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  • Eric Gallagher

    6 Youth Ministry “Anti-Programs” That Will Enhance Your Current Programming

    By Eric Gallagher

    In my last post, I was rather critical of programs. It’s not really programs that I struggle with but rather the inability of people to think outside of their programs. I struggle with this myself. It’s easy to fall into the falsehood that we will be able to meet all of the needs of the youth within a single or maybe even a few different programs. When I say program, I mean a regularly offered event (youth group, bible study, discipleship group, etc.) that is planned and available to anyone inte
    • 4 comments
    • 718 views
  • Eric Gallagher

    A CRAZY Youth Ministry Proposal

    By Eric Gallagher

    A couple of years ago, I spoke with a mom in a local parish who was interested in leading a small discipleship group. She was excited because the parish was encouraging discipleship groups to begin as naturally as possible, so she immediately saw her daughter, her daughter’s friends, and a couple other youth as a great group to lead. This mom asked a friend to lead the group with her, and they began meeting in the fall. About two months into leading the group, the pastor caught wind that th
    • 1 comment
    • 697 views
  • Eric Gallagher

    Ninja Game

    By Eric Gallagher

    You may have seen this game before and not really understood what was going on.  The game is called Ninja.  It is an extremely easy game to figure out and explain but can take a lifetime to master.  Youth Ministers like it simply because they will play and analyze it more than anyone else, ensuring that they could beat any youngster up for the challenge. Here are the instructions: Size of Group:  You can play two people but I would recommend starting with at least four.  If you ha
    • 0 comments
    • 709 views
  • Eric Gallagher

    Blind Dodgeball

    By Eric Gallagher

    In leading 100’s of games over about 16 years this has been one of the favorites. Materials Needed blindfolds a marked off area (either a square in a gym or made with cones) dodge balls (softer is better) Setup Set up the boundaries.  Have each person find a partner.  One of them will be blindfolded and the other will not.  Place a good number balls scattered around within the boundary.  The blindfolded person will be in the boundary area and their teammate w
    • 2 comments
    • 793 views
  • Eric Gallagher

    My Top 8 Youth Ministry Purchases from Amazon

    By Eric Gallagher

    I’ve been an Amazon customer since 2002 when pretty much the only thing that people used it for was to avoid going to the University bookstore and paying full price for college textbooks.  Now Amazon seems to be the first place I look whenever I have need for anything! To start off this new Catholic Youth Ministry Blog I’ve decided that for my first post I would go through the last 16 years of my Amazon orders and share with you the top 8 things I’ve purchased for youth ministry.  Also, ple
    • 0 comments
    • 575 views
 

Catholic Youth Ministry Weekly Roundup – February 11, 2019

May the Peace of Christ and the sacrificial love of Saint Valentine be with you. Here we go with another set of weekly news items to assist your ministry with pertinent information and formation.  Kara Powell of Fuller Institute offers three faith building tips that any youth leader might offer to parents.  Tis’ the season.  As we near spring, we begin to engage in the season of hiring.  US Catholic magazine asks a related question and wonders if our hiring practices, especial

D. Scott Miller

D. Scott Miller

 

Catholic Youth Ministry Weekly Roundup – February 4, 2019

May the Peace of Christ be with you as we enter into February. Here we go with another set of weekly news items to assist your ministry with pertinent information and formation.  Not sure about you, but we cancel Sunday evening classes on Super Bowl Sunday in deference to a Sunday afternoon Souper Bowl of Caring service effort.  Since we weren’t teaching last night, it might be important to consider what lessons were being taught through the commercials on the Souper Bowl telecast.

D. Scott Miller

D. Scott Miller

 

Catholic Youth Ministry Weekly Roundup – February 4, 2019

May the Peace of Christ be with you as we enter into February. Here we go with another set of weekly news items to assist your ministry with pertinent information and formation.  Not sure about you, but we cancel Sunday evening classes on Super Bowl Sunday in deference to a Sunday afternoon Souper Bowl of Caring service effort.  Since we weren’t teaching last night, it might be important to consider what lessons were being taught through the commercials on the Souper Bowl telecast.

