Entries Tagged as 'Events'

Conference is nearly here!!

3 June 2014 by | Comments

It’s THAT time of year, the time of year that gets us all jittery with excitement at the thought of spending a weekend with a whole bunch of other people who actually get us. The time of year that has you gathering your team, your family, your ministry leaders and registering for YKMC!

Youth and Kids Ministry Conference is for all leaders who engage with young people. It’s 1 epic weekend held in 2 states with 100s of leaders just like you.

If you are looking for the best training, inspiration and networking you can pack into one weekend you need to head to www.salvos.org.au/ykmc



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Categorised: Events

Super-Programmed vs Spirit-Led Events

14 January 2014 by | Comments

I love seeing those run-sheets for events where everything is planned down to the split-second. It gives me a good chuckle and I need a good chuckle sometimes. They’re funny because they usually allow 3.5 minutes for announcements and we know full well that the guy getting up there will use 10 and that every other timeframe from then on will never match up.

Though a super-programmed event with an epic runsheet may produce a knowing chuckle I do certainly prefer that to showing up to a youth event where the youth leader has the words ‘welcome, singing, pizza’ scrawled across the back of his hand in pen as a reminder for how the night should go.

I do believe in programming and I do believe in being led by the Holy Spirit. I think these things kinda work well together actually, just like fish & chips, skinny jeans and sandshoes, Miley and Liam, you get the picture :)

Plan Your Event

When planning your event it is important to map out what needs to happen and when. Brainstorm a rough outline and have others review it to look for any holes and let you know whether your timeframes are completely unrealistic. Give everyone adequate time to get into the room. Plan to have videos onscreen, background music or countdown timers during transition times.  Does the band, speaker or special guest need to be introduced? Factor it in. Do you need time for counselling after an altar call? Factor it in.

Have a Plan B

While it is important to plan as much detail as you can you also need to know what you are going to do if something does go overtime (and 98% of the time this does happen)*. Before your program starts running behind you need to be able to correct it as you go and you can do this a couple of ways. You can factor in some extra minutes (you know just blank time appearing in your runsheet) before hand to cover any time blowouts OR you can cut things as you go. It is easiest to cut things out of the program or trim their times down when you have already decided which things are the absolute essentials. Categorise things into necessary ( I wouldn’t go cutting the sermon time in half) and movable (you may be comfortable removing one of your 10 songs or a game).

Umm hello, the Holy Spirit?

Pretty sure I had promised that programming and the Spirit go together like jatz and cheese. If we get really serious about our programming and runsheets aren’t we ignoring the Holy Spirit? Well the Holy Spirit will lead you while you plan. I mean we start praying for God’s leading well before we start our prep right? Hopefully your event is the Holy Spirit’s idea and the Spirit will continue to lead you throughout planning and running it and long after. It is easy to blame the Holy Spirit for our own laziness or disorganisation, a “well nothing is planned out, we will just see where the Spirit leads” approach. We can even get a little ‘holier than though’ around youth leaders who never let their events blow out with 2 hours of response time.

Let’s involve God in our planning and plan things well.



*This statistic was entirely fabricated but has an 83% chance of being true.


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Categorised: Events

Ways to engage young people with your community

15 July 2013 by | Comments

Engaging and involving young people in the community is something we’re always being challenged about at //ONEIGHTY youth, Menai. Here are 4 tools we have used to do so.

Serve Nights

Although our serve nights were about practically loving and serving our community, the vision behind them was to develop a spirit of generosity and servant hearts in our young people. We hold them once a term and do things

  • baking cookies for the surrounding houses
  • write encouraging letters
  • wash cars
  • clean the church
  • pick up rubbish
  • take trolley’s back to trolley bays etc.

We found that young people have an innate desire to seek justice and make a difference. Plus, it was heaps of fun!

Red Shield After Party

The Red Shield After Party was about making the most of the opportunities and maximizing our community influence. We get over 300 Red Shield Appeal volunteers every year from the local High Schools. This year was our third annual Red Shield After Party. This is not only a great way to encourage the kids who are already at youth to join in supporting their church by collecting, but it’s also an awesome way to reach out to students that volunteer for the Red Shield Appeal.
We invite all kids who’ve been collecting to come to the Party later that night. The purpose is to show gratitude and appreciation to those who helped us out, build relationships with young people from the community, link them to our youth ministry and sew Kingdom seeds for God to grow.

Mega Mates Night!

The vision behind Mega Mates is to challenge our young people to take ownership of growing their youth ministry, and that world change starts with them. The goal is for every student to bring at least one friend to youth and to see our youth ministry “double-in-a-day”.

