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Is this a week where you can’t wait for Friday to come?You need to do what it takes to get out of the office and get it done! Or, are you calculating what you need to accomplish so you have an easy Monday? Have you planned your vacation for the season? What job will you have in five years? Where will you retire? How are you preparing for retirement? Oooohhhhh long term…..!!! What are you setting up for your children, or your children’s children? That takes some planning! The question I am leading to is this, what are you doing that will influence your family and society for the next 500 or 1000years? We have been programmed to look at our end of life planning as long term planning. The really visionary people have an inheritance set up for their children. How many people have you met that consider…

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The Projects

In youth ministry, there are always projects. Projects like events, activities organizing, staff meetings, leadership, curriculum, and others. Then there are project kids and parents. So yeah, projects are everywhere. But I think there are some projects that are far more important than others. Here is a list of what I think are the MOST important “projects” and in what order.

  1. Your own soul: So often we ignore our own soul, relegating it to a “when I have time” status. This is a project that should not be ignored, it should be a primary concern. Time spent in the Word, in prayer, personal worship and growth is never a waste of time. It will never be less important. It is the number one project you should concern yourself with. But it isn’t the end-all. Imagine a world in which everyone stood silent, staring into their own soul all day. Nothing else would be accomplished. So look at this primarily as a “soul care”. It is like a continual waiting at the cross, maintenance of your soul and a daily dependent care of your relationship with Jesus.
  2. Your marriage, then family: In this exact order. When we focus on kids before marriage- bad things can happen. If you are properly caring for your soul, that is depending on Jesus, then you are also caring for your spouse. Marriage is God’s best idea for us, in fact he refers to the Church as His bride and the author of Hebrews tells us to “honor the marriage bed”. So Your marriage is of critical importance- care for it and treat it as a valuable project in need of constant care and creativity. Your kids are also in this boat and require great attention and focus. They are your greatest treasures and deserve as much attention and love as you are able and willing to give. Spend time in prayer for your family and as God to teach you to be the loving, creative, and involved father or mother that he wants you to be. Invest time in this project.
  3. Church life: More than the youth ministry we are called to serve in, church life is a project that you ought to be devoting time to. Not only for your friendships and relationships within the church (which will increase your effectiveness in the lives of your teens and elongate your time as the youth pastor) but also for the health of your family, marriage, and soul. Relationships with people in the church are very important, take time to develop them and grow in them.
  4. Pastor: Your pastor is a project. You must be working together and in sync with the move of God. Spend time in prayer at lunch and in strategy sessions. These will increase your effectiveness in the Kingdom of God and you will encourage one another to love and good deeds.
  5. Teens: Working IN the youth ministry is more important than working on it. Spend time each week mentoring several teens and helping them to grow in their faith. Not only will you set an example for other adult leaders, but you will demonstrate that you care for the individual lives of the kids in your “program”. Like they say, “they don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
  6. Adult volunteers: Developing your adult staff is also VERY important. Releasing others into ministry and helping them to grow into the men and women that God has called them to be in reaching teens is part of your job- work hard to provide resources, tips, and spend quality time with each leader. They will in turn spend time with teens and will multiply the ministry rather than simply add to it. You will see great increase in leadership and effectiveness if you have a strong adult volunteer core.
  7. Events, activities, programs, and details: These parts of the ministry are also very important. We must devote time to these parts of the ministry and we must properly plan for events and activities. If we do not, then our events will suck and kids won’t  come. If you are spending time with the Lord and developing your soul and leading your adult volunteers, then creativity and help will not be a problem. You will be full of energy and will have a ton of creative ideas. Take time each week to brainstorm through the events and make them as good as you can!

This is my list- do you have one? What would you change from this list of priorities in youth ministry?

A Million and One Fundraising Ideas

Easy Fundraising idea

50/50 Raffle

Perhaps the simplest of all fundraisers is the 50/50 raffle. Many organizations that rely on fundraising efforts offer a 50/50 raffle at every meeting. Some companies have “fun teams” that are entirely funded … more

All Saints Day Cleanup

Little ghosts and goblins can wreak havoc on yards and pumpkins during Halloween. Have an all saints day cleanup for your next fundraiser. Create a flyer about your group and what you are … more

All You Can Eat Potato Bar

Tired of the same old spaghetti dinner fundraisers? Try having an all you can eat potato bar for your group’s next dinner fundraiser. People will enjoy the change and there is a minimal … more

Baby and Kids’ Resale

Babies and children outgrow clothing and toys so quickly, often before they are worn out. Host a baby and kids’ resale as your next fundraiser. You will need a large building with a … more

Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction

Calling all eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. Help raise funds for your group and meet some new people while doing so. Host a Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction. This fundraiser is appropriate for adult groups. … more

Bagger for a Day

Sometimes it seems that your local grocery store can be too busy and that you always end up bagging your own groceries. This quick and easy fundraising idea lets you provide a nice service to … more

Bake Sale

This is an easy fundraiser to run as part of a larger event, such as a holiday craft sale, or sporting event. You will want to give a call out to all of the … more

Bakeoff Bake Sale

Appeal to the community’s competitive spirit and love of sweets and hold a bakeoff bake sale! You can set parameters like participants can only bake cookies or cakes, or just let everyone do their own … more

Ballroom Dancing Lessons

Put on your dancing shoes and start practicing your spins and dips! Ballroom dancing made quite a comeback through reality television. Other than it being fun and entertaining, it’s also great exercise. Another great thing … more

