The Source for Youth Ministry

A guide to help you find the
resource you're looking for!

from The Source

Our web site should have what you're looking for.  Here are some of the youth ministry resources and help you'll find on THE SOURCE.



Yes, we've got one of the largest collections of
GAMES & ICEBREAKERS on the web. But the key to our database is how it's organized. We've organized the games for each particular situation you need. For example, if you've got only 12 kids meeting weekly in the front living room of a house, you don't want a game that starts with the instructions, "Get 20 hockey sticks and a big rubber ball!" You want games that don't require a gymnasium or a big facility. That's what we call ANYWHERE GAMES, games you can play anywhere ... even a living room. Or what if you've got 500 students sitting in permanent seating looking at a stage? You don't want a game that starts with the instructions, "Get everyone in a big circle!" What you really want is an activity that an audience could do, without disassembling the crowd. That's why we have an AUDIENCE GAMES page. And if you want to find a game even more specific for your location, time for set-up, numbers, etc., then use our custom game search feature to create a custom game list just for you! Or maybe you've never really thought through the logistics of leading games and you could use a few pointers. Then check out Jonathan's SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF GAME LEADING. All these game resources are on our GAMES & ICEBREAKERS page. Check it out for even more topics like OUTDOOR GAMES, SICK AND TWISTED GAMES, UP FRONT GAMES ... and much more!

What about some FUN EVENT IDEAS? Events are bigger than just games. Events are activities that might take an entire evening like a scavenger hunt, dinner events, car rallies, and theme nights. So if you're looking for a quick game to play at your Superbowl party, go to our GAMES & ICEBREAKERS page. But if you're looking for an entire Superbowl party . . . then go to our FUN EVENT & ACTIVITY IDEAS page where you'll find a ready-made Superbowl party with a sample Superbowl quiz you can give and a bunch of other good ideas. Our FUN EVENT & ACTIVITY IDEAS page also includes sample lists for video scavenger hunts or man hunts. Or something as silly as "Melon Night," a night with a bunch of games using watermelons and cantaloupes. All this is on our FUN EVENT & ACTIVITY IDEAS page.


Sure, they’re fun, but they’re different from our GAMES and FUN EVENT IDEAS. Our TEAM BUILDERS are for the express purpose of unifying your student ministry. The entire page is dedicated to simple, inexpensive ways you can bring your group together for a common goal. Some of these TEAM BUILDERS can simply be combined with your regular programming while others are entire programs all on their own. That’s what’s so perfect about them! You can choose exactly which kind you need and plug it right into your ministry.


But maybe you’re looking for an event with a purpose. Maybe you’d like to reach out to your community with an event, making an impact for Jesus. Then take a peek at our OUTREACH EVENT IDEAS page. This page is dedicated to ideas that help your ministry reach out and point to Jesus in one of three ways: Sharing Events, Serving Events, or Inviting Events. Take a peek for yourself on our OUTREACH EVENT IDEAS page.


Sometimes movie clips are a great way to kick off a discussion. In Acts 17 the Apostle Paul preached a famous sermon where he creatively starts by referring to an idol that he observed in the town earlier that day "to an unknown god" (vs 23). Paul used their idol as an "opener" to introduce them to our one true God. Obviously discretion must used, but video clips can be a good tool as an "opener" for discussion. Check out our MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSIONS page for some good movie clip ideas. You'll also see a link to an article we've written about discretion when showing movie clips.

However, since music is such a powerful force in the lives of teenagers, we’ve also dedicated a page to MUSIC DISCUSSIONS. These offer the same help as our MOVIE DISCUSSIONS but focus on today’s most popular music. You’ll get the song, a Bible passage, some small group discussion questions, and a wrap up in every single one of them.

