary tattoo station. Another one of 'em was to encourage them to go towards our YouTube channel or answer questions from last week's message.

Nick Clason (25:06):
And if they didn't know, it was like the answer's on YouTube so it would get them onto our YouTube channel, all that type of stuff, trying to again, hybridize it, right? So they'd grab a clue, they'd read it, and then they'd go do the thing. One of the clues was prove that you voted. So if they hadn't voted yet, they had to go fill out a paper bracket or show me they casted their vote via their phone via Instagram. And then the last and final station of guided rec was the tattoo station, as I had mentioned and alluded to, by the way, the first students come back with all seven of their clues completed. They won that giant donut. And then the last thing that they could do is they could continue to make their guests for the VAs of donuts. And then just the general rec stuff that we have.

Nick Clason (25:50):
We have a game room with nine square foosball pool and just kind of like a hangout space. And some students kind of opted into that, but there were five to six options and we gave them about 30 minutes to just do whatever they wanted. They could go do one thing the whole time, they could try and do all the things. I had one student who was like, I'm going to try and do all the things. And from that event, actually, I kind of thought and decided, what if we created a passport or a frequent flyer kind of option to let students try different things when we have a guided rec type of moment? I dunno, just an idea. Then at six 50, we called everybody back into our space. We announced the winner, sixth grade girl who won the vass of Donuts. We let them know about what Sunday morning was going to be, and then that was our final word, and we were like, Hey, thanks so much for hanging out.

Nick Clason (26:39):
Thanks for playing. We will see you next time. Love you guys. Peace, love and crabs. I think that's like a Joe's Crab Shack thing. I'm not sure. Right? All in all, I think this was a great event. Frankly, it's one of my favorite hybrid style events. And again, I remember one time I was talking about hybrid on my social, all links to my socials down the description below. But my sister was like, what do you mean by hybrid? Do you just mean zoom groups? And I can mean zoom groups, right? But this is what I mean when I talk about hybrid. I mean, create an event for one thing, and that's the thing. World's greatest donut. Linking the description to my D Y N product was already created for a voting a month worth of voting on Instagram and on your socials. Then we just said, what if we take that concept and then just craft a month around it and then craft an invite outreach event around it, and then boom, we just had donuts, we leaned in, and that's all the things that we did for it.

Nick Clason (27:35):
The point of this is not just to create vanity metrics, both in our physical space and also in our digital space with followers and whatnot, but the point of it is to step in to the space where students find themselves in 2023, right? It's like a digital mall. In fact, I have a completely free resource to help you navigate that digital mall. It's my done for you Surefire Resource 40 done for You events. On this video right here, it's going to show up on the screen what every youth ministry needs to be focusing on. I also have a video talking about a digital mall and incarnation ministry. So I'd love for you to check those things out. But until next time, we're making digital discipleship easy and accessible, and as always, stay hybrid.