Barbecue Contest

Fire up the grills and break out your best barbecue recipes! Everyone loves a barbecue. Anything cooked on a grill is delicious—even vegetables—and it’s a great venue for socializing and getting to know members of … more

Bargain Basement Evening Gowns

This is a wonderful way to clean out your closets and make some money during Prom and Homecoming Season. People always have old Prom dresses and Bridesmaids dresses that they don’t know what to … more

Beach Cleanup

A great way to raise money during the summer is with a beach cleanup day. When the weather is at its hottest, people spend a lot more time at the beach. The thing is, people … more

Beautiful Baby Contest

Everyone loves a beautiful baby, and all parents know their baby is one. They won’t be able to resist entering their child into your beautiful baby contest. This fundraiser is appropriate for everyone. … more

Bidding for Blue Plate Specials

This is a fun and sometimes hilarious twist on the dinner fundraiser. Tell people to bring an individual serving, cooked meal or dessert, their checkbook, and their sense of adventure. They will be … more

Big Truck and Tractor Rally

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday… Here’s one for the gear-heads, automotive groups, and big kid in all of us. Talk to a local contractor or heavy equipment rental facility. Have them bring down some … more

Board Game Tournament

Create a fun twist on a card tournament and do something that everyone can participate in. Have a Board Game Tournament. Pick a favorite, such as Sorry, Trouble, or Monopoly. Assemble 4 … more

Book Club Fundraiser

Band with your fellow book lovers, have a good time, learn new things, and raise money for your cause! A book club fundraiser may very well be the perfect combination of fun and function. Book … more

Break the Balloon

Pop, pop, pop. What can be more fun that popping a balloon? Winning something for doing so, of course. This is an easy fundraiser and can be incorporated into other events, such … more

Buckets for Donations

This fundraiser is perfect to collect the change given at countless stores in your town. Gather old coffee cans and other types of containers and then punch holes in the top. Print out … more

Business Fundraisers

Improve employee morale at work by creating a self-funding Fun Team. They will host many mini-fundraisers throughout the year to provide fun events for all employees to attend. Happy employees are more productive … more

Butler Auction

This fundraiser will probably prove to be very popular with the underclassmen at your high school. Let the seniors’ auction themselves off to be a butler for a day. Butler responsibilities would be … more

Cake Walk

This traditional fundraiser is a piece of cake to organize! It can be a small part of a larger fundraising event, or a successful fundraiser on its own. Ask for volunteers from your group to … more

Campaign for Fun

This fundraiser is both a fun time and a learning experience. Many people would like to run for a political office and this is a fun way to try it out. Run a … more

Car Detailing

A car wash is a common fundraiser for groups of all types. But what if you don’t have access to a water source? Or what if you just want to be environmentally friendly, and save … more

Car Smash

When someone you know is hurting from a disease or illness, it is good to be able to get your aggressions out. You can combine that with a fundraiser to help pay for treatment … more

Car Wash

This is one of the most used and recognizable fundraisers. It is very simply known as the Car Wash. You will want to find a place to have the car wash at. … more

Cardboard Regatta

A cardboard regatta, is race on a calm body of water between contestants that build their own cardboard vessels. This is a particularly good event for groups that have a technical or engineering focus. … more

Carnation Day

Everyone loves to receive flowers and it can be very uplifting to know that someone is thinking of you. Have a carnation day on Valentine’s Day or Sweetest Day as your group’s next fundraiser. … more

Celebrate National Talk like a Pirate Day!

Arrr, matey! Fundraisers don’t always have to be serious and boring. If you want a fun and hearty change, why not try a fundraiser on National Talk Like a Pirate Day? September 19 is the … more

CFL Bulbs

More and more people are becoming concerned about the environment and want to do their part to preserve it. Why not combine environmental awareness with fundraising? Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs use about 75 percent … more

Chili Cook-off

Just about everyone has a secret family chili recipe. Encourage people to share theirs by having a Chili Cook-off for your next fundraiser. Charge an entry fee to all chefs and award cash … more

Christmas Carolers

The Holidays are jolly and nothing sets the mood better than singing. This fundraiser is perfect for a school choir or glee club and will make you feel good as well as raise money. … more

Christmas Cookie Baking

Most people have already been rushing around for more than a month, first getting ready for Thanksgiving, and now preparing for Christmas. There’s shopping to do, decorating, possibly travel to plan, or preparing their homes … more

Christmas Light Removal

How many times have you driven through a neighborhood weeks, or even months after Christmas, and seen several houses that still have lights dangling from the eaves? There’s usually at least one on every street. … more

Christmas Tree Ornaments Fundraiser

No need to wait until December to plan a Christmas tree ornament fundraiser. Plan this event early enough to allow people to order and receive their ornaments in time for the holidays. Find a company … more

Coffee House and Poetry Slam

Lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos… Coffee houses are sweeping the nation and are the place to hang out on Friday or Saturday night. This fundraiser works great for a school or church group and … more

Coffee Table Art Book

This fundraiser works especially well for pre-schools, elementary schools, and daycares. Create a coffee table art book filled with works of art from your children. This is a great way to showcase their … more

Consignment Sale

This takes some planning to pull off, but as long as you’re well organized, it can be a very successful and fun way to raise money. When times are tough, people look for easy ways … more