Maybe you don't want just a game or an event- you want some topical ideas for your weekly program. Check out our CURRICULUM & JUMPSTARTERS page. You'll find two different categories of resources on this page. Our YOUTH OUTREACH AGENDAS are complete "ready-made" agendas for a weekly outreach. Many include game ideas, discussion starters, small group questions and even an outline to a quick wrap up talk you can give. Or maybe you're looking for something for a program other than an outreach program. The second category on our CURRICULUM & JUMPSTARTERS page is our OPENERS. Find creative ways to kick off a discussion or topic for the evening like having everyone in the youth group blow up a balloon, placing them all under the weight of a flattened table and then watching as it holds up the weight of a bunch of big guys! What better way to kick off a discussion on faith (if you're one of the big guys!)

Of course, you might be looking for a new book to go through for a Bible Study or to disciple someone. Check out our DISCIPLESHIP GUIDE page for some great information on discipling believers AND a free book you can download called "Welcome to the Family." I have taken brand new Christians through this book, and students who've grown up in the church through this book. It covers some of the foundational truths often overlooked like the importance of "reading your Bible, praying, going to church," etc. Download this free book on the DISCIPLESHIP GUIDE page.

Finally, The Source for Youth Ministry’s sister site has hundreds of totally free, downloadable mp3 podcasts for your teens to use. On this site, we organize the 10 minute long Bible study podcasts by book of the Bible; in fact, we’ve got entire books completed on this site! Every podcast involves the reading of a biblical passage, a breakdown of it, a related challenge for the week, and an optional “for further reading” section. Yeah, it’s jam-packed, but thousands of kids around the country are loving them! Please pass this website on to your teens; they’ll thank you for it.


Let's face it- sometimes we are swamped and next thing we know we have a talk to give . . . TONIGHT!!! Well check out our
TALKS/SERMONS page full of great resources for talks and sermons. Jonathan starts by giving us four of his talks written specifically for youth groups. Then take a look at for sermons by his father, an incredible preacher. Then take a peek at some great links to great preachers who put their sermons or transcripts on the web . . . you won't be disappointed wit the TALKS/SERMONS page.


You might be looking for some training or needing the answers to some of the questions most youth workers have. There are several places to find this training or the answers you need. First- there is the page titled TRAINING TOOLS. You can find it by using our ARTICLES & FREE TRAINING drop down menu on our blue navigation bar across the top of the page. Then simply scroll down to FREE TRAINING TOOLS. This page has articles about the biggest needs youth workers have: How do I reach unchurched students? How do I get volunteers? How can my group grow and be more effective? How can I plan effectively? Do I really need small groups? How do I plan a weekend retreat? etc. There much more! Plus, we have it broken down into two categories: training for YOU and training for your ADULT VOLUNTEERS. All this on the TRAINING TOOLS page.

You can also find more answers to specific questions in the ASK THE SOURCE section. This is where people ask questions like, "how do I handle that problem kid?" or "what can I use for interviewing my staff?" and Jonathan attempts to answer it, or find someone who can. There are a ton of archived questions and answers on this page that are a great reference.


Do you know how many youth workers re-invent the wheel every year creating basic paperwork like "new person forms" and "student leadership applications." Don't start from scratch. Go to our LOGISTICAL CRUD page and use samples of all kinds of these logistical forms. We’ve even got job description forms, evaluation forms, and paperwork to help you manage volunteers, be they adult or student.


Sign up for one of the first free resource EZINE's on the web. Jonathan's weekly EZINE has been a hit with youth workers since the 90's when Jonathan launched Enjoy new game ideas, training tips, interviews with people you want to hear from, silly top-ten lists, and articles that will tug at your heart. Simply fill in your email in the box at the top of the screen and you'll start receiving this great resource.

Don't miss all of Jonathan's past EZINE articles on our ARTICLE ARCHIVES PAGE. Find a gold mine of articles, training, funnies and other great resources in these archives.

Also for the same price of FREE, check out Jonathan’s Blog. You give us your email address, and we’ll shoot you his weekly blogs (about 4 times a week on average). This is THE BEST WAY of staying current with exactly what’s happening in the world of youth culture. Further, you might discover that Jonathan is coming to a town near you for training of speaking and you can join in.


