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✅ In this comprehensive video, we reveal the key to planning effective and engaging social events for your youth group. From icebreakers and team-building activities to creative theme ideas and logistical tips, we've got you covered.
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//SHOWNOTES & TRANSCRIPTS
//PLANNING CENTER SERVICES
//SOCIAL MEDIA MAGIC IN YOUR HANDS
//DIVE INTO THRILLING GAMES:
//SEAMLESS BLENDING: THE ULTIMATE HYBIRD EVENT
//9 BEST DYM RESOURCES
#5 PREACHING & TEACHING
//TEACHING TO A TIKTOK GENERATION
#6 SMALL GROUPS
//SAMPLE SMALL GROUP GUIDE
#7 FOLLOW UP
//ENGAGE WITH STUDENTS DURING THE WEEK
00:00-00:44 7 Part Youth Group Checklist
00:44-02:50 1) Always Be Planning
02:50-04:36 2) Communication
04:36-05:47 3) Games
05:47-07:37 4) Snacks
07:37-08:55 5) Preaching & Teaching
08:55-10:09 6) Small Groups
10:09-11:35 7) Follow-Up
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Nick Clason (00:00):
Are you a youth pastor, a youth ministry leader, looking to make your gatherings of people your physical gatherings more intricate and maybe even make 'em a little bit more exciting? How do you plan a surefire amazing event? And furthermore, what do you do to hybridize it? Right? My entire strategy in this podcast is to help you take not just your in-person gatherings, but also your digital presence, social media website, and meld those two together so that you can truly have a hybrid ministry. If that's what you're looking for, you're in luck because that is what we're going to be talking about in this episode today. This is the Hybrid Ministry Show, and we have a seven step framework for the Ultimate Youth Group gathering. Let's get going. Number one is you need to be planning. Listen, I am a 13 year youth ministry veteran, and I have learned that the hard way over my time in ministry, there have been so many times where I've been caught at an event without any plan whatsoever, and I am forced to pivot in the moment.
Nick Clason (01:00):
So it's not only helped me get a little bit more nimble on my feet, but also it's forced me to realize the importance of planning. So there are a couple of really good tools. One that works really well for us in our space is a project management tool called Base Camp. It's quite expensive, but if your church has the budget for it, I recommend at least looking into it, and I'm sure they have a free trial version that you can check out if that's something you're interested in. Also, planning Center online, it's what most people use, especially musicians and such for services and for musicians and disseminating music and stuff like that. But that's a great place to communicate with your tech person, with anyone else that's going to be on stage about what the plan is, what the game is. And so I use that every single week to just let everybody know what is to be expected and what's going to be happening in the actual program of the event.
Nick Clason (01:48):
Event. And then also just free Google Docs. It's a shared space. If you're in a meeting, everyone can have the same Google Doc up. You don't have to have a whiteboard, you don't have to be in some conference room. You can do it via Zoom. But Google Docs and Google Drive are both great docs for word processing, but Google Drive for file sharing and file storage, and you can link things via Google Docs, but you can use Base Camp. You can use Planning center services. You can use Google, Google Drive. You can use those to your advantage to get ahead to think ahead about what is going to happen in your youth ministry space. And hey, if you're watching this video and you've found value so far, please consider liking subscribing, maybe even sharing with the friend, because it's really important that it helps us out a lot, not for us and the accolades, but for the message of hybrid ministry to get out to the world because we believe that teenagers need the gospel and speaking this digital language, this hybrid ministry is their language that they're used to in this world. So please help us out by liking, subscribing, and sharing. Tip number two is communication. Get the word out. You've done the planning. Now people need to know, and I have this
Nick Clason (02:58):
Completely free ebook about how to utilize and use social media in your space. Link down below in the description, go check it out. But I believe that social media can be a form of communication as long as you're not just posting boring, rote, standard static graphics, right? If you use it to the way that social media is meant to be used, one of entertainment, one of fun, short form, vertical based video, I will help you with all of those things in this video. But as you're communicating, you need to be thinking on three different tracks. As a youth pastor, student, parent leader, there really are three audiences that you're communicating with. How are you getting the message out to your students? How are you getting the message out to your parents? And then how are you getting the message out to your leaders? And then a fourth kind of pro tip, bonus tip is also over here, the staff that you work with.
Nick Clason (03:51):
And some of those might cross. Some parents might be leaders, some staff might be parents and all that type of stuff, but those are your three main audiences. I believe that's one of the reasons that youth pastors struggle so much with communication is because you may feel as though you have adequately communicated it, and thus you have to your students. But do all the parents know or is the staff aware of how you're going to be using a different space in the building and then they find you over there and in the kids area because you told the students you're going to be there, but you didn't let the other people on staff know. And so you may have some more conflict with that. So as you're communicating any sort of event that, especially if it's out of cycle, be asking yourself, how do the students know?
