If you need to pick up some new youth ministry resources, you can get double reward points over at simplyyouthministry.com right now. That can really add up to get you FREE stuff faster. If you haven’t been in awhile I’d take a look at what’s Brand New, there’s some great stuff there and some really good bundles (like the Graduation Gift Pack). This is only good until 5/9/2011 so don’t wait. Enjoy!
Archives For Resources
From their site:
Do you love countdown videos? Do you dream in descending digits? Can you grow mustache? Well check out the newest addition to the Digital Stache Gameshow Family: Ready, Set, Go! Ready, Set, Go! gives you 6 themes to choose from and let’s you set the countdown (or up), from one second to an hour! But here is the best part: we’re giving it away. That’s right, for an unlimited time, Ready, Set, Go! Is absolutely free! So download your copy today!
Download your free copy while you can.
Many of you liked the digital nativity video from Christmas. Igniter video has now done one for Easter.
If you want to use it for your services, you can pick it up HERE.
Description from their site:
Throughout the course of his public ministry, Jesus knew both the adoration and desertion of the crowds. Today, just as 2,000 years ago, the gospel asks a question that demands an answer: Will we follow? This video illustrates this truth through the dynamic lens of a 21st-century social network.
Want a Sneak Peek at the newest issue of Group Magazine? The new issues isn’t out yet, but here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming soon. Unfortunately I heard of too many people the “I Just Got Fired” applies too.
If you don’t subscribe yet, now’s a great time to sign up: Group Magazine Subscription. In addition to the great content like posted above, you get tons of ministry ideas and help. And for the techie in you, every issue has a great column from Brandon Early, whom contributes to this blog. I highly recommend it.
2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. To commemorate this milestone achievement, which made the Bible available in the common language of the people, throughout 2011, YouVersion will roll out events and opportunities that will help you more easily access, engage and share the Bible. The first of these events is that Bible App™ users will be able to download the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. Made possible through a special partnership with Biblica and Zondervan, this offer will only be available for a limited time.
Beginning THIS SATURDAY, February 12, at 8:00 PM U.S. Eastern Time (GMT-5), and lasting for 400 hours, you’ll be able to download the NIV to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Android device. When you download the NIV, that means you’ll be able to read it even when you can’t connect to your service provider or to the Internet. This special promotion will end on March 1, at 12:00 PM noon U.S. Eastern Time (GMT-5).
Read more about how to download over at their blog.
I loved seeing this, I had actually stopped using the Bible app and had started using the TNIV Bible – Tecarta app because it had two features that the Bible app lacked.
- Notes feature: I liked being able to take notes directly in the app.
- Offline feature: I liked being able to have access to my favorite version when i wasn’t connected.
In the last few months, YouVersion has stepped up and added the notes feature, and now they have given me the version we use most at church. Tecarta still has a few features that I like, a parallel version view and cross references, but I still find the YouVersion app so much easier to use, so I think it’s time to switch back.
If you don’t have the Bible app you can get it here:
There are others available also, but I think those two links should cover most of you.
Remember the free NIV download is only for a limited time. Don’t miss it.
Today I’ve been working on finalizing the schedule for the tech room we are going to have at this year’s Simply Youth Ministry Conference. We’ve got some great seminars lined up that should get any youth ministry geek excited.
Topics include: Using media in your programs, creative branding, free technologies for your ministry, working smart, making video magic, harnessing the power of social media, importance of design, and so much more. We have enough tech workshops you could make it a tech ministry conference with everything else as a bonus.
Plus there will be time to drop in with your questions so you can come away better equipped. All the speakers are around and available to talk with and ask questions of. It’s really an interactive event.
I would love to have you join us, but the deadline for registration is coming up quick, and it’s almost sold out. So don’t wait too long.
Visit: YouthMinistry.com/SYMC for more info.
I love the tech that comes out of the student and college/young adult ministries at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. These guys have brought us some great blogs like steveostudios.tv fun and solid content in their podcast churchtechtalk, usable free resources at stufficanuse.com, now a few cool products at digitalstache.
Their latest resource for ministry, Spin That Wheel, is not free but is worth it weight in SPAM (SPAM is considered gourmet food in Hawaii). We saw this game for the first time at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference last February (register for this years conference before they sell out again).
