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Last week, while I was complaining on Instagram about my inability to decide which book to read next, someone said what is possibly the truest thing anyone has ever said about me: “I love how much I can depend on how much you’ve always loved books.” It’s real, guys.
Like… sometimes, I think about the fact that I’ll never have enough time to read every book that’s ever been written and I get really sad.
Also, the first career I ever remember wanting was to work as an editor because I thought that meant I could get paid to read books and find all the spelling errors.
Also, my parents stopped paying for me to play softball because all I ever wanted to do was sit on the bench and read until it was my turn to bat.
Anyway. Starting right now, I’m going to try a new thing on my blog for the following reasons.
As you may have heard me say recently, I am always looking for an excuse to have a party. It’s something I assume everyone in youth ministry has in common.
Of course, we all know about the important holidays. (Like, I don’t know, the ones that celebrate Jesus, perhaps?) But listen. There are also other holidays out there. More holidays than you could possibly imagine.
So this year on my blog, I’ve decided to introduce you to some of these hidden holiday gems. Every month, I’m highlighting a handful of lesser-known, possibly weird, and definitely wonderful, holidays – and how we might want to celebrate them in our youth ministries. We’ve already done January, so now let’s talk about FEBRUARY.
I’ll be honest, guys. I am always looking for an excuse to have a party. Since you’re in youth ministry, I’m going to go ahead and assume that you agree with me.
In youth ministry, we probably all celebrate at least a few big holidays each year. Like Christmas, perhaps? Maybe Easter rings a bell? Okay, yes, these are definitely the most important holidays in existence. But listen. There are also other holidays out there. More holidays than you could possibly imagine.
So this year on my blog, I’m going to introduce you to some of these hidden holiday gems. Every month, actually, I’ll be highlighting a handful of lesser-known, possibly weird, and definitely wonderful, holidays – and how we might want to celebrate them in our youth ministries. So let’s get started. Let’s talk about JANUARY.
If you’re like most youth workers, you’re constantly trying to figure out the most important things to teach your students and the best time to teach those things. There are so many stories, books, characters, principles, and ideas in the Bible. How do you prioritize them?
Well, maybe this sounds crazy, but I’m going to go ahead and say it. What if there are actually only 3 THINGS that you need to teach your students?
A couple of years ago, Kenny and I paid a visit to The Exploratorium in San Francisco. Ever been there? It’s pretty amazing. It’s a gigantic interactive science museum packed with over 600 experiments about everything from sound and light to plants and electricity.
One of my favorite exhibits is a game you play with a partner to highlight the differences in the ways we see colors. When Kenny and I looked at the exact same dot, he saw green and I saw orange. HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?!
Anyway, it was cool, but there is a point to this. I loved the Exploratorium because it reminded me of something really vital to youth ministry. See if you can guess what it is from this quote…
“The Exploratorium is an eye-opening, playful place to explore how the world works. Our exhibits, experiences, tools, and projects ignite curiosity and lead to profound learning.”
Did you see it? It’s about learning by experimenting. It’s the idea that we learn best by doing, by creating, by asking questions, and even by playing. Learning theories and memorizing principles can only take us so far. Sometimes the best way to spark innovation and creativity is simply to try something – to get our hands a little dirty.
So whether it’s a new take on an old event, a restructuring of our programming, or a new approach to how we do something, we learn best when we finally do something. When we try new things. When we EXPERIMENT.
But why does it matter? Why is experimenting with new ideas valuable?
Okay guys, I’ve got some BIG NEWS as well as a BIG PRIZE to tell you about.
THE BIG NEWS
A couple of weeks ago, Kenny and I started making a few mentions here and there about a top secret project we’d been working on. This little secret scheme has been something we’ve been thinking about for a long time and I am SO EXCITED because we are finally (finally!) ready to tell you about it.
This weekend, I had the chance to hang out at The Middle School Ministry Campference and teach a couple of seminars! Here are my notes (as promised) from the session I co-led with my favorite husband Kenny, Building a Better Teaching Strategy for Middle Schoolers.
After a few months of summer vacation, our podcast Youth Ministry Answers is back in action! We’re kicking off a new season of episodes with an interview with Adam McLane about how (and how not) to use Snapchat in youth ministry.