Cooking Class

You don’t have to be Julia Child to put on a cooking class! And it doesn’t have to be complicated French cuisine, either. If your organization has a kitchen, or if you can rent a … more

Cooking With Your Charity

This is a fun and easy fundraiser that has endless possibilities. Create a “Cooking with your charity” cookbook to sell and raise money. Ask for recipe submissions from your group to include in … more

Cow Pie Bingo

This is certainly an interesting idea for a fundraiser that will have people talking for a long time. In order to have a cow pie bingo, you will need to find a farmer willing … more


Break out those dancing shoes—it’s time to boogie! A 24-hour dance-a-thon is an easy and fun fundraiser. Ask people to sign up to participate. They can either dance as couples or alone. Then have the … more

Darts Tournament

Break out the arrows and get your throwing arm in shape! It’s time to raise some money with a darts tournament! Anyone who has ever been to a pub knows how popular darts is. It’s … more

Death by Chocolate

Chocolate lovers are everywhere. Give them what they want with a Death by Chocolate Fundraiser. Contact local restaurants and pastry chefs to see if they would be interested in participating. They would … more

Deposit Bottle Collection

This fundraiser works great in the States with a returnable bottle deposit or area with money for scrap collection facility. Create a flyer with information about your group and what you are collecting money … more

Dog Bakery

Dog bakeries are popping up all over the country. Spending on our four legged friends is at an all time high. Take advantage of this trend to raise money for your group. … more

Dog Wash

Everyone wants their dog to be clean, but not everyone has the ability to give their dog a bath at home, and groomers can be expensive. Your group can offer a low-cost dog wash for … more

Doggie Parade

Everyone loves a parade, so put your doggies on parade. Gather sponsors who will donate for every mile walked or for completing the whole route. Set up your parade route in a nice … more

Door to Door Scavenger Hunt

This fundraiser is a great way to collect non-perishable and other items for a food bank. It is also a fun night out for the family. Create a list of items that are … more

Dreaming of a Green Christmas

The holidays see a big increase in trash generation and removal. Gift wrap, boxes, cards, and envelopes fill dumpsters and landfills. Recycling is increasing, but one thing that people might not know is recyclable is … more

Drive-in Movie

Drive-in movie theaters were a popular American staple during the 1950s and 1960s. Most of today’s generation has never even heard of one, so recreate the fun for your next fundraiser. You may … more

Duckie Race

There is nothing quite like a group of rubber duckies floating down a river. For this raffle, you will want a large number of ducks and a body of water to float them down. … more

Dunk Tank

Who doesn’t like the thrilling satisfaction of throwing a softball as hard as they can to dunk someone in a tank of water? It’s fun, and a great way to raise money anywhere, especially during … more

Eating Contest

A timed eating contest is always amazing and fascinating to watch. Have one as your next fundraiser. The possibilities are endless as to what food to pick. Choose from pies, hot dogs, … more

Face Painting

Children love to have their face panted. This is a popular activity at carnivals and fairs. Set up a face painting booth at your next craft show or fair. Enlist the help … more

Fall Color Tour

Reds, oranges, and yellows… Its nature’s art show and it’s free for everyone to enjoy. This is a great fundraiser for areas that leaves on trees change colors in the fall. People love … more


A Festival can be held for any season or Holiday (i.e. Fall Festival, Winter Festival, or Halloween Festival) and can be a great way to raise money for many groups or clubs all at once. … more

Field Day

Remember when you were a kid and it was a daily goal to get outside, run around, and play games? Who says you can’t do that now, and raise money for your group at the … more

Fill’er Up

Full service gas stations used to be the way of life in America. Now it is rare to see them anywhere outside of New Jersey. Bring back the service, even if just for … more

Funny Photo Contest

This is a chance for all aspiring photographers to show off their funniest pictures. Have a funny photo contest and ask for submissions from your group. Setup pictures like an art show. … more

Garage Sale / Yard Sale

Who doesn’t have stuff floating around in their attic, basement, or spare room that just isn’t used or needed anymore? Clear out the clutter and help your cause at the same time. Ask your organization’s … more


It isn’t often that most people have a chance to go to a Horse Show. This fundraiser is perfect for a group with a farming or animal husbandry focus. You will need to … more

Gift Basket Auction or Raffle

No one wants to do another candy sale for his or her schools’ fundraiser. Here is one that is gaining in popularity and returning large rewards for those that host it. Make … more

Giving Tree

This is a great fundraiser to stock a food bank or other church pantry, or collect gifts for people in need during the Holiday season. Instead of decorating a tree with regular ornaments, decorate … more

Going to the Dogs

Dogs are now considered a member of the family and people are spending more time, love, and money on them than ever. Give your employees the chance to bring their dog to work for a … more

Gold Buying Fundraiser

Admit it. You have several pieces of gold jewelry just sitting in a box or on your dresser gathering dust. Either they’re broken or out of style, or maybe they were gifts from someone in … more

Gourd Tossing

This fundraiser is a spin off from the popular punkin’ chunkin’ competition. It is a great one to run in the fall during pumpkin and gourd growing season. You can either allow teams … more

Grab Bag

This fundraiser is similar to a What’s in the Box Auction and a White Elephant Sale with a couple of important differences. First, a grab bag fundraiser is not an auction. You’ll charge a flat … more

Grown Up Spelling Bee

Use a classic childhood competition for your next fundraiser. Have a grown up spelling bee. Find volunteers that would like to participate. You can either collect an entry fee to raise money, … more