D. Scott Miller

D. Scott Miller

Catholic Youth Ministry Weekly Roundup - January 28, 2019

Catholic Youth Ministry Weekly Roundup - January 28, 2019

May the Peace of Christ be with you as you continue the ministry and mission of Saint John Bosco (feast day: January 31) to accompany young people in faith. Here we go with another set of weekly news items to assist your ministry with pertinent information and formation.  David Brooks, of the New York Times, recently reminded us all that Students Learn From People They Love.  Always remember when sharing faith with young people in a gathering of 100, or a class space of 20, or a work

D. Scott Miller

D. Scott Miller

 

Catholic Youth Ministry Weekly Roundup - January 21, 2019

May the Peace of Christ be with you and all those who strive for unity and equality as we strive towards the Reign of God. Here we go with another set of weekly news items to assist your ministry with pertinent information and formation.  As we commemorate the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr., we might take note of Father Bryan Massingale insistence that “At its deepest level, racism is a soul-sickness.” In his US Catholic article To dismantle racism, we must heal the human spirit.

D. Scott Miller

D. Scott Miller

 

Catholic Youth Ministry Weekly Roundup - January 14, 2019

May the Peace of Christ be with you as we return to Ordinary Time. Here we go with another set of weekly news items to assist your ministry with pertinent information and formation. Here we go! From the business side of the world, Fast Company has recently explored Six Common Beliefs about Productivity that are Total Lies.  I am confident that if it was written from the youth ministry perspective, it might include  that extensive time on social networking or gaming sites does not rea

D. Scott Miller

D. Scott Miller

Catholic Youth Ministry Weekly Roundup - January 7, 2019

Catholic Youth Ministry Weekly Roundup - January 7, 2019

May the Peace of Christ be with you throughout this New Year. We hope to offer weekly news items to assist your ministry with pertinent information and formation Here we go! Recently, long-time youth minister Walt Mueller reflected on his many decades in ministry. He has come to clarity, as we all should, about what youth ministry is not about and what it should be about. Seventeen years after the Boston Globe first placed a Spotlight on the clergy abuse crisis, last week the
My Top 8 Youth Ministry Purchases from Amazon

My Top 8 Youth Ministry Purchases from Amazon

I’ve been an Amazon customer since 2002 when pretty much the only thing that people used it for was to avoid going to the University bookstore and paying full price for college textbooks.  Now Amazon seems to be the first place I look whenever I have need for anything! To start off this new Catholic Youth Ministry Blog I’ve decided that for my first post I would go through the last 16 years of my Amazon orders and share with you the top 8 things I’ve purchased for youth ministry.  Also, ple

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Egg Russian Roulette Game

Egg Russian Roulette Game

This game was a huge success at our summer camps.  To start you will need one dozen eggs for every two teams.  Seven of the eggs in each dozen should be boiled and five should not.  Mix them up in the carton so you can't tell which ones are which.   We had the teams (small groups) send a representative up to challenge a representative from another team.  They each selected one egg and (on a count of three) smashed it on their head.  The first team to get three of the raw eggs lost.  

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

The Jail Fundraiser

The Jail Fundraiser

The Jail Fundraiser is one of those fundraisers that does far more than raising money.  It's a ton a fun, draws in the entire parish community, and it doesn't ever really get old.  To start, this fundraiser only really works if it's part of a larger parish event like a parish bazaar.   Brief Explanation Set up a space designated as "the jail" where people will be able to sit when they are arrested.  It should be able to hold roughly 10-12 people comfortably.  People will pay you t

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

My New Blog "Other Duties As Assigned"

My New Blog "Other Duties As Assigned"

I've literally been asked dozens of times how I'm able to work in ministry and support my growing family while my wife is also able to stay at home to take care of the house and little ones that are not yet in school.  The quick answer is always...we make it work.  With the launch of the new Catholic Youth Ministry Hub and the freedom to blog "as I wish" I'm planning to use this space to share ways that my wife and I have been able to make things work.   The title "Other Duties as Assigned" give

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

 

BIBLE TABOO

We actually purchased a bible version of "TABOO" Our teens LOVE it. You could easily do it yourself without buying the game though. All you need is a timer, a buzzer & some Bible/Catholic trivia questions. We have also discovered, this game is great at giving you insight to their personalities. You see who is competitive, who leads naturally as well as who is reserved.  