Here is a brief description from their product website… “Spin That Wheel is a rockin large group interactive game. As a stand alone application, the software allows you to add up to 15 custom prizes to the wheel, then spin it to see what you get! (Wow, I just won a bag of Pork Rinds*) It has a random winner every time. Find yourself a great host, a really bad outfit, and you are in for a great night.”
*Prizes not included.
The students in our ministry love this game and I want to share a copy with one of you for your ministry. To get a chance at snagging a FREE copy, you must take the following TWO actions:
1. Leave a comment below. Tell us how you are PLAYING GAMES using TECHNOLOGY. (ie. Spin That Wheel, PowerPoint Games, Race This, etc…share your best idea with us). Leave your twitter name in the comment.
2. Follow youthministrygeek on twitter. We will send you a direct message if you are the winner.
On Friday December 17 we will pick the post with the best “tech game” idea and send a copy of Spin That Wheel for FREE! If you don’t will you can always pick up your own copy at digitalstache.com. Soon you’ll be able to pick it up at Simply Youth Ministry also.
We have something fun going on at Simply this week. Get double rewards points on all purchases. (only till Friday Nov 19).
If you don’t know where to start, check the new gifts sections and pick nice out for your Students, Volunteers or Parents. It’s never too late to start your Christmas shopping.
A while back I began an interview-style youth ministry podcast called 10-Minute Training. Now that I have published about a dozen, I feel ready to share the process here. Keep in mind that there are many ways to do this. Mine is focused on making the least amount of work for me without giving up the ability to edit the podcast afterwards.
I am sure I don’t need to give you ideas on using a podcst in your ministry, but just in case, here are a couple:
- Daily/weekly devotion or thought for students
- Daily/weekly Bible memory verse
- Rebroadcast of your message
- Youth volunteer training/tip
- Parent update
This will be a series of posts. Part one will focus on describing the gear and basic schedule, part two will look at the setup and actual recording, and part three the publishing.
I don’t have the kind of time every other week to devote to recording, editing, and publishing the podcast. So in order to limit the weekly work, I schedule a couple of half days of recording every six months. I schedule the interviewees a couple of weeks before the recording date and get a basic outline of their training piece via email. Usually, I am able to get about 30 minutes of content in each one-hour session which is three podcasts. By doing it this way I cut the weekly work down to about 10-30 minutes depending on how much editing is required. If you end up doing it this way, I will give some tips for things you can do while recording that will make the editing easier months down the road.
I say work with what you’ve got. If you are starting, you may not need to buy anything, but I found a couple of purchases that streamline the process for me and bring the quality up a bit as well.
- Shure X2u ($99 on Amazon) – I reviewed this in an earlier post. This alows me to take any mic I have and turn it into a USB mic that can be recorded in my audio recording program. Though your built-in mic will work, this will make you sound professional without spending a fortune.
- Skype (Free) – This is what I use to get the audio from the interviewees. I also pay for a Skypein number so that people who do not have Skype can use a regular phone to call me on Skype. The cost for that is about $18 a quarter.
- Garage Band (Free with Mac) – I have access to high-end audio software like sountrack Pro, but have found that this is simple and quick to record and edit something as simple as a two person interview. It also has built in EQ and Compressors for podcasting that makes the mic and Skype audio sound a lot better. If you are on the Windows side of things, Audacity is a great free option.
- Wiretap Anywhere ($129) – This is a bit of a splurge, but worth it if you can swing it. Wiretap anywhere will take audio from any program or hardware device on your computer and convert it into a virtual sound card that allows you to record those pieces of audio on separate tracks. I tried several methods to get this working when I was researching and found this to be WAY above everything else in reliability and usability. This gets it all into Garage band live eliminating any later steps/synchronization.
- Squarespace ($10+ per month) – This is a content management system/hosting solution that I use for our youth site. It makes publishing the podcast content and feed as simple as posting to your blog. Pricey if you are only using it for your podcast, but worth it if you are shopping around for web hosting/authoring.
- Macbook ($999+) Even the most basic macbook will do the job. I will hold back my fanboyness here, but I think that for most youth ministers the ease, quality, and price of creative tools (most need no more than those included with every mac) along with stability makes it a no-brainer.
My advice with this sort of gear is to go as cheap as possible at the beginning. If the podcast does well, you can always add sound quality later. As far as I am concerned, the audio quality cannot make up for poor content, but great content can go a long way towards overcoming less-than-professional audio quality.