Guest Speaker Seminars

Every community has members who stand out for some reason. It may be the local news anchors or athletes, or a successful local business owner. One way to raise money for your organization is to … more

Guided Nature Hike

When the weather starts warming up, people want to get outside. Why spend beautiful spring and summer days sitting around when you could go on a guided nature hike? If you live near a state … more

Hand-Painted Umbrellas

When working with a charity organization, or any group that relies on fundraising, you want to keep the group’s name in people’s minds as much as possible, as often as possible. While you might normally … more

Harvest Fest

This fundraiser can be as simple or elaborate as you like. Take advantage of the fall harvest and Halloween season to have a Harvest Fest. Set up a sale of local produce that … more

Haunted Tour Bus

This is a great fundraiser to run in October. Discover all of the haunted places in your area and research their history. Advertise that your group is offering a haunted tour bus ride. … more

Head Shaving

A head shaving fundraiser can have many incarnations, so you are only limited by your imagination. Here are a few ideas to help you brainstorm. Find a school teacher or principal willing to … more

Holiday Card Fundraiser

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays! Even though electronic methods have replaced a lot of day-to-day communications, many people still like to send paper cards for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Most of … more

Holiday Flower Sale

Spring tulips, Easter lilies, fall mums, and poinsettias are all seasonal flowers that could be a great fundraiser for your group. Find a local nursery that will wholesale flowers to your group so that … more

Holiday Shopping in One Night

Holiday gift shopping can be time consuming and hectic. Host a “holiday shopping in one night” event for your next fundraiser. Find vendors willing to set up a booth, either for a set … more

Hot Dog Stand

Hot dogs are easy to prepare, easy to eat, and easy to sell! Get permission from a local retailer to set up a hot dog stand outside their entrance. Be sure to have everything ready … more

How Many in That Jar?

You will need your best guessing skills for this fundraiser. This fundraiser is very simple to run and requires very little equipment. You will need a large jar or clear box and something … more

Hugs and Kisses

This is a great fundraiser to run around the romantic holidays (Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day, etc) or at the end of the school year for farewells. Package Hershey’s hugs and kisses candies (the … more

Ice Cream Social

You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream! Vanilla, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip. There are so many different flavors to choose from. Everyone loves ice cream. Host an ice … more

Ice Hole Swim

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a polar bear or a seal going for a swim in ice cold water? Now you can experience it for yourself with an ice … more

Karaoke Night

There is a hidden singer in all of us. Most people will admit to singing in their shower or car when no one else is around. Bring the singer out with a karaoke … more

Kissing Contest

Would you pucker up to raise money for your favorite charity? How about your favorite team or needy organization? Well it shouldn’t surprise you that when you leave the dreaded, or wonderful (depending on who … more

Language Classes

Buon giorno! That’s hello in Italian, in case you were wondering. There are times when knowing a foreign language comes in handy, whether it’s to communicate with people of different backgrounds in your own communities, … more

Local Celebrity Auction

Contact a few celebrities from your area or industry and ask them to participate in your fundraiser. See if they will donate some genre appropriate memorabilia that they have autographed. See if they … more

Local Series of Poker

Poker playing is sweeping the nation with everyone from celebrities to average Joes joining in on the fun. Host a fun amateur’s night of poker playing to raise money for your group. Find … more

Love from Home Packages

Being away at college is a huge adjustment and can leave you homesick. The perfect remedy is a care package from home. This fundraiser would be perfect for a high school or church. … more


Aloha! Bring the tropical flavor of the islands to your community with a luau fundraiser. If there’s a beach nearby, you can make it really authentic with a traditional pig roast. Add some fish to … more

Luxury or Rugged Test Drive

Contact local car dealerships and see if they are willing to bring a few luxury cars down for a test drive course. Set up cones in a parking lot. Charge people to take … more

Mailbox Painting

Many people put up plastic mailboxes nowadays, but traditionalists will still have the basic metal ones that can start to look dull and beat up after a while. Your group can either go door to … more

Miniature Golf Marathon

Get out your putters and little mini pencils, it is Miniature Golf time. This is a fun fundraiser that will have you honing your putting skills around water, sand traps, and rocks. It … more

Movie Marathon

Pop some popcorn, dim the lights, and settle in for a night of movie magic! Many movie theaters will work with groups to arrange special functions. Contact the theaters in your area to organize an … more

No Dirty Dishes For a Week

No one likes to wash dirty dishes. With our busy lives, it is sometimes hard to find the time to make a home cooked meal. This fundraiser will probably be very popular and … more

Nude Calendar

This fundraiser is exactly what it sounds like, almost. The idea here is to create a calendar based on photographs of people that are nude, but have some well placed object blocking their “naughty … more

On the Air

“Hello caller, you are on the air!” This fundraiser involves working with a local radio station, and helping them sell advertising time for a specific day. It will probably involve a great deal … more

Overnight Zoo or Garden

Imagine waking up to a front yard full of plastic pink flamingos, or spinning daisies for your next birthday or anniversary. This is a growing business and you can take advantage of it for … more

Paint the Curb

Grab some number stencils, some paint and masking tape and get ready to paint the curb for this fundraiser. Having your address painted on the curb in front of your house can save precious … more

Pampering in Prison

Create a new twist on the lock up for charity. Instead of just locking up your prisoners and having them make phone calls to family and friends to raise bail money, pamper them too. … more

Pancake Breakfast

This is one of the most common fundraisers because it’s easy and inexpensive to plan, and who doesn’t like pancakes? You’ll find everything you need to make the pancakes at the grocery store, or in … more

Pants, Who Needs Pants Day?

