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Winter/Spring 2014 | Issue 02

Winter/Spring 2014 Resource and Training Magazine

Creating openness in your small group pg. 12

keeping volunteers engaged in youth ministry pg. 11 Plus more! Pages 10-13 See our newest resources inside!

Bible Study Resources From ym360 are:

Biblically Solid | Culturally Relevant | High Quality | Easy To Teach | Loaded With Value

Helping Teenagers Grow In Relationship With Christ . . . Seeing teenagers grow in relationship with Christ is what it’s all about. And like you, we know that knowing God through His Word is central to this growth. At ym360 we’re committed to helping you teach the Bible to teenagers by providing deep, biblically solid resources that are creative and easy to teach. I hope you find this little magazine to be a helpful resource to you. In it you’ll find Bible study resources to help you teach God’s Word to students, as well as a sampling of our training resources from the ym360 Blog.

If you have any questions about anything you see, let us know. We truly are a relational ministry that loves to get to know the men and women we serve. We pray for you constantly. I mean that. If there’s ever anything we can help with, don’t hesitate to let us know. No need is too small. Keep loving teenagers for His glory!

Les Bradford / ym360 co-founder Isaiah 40:8

P.S. Be sure to catch the networking section toward the back – these are friends of ours that we think you should know about!

Our Promise To You: Happy Youth Ministers

We work hard to exceed your expectations. If you’re not completely satisfied with any ym360 Bible Study Resource purchase, let us know – we’ll do all we can to make it right.

Here For You We’re passionate about serving youth workers through relationship. We promise to always be available to help. No need is too small.

Content Matters Above all else, we desire to see your students transformed by growing closer to Christ. Regardless of what we do, we promise to always be about solid biblical content, never forgetting the call God has put in our lives to make Him and His ways known to teenagers.

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What's Inside

NEW! The Jesus Studies........................................................................................................ 04 NEW! The elements Bible Study Curriculum...................................................................... 05 6-lesson Bible Book Studies.................................................................................................. 06 4-lesson Bible Theme/Topical Studies.................................................................................. 07 NEW! Devotional Resources For Students.......................................................................... 08 Misc Resources – teachers, student leaders, etc.!............................................................... 09 Training Articles: Tools, Tips, & Encouragement..........................................................10-13

Creating Openness In Your Small Group 5 Characteristics Of Healthy Discipleship Keeping Volunteers Engaged In Your Youth Ministry 5 Tips For Maximizing Our Impact On Students’ Parents The Responsibility Veteran Youth Ministers Have To New Youth Ministers

Disciple Now Weekends......................................................................................................... 14 Networking: Connecting You To Great Organizations....................................................15-23 PARENTMINISTRY.NET / all things parents SERVANT LIFE / global missions opportunities YOUTH SPECIALTIES / youth worker training STUDENT LIFE / summer camp YOUTHWORKS / Christ-centered mission trips FundTheNations / fundraising to help change the world PLANET WISDOM / conferences for students COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL / your group can make a difference

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A Snapshot Of Our Current Curriculum And Resource Options:


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Bible Study Resources

The Core is a line of 6-lesson Bible Book studies designed to teach students the heart of some of Scripture’s most vital books.

360Discipleship is a growing line of resources designed to help you lead your students to truly develop into disciples of Christ.

The Edge is an ever-expanding line of 4-lesson studies designed to help you teach relevant topics from a biblical perspective.

youthministry Essentials offers tools and resources designed to train and equip you and your leaders as you minister to students.

360Videos are short, stand alone, downloadable videos to use for illustrations and thought provoking discussion starters.

DNow Online is a complete Disciple Now and Retreat Weekend solution, delivering excellent content options, resources, tools, training and more. Don’t plan your next event without stopping by Try it free today!

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A Line of 4-lesson Bible Studies Designed To Teach Teens A Christ-centered Perspective on Real Life You don’t need to be reminded of the issues teenagers deal with as they try to live out their faith in a world that’s often opposed to their core beliefs. Navigating these issues can be rough. Teenagers get so many mixed messages; the world says one thing, their friends may say another. And we hope they know enough about their faith to know how to make sense of it all. We hope . . . The Jesus Studies cut through the confusion, teaching your students a Christ-centered look at the major issues they deal with in their lives. These are no watered-down, topical Bible studies. This is Jesus weighing in on the very issues your students are confronted with on a daily basis. It’s your students learning to see life through the person of Christ.

