Ever felt like your youth in your church could be more involved in youth group and the church as a whole? Check out what these articles have to share
We want to supply you with resources to tackle topical teaching with your youth. Also, supply a well of information to use in your job in youth ministry.
Lifeway.com is filled with bible studies and devotionals to buy as well as podcasts on great topics
Desiringgod.org is abounding with teachings by topic or by scripture all by John Piper
Mercymultiplied.com has a wide variety of podcast on current topics for youth
Free podcasts through iTunes by Proverbs 31 Ministries
More teaching from John Piper in the form of podcasts here
Articles from Lifeway.com on youth and student ministries
“Generation Z” is the new generation – the generation that your youth group is currently composed of. We would like to supply sources so that you can get to know this generation.
This article from Vision Critical is focused on how to reach Gen Z with advertising but it has some great info in there.
–“Generation Z has an attention span of 8 seconds“
For some great information download “The Everything Guide to Generation Z”. Again it is written for businesses to reach Generation Z, but there is some relevant info included. Such as a section titled “Generation Z’s World View”
Another great source is a website called Sparks & Honey – they are a “culture newsroom” they have culture briefings and culture forecasts. Following them on Facebook and Instagram as well as subscribing to emails would be a great way to stay up to date with the culture that your youth are surrounded by and immersed in.
In conclusion to my series about true friendship in life, I want to talk about to the only true friend you will ever know – Jesus Christ.
I’m not just saying this, I have been through this – figuring out God as my friend.
Through a long and painful process I realized I needed Him as my ultimate friend. Because when He is our truest and perfect friend, our earthly friends will not disappoint us as much.
I’m not saying they won’t disappoint us at all – I’m just saying that if we know that He is the only perfect thing in our lives, our all and all, then we don’t look to our friends to fulfill that perfect friendship.
A year ago I was the girl that just wanted that one best friend, the person that could share my jokes, could go shopping with me – basically the one that would be there whenever I needed them and would do everything with me.
I looked for it everywhere, in every person I met or hung out with. I would always come away disappointed because they didn’t fit the bill of the best friend that I needed.
The more I searched, the more I felt like it was an impossible hope.
It got to the extreme where I was disappointed in the human race as a whole, and resigned myself into thinking that I was just not suppose to have friends. (Only slightly over dramatic, right?)
(That was the long and painful process I mentioned)
After months and months of feeling this way, I finally listened to what God was telling me – HE was the friend I had been wanting – HE is constantly with me, listening to all my problems, caring about what I face on a daily basis. He even gives advice about how to handle the situations in my life.
After this realization and starting to believe it day to day, I enjoyed the current friendships that I had in my life a whole lot more. See, I wasn’t looking to them to be the perfect friend anymore – I took them for what they were – my good friends; not my perfect friends.
Now, it’s one thing to realize this but it’s a whole different thing to believe and live it.
Some tips that helped me live it
1. Pray ALL the time. And I mean all the time. Constantly have conversations with God (that’s all praying is really). Just like talking with our friends builds relationship and makes us feel closer with them – so is prayer with building a relationship with Jesus. He is your best friend – so talk to your best friend.
2. Get to know Jesus – know His character. This means reading His word. Read and listen to Jesus speak – in print and in your heart.
3. Compare the qualities that you would want in your best friend, to qualities that Jesus possesses to see that He really can be the “best friend”.
Some verses to do that with:
Loves – John 3:16, John 15:12-15
Forgives – 1 John 1:9, Numbers 14:18a (NLT)
Gives advice – Psalm 32:8 (NLT)
Comforts you – John 14:27 (NLT)
~ Mikayla ✿
One way that really helps conversing with God is writing your prayer – almost like writing Him a letter. Here are some great pages that you can save, print, and use!
Check back here next Thursday for Caitlin’s first blog post for the month of August!
(Hint: it’s awesome, inspiring, and you can learn how to fishtail your hair!)
~~ Comment with some of your favorite Bible verses that remind you of God’s friendship with us or with questions about any part of having a friendship with Jesus. ~~
So I told you last week that there was a flipside to the “true friends” message… well here it is – Summertime is the perfect time to make new friends!
I know, I know, that sounds completely opposite of what I said last week; what I mean is that it’s the perfect time to evaluate your current friends and consider the possibility that you may have “outgrown” each other.