Be careful, this one could get weird. This is intended for professional and semi-professional organizations where there is a fairly strict dress code. This fundraiser is to sell a day pass to that … more

Pawfect Art Show

Create a sensations and a fun art fundraiser by bringing the inner Picasso out of your pet. Anyone with a pet would be able to participate or you could limit it to just dogs. … more

Pennies From Heaven

This fundraiser will create a healthy competition amongst classes, homerooms, or Sunday school classes while letting the students work together for a common coal. A penny fundraiser is simple. Each class will have … more

Perfume Fundraiser

Many people enjoy receiving perfume or cologne as a gift. It’s especially popular for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and December holidays. There are perfume fundraising companies that will help you organize your event, … more

Photo Scanning

Digital cameras and the Internet have made photo sharing a whole lot easier. But what about all those old photos stuck in albums, or piled in shoe boxes? Wouldn’t it be great if they could … more

Photos With Santa

Why pay for a hastily taken photo at the noisy, crowded mall when you can host your own photos with Santa session, and earn some money for your group at the same time? A photography … more

Pin it On

Every mom loves being honored on her special day, Mother’s Day. A great way to honor her is with a flower corsage. Your group can make corsages for your next fundraiser. Seek … more

Pizza Night

The best things about pizza are it’s easy to make, and it’s easy to tailor to anyone’s taste. All you have to do is get creative with the toppings! A pizza night fundraiser is also … more

Popcorn Tasting

You’ve heard of wine tastings, coffee and tea tastings, even dessert tastings. Why not a popcorn tasting? It’s a unique way to hold a popcorn fundraiser that’s much more fun than simply going door to … more

Rake It Up

It seems like all the leaves fall from the trees at once in the fall. It can be a time consuming task, but a great fundraiser for your group. Create a flyer that … more

Register for Text Donations

When earthquakes, floods, or other natural disasters occur, you may see information about being able to donate by cell phone text to organizations that offer relief. Other charity organizations accept text donations throughout the year. … more

Reserved Seats

Everyone dreams of sitting on the court at a basketball game or on the fifty yard line at a football came. Make that dream come true with a best seat in the house raffle. … more

Sadie Hawkins Day Dance

Did your high school ever hold one of these? The tradition calls for girls to invite boys to the dance in a once-a-year role reversal. The tradition started with the 1930s Li’l Abner comic strip, … more

Santa Breakfast

Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa Claus is coming to town. No one likes to wait in line at the mall to visit Santa Claus. Host a breakfast (or lunch) with Santa Claus to … more

Scramble (best ball) Golf Tournament

Have a golf tournament that is fun for everyone, regardless of their skill level. Host a scramble golf tournament. Find a golf course that is willing to donate their facilities for the day. … more

Scrapbook Crop

Pictures should be displayed and they don’t belong in shoeboxes. Scrapbooking is a very popular and profitable hobby. It is gaining a larger and larger following, with scrapbook stores popping up everywhere. … more

Services Auction

Both within your group and in your community, you’ll find people who engage in all kinds of professions. Ask some of them who provide services to take part in a services auction. They can offer … more

Shaken or Stirred?

This fundraiser is sure to create a buzz and bring in the customers. It is appropriate for adult fundraising groups and a strictly over 21 crowd. Find a local bar or nightclub that … more

Show Up In Your Jammies Day

Isn’t it everyone’s dream to roll out of bed and head to work or school still in your pajamas? It is time to make that dream a reality and let people show up in … more

Silly Sweepstakes

This is a great fundraiser to have during a dinner fundraiser. For the silly sweepstakes, give everyone a raffle ticket. Brainstorm a list of silly things for the “winners” to do. Start … more

Slip Into Something More Comfortable

This fundraiser is appropriate for the over 18 crowd and would work well for a college sorority or Pan Hellenic council. Host a pajama and lingerie fashion show. Ask for volunteers who are … more


Who doesn’t love a good smoothie? They’re even better when you can use them to raise some money for your organization! This kind of fundraiser would work best in conjunction with another event like a … more

Snack Bar or Pantry

People pay a lot of money for the convenience of vending machines. Vendors can easily charge $1.25 or more for a soda that only costs $0.50 when purchased at a warehouse club. That … more

Snow Cones

What better way to beat the heat than with cool, colorful snow cones? A snow cone fundraiser would work best in conjunction with another, larger event like a craft show or a art fair. You’ll … more

Social Media Class

Now more than ever, people are communicating on the Internet. There are several popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and other ways to be social while accomplishing tasks, like the photo sharing site … more

Spaghetti Dinner

This could be one of the most popular fundraisers for all groups due to its simplicity, ease to run, and familiarity with the general public. It is the Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser and it is … more

Spend the Day With Your Feet Up

This is particularly well suited to high schools. Students purchase raffle tickets for a drawing where the winner is allowed to spend one school day with their “feet up”. The winner is allowed … more

Sponsor my As and Bs

Instead of paying a student for their good grades, help them raise money for your group by getting a good report card. Find sponsors who will pay a certain amount for every A or B … more