We pull out the big guns for this one:

  • jumping castle (’cause you’re never too old)
  • live bands
  • game stalls
  • op shop
  • temporary tattoos
  • food
  • the works!

All in the hope that we can reach out to an even broader group of youth and see more and more young people encounter Jesus.

Prayer Ministry

One thing we have tried recently with the brave is street prayer ministry or “treasure hunts”. We get into small groups of young people, seek God, listen to His voice and ask for any ‘words of knowledge’ He might give us. From there, we share what God was saying then go out in the streets and pray for people and share God’s love.
We’ve only tried it a few times but have seen knees healed, uneven legs grow and people touched by God. But the greatest thing is watching the faith of young people grow as they step out of their comfort zone and activate their faith!

Written by Courtney Williams (Youth Leader) and Matt Godkin (Youth Ministry Coordinator) from Menai Corps – Sydney East & Illawarra division

Registrations for YMC closing June 30th!!

11 June 2013 by | Comments


Because this year’s YMC is guaranteed to be the best one yet I recommend you get your butt into gear and fill out your online registration form before June 30th or you will end up being one regret-filled youth leader.

YMC 2013 is in QLD and NSW and has an amazing line up of both youth and children’s ministry speakers.

Here’s the list so far:

  • Scott ‘Sanga’ Samways
  • Claire Hill
  • Becky Douglass
  • Dave Reardon
  • Mike Hardie
  • Dustan Bell
  • Tammy Tolman
  • Andy Gourley
  • Christopher Wayne
  • Dave Goodwin
  • Roscoe Holland
  • Derek Hughes
  • Rowan Castle
  • Colleen Morton
  • Linda Mill
  • Marie Southall
  • Letitia Shelton
  • Lyn Beasy
  • Lincoln Proellocks

To get more info or to register head to:


YMC! Coming at ya like a freight train.

23 April 2013 by | Comments


Pumped is an drastic understatement. Freaking buzzed is closer.

YMC is coming AND it’s going to be amazing AND it needs you!!!

  • This year we’re hitting up Sydney AND the Sunshine Coast. That means less travel and more choices.
  • The speakers we’ve got lined up are PHE.NOM.IN.AL
  • Youth Ministry AND Children’s Ministry workshops means the opportunity to pick up important tips for transitioning young people through the discipleship journey right through to adulthood.
  • A saturday arvo ‘officers forum’ is all about empowering church leaders to build and support great youth and children’s ministries. Yeah that’s right, we’ve targeted your Corps Officer
  • You can quickly and easily register online at https://salvos.org.au/more/events/2013/08/02/youth-ministry-conference-2013/

So check out the website, keep up to date on the Youth Ministry Conference Facebook page and get yourself registered asap. You will smell bad if you don’t. Legit.

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Categorised: Events

Time to make another poster?

16 January 2013 by | Comments

Over the last year I have come across some great apps that help in the program side of ministry.

A favorite of mine at the moment is “Phoster”.

This app allows you to create a high quality poster for what ever event you may have coming up, all you need to do is open the app on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch and follow the direction given.

The app is available on the iTunes store for $1.99

Check out the example below…. It is easy to operate and creates a poster efficiently while holding high quality.

Bless ya!



Tips for effective big event pack down

20 December 2012 by | Comments

1. Ask specialist people to do specialist jobs

There are usually a bunch of jobs that require special skill, training or strength (Eg. Carrying super heavy items, coiling up cables, packing away a drum skit, dissembling scaffolding).

The people who can do these tasks should leave the stuff everyone can do (e.g. Putting away chairs, picking up rubbish, sweeping, etc) to others.


2. Work out what order things should happen in.

 Are there some tasks that have external time pressures? Eg. Hire equipment that needs to be returned?

 Are  there some jobs that are dependent on others? Eg. You’ll probably want to clear the chairs before you vacuum!

 You don’t need to list every job in order, but maybe place the tasks in 3 stages.


3. Put someone in charge


Have one person who is in the know about what needs to be done, how the jobs need to be done, in what order, etc. Make sure everyone knows who they are and free them up to primarily (or exclusively) focus on keeping everyone else working effectively.


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Categorised: Events

5 Simple ways to make new people feel awkward

15 November 2012 by | Comments

1. Don’t put any signs up.

Make it hard to find the toilets, the entrance & the main meeting area.

