Spring Club Madness & Nuggets from YL College

Hello friends! I hope your winter “break” has been awesome. I had a great time with my family and got some good chunks of time for the (hopefully) final edits of my PhD in historical and systematic theology before I have to submit it and defend it (in person) in a few months (one of the reasons there has been less YLHelp posts recently). But, here we are: January! Let’s get this! I wanted to pass along two things that might be helpful to you: Spring Club Madness results and some insights I have from the fantastic collection of resources from the YL College folks. Here we go…!

YLHelp Spring Club Madness

What a doozie. Who could have imagined? 80s Workout Club is the winner of the YLHelp Spring Club Madness. 80s Workout Club came in as a bottom #8 seed and proceeded to beat, in a major upset, #1 seed Pillow Fight Club (60-40). Then it faced its closest call against Super Hero Club (a tight 52-48 win). 80s Workout Club rolled on to crush #2 seed Twin Club (59-41), then #3 Breakfast Club (55-45), before finally mopping up the floor with Messy Olympics Club (56-44). If you want to see how it all played out, click here.
But.. really… we are all winners since you can save more time to spend with kids by stealing any of the ideas you might find in these clubs below (click for details). Enjoy!

Champion: 80s Workout Club
Runner-up: Messy Olympics Club
Final Four: Breakfast Club & Thrift Shop Club

For 77 full club plans… follow THIS LINK and look on the right side for the signup form. If you are super ambitious (and musically capable) send me an email for my Hamilton Club for the songs (w/chords) and games we did in the Fall.
Additionally, here are the clubs my leadership team at PHS came up with for this semester (with the club talk chapter from the Gospel of Luke; for more info CLICK HERE):

Jan 29: Pizza Olympics (Lk 2)
Feb 5: Stranger Things Club (Lk 4)
Feb 12: Winter Olympics Club (Lk 6)
Feb 26: Lost Canyon Club (camp push and electronic health form fill-in night) (Lk 8)
Mar 5: U-Haul Club (Lk 10)
Mar 19: Kidnap Club (Lk 12)
Mar 26: Family Feud Club (Lk 14)
Apr 2: Color Wars (Lk 16)
Apr 16: Tacky Prom (Lk 18)
Apr 23: tbd
Apr 30: Kahoot Club (app we will use for trivia/games) (Lk 22-23)
May 7: Star Wars Club (Lk 24)
May 14: Senior Club

The gaps are due to Spring Break, etc. I’ll try to post the new ones we are doing (if they are any good, ha!)

Ingenious Ideas from the Amazing YL College Resource Site

Our friends who help equip YL College (shout-out to Kim Nollan for all your great work!) have put together an amazing collection of resources on the YL Staff website (if you are a YL leader you should be able to access it, if not, contact your local staff person). The resources are organized in three categories: Reach, Build, and Launch. Be sure to check out everything they have collected, it is a significant collection of ideas, principles, and best practices (very practical ones too). I’ve combed through all of their resources and wanted to highlight a few things that translate to my local area. They are below…

  • It might sound super obvious, but simply ask leaders to meet a certain number of new people each week (perhaps 5-10). Then report their names in a weekly meeting.
  • Take a few hours to contact local restaurants about donating food for your events. I took a moment to think back and I realized that I haven’t made the most of this opportunity. In my experience, I’ve been surprised how many places will donate food. Be OK with a “no” and think through return on investment. Chances are if you ask 5-10 places for food for an event or for contact work, 1-2 might seriously consider it. Maybe they give $50 worth of stuff and it took you 2 hours to contact 10 places… that is $25/hr that you “earned” for contact work. Right now I have a local donut shop that gives me their day-old donuts for contact work – that saved us hundreds of dollars each month and kids love them!
  • Show up at their workplaces. Ask every kid you know (text them, ask them at club, maybe even do a club devoted to local places where kids work) and then visit them. Make it fun by posting pics online or in club each week of “Julie working at McDonalds” I have a club kid who I visited most Sundays at Sonic (half-price milkshakes… yum) and posted a video on Instagram for our club of him every time. We all loved it (thx Mecl!)
  • Host an Open Mic night. I was recently at a big gathering of YL staff from across the country and heard that some clubs have found great success by having an Open Mic night. They have found that Open Mic nights might appeal to a different group of kids that might not normally come to a traditional club. I’ve also seen Open Mic nights be great contact work events in coffee shops in Scotland (shout-out to John and Fluffy Robertson, Clay Rowe and Euan Johnstone!) Consider an improv night too!
  • Mini-Road Trip. Consider just going to a different park of town that most people haven’t gone to. It doesn’t have to be far or fancy, just different (“adventure” comes in many forms).
  • Welcome Week. While Welcome Week is a no-brainer for College YL, it could be extended to other YL ministries. Imagine if in the first two weeks of the semester of a middle or high school, you had a plan for each day. Maybe something like: Monday (donuts before school), Tuesday (social media compliments/encouragement to current club kids), Wednesday (lesser-known athletic event attendance at the school), Thursday (visiting all the places where kids work and/or hanging in popular places where kids go – like a mall), Friday (ultimate frisbee after school with otterpops after and/or HS football game that night), etc. Basically, make a huge push for one or two weeks to kick-off the semester.
  • Mine your phone. Take a moment every week or two to just go through your contacts on your phone (or social) – see who God brings to mind to say a prayer for and/or to contact with a quick “hi”. This can help a lot with kids who we might not have seen for a while.
  • Mixers and Games list. I found the YL College mixers and games list (it includes good descriptions of each) to be very helpful. You can find it HERE.

Those are just some of the nuggets that caught my eye. If you look, I’m sure you will find many more. Thanks again to Kim Nollan for letting me know about this incredible collection of resources.
Many blessings on your ministry! – Sean
PS… I’ll probably say something later about it, but I’ve revised my Live Like This Bible study series. Click HERE if interested 🙂