Super Sub Sale

Take advantage of the big sports events: the Super Bowl, All Star Game, Final Four, and Stanley Cup, etc and have a super sub sale. Submarine sandwiches are also called heroes and hoagies in … more

Teacher/Boss Payback

This requires a willing teacher or boss. You pick several activities that are appropriate for the setting that you would want you teacher or boss to perform as payback. You put the details … more

Theater Night

Dim the lights and raise the curtain—it’s show time! Raise money, have fun and provide an evening of entertainment for your community by putting on a play. It will take some planning, and some time … more

Time in the Slammer

This fundraiser works great if there is a new prison in your area about to open or one that has been shut down and is still in working condition. People can pay to spend … more

Tractor Pull

Create a twist on a tractor pull with this fundraiser. Instead of seeing how much the tractor can pull, see how many people it takes to pull a tractor. Contact a local farmer that … more

Traditional Raffle

There’s something to be said for tradition. There are all kinds of raffles you can hold to raise money for your group, but a traditional raffle is one of the easiest fundraisers out there. Contact … more

Traveling Hobo Band

This is a great fundraiser and is super easy to set up. All you need is a pickup truck loaded with some tacky yard decorations. Think plastic lawn chairs, pink flamingos, an old … more

Trivia Night

Cater to everyone’s competitive spirit and raise money at the same time by organizing a trivia night! Find a local bar or restaurant with a private room that your group can rent for the evening. … more

Wacky Hat Day

This fun fundraiser will work at school, a place of business, or house of worship. For a one or two dollar donation, allow people to wear a wacky hat for the day. Collect … more

Waiting for Dollars

Find a local restaurant that is willing to host your waiting for dollars event. They will appreciate the extra business it will bring them and you will have a good time raising money. … more

We Bake For You

Take the guesswork out of what will sell at a bake sale, and have a “we bake for you” sale as your next fundraiser. Decide on a list of approximately ten things that you … more

What’s in the Box Auction

Curiosity killed the cat and it will be curiosity that will work in your group’s favor with this fundraiser. Have all the attendees bring a wrapped package, big or small, to the auction. … more

White Elephant Raffle

This contest is a wonderful compliment to a diner fundraiser or a group meeting. Have members donate items for a white elephant raffle in advance of the event. Perhaps they have a lamp, … more

Windshield Washing

Find a busy and local fast food restaurant with a drive thru lane that is interested in helping your group have a fundraiser. Gather squeegees, towels and cleaning solution. Offer to wash the … more

Winery or Brewpub Bus Tour

It is always a good idea to have a designated driver when visiting wineries and brewpubs for Tastings. Why not provide one as your next fundraiser? Host a Winery or Brewpub Bus Tour. … more

Woman Fashion Show

Turn a normal dinner fundraiser into an evening of fun and entertainment. Find some brave men that are willing to embarrass themselves and have a “wo”man fashion show. Get donated dresses or look … more

Wrap It Up!

The Holidays are busy and people are willing to pay for certain services to save time. One of the most popular Holiday services is gift wrapping. Set up a booth for your next fundraiser. … more

Grow yourself, grow your youth ministry!

There are two options for excellent training for youth pastors. But before we get into that we need to ask the question- WHY? Why should you get additional and continual training in your field? Because it is important to stay sharp! As we progress in our work, and grow in the ministry God has given us it is important to continually be growing in our walk with God, our skill set to reach teens for Christ and our ability to lead others. Also, we need constant encouragement. Youth pastors are a unique breed of people and the only people who really under understand are other youth pastors! It isn’t just about the unique training though, there is also an important aspect of networking with these small groups. And the really cool thing is that you never have to leave your home or office. It’s all done online. We even have a team ready and willing to help you get all set up online if you’re not a regular online user. It’s easy, simple, and unique to your needs.

A unique online training and networking opportunity!

Creating a Movement is designed to help you figure out the nuts and bolts of a plan for deep discipleship. It’s focus is on the long-term impact of youth ministry and strategic planning for the future as we seek to make disciples of Jesus.

The training is a unique online experiece for youth pastors, injected with the type of networking that only happens when a group of youth pastors get together to talk and pray about what only youth pastors understand. Register now to get the tools and support you’ve been looking for.

In Their Own Words

Here’s how Chris Rollman, alumni and current facilitator, describes it:

Creating a Movement of Discipleship is integral to anyone who is involved with student ministry. As someone who leads a youth ministry or volunteers with students, we must always be asking how discipleship should and can happen.

If discipleship does not occur in our sphere of influence and relationships, then we will be hard pressed to live out what Jesus said was our mission on this earth. He said to “Go, and Make Disciples!”

This course focuses on scripture, relationship with other folks that are in the course, and planning that will move us to action within our ministries. God desires that each of us make disciples in the context that he has us in. This is crucial to the mission that he has called his followers too.

Creating a Movement is online training that will help you create a cohesive, guiding, yet simple plan for a disciple making youth ministry. You will learn to involve others in the planning process so that when you finish, there is a team of committed adult volunteers that are now invested and engaged in the future of the youth ministry.

We’ll talk about how to use scripture and Jesus’ as the model for your ministry. This course offers perspective on the discipleship model of Jesus and how he worked with his disciples. The gospel is transformative in the lives of people and is no less transformational for teenagers that we work with.

The result: More time for (and more people) discipling students in your church. Learn all about the training.

Networking with Other Youth Pastors… Online?