Jonathan is an author and speaker who trains & speaks all over the country at conferences, rallies, camps and events. Check out his SPEAKERS page and who's recommending him. You'll want him at your next event.

Or maybe you're looking for a speaker for a small local event and you don't have a huge budget. Check out our growing AFFORDABLE SPEAKER'S NETWORK map to see if there is a speaker near you. This network provides the names of speakers Jonathan has heard around the country and recommends to you.


We love to provide you with a bunch of high quality, truly-free resources. But let's be honest, most of us are also on the lookout for quality resources that we can buy. That's why, of the thousands of pages of free resources we provide, we provide one page that we call "RECOMMENDED BOOKS". This page provides amazing discounts on all of Jonathan’s books like Connect, or his award winning youth ministry book, Do They Run When They See You Coming? Reaching Out to Unchurched Teenagers (winning "BEST OUTREACH RESOURCE" in June of 2006) or his popular parenting book, Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent. Check out all these books and more on our RECOMMENDED BOOKS page.


Nobody on the web has the collection of skits for youth ministry that we do. We got scores of them available to you for free! We call em STUPID SKITS because, well, they’re stupid! These are NOT intended to be dramas that lead students to Christ. These are usually just funny ideas that you can plug into your ministry to make it that much more appealing to kids visiting your youth group. So if you’re looking for Shakespeare, look elsewhere; our idea of skits are almost always dedicated to a good laugh. They aren’t necessarily deep, spiritual, or thought-provoking. They just help your group have a great time!


Christmas and Easter schedules got you busy beyond belief? Are you sick and tired of having to be creative AGAIN for Mother’s Day? Relax, we’ve got some help for you. Just go to our HOLIDAY IDEAS page and look for what you need. This is a collection place for every resource on our site that fits into a holiday’s theme. That means our Christmas section is going to have game ideas, some articles, a few outreach and spiritual growth agendas, and even some movie clip discussions. Even better, these lists continually grow each year. That means, there will be fresh ideas for you when you come back for next year’s needs!


One of the latest additions to our website has also proven to be our most helpful. How many times have you been asked by parents of teens in your church, “Can little Robbie go see fill-in-the-blank movie?” They don’t know the answer, nor how to go about finding one. Until now, parents and youth workers have kinda been working blind on this one. Not anymore. Now, with the help of our MOVIE REVIEWS & QUICK Q’s page, you can point your church families in the right direction. On this page, we view and review every movie that comes out that might attract a teen audience. We give a breakdown of the content that can be found in the movie, and even have a cool rating system that we use to help families make choices. But most important, every movie review comes with 3 questions AND answers that will help parents guide their kids through the viewing of every movie out there! Just because the movie theater is dark doesn’t mean you have to make decisions in the dark!


Yeah, we’re known for our youth ministry resources, but as any veteran of youth ministry will tell you, this kind of ministry cannot happen apart from the parents of your kids. You need to know how to speak to them, interact with them, and lead them. Fortunately for you, we’ve got several ways you can do that.

The first is our Youth Culture Window page. On this page, you’ll find hundreds of articles that talk about one thing: what’s going on in the lives of teens. That’s it. Wanna a breakdown of the top songs being listened to by teens, check it out. Need to know who the heck Lady Gaga is, we’ve got you covered. What are teen pregnancy stats? How many teens are drinking and to what degree? Wanna know what movies are going to be attracting teens to theaters in the summertime? All this and much, much more can be found in our Youth Culture Window articles.

Further, we have an entire site dedicated to parents called The Source for Parents. On this site, we have many of the resources from our The Source for Ministry page, but they’ve been re-formatted to deal strictly with parenting and family issues. This site also features article by the leading voices in family ministry today. Expect insight from Al Menconi and Jim Burns and a host of others on a regular basis. Of course, everything here is just as free as our ministry site!


Hope you enjoy the site- it's all free- we're just happy to see you working for the kingdom.

1 Thes. 1:2-3
    We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. [3] We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Keep up the good work.

God Bless,