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Instagram began rolling out this week, a new feature in their apps that allow you to switch between accounts without logging out and logging back in. Anyone who tries to use two different accounts has got to be excited with this addition.

To use this new feature go to your settings in the app, and scroll down to add account. You can then sign into your second account and when you go to your profile, you’ll see a drop-down with your different accounts listed so you can choose which one you’d like to use. Also, when you go to post an image it reminds you which account you are logged into so you don’t accidently put that picture of your kids on your church account.

This is in the latest versions for both iOS and Android.

Read Instagram’s announcement HERE.

Youth Ministry in 2042

Jon —  May 17, 2012 — Leave a comment

Youth Ministry Geek is dedicated to offering a glimpse into the ever progressing world of technology. How can we use technology to further the advance of the kingdom of Jesus in the lives of teenagers? That is the question we are asking, and writing about. However, this morning I was struck by front page article in The Washington Post that I was reading on my iPad. The headline read: Census: Minority babies are now majority in U.S. The article indicated that in July 2010 a “watershed moment” occurred in American history. A white population (babies) in America was officially eclipsed by a minority population. The article also argued that this eclipse would continue to accelerate until a point somewhere around 2042 when the nation will become a “majority-minority society.” In other words, minority groups will constitute the majority of the U.S. population. I encourage you to read the article for yourself, but for the moment let’s consider what this means for youth ministry in America.

In the next 30 years a dramatic shift will happen. “From a Christian perspective”, as Albert Mohler put it this morning in his podcast The Briefing, “this is a very important missiological insight.” In other words, the church in America must prepare herself for this shift and begin thinking through the questions that will define Christian ministry in the next 30 years. In the same way, youth ministers must begin acquainting themselves with this shift so that is does not take us by surprise. For the majority of it’s short history, youth ministry has prided itself with blazing methodological trails that the church has often followed. Now it is time for youth workers the begin thinking about the future of ministry demographics, and how we must adapt to reach this growing population. God is bringing the nations to us, and we must be prepared to accept them into a relationship that leads us in the gospel of Jesus.

As an East Coast, “Bible Belt”, Caucasian youth worker, here are some of the questions I am asking myself:

  • What are the cultural issues that concern the growing minority groups in America and how does the Gospel relate to/address those concerns?
  • What are the theological influences and trends in these minority groups, and how can I be prepared to have meaningful discussion about them?
  • How can I anticipate and implement the methodological changes required in becoming a multicultural youth pastor/youth ministry?
  • What part can technology play in bridging the gap between these cultures in the coming decades?

These are only a few of the big questions looming on the horizon of our youth ministry world. I would love to hear from youth pastors who are already working through these questions in their context. Hopefully we can continue the open dialogue that makes the youth ministry community so exciting to be a part of.


Today and tomorrow 3 of Francis Chan’s bestselling books free in ebook form, they are great books and I highly recommend them:

Amazon Kindle

Apple iBooks

Amazon Kindle

Apple iBooks

Amazon Kindle

Apple iBooks

Happy Easter!

You may have noticed a lot of sites on the web went “black” today.  If you tired to find something on Wikipedia you were met with a black screen telling you that the internet must remain free.  I’ve talked to many people that have no idea what this is talking about.  Someone told me today, “The Internet isn’t free, I pay for it with my cable bill.”  I had to explain that what this bill was talking about was the freedom to post and share what you want on the internet.  At the heart of the matter is piracy, or the illegal sharing of copyrighted materials on the internet.  That’s where SOPA comes from, Stop Online Piracy Act. Now, I need to say upfront, that I’m not in favor of piracy.  People that create the movies, music, and books that we enjoy deserve to be paid for what they create (even the ones we don’t enjoy deserve it too).  But where SOPA goes a little off track is that it doesn’t really accomplish what it says it wants to do.

I’d love to be able to explain it all in a way that makes the issue perfectly clear, but it’s complicated and there are people smarter than me that have already set out to do that. So if you’d like to know more about the issues that people have with SOPA or why people say it will “break” the internet, watch these videos.  I thought they did a great job laying out the issue.  Once you know the background and the how things work, you can decide for your self what you think.

Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)

Kahn Academy – SOPA and PIPA

What do you think?