Nick Clason (04:33):
How do the leaders know? How do the parents know? Another thing is games. We did a deep dive on games in this playlist over here called Exploring New Digital Frontiers, and we talked about where did games come from and why is it a part of youth ministry? I also gave some ideas. Another one of my favorite episodes that we did was me debriefing an event we did called The World's Greatest Donut. We had tons of games for it, but it was also an amazing hybrid event. And finally, I have a link in the show notes to some of my DYM favorite games. I've created several resources that are on Download Youth ministry, and they are dirt cheap, 5, 6, 7 bucks. If you don't have a membership, even cheaper if you do. So go check some of those out. I love the game. Emoji Phraseology. I love the game. GIF Flashback, and I love the Game Visual, Variance, Voyage. Those are just a few, but I have several on there. But games are an amazing way to up the level of engagement in your space. Fun is the language of teenagers, and so speak it, get them laughing, get them competing, get them having fun together in your gathering. Another really key element to think about is snacks. I had a meeting with a group of leaders last year, and I invited my wife
Nick Clason (05:56):
To come be one of the other leaders meeting with these student leaders, I should say, and I asked her, I said, Hey, what's one thing I could do to level this meeting up? What she said, have snacks. When do you go to somebody's house and they don't offer you something to eat or something to drink? Almost never, right? And the same is true in student ministry. Snacks help kind of bring that energy level down a little bit, not energy level, but bring that insecurity level down a little bit. People, their walls are down a little bit. They're willing to engage, come across the table a little bit more when their snacks. I know it sounds crazy. I know it sounds simple. It might even be a budget buster, but maybe consider opening a cafe where people can purchase snacks, maybe put cheap things out. And one thing I've done before is if you do have a cafe, we gave popcorn away for free, but that drove people back to the cafe to buy the drinks.
Nick Clason (06:51):
There's a reason that bars put peanuts and pretzels out at the table for free because it forces people to buy their drinks. Hey, if you didn't know this, this episode or this channel has a website hybridministry.xyz in every single episode, this is episode. So if you went to hybridministry.xyz slash 0 7 6, we have for you a thing that we do for every single episode. We've done it since episode one, completely free transcripts. That's one of the things that we pay for out of our pocket to serve you and the listener. So if you are listening on a run and you want to go back and hear this, or if you're watching this and you want to take notes, you can go to the website and download a completely free transcript so that you can see everything that we are talking about. Now, element number five of a successful youth gathering is preaching and teaching.
Nick Clason (07:45):
Like I said, we just did an exploring new digital frontiers, and we did a whole episode on how to teach to a TikTok generation. Previously. This generation on websites and social media have an attention span of 8.25 seconds, which is less than the human pet goldfish, right? So how do you teach to a generation like that? How do you keep things interesting while still presenting the meaningful, purposeful, and important truth of the Bible and the truth from God's word? We dove into that. We also gave some ideas about hybrid message enhancements. Things like you version events, things like websites, things like QR codes, things that can just help take the message beyond just the physical meeting space, but you can offer it and extend it and put it in front of your students on social media, on their devices that they're using throughout the rest of the week, but communicate to them then accurately and effectively in the moment using some of these tips and tricks that we talked about in that episode.
Nick Clason (08:48):
But teaching and preaching is a vitally important part to youth ministry gatherings. Number six, small groups. You may not have small groups in your space, so if you don't, then find a way to let students digest the message a little bit. If you don't have small groups in your space or you have it another night of the week, consider maybe having your students sit around tables. And then you could do a more like master teacher style thing where you teach for a little bit and then you toss out a couple of questions to the tables to let the students interact. Gen Z does not want to be a consumer. They want to be a contributor. So find a way to let your students voices be heard. Find a way to let them talk about it. Maybe you do have small groups for the last 30 minutes in your student ministry gatherings.
Nick Clason (09:37):
Have a guide. I'll right here on the screen, you can see the way that we have our guides set up. We have before, during, and after and after, is aimed at our leaders being pastoral to our students. The before is sort of their prep work with the versus and the big ideas. And then during are the questions that we want them to be asking to lead our students from a silly sort of like drop the water level moment, like, hey, some icebreaker type stuff down all the way to some serious things and ending with the group's ending in prayer.
Nick Clason (10:10):
And finally, when your event's over, number seven, what are you going to do about follow-up? What is your ongoing strategy to stay in front of students throughout the week? Because if you have an hour meeting, but you don't ever get to a spot where you are engaging with them in their real life, what about Thursday morning when they wake up after youth group? What about Monday morning when they're on their way to school and they're on the school bus? Why should they think about the things of God that you were talking about last night or yesterday? Why should they care about those things? Which is one of the reasons I think hybrid ministry is so important, and I have this completely free ebook to help you reach and engage the students in their space to engage with the other hours in the week beyond just your program time.
Nick Clason (10:54):
It's not just physical, it's not just digital, it is hybrid. And so in that ebook, we also point people to a completely free resource called opus.pro. It will help you clip your messages up into small, short form bite-size videos. But what I want to know is that I want to help you guys understand the importance of gatherings and how you can take the physical gathering, how you can take your digital moments, how you can meld those two. Hope you found this video helpful. On the screen is the next video. Be sure to click that. Be sure to subscribe because we at hybrid ministry are making digital discipleship easy, possible and accessible. So as always, and don't forget, stay hybrid.