2. Ignore them

It’s an oldie but is still as effective as ever

3. Make them the centre of attention. 

Shove a microphone in front of their face and interview them without checking if this is okay with them, or force them to compete in front of everyone in this week’s embarrassing game

4. Talk as if everyone has a basic knowledge of the bible and/or a familiarity with many worship songs.

Simple phrases like: ‘we all know this one’ and the absence of any lyrics for people to follow should do the tricK

5. Give them the impression you want their money

Maybe introduce your offering with the phrase ‘we will now be waited upon for our tithes and offerings’? and give no further explanation about what is expected from them.

It’s very easy to unintentionally do these things! I know I have. How are you going with making your youth ministry a place where new young people can feel welcome and at ease? :) 

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Categorised: Evangelism, Events

Interviewing 101

31 October 2012 by | Comments

A great interview can really help make your event memorable, provide a good laugh and inspire your young people. A bad interview is rarely such an epic fail that young people chuck in their faith. It’s more likely you will just leave them oh so very bored.

I am keen to make sure my young people no longer have to sit through painful interviews and thought it high-time to investigate what makes a great interview to save you from making the same mistakes I have so often been guilty of in the past.

Here’s a few things you can do to make sure your interview engages people:

  1. Find a good subject (interviewee). If you get to choose who to interview, make sure you get a great interviewee. Some people are great on camera or stage and others aren’t. Some people have a great story to share and make the interview really easy while others leave you feeling like you are pulling teeth. Ask around, find a great person and meet them to see how interesting their presentation will be.
  2. Do some research. Know the answers to some basic questions about the person you are interviewing. Find out where they are from, a little of their background, what they are working on, what they are passionate about. You get a better interview out of people if you have done your homework because they can see your genuine interest and you are able to ask the questions that no one else has thought of. At the very least jump on facebook to get a little familiar with their world.
  3. Prep them beforehand. It is a good idea to give the person you are interviewing at list a few of the questions you will ask them before the interview. Don’t give them everything because you still want some spontaneity but allowing them to think through some of the big questions you will throw their way helps your interview to move well. In prepping them make sure they know roughly how long they will be interviewed for and what your expectations are. Do you want them to have some fun with their answers? Let them know.
  4. Let them speak about something they are excited about. It’s easy to get a humdrum interview out of a vibrant, charismatic person. Just ask them about the mating habits of bees, knitting or sanctification! If you want the best out of someone you need to know what really gets them fired up and make sure you ask them questions that allow them the freedom to speak about the things that are burning on their heart.
  5. Ask great questions. Funny questions, different questions, questions that make them share openly. See my next blog for a list of great interview questions.




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Categorised: Events


19 September 2012 by | Comments

1 Peter 4:10 (The Message)

Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it:

One thing we have started this year at //ONEIGHTY youth is a quarterly ‘Serve Night’. During these nights the young people undertake acts of random service and kindness to the people of our church and community. Things we’ve done include; baking cookies, encouragement letters, cleaning, washing cars, praying etc.

The ‘Serve Night’ was never really about ‘meeting the needs of the community’ or ‘saving people’. These were just the fruits. It was more about ‘creating opportunities for our Young People to live out the lives God has called them to’, and ‘raising up Young People after God’s own heart’.

Here are three things we learnt from running the ‘Serve nights’.

1. Young people want to change the world
We were heaps surprised at just how keen our youth group was to get out in the community and simply serve! Young people desire to make an impact on the community but lack the practical steps to get started. Serve Night showed us that there is a passion in the hearts of young people for positive change in their community.

2. Not to put youth in a box
We know probably too well the health hazards of constraining youth in a literal box. But the dangers of a Labeled Stereotype Box are just as much of a problem. Too often we think that the young people in our community are just after a fun time and some food. Although a teenager’s hunger for food is central to their existence, their hunger to break stereotypes and change their world is far greater.

3. Small acts of service make a big impact
One new church family we visited on our Serve Night said that the random acts of kindness shown to them from our youth group has been a large reason of why they attend our church. Their daughters are very young but they made it clear that they want their kids to be involved in our youth ministry when they’re older because we do more than just preach the gospel, we strive to live it out.

Serve Nights don’t have to be a massive evangelism project to be super effective. The passion for positive change is already inside the hearts of young people. We simply need to get the ball rolling with some practical steps of service.

By Matt Godkin, Youth Ministry Coordinator at Menai Corps – SE & I Division

About us.

How do we get better at youth ministry?

That’s a question we’re asking ourselves all the time, so we started a blog to collect our thoughts and hopefully include you in the conversation too.

We – Claire, Nate, Shandri and Matt – work together at The Salvation Army’s Territorial Headquarters in Sydney, Australia, and are responsible for supporting and resourcing Salvation Army youth ministries throughout NSW, QLD and ACT.