Do you know an emerging youth pastor that would be a great fit for a 15-month paid internship? If so, I want to meet them. Continue reading →
Imagine you have as much money as Macklemore has in the song “Thrift Shop.” You decide to purchase a gross of tags. Each tag costs 10 cents. How much money do you have left over?
That was my favorite question from a Parents Vs. Teens Trivia game we played at a recent family night event. Last week I shared how we used text messaging as a buzzer system for a trivia game. I got a few questions about how we actually presented the questions. It was actually pretty slick and really simple, here’s what we did: Continue reading →
Every year we have a family event on Pi Day, March 14. It might be a geeky reason to get together, but everyone brings pies, and then we eat pies, it’s awesome.The past few years, the night has culminated in a parents vs. teenagers trivia challenge. It’s become a pleasant rivalry, especially with the teens’ epic come-from-behind victory to reclaim the title this year. Good times.
We’ve struggled to come up with a good system to run the game, and accept answers. Raising hands gets contentious and relies on whoever was seen first. Buzzer systems are expensive and limit the number of players. So what to do?
Turns out we’ve had the answer in our pockets all along. We simply used my cell phone as the buzzer. I put my number up on the screen and then when each question was asked they would text in their answer. It worked for both multiple choice and short form questions, and it was easy to see who was first so there were
no less arguments about who “buzzed in” first. (A word of caution, it can get a little tricky to scroll check who came in first as the phone bombards you with notifications.)
A few notes about using this method:
- You should have an unlimited texting plan.
- It can get a little tricky to scroll check who came in first as the phone bombards you with notifications
- If you didn’t want to give away your number to the whole room of people, you could enlist a service like Pinger to get a separate phone number to use.
- It’s a great way to collect cell number you might not already have.
It might be a little rudimentary, but it got the job done and didn’t require any equipment or services we didn’t already have. I can’t believe it took us a couple years to have this “a-ha” moment!
Youth groups aren’t dirty enough.
In medicine there is a theory known as the Hygiene Hypothesis. Simply stated, the hygiene hypothesis is that the lack of exposure to infectious agents as a child results in a sub-par immune system as they grow older. Basically, we protect kids from germs so much that they don’t build a defense against them.
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For the past few years, our youth group has volunteered at the Mexican Independence Day Festival. We travel down to the south side of Minneapolis and we run the giant inflatable games; bounce house, giant slide, jousting, etc. It’s a surprisingly taxing service project, as we spend the afternoon trying to corral thousands of niños with a mix of Spanglish and hand gestures. But it’s always a good time, and I love taking my suburban teenagers into the heart of the city and immersing them in a foreign culture.
One of my favorite parts of the day was when I was told that I was a hindrance to the Holy Spirit, interfering with the work of God, and a hateful and judgmental person. Continue reading →