Yep! Ok it can be a little awkward at first. But once you get used to the video chat it’s pretty stinkin’ awesome. You’ll be learning with a small group of youth pastosr from all over the country, sharing your experience, wisdom and ideas.

Unique and awesome. Sounds like youth ministry. Read more about the networking.

Tuesdays at 10am Central Time
May 8-June 26
Led by Brandon Baker

Thursdays at 7pm Central Time
May 10-June 28
Led by Wes Johnson

Without question, the person of Christ was the most influential person to ever walk the earth. Priorities is a new series focused on exploring the foundational principles Jesus lived and taught so you can apply them in your own youth ministry.

The goal is not just to “teach” these topics to students. You will be equipped with tons of practical ideas that will help them take ownership of these pinpricniples in their own lives so they can reflect the life of Christ.


Priorities is broken up into 6 seperate 4 week sessions, one on each topic. They are in no particular order so you can do one session, several, or all of them and still walk away with some awesome training.

  • Dependence on the Holy Spirit
  • Prayer (NEW GROUP LAUNCHING MAY 10th 2012)
  • Obedience to the Kingdom Agenda (anticipation & hope)
  • Word of God
  • Exalting the Father
  • Intentional Relationships

More about these topics.

Each 4 week session includes an in-depth leader’s Bible study, weekly group discussion via Skype video chat, and tons of practical ideas.

It is our prayer that your ministry will grow and be refreshed as you focus on the priorities Christ taught and lived.


It wouldn’t be Called to Youth Ministry online training without awesome networking! Throughout the training you will have the opportunity to work with a small group of other youth pastors from all over the country. The new friendships you make are, quite frankly, awesome.

Thursdays at 10am Central
May 10-May 31
Led by Nathan Cornett

Planning the Summer Calendar

I am working on getting our summer calendar ready right now, and it is more challenging than I thought. I keep going back to the question, ‘why’? Why are we doing what we’re doing? If I plan a beach camp and summer mission trip, and a pool party; why? Why these events and not a variety of others. Why bother with them in the first place? Well I can tell you that part of the vision is to help our volunteer staff to connect with the teens and help them grow in their faith.

I guess I just didn’t realize how hard it would be to be a leader.

I am learning that I am not good at delegating responsibility, and I hold on to the things that I am doing. There is a fine line between taking ownership of something and being possessive over it.

I am a control freak I think.

Now I’m just rambling. At some point in the future (preferably at a time when I’m NOT sick and coughing up a lung) I am going to get organized in these posts and write something with some real meat, but for now they are simply random postings about Youth Ministry with no real substance or purpose. Just garble-gunk and gibberish.

So this Friday night we’re supposed to be having a bonfire for our Jr High group. I am excited about it, but I am nervous too because of how “under-the-weather” I have felt. Also, getting a pit for a bonfire isn’t easy this time of year!

This is just one big rant. Wow. I’ll work on that!


Culture Shock

Sometimes I’ll tell you what, I am downright surprised about what I find in youth culture. The things that were “bad” in my youth such as The Simpsons, Cheers, Married with Children and Metallica are now pretty mild in comparison. Our teens see old shows like that as pretty mild and acceptable in their own lives! New shows like, How I Met Your Mother, South Park and Family Guy have taken over the airwaves and they are more edgy. Musicians sing about orgies, lesbianism, drugs and alcohol like they are normal ways of life. This new culture has taken liberty to a whole new level and I wonder if there won’t be a new move toward Puritanism is the near future.

In the Bible we are called to be in the world, but not of the world.

Lesson Illustration Idea for Youth Ministry | Object Lesson

I saw this on FB on a friend’s page and I really liked it. Nothing too profound, but it is illustrative!

“Tried something fun today. I was teaching a group of high schoolers and junior highers about the Gifts of the Spirit -their purpose, accessing them, operating in them, etc. so I started by explaining that there is a “wireless network” that can be picked up anywhere. no device is needed to access. It is free to subscribe because the annual subscription fee was paid once by someone else a long time ago. there is a one-word password that has never been changed, nor will it ever be (hint: it is the first name of the person who paid the eternal lifetime sub subscription fee). The number of people on this network at the same time, in no way slows down the speed of downloads. The only reason the subscribers often down use is because they choose not to log on – if more subscribers only realized all the benefits of the “KOG network”!

10 iPhone Apps Youth Workers Might Find Useful

10 iPhone Apps Youth Workers Might Find Useful

student ministry iphone apps

Just thought I’d share a few of my apps that get me by when I am in a pinch. Am I missing an important app that would be beneficial for youth workers? Let me know.


Creative Whack Pack– This is a fun way to take old ideas and see them through a new lens. Nice for the price, considering I paid $20 for the actual card pack.

Receipts Lite– Ever get in trouble for not turning in your receipts? This will help you budget and get those receipts in. For more detail, get the paid app.


Guitar Tool Kit – I have to fill in sometimes to play for worship. This app is great for me because it has a tuner and a ton of chords I can look up.

Atomic Fart– Need I say more?

You Must Choose– Fun digital version of the Would You Rather books. Great for road trips or small group openers.


IBook– This is a pretty good app for reading books on your phone. You can save your page, highlight paragraphs, and make notes.


POW– This is a fun app and a different way to post pics of your students. You can make short comic strips complete with dialogue bubbles. Oh the stories you could tell.


Fluent News– This is a great app because is culls major news organizations and picks top stories. You can also check stories by categories and save the stories you like in a folder.