10 Favorites from 2011

Chris —  January 1, 2012 — 2 Comments

Here are some of my favorites from 2011:

1. MacBook Air – I love this little computer.  Great for travel, and super fast.

2. Sticky Faith – These books have really made me think a lot about youth ministry and being a parent.  I highly recommend them. Plus check out for more insights in their articles and blog.

3. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson – I found this book to be a difficult read.  He could be so harsh with people.  It really made me think about leadership, success, and family from someone who did great things, but failed at so much too.

4. iPad 2  – This continues to be a device that changes the way I interact with content.  I love it.

5. Kindle Fire – You probably didn’t expect to see this after I listed the iPad, but it’s a different device for me.  It’s a great reader that also does some tablet functions.  Plus, I love that there’s someone pushing the iPad to be better.

6. YSnetwork – This one is personal, but we launched it this fall at YS (where I work).  It’s a great way to connect with other youth workers, join a network or build your own.  It’s free to join, and if you sign up join the Youth Ministry Geek network to stay connected.

7. Flipboard – This is probably the app I use the most, and with the addition of the iPhone version a month ago, I just use it even more.  It’s by far my favorite news reader.

Flipboard - Flipboard Inc.

8. GoPro – I got one of these cameras to take on our vacation to Hawaii this year, and it’s so much fun.  We use it under water, on water slides, in the pool, the beach, on the trampoline.  It’s a great camera to take when you don’t want to risk you full size, expensive one.  Sure it has it’s limitations, but you get an amazing picture that can go anywhere.  It’s my Flip Camera replacement.

9.Timbuk2 Control Laptop Case – After about 7 years, my old shoulder bag finally wore out. This was my replacement.  Things I love about it: separate sleeves for laptop and ipad, TSA compliant so I don’t have to take my laptop out, not too big, but big enough.

10. Tech News Today –  I love podcasts and increasingly over the last year, this has been my #1 to go to.  It’s about 45 minutes every week day covering the lastest in the world of technology.  Entertaining and informative, perfect for this geek.

What were you’re favorites from the last year?

RIP Steve Jobs

Chris —  October 5, 2011 — 1 Comment

It’s a sad day in the tech world.  Steve Jobs has passed away at the age of 56.

His impact on the world of technology  is undeniable, and the products (Macs, iPods, iPhones, Pixar) he championed have helped shaped the world we live in.

I had the opportunity to go to his keynote address introducing the iPhone in 2007.  It was an experience I’ll never forget.  In his honor, here’s a video of that presentation:

Part 2

Steve, you’re vison and innovation will be missed.

I saw over on Doug Fields’ blog, that his podcast returns today.  It’s now called the YouthMinistryGarage and the new site launches at 5:30 PM EST.  I’m so excited the crew is back.  I got to see a little bit of the first episode and it’s the return of everything I loved from the version we did over at Simply, and I’m so glad that YS is powering the show now to help keep it going.

Here’s a little video tease of the opening:

I can’t wait to watch it again.  If you’ve never watched before this is a great time to check it out.

Apple Camp 2011

Chris —  June 9, 2011 — Leave a comment

It’s that time of year to sign-up your 8 – 12 year olds for Apple’s free day camp held in their retail stores.  I’ve sent my kids that last few years and they’ve had a blast.  This summer, like last, focuses on movie making.

Description from their site:

A fun, free workshop where kids become filmmakers.

At Apple Camp, kids aged 8-12 learn how to shoot their own footage, create an original song in GarageBand on an iPad, and put it all together in iMovie on a Mac. This free workshop, held at the Apple Store, spans three days and ends with campers debuting their masterpieces at the Apple Camp Film Festival. Space is limited and workshops fill up quickly so sign up now for a super creative adventure.

Day One (1.5 hours)

  • Introduction to the basics of moviemaking, including creating a storyboard.
  • Create an original soundtrack by making a song in GarageBand on an iPad.
  • Prepare for shooting footage outside the store overnight or inside the store at the end of the workshop.

On day one, Apple Camp also includes an optional, one-hour Parent’s Workshop that focuses on using and setting Parental Controls on the Mac. Registration is not required.

Day Two (1.5 hours)

  • Introduction to iMovie — simple-to-use moviemaking software.
  • Use a Mac to import and edit collected movie footage, incorporating stills and music.
  • Create a film.

