Youth Ministry Resources Galore
Ryan's E-Update from

Your E-update Regarding Youth Ministry Games, Ideas, Links, Lessons, Resources and More!
Edition 14, No. 8 - August 17, 2009

In This E-Update

  • 99 Thoughts for Youth Workers
  • An Open Letter to Youth Ministry Search Teams

  • Snapshot Web

  • New Resources on's YM Exchange

  • LIVE Curriculum

  • Lost Password? ID? Need Help?

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     Greetings Member/Subscriber,

     There is always new information to share about what is happening at It is a joy to be able to share with all of you the exciting things happening and the new resources available to all users. I pray that you will find this information useful and will be blessed by the features and resources at that are intended to help you in your ministry to youth. Please allow me to share with you some news and announcements about the highlights, help, and resources at your disposal.

99 Thoughts for Youth Workers

99 Thoughts for Youth Workers "99 Thoughts for Youth Workers"

Book Review: “99 Thoughts for Youth Workers” by Joshua Griffin
Review by Ryan C. Nielsen

Josh Griffin has written a small book that is full of HUGE ideas and has the potential for GREAT impact. Josh is the High School Pastor at Saddleback Church in California and maintains a daily blog about ministry. His blog, , is filled with incredible insights, hints, helps, and reflection about life and ministry. It is one of the blogs that I read every week. “99 Thoughts for Youth Workers” has taken many of the ideas Josh has presented on his blog and condensed it into short snippets to help the youth worker in various aspects of life and ministry.

There are a lot of aspects I really like about Josh’s new book. It is organized in a very clear and concise manner. It is laid out in short snippets, and grouped into topics making it flow clearly and allowing for bite-sized points to consider and digest. It is a very practical book and addresses not just ideas, but practical living as a youth worker – in various aspects of the job, but also with personal and family life as well.

“99 Thoughts for Youth Workers” is separated into four sections:

1) Vision and Leadership

2) Programs and People

3) Small Groups and Events

4) Everyday Ministry

These different categories also allow for a focused look at the various aspects of life within student ministry. I also love that throughout the book, on some of the “thoughts” Josh will ask some thought-provoking questions to help the reader meditate on the issue.

Just because something is small, does not mean it can’t carry a big punch – and that’s what “99 Thoughts for Youth Workers” did for me. It is both an encouragement and a convicting book at the same time. It has some great ideas to help me keep focused, to keep improving, to feel encouraged, and to share with others. And it is definitely worth more than the $4.99 price tag. Great book, great thoughts, and a great buy. In fact, just to make it even more with the money, Josh included an additional 14 thoughts for free – making it not just 99 thoughts, but 113 (and anyone who knows me and my website, knows how much I love FREE!) I would recommend anyone working in student ministry – full-time, part-time, volunteer, parent, professional, spouse, and even Sr. Pastor to buy and read this book.

Purchase the Book HERE

99 Thoughts for Youth Workers

An Open Letter to Youth Ministry Search Teams

An Open Letter to Youth Ministry Search Teams"An Open Letter to Youth Ministry Search Teams"
by Mike Kupferer

     "Dear Search Team or Committee

I have applied to your open youth minister position and would like to pass on some information from my perspective of the search. Before I begin by giving you some advice to improve your communication with those of us who have applied for your position; allow me to share these thoughts. First off, thank you for being a part of the group who will determine the next minister to the students. I understand you have a big decision ahead of you and it should not be taken lightly. I appreciate all of the extra time, effort and energy you have put into the process (not to mention all of the meetings). One last thing you should know about me - I am praying for you as much as you are praying for me. I pray God gives you wisdom, strength and the ability to discern the right choice.

As a search team moving along in the search process, I would suggest you keep these few things in mind. (In no particular order) You will notice that throughout this list I will use the word "appreciate" often; because none of these ideas are requirements for you, they are just things I would appreciate.

1. Use Technology.
You do not have to waste a stamp. Since we are living in an age of technology, with email and text messaging being more prevalent than snail mail, you do not have to send me a letter. You can send me an email letting me know you are not pursuing me any longer. This is especially true if all of our communication has been done via email.

2. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
At the beginning of the process, I understand it might take months for you to make any sort of decision. I do not expect a weekly email letting me know what number I am on your list of potential youth workers, but I would appreciate notification when the process moves forward. As we move farther down the process, I would appreciate knowing what is going on. As the list of potential youth ministers is narrowed, and I'm still on it, I would expect to be informed on the progress. Even if the search team has not met for a month, I would appreciate knowing.

If I end up being the "chosen" youth minister, I am learning a lot about the way the leadership in the church works. If there is a pattern of poor communication during the search process, I will be more likely to decline your offer to be youth minister. Why would I willingly walk into a situation where communication is not a strength for the leadership? On the other hand, when a search team communicates well during the search process, I will willingly join that team.

3. Honesty is a must!
For me, this is a huge issue. In fact, this might be the biggest issue I consider. And as much as you are deciding if I am the right person for this position, I am deciding if you are the right congregation for me. I do not want to work with a group of people who are not completely honest. When it comes to the search process, do not lie to me. If you are interviewing two other people, tell me. If you are worried that I will not work well with the senior minister, let me know. The worst thing you can do is make me feel that I am the person for the job while I am visiting, when you know that I am not.

There is no reason to drag me along, just to keep me as a "back-up" if the real #1 choice doesn't work out. If you want to pursue one candidate at a time, then be honest and let me know that at the beginning of the process. I will not be offended if you want to be specific and strategic in your search, even if it means I am not going through the first round of the interview process...."