Meet The Jesus Studies Jesus And Identity

Jesus And Your Image

Jesus And Your Future

Jesus And Your Faith

Jesus And Stress

Jesus And Mean People

Jesus And Culture

Jesus And Forgiveness

Jesus And Stuff

Jesus And Loving Others

Jesus And Influence

Jesus And Tough Times

Jesus And Relationships

Up to 52-weeks available!

Each title in The Jesus Studies includes the following awesome features: 4 Interactive Leader’s Guides complete with Bible Background 12 out-of-class devotions 4 Parent Pages for at-home discipleship PowerPoint backgrounds and Promo Art Teacher Prep Video to help you prepare Social Media suggestions for each lesson

Only 24.99 each Buy Them All only 219.00 (for an entire year!)

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A 2-year Bible Study Curriculum Designed To Help Teens Know And Live Their Faith elements teaches 25 core concepts in powerful 3-lesson studies

Teach at your pace – teach one, a few, or teach them all! Lessons of Biblical Depth Gospel Centered Easy To Teach Super Affordable No Confusing Systems No Expensive Technology

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The Core is a line of 6-lesson Bible Book studies designed to teach students the heart of some of Scripture’s most vital books. We know you desire for your students to grow in their knowledge and application of God’s Word – that’s exactly what these studies are designed to do.

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Included In Each Study: • 6 Lesson Plans and Student Guides • Media for each lesson • 6 Parent Pages for partnering with parents • 6 Lesson Prep Videos for helping prepare

• 6 PowerPoint Slideshows • 6 Scripture Memory Cards •1  2 E-votions for Facebook messaging or printing • Promotional Artwork for promoting your study

Reach: A 6-Lesson Study On The Book Of Psalms

Vivid: A 6-Lesson Study On The Book Of James

Teach Reach to show your students what an active and dynamic relationship with God looks like.

Do your students’ lives reflect their beliefs? Vivid will challenge your students to evaluate their faith and their actions, to identify where the two don’t match up.

Best Seller!

6 Lessons download || 49.99 physical || 69.99

6 Lessons download || 49.99 physical || 69.99

Focus: A 6-Lesson Study On The Book Of Colossians

Proof: A 6-Lesson Study On The Book Of John

Using Paul’s words in Colossians, Focus challenges students to live their lives in a way that reflects a single-minded devotion to Christ.

“Who is Jesus?” Proof teaches students who Christ is and what it truly means to be known by Him through studying the life of Christ.

6 Lessons download || 49.99 physical || 69.99

6 Lessons download || 49.99 physical || 69.99

ym360 Book Study Bundle Includes Vivid and Proof

ym360 Book Study Trio Includes Vivid, Proof, and Colossians

12 lessons 18 lessons retail || 139.98 download || 74.99

retail || 209.97 download || 111.99

your price (physical) || 99.99

your price (physical) || 139.40

ym360 36-Bible Study Bundle Includes Vivid, Proof, Focus, Reach, Live Different, The Least of These, and Engage 36 lessons retail || 429.93

download || 229.00

your price (physical) || 259.00 6 \\ See All Our Resources: | Free Shipping On All Orders $99+

The Edge is an ever-expanding line of 4-lesson studies designed to help you teach relevant topics from a biblical perspective. Ever feel like you need a fresh approach to teaching students a Biblical perspective on some of the relevant topics facing them day in and day out? These 4-lesson studies will help students navigate these waters as you teach the truths of Scripture.

Best Seller!

Included In Each Study: • 4 Lesson Plans and Student Guides • Media for each lesson • 4 Parent Pages for partnering with parents • 4 Lesson Prep Videos for helping prepare

Live Different: What The Bible Says About Sex And Holiness Today’s teenager lives in a hypersexualized culture. Live Different teaches students God’s intent for sex, how God views sex outside of this intent, and God’s call to live a life of holiness in a sexually immoral world. 4 Lessons download || 34.99 physical || 49.99

• 8 “digi-posters” for Facebook messaging or printing • Promotional Artwork for promoting your study • 4 PowerPoint Slideshows

Buy In A Bundle And Save! ym360 Edge Bundle Includes Live Different, The Least Of These, and Engage 12 lessons retail || 149.97 download || 79.99

your price (physical) || 109.97

Engage: Impacting A Hostile World The world your students live in is almost universally opposed to the basic principles of God’s Kingdom. So, do students immerse themselves in culture? Do they flee from it? Engage challenges your students with a call to impact the world around them in the name of Christ. 4 Lessons download || 34.99 physical || 49.99

