I’m wrapping up week #4 of my youth internship in York, PA. I wanted to post a blog every week updating everyone on what is happening, but I have been too busy to get to it. My first blog update can be found here. I figured it was time to set aside some time and give a quick update of what has been happening for the past weeks. If you follow me on Twitter or are my friend on Facebook you probably saw me talk about an event called Ignition that we had last week. It went great and you can read all about that event on another blog post I posted earlier this week here. Everything I did for the first two weeks I was here led up to Ignition so it was nice to see that event work out and move forward. The next big thing on my plate is to prepare a daily devotional journal that each student will receive as we go to Canada on July 2nd thru the 10th. Yes, you read that right, I’m going to Canada! We are taking the high schoolers and I am in charge of getting the devotional journal together. All the daily devotionals will come out of the book of Philippians so up until Canada I will be focusing on finishing that up. As I am writing this I am extremely tired because we just had two big activities back to back. On Wednesday night we had a water night. The whole night was held outside and we had three games set up: water balloon launching game, balloon toss, and my personal favorite slip n’ slide kickball! After those three games we had an extremely long slip n’ slide that we let the students, and leaders, go crazy on for the rest of the night. We also had snacks and drinks outside for the students as they were enjoying the slip n’ slide. The whole night went smooth and we had over 100 students here! Then yesterday we took the high schools to Hershey Park. Hershey Park is a big amusement park in Hershey, PA. Yep, where Hershey Chocolate is made! We spent the whole day there and the students, as well as us leaders, had a great time riding coasters and enjoying all the park had to offer. It has been a good week and next week we paintball on Monday night which will be another fun activity. One weekly ministry opportunity I have is teaching the Jr. High Sunday School class. I love the Jr. High students and have enjoyed teaching them and will continue to teach them while I am here this summer. I am extremely encouraged by their excitement to have me teach them, their attentiveness as I teach, and their willingness to speak up and have discussion during the lesson. You can watch my first lesson I taught them a few weeks ago on my YouTube channel here. This Sunday I am teaching a lesson called “Sojourners and Exiles” and will be talking to them about how as believers we are citizens of heaven not the world so our life’s should be different then the people around us who are citizens of this world. Along with the internship experience I have enjoyed getting to know the other pastors here at COD as well as the elders and other leaders in the church. I have been greatly encouraged by the Sunday morning worship services as well as the warm, hospitality of the people here. It has been encouraging to get to know the church, the people and leaders of the church, and to be a part of what God is doing here at COD!
Continue to pray for me as I have six more weeks left in my internship. I would ask you to pray for two things: strength and energy as I stay busy with the student ministry and for my on personal walk with Christ. If there is anything I want to look back on and gain from this internship is that I grew closer to Christ because of my time here. I want to work hard and minister well here, but I want my personal walk with Christ to come first. Me and my mentor Brian Baker talked about that today and I want to learn how to keep Christ first and my walk with Him first even as I minister hard for Him. Hopefully in the next week or two I will have another update. Thank you to everyone who has prayed for me and will continue to pray for me.
In my last post I explained what we did each night during Ignition. Throughout the three nights we made many videos that we used during the program so I figured I would post most of them here so you can watch them, enjoy!
Ignition Intro Video
Student Video Testimony
Mattress Surfing Intro Video
We also used the program Animoto to put together a video slide show of Wednesday and Thursday night. We played each of these the following night during the program so the students could see pictures from the previous night.
Wednesday Night in Review
Thursday Night in Review
If you have trouble viewing these videos here go on over to my YouTube channel and I have them all there as well.
This past week I was a part of one of the biggest events that I will be a part of during my time here at COD as a youth ministry intern. Every summer COD Student Ministries start off the summer with a three night event called Ignition. It started on Wednesday night and ended on Friday night. Each night it starts at 6:45pm and goes to 9:45pm. We had about 130-150 students each night. Many people have seen my tweets and Facebook posts about it and have been asking me to explain what all Ignition is and what we did. I will try to summarize the whole event here and also post some videos so you can see what went down each night.
Each night of Ignition is basically a high-energy program that has many elements and always ends with a big activity at the end of the night. Each night elements of fun, games, time of worship, teaching on Jesus, and a big activity at the end. We opened the doors at 6:40ish and as the students came in we had music blasting and a countdown rolling. Up until we opened the doors each night they hung out in the commons outside the gym. Each year they choose a cause to focus on and this year we focused on the persecuted church so each night we had a time where we talked about the persecuted church and prayed for them. Below are some highlights from each night of some awesome things that went down as part of the program.