Calvin Hammond

Calvin Hammond

Live Mafia

Live Mafia

A twist on the classic Mafia! Make sure you check that one out first so you have at least a small understanding of the rules.  How the game works: Pick a few teens to be "mafia" members. This is done secretly, either having everyone close there eyes and hold out their hands, or by giving out cards and having the face cards be the mafia. Usually I do about 1 mafia for every 5 regulars. The game is played in rounds until all mafia members are eliminated or the mafia win.  Each round

Jonah Soucy

Jonah Soucy

Cheeto Face

Cheeto Face

This is a fun one. You'll need a couple cans of shaving cream and a couple small bags of Cheetos. Make sure you have a couple youth who don't mind getting messy!  The rules are simple. First, split the youth into teams (can be groups, doubles, however you want to do it). Next, have one person from each team volunteer to be the "Cheeto face". This person will cover their face completely with shaving cream, but leave space over their eyes so they can still see. When you say go, the other members o

Jonah Soucy

Jonah Soucy

 

Lights out Marco Polo

A game that we had great success with, was a dry version of marco polo, but it needs to be played at night. You can create an arena using tables turned on their side (this also helps with safety). Then you pick who starts as "it" turn off the lights & play like you were in the pool. When someone is tagged, they , as well as the one searching, say out loud "FREEZE". At this point you turn on the lights. No one is allowed to move again until the lights go back out. Its easy

Calvin Hammond

Calvin Hammond

The Difference Between Discipleship and Discipleship

The Difference Between Discipleship and Discipleship

The other day, I was having a conversation with a parish youth leader about discipleship, and I started mentioning some of the basic fundamentals of discipleship (i.e. meeting youth where they are, in small groups, in an atmosphere that helps them grow deeper). Before too long, they responded with “that sounds a lot like what Father is doing.” I hear this kind of response often, but usually after we begin to dig in to what I mean when I say “discipleship,” we find that what “Father is doing” is

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Are Paul, Barnabas and Timothy ALL in Your Small Group?

Are Paul, Barnabas and Timothy ALL in Your Small Group?

I often get asked why I believe small group discipleship is the ideal way to cultivate discipleship in a parish. It is important to remember that we must be less concerned about the “how” we do discipleship and more concerned about what is needed in order for discipleship to be happening with the youth that we are working with. In Scripture we can find a few examples of how the disciples grew as disciples and were influenced and supported in their efforts in going to make more disciples. I reall

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Who is Supposed to Disciple Me?

Who is Supposed to Disciple Me?

When I first started diving in to discipleship, I remember a conversation I had with a priest friend of mine. We were discussing how everyone should be “discipled” and what that looks like. The question that the priest asked me, though, was “who is supposed to disciple me (the priest)?” One thing I have found to be very common in places where discipleship is active is that people feel this “need” to be discipled by another person. I thought it would be good to start my new blog by giving a

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Blind Dodgeball

Blind Dodgeball

In leading 100’s of games over about 16 years this has been one of the favorites. Materials Needed blindfolds a marked off area (either a square in a gym or made with cones) dodge balls (softer is better) Setup Set up the boundaries.  Have each person find a partner.  One of them will be blindfolded and the other will not.  Place a good number balls scattered around within the boundary.  The blindfolded person will be in the boundary area and their teammate w

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Poop the Potato

Poop the Potato

I can’t believe it has taken this long for me to find this game.  Grab some potatoes and some buckets and you are good to go!  Divide your youth into groups or run it individually.  The person takes a potato, puts it between their legs, takes the potato to the bucket and drops it.  If they drop the potato anywhere else on accident, they must go back to the beginning and try again.  The person or team with the most potatoes in the buckets after a set amount of time wins!    

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

Spoons – The Youth Group Game of All Time

Spoons – The Youth Group Game of All Time

I often have friends in ministry who ask me for directions on games I play and I typically just point them to the site.  When a friend asked me about Spoons and I realized I had never mentioned it on this site, I immediately realized how incomplete the game library on here is.   So, for those who don’t know, here are the instructions to the youth group game that I take much too seriously! Supplies Needed Spoons (one for every person) Playing Cards Directions This

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

The Shoe Game

The Shoe Game

Directions This is probably one of the greatest games for retreat type atmosphere when you need to lighten things up a little bit.  To start have group of between 6-8 people form a circle.  You can just have one or two groups.  They do not compete against the other groups and there really is not a winner. This game is played like ‘Hot Potato’ with a twist.  Have one person volunteer to use their shoe as the hot potato.  Start off by playing one round like hot potato and start the music

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher

This is So Much Fun

This is So Much Fun

This is a hilarious youth ministry game that someone showed me this last summer at camp.  You need NO supplies and can do it with two people or 100 people.  I found a pretty humorous video on YouTube of two guys who explain the game well.  This is a different variation from what I saw, but the concept is the same.  Two people have to look at each and do little slightly embarrassing actions with each other.  The person who smiles first, loses the game.  Typically the actions will build off of eac

Eric Gallagher

Eric Gallagher



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