Story Cubes– This is a fun tool to get kids to make a story. Shake your phone and roll the dice. Each student has to take a die and make the word on the die part of the group story.

Word Twiddle– Feeling stuck for a word or thought? This random little tool may jog your memory. I use this sometimes when thinking about new names for youth programs.


See the original post at Called to Youth

Fun Game High School Ministry!

Last night we played “The Adventures of the Traveling Gnome” at our high school group. We started with a BBQ, then went into worship and the message for the night, and we left about 1 1/2 hours at the end of the night for the game. I wasn’t sure how it would go. I started with the template from The Source 4 YM with their game called “kidnapped gnomes“, but I wasn’t too impressed. So I tried to spice it up a bit by having each of my adult leaders use their iPhones to film each one of the tasks (which are worth certain amounts of points) and then send me their clips so I can edit them this week. Next week we will watch each groups’ video and judge which one is the best 🙂

So here’s the basic idea. We split our group into three teams of 6 (a carload) and gave each team a gnome. They had to name their gnome, someone had to be the voice of the gnome, and the had to give him/her a personality. Then each group had a list of items they needed to film their gnome doing with it’s personality/name/voice. For example:

50 Points Each
Drinking coffee at a coffee shop
Shopping for vegetables at a grocery store
Playing on a swing set
Going to school
Dancing or playing an instrument
Driving a car as if in a speed chase
Trying to get in a store that has a “Closed” sign up

100 Points 
Caught in the act of trying to escape
Eating with chopsticks
Having a conversation with another LO about the experience
Being interviewed by a reporter about his/her adventures so far

200 Points
Asking a stranger for a date
Posing with a community or emergency worker (paramedic, fire dept. personnel, police officer, etc.)
Working behind the counter at a fast food joint
Posing by a house with a “For Sale” sign & saying why they like this house
LO doing a TV commercial for a product

Prizes will be awarded for: 
Blockbuster Award: Most Points
MTV Award: Single funniest scene
Director’s Award: Funniest overall video

Our groups’ video ends with the gnome in Heaven after a deadly car crash resulting in the high speed chase that resulted in being caught breaking into the closed dry cleaners shop while trying to get his dry cleaning from spilling sushi on his clothes while eating with chopsticks after a hard day’s work making a commercial for a dental company… It was a saga.  And the kids loved it.

The cool thing (and the hard part from my perspective), is that the kids are looking forward to seeing their videos next week and seeing who won.

Here is our group video with a little sneak peek…

Training and Networking

Online Youth Ministry Training

One of the most profound ways that we can grow as youth workers is through the continual deepening of our relationships, and through continuing education. Most churches will offer some kind of fund for conferences, books, continuing education; it is usually just a matter of asking. And it doesn’t matter if we are a paid staff member or a volunteer who believes in investing in the lives of our teens, the importance of YOUR personal growth is still critical.

Last night we had “The World’s Largest Ice Cream Sundae” which consisted of 4 gallons of ice cream, an entire bottle of chocolate and caramel syrup, three jars of cherries, one jar of nuts, three cans of whipped cream, and 10-15 bananas.  We sat in a row, all 9 of our high school students, and ate from a 10 foot plastic rain gutter! It was delicious! I cannot wait to tell my friend Nate Dame, a youth ministry volunteer and the founder of Called To Youth; that’s the power of networking. It is a relationship with a person on the other side of the country who I have only met through Google Hangouts- yet I cannot wait to tell him about this activity and HOW MUCH FUN IT WAS.


Called To Youth Ministry is offering several new opportunities for you to network with other youth pastors and volunteers dedicated to seeing their youth ministry grow. These groups are limited, we can only take 9 participants per group to be led by a veteran youth pastor/minister. We limit the groups for several reasons, but one of them is to keep them intimate so every person is able to share their own experience and we can all learn from the groups.

I know that in my ministry here in San Diego, these groups have been so very important in sharing my struggles, getting ideas, being encouraged to keep moving forward and I believe they will do the same for you.


Groups offered on Tuesdays at 9am and Thursdays at 7pm Central Standard Time will be Creating a Movement of Student Discipleship. Creating a Movement is designed to help you figure out the nuts and bolts of a plan for deep discipleship. It’s focus is on the long-term impact of youth ministry and strategic planning for the future as we seek to make disciples of Jesus.

The training is a unique online experience for youth pastors, injected with the type of networking that only happens when a group of youth pastors get together to talk and pray about what only youth pastors understand. Register now to get the tools and support you’ve been looking for.

The group offered on Thursdays at 10am Central Standard Time will be from the Priorities series specifically focused on prayer. Without question, the person of Christ was the most influential person to ever walk the earth. Priorities is a new series focused on exploring the foundational principles Jesus lived and taught so you can apply them in your own youth ministry.

The goal is not just to “teach” these topics to students. You will be equipped with tons of practical ideas that will help them take ownership of these principles in their own lives so they can reflect the life of Christ.

Now What?

You can sign up with me right now. Any time before May 2 and you will get a $10 discount just for being an early bird. And you know what they say about the early bird. Get on it, you won’t regret it!

Creating a movement Tuesday at 9am CST sign up: $45 before May 2. Regular price is $55.

Creating a movement Thursday at 7pm CST sign up: $45 before May 2. Regular price is $55.

Priorities: Prayer Thursdays at 10am CST sign up: $35 before May 2. Regular price is $45.