With guidance from Apple Camp Counselors, kids will use iMovie — part of the iLife suite of creativity applications built into every Mac — to create, edit, and produce their films.

Then on the Saturday following camp, there’s a film festival where all the kids get to show the movies they’ve made.

Registation opened the morning, and in the past, spots have gone fast.  Not a bad free summer activity.  And if you don’t have kids of your own, it may be a good way to get some of those younger middle schoolers in your ministry excited about movie making and they can help make videos for youth group.

Click here to go to the Registration link, and see if there’s one near you.




Goodbye David Crowder*Band

Chris —  May 24, 2011 — 1 Comment

This last weekend I got an email from the David Crowder*Band announcing that this falls tour and new album will be their last. From their announcement:

Now, another reason we are sure this will be one of the most meaningful tours we’ve ever been on is because it will be our last as a band. This is why we so cleverly named it The 7 Tour. We’ve always hidden this little number here and there in our music and artwork, sometimes it would appear in the sum of the numerals 3 and 4, and other times it would be sitting there outright, but it’s always been with us. As you know, the number 7 has often been used to represent completion, and that feels exactly where we are as a band.

You can read their whole announcement here.

Needless to say I was super disappointed, they have been one of my favorite bands for over a decade.  I remember the first time I saw them live.  I think it was 1999 at a youth workers convention and not only did their worship catch my attention, but they also played a cover of Down Under; one of my favorites from the ’80s. Over the years I grown to love their music more and more. They have the rare talent of writing poetic lyrics, but also incorporate fun in what they do (Keytar anyone?).

I will miss them, but can’t wait to see what they have in store for us with their last album and tour.

Here are a few other posts I’ve written about them over the last few years:

Thanks guys for all the great music through the years, I’m so glad you shared so much with us.

I confess that I still haven’t seen the movie about facebook written by one of my favorite scriptwriters Aaron Sorkin.  I have read several reviews, and was struck by Lawrence Lessig’s insight into what amounts to a fundamental shift that has been created by the internet.  This shift has a lot to teach us about our students and our ministry.

Lessig explains that the movie missed the whole point and magic of Zuckerberg’s story.  He says, “what’s important here is that Zuckerberg’s genius could be embraced by half-a-billion people within six years of its first being launched, without (and here is the critical bit) asking permission of anyone.”  I agree.  As a person who spent his adolescence in a world where the internet was just beginning to take shape, I am constantly surprised by the total lack of limits (both good and bad) that the internet provides.

I have seen this first hand (tough not nearly as lucratively as Zuckerberg!).  I have a personal blog where I post thoughts on faith, ministry, and the future of the church.  It has regular visitors from 23 countries!   I’m just some punk youth pastor sitting on a chair at home drinking sweet tea!  I love writing it, but never thought I would have that type of audience when I started posting on it years ago.

What this means for our students is that they live in a world where they do not have to get corporate financing, a publishing contract, or a record deal to make a serious attempt at their dreams.

I think that is something that we MUST capitalize on as youth ministers.  I don’t mean having a blog or a Facebook page, but helping set youth free to do something about their faith.  Instead of encouraging them to engage in the 1950s passive learner model of sitting and listening every time we get them together, we need to be giving them the kind of permission with their faith that the internet gives them.  We need to be giving them permission to fulfill Jesus’ dream of “thy kingdom come, thy will be done.”

I think the key to getting those students engaged is to follow the lessons from the internet:

  1. Start small and close to free.  What can you and your friends do in your spare time to make a difference?
  2. Make it social.  A cople of people working together have much more insight and potential than a lone ranger.
  3. Release the beta.  Launch sooner than later.  If it is overwhelming, make it smaller.  If something non-essential is going to delay the launch, do it later.
  4. Remind them that when Jesus gives the Great Commission in Matthew, he is both asking us to go, and giving us authority to go… just like the internet.
  5. Allow comments.  Find ways to get other people to tell you how you are doing, and what you could do better.
  6. Tap into a social network.  Students have a limited network on their own, but when they have adults on the team, they  have access to a much broader network of people and resources than they did on their own.

These are a few.  I know there are more.  Instead of resisting the internet’s no-limit posture, let’s funnel that power into the true hope for the hopeless.