The Least Of These: God, Poverty, and You

ym360 Bible Study Super Pack Includes Vivid, Proof, Live Different, The Least Of These, and Engage 24 lessons retail || 289.95 download || 174.99

your price (physical) || 199.99

No matter where you go in this world, you’ll find poverty and suffering. Many ask, “Why would God allow suffering?” The Least Of These helps your students answer this question, and discover their role in helping the poor. 4 Lessons download || 34.99 physical || 49.99

Preview and Buy


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4-week Devotions On Characters From the OT & NT (OT) & (NT) Encounters helps shape the way teens see the Bible, God, and themselves. (OT) & (NT) Encounters is a journey through the lives of some of the most interesting people from the Old and New Testament. In every encounter, teens will focus on one key truth from the character’s life, and will be challenged to apply this truth to their lives, changing the way they engage with God. FEATURES: • 4-weeks of interactive devotions • A “key truth” for every character • Guided application for each day

1-9 copies || 7.99 ea Grab A Case and Save!

• case of 10 price || only 59.90 •Extra large orders, call for customer care

Discipleship For New Believers NEW: First Steps For New Christ-Followers This interactive journal meets a huge need: helping new believers understand what it means to be “new”, what it means to see God in a “new” way, and what it means to live out the call to follow Christ. NEW is perfect for intro to discipleship, new believers, and those young in their faith. Plus! Download a free leader’s guide to make NEW a 4-week small group Bible study!

1-9 copies || 9.99 ea Grab A Case and Stock Up!

• Get a case of 10 for those new believers you’ll have this year and save $2 per copy! • case of 10 price || only 79.90 • Extra large orders, call for customer care 8 \\ See All Our Resources: | Free Shipping On All Orders $99+

Sharpen Your Leader’s Bible Teaching I’m grateful that the team at ym360 has written a book that helps teachers lead students to encounter God through becoming better teachers of the Bible. It’s solid and practical. – Doug Fields The 7 Best Practices offers seven ultra-practical and deeply meaningful practices to help you and your volunteers teach the Bible in an intentional, transformative and dynamic way. The 7 Best Practices is perfect for Sunday School Teachers, Small Group Leaders, You!

Get A Copy For All Your Bible Study Teachers!

• Choose from 2 different case options and save! Your leaders will love you! • case of 10 price || only 89.90 • case of 20 price || only 159.80 • Extra large orders, call for customer care

• 1-9 copies || 12.99 ea

More Resources For Your Ministry 100+ Resources to help you with your leadership team, parents, classic games, video illustrations, and much more!

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We launch free stuff all year long! And this free stuff is the best you’ll find. We put just as much into these freebies as we do anything else we create. Go ahead, get started today!



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Training: Tools, Tips, & Encouragement At ym360, we take our call to serve youth workers pretty seriously. We’re passionate about partnering with youth workers to lead students closer to Christ. This partnership is most commonly facilitated through our training initiatives. It’s a true blessing to have the chance to provide training to youth workers. We do this in a few different ways. Training occurs most frequently through the youthministry360 Blog. Every day—yes, every single day--we post a new article on the Blog. These articles fall into different categories, but they all have one thing in common: they are practical, relevant articles designed to help you grow in the craft of doing youth ministry. The best thing is that we have over 50 different contributors to our blog, so there’s a ton of different insight and perspectives offered.

We also offer training through live, interactive workshops we’re fortunate enough to get to offer around the country. These face-to-face, workshops provide exciting moments where youth workers can learn from each other, becoming more effective at discipling the students in their ministries. On the next few pages, you’ll find some samples from some of the best content on the ym360 Blog. If the Blog isn’t something you’re tracking with on a regular basis, you’re missing out. If you like what you see, stop by the blog sometime. There’s plenty more where this came from! God Bless, Andy Blanks co-founder, Publisher

5 Characteristics Of Healthy Discipleship By Andy Blanks The word “discipleship” means different things to different people. When I say “discipleship” I’m simply talking about the process of growing to be more like Christ. While the process itself will differ based on your ministry context, I think there are some common characteristics of healthy discipleship no matter what context you’re in. As you read these, ask yourself to what degree you see them in your youth ministry. 1. Gospel Focused No matter how you teach the Bible, it must be taught through the lens of the Gospel. When we make our Bible teaching too much about application, or cultural

relevance, or entertainment, we fail students. The good news of God’s rescue plan for humanity, as fulfilled in Christ, must be the foundation of your teaching efforts. Too often we make our Bible teaching about doing. Do this. Don’t do that. Right actions won’t make disciples. But consistently bringing our students face-to-face with the Gospel will. Read the other 4 Characteristics here:

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Keeping Volunteers Engaged In Your Youth Ministry By Christopher Wesley It’s nice when your ministry is growing on all fronts, not only when you see new teens walking in through the door, but when you attract adults who want to get involved. But if you’ve been in ministry long enough, you know that volunteering can sometimes gets a little stale for some of your adults. Their interest wanes, and next thing you know they disappear for a week or two at a time. Why do these volunteer ministers leave? I think the reason many volunteers leave isn’t because they don’t see a need. I think they leave because we haven’t shown them a clear vision. Many leave because they simply don’t feel invested. What they really want to be a part of the excitement. They want to be a part of a story, a part of the life-change taking place in students. To allow them to be a part of all of this, there are a couple things you can do.

5 Tips For Maximizing Our Impact On Students’ Parents By Danny Bowers If you’ve been in youth ministry for any amount of time, you’ve discovered that it isn’t just about youth. Parents, guardians, grandparents, 2nd cousins . . . Our ministries have a much wider impact than we sometimes remember! Especially as it pertains to students’ parents or guardians. How do we make sure we are maximizing our impact on our students’ parents? Here are five “best practices” I try to consistently implement with our students’ parents or guardians. These are simply my way of making sure my impact can be as positive and effective as possible. Finish reading about these 5 tips here:

Read the rest of this article here:

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Creating Openness In Your Small Group By Andy Blanks There are a variety of aspects to community but one of the most important ones (and one that can seem to be the most fleeting) is openness. See, community is more than just hanging out. It’s more than just being buds. (Or whatever the female equivalent is. Budettes? Gal-pals?) It’s more than inside jokes and shared experiences. These things are important. But if you don’t experience real openness, it’s not community. Openness, or transparency if you’re feeling buzz-wordy, is a hallmark of genuine relationships and genuine community. I define openness as “the freedom to discuss any personal issue (both your own and in response to others’ issues) without fear of the issue being mishandled in any way, and with a confidence that sharing this issue with the group is in an individual’s best interest.” When you experience real openness in a group, it’s a sure sign that something good is going on. But it’s not easy to develop. Here are a few thoughts on what you can do to encourage openness in your small group:

Openness Isn’t Necessarily Born In Your Youth Room

Building openness doesn’t exclusively happen during the time you spend at church, or wherever your organized meeting place is. You have to break through the invisible wall of formality that exists between you and your students. If you never break this barrier, you’ll always be the youth minister or the youth worker. But when you engage students’ at their ballgames, or at the coffee shop, or at their choir recital, you step out of “formal” and into “personal.” You become Chris or Michelle, not just the “student pastor.”

Openness Is A Two Way Street

It’s impossible to develop openness in a group without you being willing to be open as well. You can’t expect students to invest the emotional capital in opening up to you if you are unwilling to open up to them. Obviously, because we’re dealing with students and not our peers, we must know what’s appropriate and what’s not. Should you tell your students about the fight you had with your spouse? Probably not. But could you tell them about your strained relationship with your sibling? In the right context, maybe so. There are no hard and fast rules. But it has to be a two-way street.

Trust Is Key

What is shared must be safe. And this isn’t just about you. It’s about the other students in the room. The first time a personal issue that is shared in small group “shows up” in the school hallways or on Facebook, kiss your transparent community goodbye. Or at least be willing to watch it go on vacation for a while. Your group has to truly value trust. It can’t be taken lightly.

Your Motivation Must Be Pure

You will never (and I mean never) experience true openness and community if your motivations are anything other than pure. If your agenda is to create a sense of openness to gain an edge on students, or to somehow use students’ vulnerability as part of a spiritual growth process (as if disciples were made in factories), you’ll never see real openness. Not only that, you run the risk of damaging the concept of openness for these students. You must be willing to engage in a reciprocal relationship with your students, one where you learn from them as they learn from you. One where you are open to having your faith shaped as you lead in shaping the faith of your students.

