Archives For Youth Specialties

Bob Goff: Ideas On Turning Into Love

Chris —  February 19, 2014 — 2 Comments

I love the YS Idea Lab and when they have an episode with Bob Goff, it can’t get much better.

Watch more of the YS Idea Labs HERE.

I’m super excited we are having these guys at NYWC this year.  I can’t wait to see how they reinvent themselves now that the David Crowder Band has come to an end. They are also leading worship for planetwisdom this year also.

I hope to see you at NYWC this fall, it’s not too late to register.

Sticky Faith Deal on E-books

Chris —  August 6, 2012 — 4 Comments

I don’t know if you’ve read the Sticky Faith books, but they are some of the best ministry books I’ve read during the last year.  Based on the research by Fuller Youth Institute, authors Kara Powell, Chap Clark and Brad Griffin have really reshaped my thinking about how different age groups within a church can help each other and the effect it ultimately has on the younger ones.

You can get both the book and the youth worker book right now for only $3.99 and the student curriculum for $9.99.

Amazon Kindle:


Or if you’d rather get the physical copies, use the code sticky08 to save an additional 15% off all three at (click HERE to go the the books).

Also Fuller Youth Institue is doing a series of webcast this week to jump start Back to School thinking.  Visit for more info.

The Youth Specialties book Living with Questions is a free ebook right now. You can get it on Amazon or iBooks.

Publisher Description:

A practical and personal approach to apologeticsfor students. How many times has your teacher asked you a question, and you stare blankly at the ceiling, hoping to discover the answer lingering there? It’s frustrating when we don’t know the answers to the questions we’re asked by others, but it can be even more frustrating when we don’t know the answers to the questions we are asking ourselves. Have you ever asked one of these questions?* Does what I think really matter?* What is truth?* Is God there?* Has God spoken?* Am I important enough?* Am I good enough?* What’s so great about heaven?If you’ve ever wondered about any of these questions, you’ve come to the right place. In Living with Questions, Dale Fincher will help you look at each of these questions in such a way that you’ll discover clues, helpful tools, and answers—and what they all mean for your life and your faith. The answers you find will put you on a path to dig deeper and gain confidence in your faith. As Dale addresses the big questions that he’s been asked by students across the country, you’ll find that you’re not alone in your doubt, confusion, orquestioning. As you learn to live with questions, even the answers are only steps in the right direction. You’ll find how they whet the appetite to go deeper into your purpose on this planet and to discover something big—yet very personal—that’s worth living for.

I’m not sure how long it’ll be free, so act fast:

Over at Youth Specialties, we’ve been celebrating Leap Year.  Needless to say it’s kept me pretty busy, but i wanted to let everyone know so you can take advantage of some of the great deals going on.

NYWC 2012 tickets for only $209 with $50 deposit.  Spaces are limited, but there are still some available for both cities, San Diego and Dallas.  Hurry, this amazing price is only good till March 7th.

Visit for all the details.

Here’s a little video of Mark Matlock and Doug Fields talking about it.

Leap Year Special on resources for 29% off.  There’s some great deals on books from Kara Powell, Lars Rood, Jonathan Mckee, Chuck Bomar, and many others.  There’s books for youth workers, teaching material, and books for students.  These specials all end on March 7th so act fast.

Check them all out HERE.

This is my first YS! Palooza, and I am stoked to be here. I live 1.5 miles from the venue so it was super convenient. The price is right and, who doesn’t need a day or two to refresh the youth ministry batteries? Here is a running blog of Doug Fields’ message to us all!


Doug just took the stage!

Bait and Switch- a tactic in which a seller advertises a product with the intention of persuading customers to purchase a more expensive product. (aka What happens when you do online dating)

“Maybe you have never thought of the bait and switch as it relates to your ministry”

  • We grab this bait of ministry and somehow it gets switched to something else.
  • Volunteering in YM turns into you being the youth director!
In ministry it is not the goal to “trick” people.
  • To be good in youth ministry all I have to do is love teens.
  • All I have to do is eat pizza, tell gross stories and talk to teens about Jesus.


  • You gotta develop leaders


  • To be good in YM you gotta grow the ministry.
  • Reduction is typically not the plan.
  • You have to manage ministry growth.
  • From ministry to meetings.
  • The ministry never ends.
Doug just admitted that he often fantasized about working at a McDonald’s to escape some ministry pressure.
  • Growth requires strong leadership
  • “John Maxwell be came a stronger voice in my life than Jesus”
  • Ministry pressure requires “inner-world” management.
  • I wanted to spend less time with the “how-to” and focus more on the “how-come”
  • Doug just promoted “What Matters Most” over and above PDYM and First Two Years…
This Bait and Switch principle creates tornadoes in our lives as youth workers. It’s difficult to be honest when you spiritual life is spinning.
Are you “performing” more than “following” Jesus?
“When you preach at a church with 20,000 people and 10% don’t like you, that ends up being a mega-church of hate!”
The Disciples didn’t see the wild ride that they were walking into. But for the disciples the SWITCH came with a ministry depth where they could see the blind healed, and Jesus calm the seas. They got to watch thousands be fed by a snack pack.
In the same way—You thought you were just going to be a chaperone, but you didn’t see that a girl would be opening up to you about how she cuts herself.


A Few Things that Never Change: Healthy youth ministries need leaders who…

  • can authentically say, “Follow me as I follow Jesus.” Youth ministry can move so easily from Jesus to programs. Youth ministry should be a place where students should rub shoulders with people who love, and follow Jesus
  • value a collective vision. Being is visionary is highly overrated. The body needs the eyes, and splines, and sphincters. ” I’ve never done anything significant in my ministry ALONE. We are better together!
  • are willing to play A part in reaching that vision. “The starring role is reserved for Jesus.” Wow, what a statement!

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?

I’m not sure if you did any shopping on Black Friday, but I’ve seen pictures of how crazy the malls were.  In fact I saw people camping out at Best Buy 2 days ago.  I like a deal as much as the next person, but that’s a little extreme.  That’s why i prefer to do my shopping at home.  So if you’re like me and you love a great deal on youth ministry resources check out the Youth Specialties Black Friday Sale.  Great resources from the Skit Guys, Mark Matlock, Kara Powell and Brad Griffin, Lars Rood, Chuck Bomar, Zach Hunter and more.

I recommend checking it out, while you are eating your sandwich made out of the leftover turkey.  It goes through Monday, don’t miss it.

Youth Specialties Black Friday Sale

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.

A New Adventure…Again

Chris —  August 17, 2011 — 5 Comments

I started a new adventure this week.  After 4 great years at Simply Youth Ministry, I’ve returned to Youth Specialties.  I’m super excited about the opportunity.  When I was serving in a church as a paid youth worker, I used their resources all the time and recieved encouragement and training from their events, and in 1998 I had the opportunity to join the YS team running the store at events and the IT guy for the office.  Now I return as the Director of Digital Marketing which means I’ll be planning and building websites, plus dreaming up new ways we can serve youth workers online.

What does this mean for the blog?  Not much, we’ll still be bringing you the same geeky thoughts, ideas and resources to help you in your ministry.

If you are coming to the National Youth Workers Convention this fall in San Diego or Atlanta please track me down and say “Hi”, I’ll also be leading a few technology seminars.  I’d love to grab a coffee and talk about geeky stuff.

Also, if you’d like to know what crazy projects I’m working on, follow me on my new YS twitter account YSChrisDavis.