Wednesday-As the countdown ended we kicked off the program with an intro video that student pastor Brett Ayers made. Also, we had a stage game called Fan the Flame. Basically it was an air guitar contest and we had a few students come up and give us their best air guitar solo and the crowd voted on who was the best. After a good time of worship led by our worship band Brett spoke about “Who is Jesus?” We wanted to start Ignition off with an epic activity so we played black light dodgeball at the end of the night. We bought black lights and placed them all over the gym as well as dodge balls we painted neon yellow that glowed extremely well in the black lights. We killed the lights and played some awesome games of black light dodgeball. The students, and leaders, loved it. We played the Tron soundtrack during the games to give it a good atmosphere.
Thursday-Thursday night was a special night. It was student led night so a group of core students led the whole program. It was awesome! One of the biggest highlights was a student named Ryan Arnold performed the song Background by Lecrae. He did an awesome job and everyone loved it. To open up the program with a bang a group of students on the worship band opened up the night with performing All Around Me by Flyleaf. Instead of Brett teaching we had a short video with one of our students explaining a story in the Bible where Jesus healed a dying boy. We also had a video testimony from one of our students about how another student reached out and helped her when she was younger in the youth group. We ended the night doing some mattress surfing! We had a fun video to get the game going where one of our mattresses was “lost” and two students had to run out of the gym and back to Brett’s house to get it. We pre-made a video and showed it so it looked like we were watching them really go get it.
Friday-Friday night was much more laid back then the first two nights. We had a band from Maryland called Katie Got Guts who preformed at the beginning of the program. Then we had our worship team lead us in a time of worship followed by a message from Brett called “Depend on Jesus.” To end off the night we had two big inflatables in the gym for the students to go crazy on.
A lot of work went into this three night event and we crammed a ton of stuff into each nights program. Overall it was a success and the Lord was faithful in bringing it all together. If you want to watch the videos we made and used in Ignition you can see them all here.
Every teenager remembers playing dodgeball in youth group at sometime or another, but how many of them remember playing black light dodgeball? Black light dodgeball is a game that every youth group needs to try to play at some time or another. This week we are having an event called Ignition to kick-off the summer. Ignition is a three night event for students that includes music, games, a concert, inflatables, and this year black light dodgeball! Since I am the youth ministry intern here at COD I am playing a huge role in making this event happen along with the youth pastor Brett Ayers. I have been talking a lot about this black light dodgeball on Twitter and Facebook so I figured I would post a blog and explain what we are using and how to go about preparing it so you can use it in your youth ministry one day.
First, you need black lights and plenty of them. We ordered 24 black lights and then went to Lowes and bought shop light holders to put them in. This part will be were you spend most of your money, but will be worth it because you can use the black lights for something else after the event. We are setting the black lights on each side of the gym and hanging some as well. You can do many different things with the black lights, but the important thing is to have enough of them and have them spread out as well as not in a place where they can get hit by a ball or person.
Second, you of course need dodge balls. Most people think that white dodge balls will glow, but they actually do not. We went to Dicks and bought five white mikasa dodge balls. Then we got flourescent orange spray paint from Wal-Mart and just sprayed the dodge balls orange. They look great and will glow in the black lights.
I will post a follow-up blog after the Ignition event and let you know exactly how it worked and note any changes or things you may want to do if you are going to try this out. Below is promotional picture we showed the students for black light dodge ball.
Today is my first official day as the youth ministry intern here at Church of the Open Door in York, PA. I came to the office with youth pastor Brett Ayers around 10:00am and got to meet several of the people in the office. The first day has been great! We have been working on planning and preparing for Ignition, a three night event for students to kickoff the summer. My job today was to work on a promotional flyer for the students to pass out to friends and students over the next two weeks before Ignition. I also worked some on slides for Ignition that we will use in each of the services those three nights. It has been encouraging to work on some stuff, get to know Brett a little more, discuss youth ministry, and listen to Matt Chandler and Steve Furtick with Brett as we worked. The past few days I have been staying at Brett’s house and have enjoyed getting to know his family. Either tonight or tomorrow I will probably be moving into the mission home for about a week before moving in with a host family for the rest of the summer. Please keep me in your prayers as I continue this internship. Pray that the Lord will use me to make an impact on the students this summer and also serve alongside Brett and the youth leaders well.
Below is the promotional flyer I worked on today for the students to pass out. We will hand these out tomorrow night at youth group!