Trust me, I know from experience, this is the hardest thing to do. Realizing that you aren’t into the same things as your best friend anymore.
But this is the most important part – realizing it.
If you don’t evaluate this you are robbing yourself and your friends of honesty and of peace.
If you don’t really know what I mean by this let me lay out some “symptoms” of an outgrown friendship:
1. You feel like you had better hang out sometime soon because it’s been awhile. However, you don’t really want to but feel like you should.
2. You find yourself being surprised by things your friend is doing, saying, or interested in. They are not acting like the person you used to know.
3. When you want to hang out and have a fun day with someone you either (a) think of this friend first to call and then think “naah it wouldn’t actually be as fun as I would hope” or (b) don’t even consider them until after you have made the plans with another friend.
Even if they aren’t doing anything drastic or morally different; if its just that your interests have changed, that is a sound reason to consider change as well.
Trust me it’s okay to have friends that pass out of your life.
My mom has always told me that we have different friends for different times in our lives.
I think that is one of the truest things I have ever heard and experienced in my own life.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy – but it is worth it. Especially if these current friends are going down a path that you do not want to follow.
This is the most important thing to remember: Just because you have been loyal friends for X amount of time does not mean that your loyalty should stretch into compromising your morals.
What I mean by that is that if your friend is changing the things they are doing and the people they are hanging with – you don’t have to follow them and change your ways as well.
This is where your road splits and that’s okay.
This summer is the perfect time to hang out in different circles of friends and find where you fit in and the people you enjoy spending time with – as well as who likes the things you like.
So take some time, be brave, and make a change that is difficult but so very important and, in the end, peaceful.
~ Mikayla ✿
A little inspiration for your change
We can all use inspiration and relaxation at the same time so here are some of my favorite quotes in the form of printable coloring pages!
- No one can make you feel inferior without your consent – Eleanor Roosevelt
- Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you – Dr. Seuss
- Why fit in when you were born to stand out – Dr. Seuss
- It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are – E. E. Cummings
Check back here again next Thursday to read my third and final post for this month as I talk about the truest friendship of all! Then, as we dive into August, we will hear from our next team member, Caitlin!
~~ Comment or email on this post if you have questions, just need a listening ear, or advice on your friendships~~
1. Create beautiful, fun bubble art!
2. Giant “water bed “ in your yard! More like a giant water balloon that you walk and lay on, but super fun!
3. And of course you can’t go through summer without building a blanket fort and watching Netflix inside
1. Watermelon Pizza. This looks absolutely amazing and delicious
2. Raspberry Lemonade Slushy. Healthy, easy, and so tasty
3. Nutella Cool Whip Popsicle. Because Nutella makes everything ten times better
Yay its summer time! You’re free! Beach here we come!
Now all you need is a cute bathing suit, sweet music, awesome friends and you have the perfect summer beach day!
Awesome friends make any trip, anywhere ten times better. But have you ever planned a day with what you thought were awesome friends and then halfway through the day you’re thinking, “Who are these people and why did I think they were awesome?”
Now might be a good time to evaluate your friends – or so called “friends”
I say so called “friends” because there are always those people in your life that you call your friends but…are they really your friends? You know what I mean, you say you and so-and-so are friends but you don’t really know them well.
Word of warning: Be careful of these people
Here are 3 reasons to be careful of “friends” in your life
1. You don’t really know them – they may be a good person at school when you see them but you don’t know what they do or how they act outside of school. If you’re like me you will find yourself not wanting to disappoint these people and go along with something stupid or hurtful to others, or even just plain boring.
2. They aren’t your true friends so while you are spending time together and thinking you might have a new shopping buddy, don’t let yourself get carried away and think that they will keep your secrets and have your back.
3. While you are making time for these “friends” you are neglecting your oldest and truest friends
Now that I have thoroughly discouraged you and your summer fun let me say that there is a flipside to this! Summer is a time to make new friends and let go of the ones that aren’t the best BFF match for you anymore.
I will talk about this flipside in my next post so make sure to check it out next Thursday!
~ Mikayla ✿
~ ~ I would love for you to comment with some of your favorite summer activities and tasty treats!
Also, comment or email us with any questions! ~ ~