Openness Can’t Be Rushed. It Takes Time

The truth is that there is no “5 Step Process” to building openness in your small group. You can’t force it. It’s an organic by-product of real, (buzz-word alert) authentic community. And sometimes, openness takes a long time to develop. It depends a lot on you and your students. I am currently discipling a group of 8th graders. We’re over a year into our time as a small group. And we’re still a long way away from a community where real openness occurs. And while I wish we were, I know that every group is different. We’ll get there. It’s slow work. But it’s worth it. What have you noticed about transparency and openness in your small groups? Join in the conversation at:

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By Benjer McVeigh

The Responsibility Veteran Youth Ministers Have To New Youth Ministers I landed my first paid youth ministry position just two months after graduating from college. To be honest, I wasn’t really even looking for a church position. I figured I would volunteer in a youth ministry for a few years and try to get accepted into seminary. I had no idea a church would hire me, let alone trust me to lead their youth ministry. My guess is that my story might not be too far from your story. It’s difficult to find statistics on the average age of youth pastors that include part-time and volunteer youth pastors, but I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to say that many youth pastors/directors are in their twenties when they get their first youth ministry position. Of all the youth pastors I’m friends with, I can think of only one who I know for sure was at least 30 years old when they became a youth pastor. Most became a youth pastor before they were 25 years old. I wouldn’t bet that the trend of hiring young or otherwise inexperienced men and women as youth pastors is going to slow down. That being the case, I believe that veteran youth workers have a responsibility to help young or inexperienced youth pastors out. When I was starting out as a youth pastor, I benefited from some veteran youth workers taking the time to pour into my life. Here are some things veteran youth pastors can do for rookies:

1. Buy a young/new youth pastor lunch or a cup of coffee.

One of my favorite memories from my early years as a youth pastor was at a youth ministry conference. I was still in seminary, and my friend had convinced our admissions office that it would be beneficial to send four youth ministry students to the conference to sit at our seminary’s booth in the exhibition hall. While our hotel and plane tickets were paid for, we were on our own for food. A veteran youth pastor from our city was also attending the conference, and he offered to take us all out to dinner. We spent time laughing and talking about

ministry. It may have just been a dinner to that veteran youth pastor, but I was grateful that he was willing to take time out of his schedule (and money from his wallet) to pour into us as young youth workers.

2. Encourage young/new youth pastors to be a part of your denominational or local youth ministry network.

Of course, being a part of a youth ministry network is something that all youth pastors can benefit from, no matter how many years you’ve been doing youth ministry. A huge benefit of a healthy youth ministry network is that younger youth workers can benefit from relationships with some youth workers who have been around the block once or twice. In my first youth ministry position, some of my best friends in ministry were a part of a youth ministry network run by our denomination’s local office. It was a blessing to hang out with some youth pastors who had been in the same church for a long time.

3. Mentor a young/new youth pastor.

When I was in my first youth ministry position, I was required by the seminary I attended to have a “professional” mentor who was in ministry as well. My mentor was a 20-year youth ministry veteran with whom I still have a great relationship ten years later. Many people who point out that Paul tells young Timothy he should not be despised for his youth forget that he was mentored by Paul. Sure, it’s possible for a young youth pastor to make a huge impact, but it probably won’t happen without a mentor pouring into that person. You won’t be able to be a mentor during every season of your life, but when the time is right, don’t be afraid to identify a young youth pastor you can pour into from the wisdom you’ve learned from your many years of mistakes. What are some other ways veteran youth pastors can pour into rookies? Share your thoughts with the community here:

Tips, Tools, and More: | Currently 800+ Articles, A New Post Each Day // 13

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Bible Study Resources





Helping You Connect To Awesome Organizations and Resources

We love highlighting people and organizations doing awesome things in youth ministry. Our hope is to connect you with organizations, movements, or causes that can serve you as you minister to your students. Learn more about our friends on these next few pages. Visit their websites, give em’ a call, and tell ‘em ym360 said something nice about them.

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The FREE spiritual formation magazine for youth ministers, youth workers & parents w/ articles on: • Bible study • missions

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DIGGING DEEPER INTO LIFE WITH CHRIST Every week, we work with teens that say they belong to Jesus. But once they’ve decided to follow Him, how can we help them thrive? PlanetWisdom has always been focused on discipleship, but this year we’re digging deeper into what it means to grow in Christ. As we begin with the basics of what it means to follow

Jesus, we’ll progress into an understanding of the fruit of the Spirit, how to break bad habits that keep us from Jesus, and what new disciplines we can embrace to help us become more like Jesus—to really thrive in our faith. Join us at PlanetWisdom 2013-2014 for a weekend filled with biblical teaching, worship, laughter, and fun for your youth group.




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Fall 2014 Resource and Training Magazine

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ym360 The Magazine | Bible Study Resources and Training | Winter/Spring 2014  

A catalog full of Bible study resources, training, and more! Designed for youth workers.

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