Read the Rest of the Article HERE...

Snapshot Web

SnapShot Web

Many of you know that creating a website for your ministry can be a time consuming challenge.  You have to go through the process of finding the right package, the right host, and the right format, etc.  Then there’s maintenance.  Will you have to pay a developer every time you want to make a change?  If you have a volunteer maintaining the site for you, will you be able to ensure that the site is up-to-date and looking good?  Seems overwhelming doesn't it?  Well, it doesn't have to be any longer.

Snapshot Web (a partner of Simply Youth Ministry) has been around for several years and now it just got better!!! If you are looking for a powerful, easy-to-use program for developing a stellar website for your youth ministry or your church, SnapShot Web has it all for you!

I have loved using SnapShot web for developing my own youth ministry website (  It’s so easy to use and so powerful that I can either update it quickly and easily myself, or hand it over to one of my students to update.
One of the best ways for you to get a sense of what you can do with a SnapShot Website is to take a look at some of the sample sites that they have highlighted at

In fact, they’re so confident you’ll love it that they’re now offering a 30-day risk free trial.  Seriously, you have to check this out.

30 Day Trial

Here are some of the things that you’ll get with your SnapShot Website:

  • Professionally designed templates in over 50 great designs & colors – plus we're adding new templates every quarter.
  • An easy to use content management system to meet all of your web needs.
  • The ability to add unlimited pages with all kinds of features such as Calendars, Surveys, and Discussion Boards with a few simple clicks.
  • A quick and simple way to share photos, videos, and podcasts with a process that's just about as easy as you could imagine.
  • Access to login and manage your SnapShot Website from anywhere in the world.  It's web-based so there's no software to install.
  • The tools you’ll need to create custom templates that incorporate your logo and colors and match the look and feel of your community.

New Resources on's YM Exchange



   1) That's most accessed and most popular section of the website is the "YM Exchange" (The Tab to access it is located on the top right-hand corner of the website).

   2) The YM Exchange is filled with files you can download, including (but not limited to): Lessons, Powerpoing Games, Powerpoint Lessons, Powerpoint and Mediashout backgrounds, Articles, Discussion Starters, Object Lessons, Illustrations, Leadership documents... and MORE!

   3) Every file in the YM Exchange is available for you to download for FREE

   4) There are currently 3,826 Files available for FREE download in 29 different categories.

   5) These resources are submitted by other youth workers from around the world.

   6) YOU, too, can submit your resources to share and bless with others. It is as easy as clicking on the "Add Download" link in the top-center column of the YM Exchange. You, too, can bless others by sharing your resources.

   7) If you are wondering why you can't access the YM Exchange - you MUST be a registered member (which is FREE to do), and you must be logged in to do it. Otherwise you will get an error message saying you are not authorized to access that area.

   8) We need YOUR help to keep growing and fresh with new ideas and resources. Please take a minute to see if you have something you could add to the YM Exchange and submit it. If you need help or anything, please email me at:

LIVE Curriculum

LIVE CurriculumLIVE Curriculum
(Click on any of the graphics below
for the free demo or to sign up)

New Product - Live Curriculum - Doug Fields' 4-Yea

We’ve created Live Curriculum as a cohesive, four-year plan for your small groupministry, using a 36-week ministry year. The lessons are designed to flow fromone topic to the next, and each year builds on the previous years. But we knowthat every ministry is different. That’s why we give you the option of takingit apart, shifting around the pieces, and using the lessons in whatever orderyou’d like. You can pick and choose which lesson you want to use when, if that’swhat works best for you and your ministry. It’s all good!

4 Year Plan

Youth leaders will experience a bountiful abundance of benefits. (Wasn’t that the name of an old hymn?) Because you’ll have your long-range plans locked down, you can devote more time to equipping your volunteers and building excitement in students about upcoming topics through creative promotions. And of course, you’ll save yourself countless hours of planning.

But wait! There’s more! You know what your small groups will be discussing six months from now, so parents will gain more confidence in your ministry, and along the way, you’ll provide them with resources to spark conversation and dialogue in the home. And if we’re serious about getting families involved in our youth ministries, how can you go wrong with that?

Live Flow Chart

You save hours of planning time. Your leaders are trained and prepared to teach. Your students are active and involved. And their parents become your biggest supporters. That’s a win-win-win-win! (We checked; it’s legal to have that much winning anywhere and everywhere!)

Lost Password? ID? Need Help?

Need Help?Has it been a long time since you have been to Have you forgotten or Lost your Username? Are you having troubles with your password? Don't let that keep you away. If you have forgotten or are having any problems logging in to your account at, just send an e-mail to with your need and I would be more than happy to help you out.

Another reminder as well: You can personalize your password to make it easy to remember for the future. Once you log in, click on the "My Account" link in the left-hand column. Inside there, you will find a link titled "Change Your Info". If you click there, you can personalize as much of your account information as you would like, including the option at the bottom to change your password. Enter the new password twice and push save - then you don't have to worry about trying to keep track of, or remembering, that crazy automated password you received when you first registered at

If I can help you out with any of this information, please don't hesitate to let me know.

      Thanks again for all you do to further the kingdom in your ministry! Please be sure to stop by often for all of the recent updates at, and don’t forget to continue sharing your resources so that others may be blessed by you!!! Don’t ever hesitate to contact me either.

     Keep an eye out for more E-Updates to come helping you make the most out of your onlline experience as you search for Youth Ministry material to help you. We are excited about some of the things in store in the near future!!!

Ryan's E-Update from

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