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Joshua Griffin is the High School pastor at Saddleback Church and dabbles in community with Simply Youth Ministry.

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    Dear Simply Youth Ministry Today readers, Happy New Year! We had a lot of fun in 2013 with our Simply Youth Ministry Today daily email. More than 70,000 youth workers have subscribed and benefited from training and free materials from Rick Lawrence, Kurt Johnston, Tony Myles, Brooklyn Lindsey, Katie Sutton, Jake and Melissa Kircher, Tim [...]


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    MY ODE TO 2014: I love small churches. If you know me, you know I do. Otherwise, I wouldn’t devote so much attention to how they can be the best they can be. But these 4 things get under my skin and will cause a rash if small churches keep making these same mistakes over [...]


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    I’ve been waiting for this moment…in both fear and excitement. My 6th grade daughter has entered youth group – my youth group. And I find myself with more questions than answers on how to maneuver this vehicle of being “Dad” and “Youth Pastor.” So, here are my questions: When she’s at youth group events, do I [...]


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    When it comes to Bible translations, I’ve typically been an NIV 84 guy. I won’t be using their new version, though – from my vantage point, one too many liberties were taken in the update. I’d like to hear your thoughts on some suggestions on what to transfer over to in the future. It’s why [...]


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    One of the things I love to do, is share what I’m learning in ministry with other youth workers and volunteers. With this post I wanted to share something that I need to remind myself is the better option. I’m always thinking of the person who’s attending my workshop and I always want them to get [...]


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  • 01/13/14--16:05: Just Breathe
  • Stop what you’re doing. Seriously, stop and lean back in your chair.  Put your tablet down, let your arms relax into your lap and just take a deep breath. Ok, now take another deep breath but this time be more mindful and breathe deeply into your diaphragm. Do this slowly and control the inhale and exhale. Just give yourself [...]


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  • 01/14/14--08:04: Gaining Perspective
  • This past weekend I had the tremendous honor of being invited to teach the “Re-Effect” conference for The Salvation Army.  As what usually happens when Jeff Wallace and I teach, we were inspired far more than anything we were able to give away.  I love being with people who love Jesus and have a heart [...]


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    Many people believe that leadership is a science; that there are rules or irrefutable laws that apply to every leader, all the time and in every situation. I’m not one of those people. I believe leadership is more art than science. BUT, even art has some rules, guidelines and principles that apply which is why [...]


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    By Chris Roberts, with Aaron Molesky, director of CIY’s Engage In Part 1 and Part 2 of this three-part series on missional thinking, Christ In Youth directors Matt Gilchrist and Aaron Molesky said that every mission trip lands somewhere on the spectrum of DOING and BEING. Gilchrist provided a plan for youth leaders to help students [...]


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  • 01/14/14--13:41: A Morning Drive Reminder
  • “These then are the tools of the spiritual craft.  When we have used them without ceasing, day and night…our wages will be what the Lord has promised.” -The Rule of St. Benedict As I leave for work every morning I typically stop by the local gas station for my morning fuel; a 32oz. Coke and [...]


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      Yesterday we learned of another school shooting. This time it happened in New Mexico, with the shooter being a 12-year-old boy. Everyday we watch the news and it is easy to come to a place where we live in fear of the way wickedness seems to be creeping in. The “safe places” in our [...]


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    In just a few months, there will be a bunch of college students graduating and entering what they’ve learned to be “the real world.” As leaders in the Church, we have a responsibility here. We have a role to play in helping our students live out the things they understand spiritually in the marketplace. Here [...]


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    Hey Simply Insiders! Exciting news. A brand new book for your students has been released! Are You a Red Cup Christian? was written by Lars Rood to help your students as they learn how to live a stand-out faith in a fit-in world. In this new book, Lars Rood, veteran youth worker and author, capitalizes [...]


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    I think I’ve seen and heard it all. Keep in mind, I think I’ve seen and heard it all. Then out of nowhere, I watch these loving brothers and sisters of mine called the Church end up arguing over something completely short-sighted. I’ve been on the receiving end of it, as well as stuck in the middle [...]


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    You Eminem lovers out there in the #YMNATION surely appreciate the title of today’s post! I’ve noticed something in the Christian community lately that I don’t like. And as I’ve been busy pointing out the splinter in the eyes of my brothers and sisters, I’ve ignored the log in my own. It seems as if [...]


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  • 01/17/14--11:47: #ILIVEWITHAYOUTHGROUP
  • This post should be about something deep and useful, bullet-pointed for you to apply to ministry. However, daily I navigate my life with a youth group, leading it from the inside out.  You see, I have one child in college, then one each in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Three girls. One boy. Everyone seems to have advice [...]


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    The other day, I came across this fascinating story via Youtube. In 1992, Bob Sorge, a pastor and worship leader, suffered a serious injury to his voice. He can only handle speaking for an hour a day, until the pain overtakes him into silence. The video below shares his story, and the answer to a [...]


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    You’ve heard of heart monitors and devices that enable doctors to keep track of brain activity. Did you know that you can keep track of the activity in your soul? Apparently, that’s the premise behind SoulPulse.org – an ongoing research study conducted by a team of sociologists and psychologists. Even noted pastor and author John Ortberg [...]


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    In The News Calabasas, Calif.—Sheriff’s deputies searched the $6.5 million mansion of pop star Justin Bieber last week, looking for evidence that he egged a neighbor’s house. The 19-year-old singer, who’s had previous run-ins with neighbors, was reportedly cooperative but didn’t answer any questions. Deputies seized security videos that they hope contain evidence of a [...]


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    Check it out, Simply Insiders! Simply Youth Ministry Conference Director, Jason Ostrander, interviewed Brooklyn Lindsey, author of 99 Thoughts for Junior Highers and veteran youth pastor, to help you get to know her a little more! She will be doing main session at SYMC this year. Check out the interview below, and don’t forget to [...]


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