Category Archives: club talks

Young Life Club Talks and Campaigners for Fall 2014.

YLQC Cover Fall 2014

I know we are already in the start of the Young Life ministry year.  But better late than never, some would say.  So I wanted to share with you our Young Life area’s Club Talks & Campaigner Lessons for this fall.  If they are useful to you, we would love for you to have them.

My goal is to create great content that Young Life leaders can use to tell the amazing story of Jesus Christ to kids.  To me, in Young Life Club, there is nothing more important that we do to tell God’s amazing love story in a compelling way each week.  Creating these is one of the most important things I do each semester.  I hope they are helpful you you.

Outline for the semester:

  • Who is God?  Why did He create? –  Acts 17:24-28a & Genesis 5:1-2
  • The Temptation of Jesus – Luke 4:1-13
  •  Jesus Cleanses the Temple – Mark 11:15-19
  • Jesus Heals the Paralytic – Mark 2:1-12
  • Peter Falls Asleep (Need/Sin Talk) – Mark 14:32-41
  • Cross Talk  – Mark 15:21-32
  • Resurrection Talk – Mark 16:1-8
  • Rich Young Ruler (Appropriation Talk) – Mark 10:17-22
  • Parable of the Sower – Mark 4:1-9 & 13-20
  • Christmas Club Talk #1:
    • An Angel and Mary – Luke 1:26-38
    • An Angel and Joseph – Matthew 1:18-25
    • The Birth of Jesus – Luke 2:1-7
  • Christmas Club Talk #2:
    • The Shepherds and the Angels – Luke 2:8-20
    • The Visit of the Magi – Matthew 2:1-12
    • The Escape to Egypt – Matthew 2:13-16

Download links to the three types of files:

*Below are the download links for three different versions of the same file.  The PDF file can be opened and viewed anywhere.  The ePub version will work on all eReaders, except the Kindle.  Use the Kindle version for all Kindle readers.

Let me know if you have any trouble downloading any of the files.  I would love to know what you think!  Leave a comment.

Tips & Tricks for leaders giving their first Young Life Club talks.

145027_logoGiving your first Young Life Club talk can be a scary thing.  I have seen people giving their first Young Life Club talk be excellent or be bad.  But, if you follow the steps below, you can have the confidence to deliver your first Club talk in an excellent way.

Go back to the basics.

Review why we give Young Life Club talks.  Ask your team leader or Young Life staff person to go over that with you again or look through your leader training materials.  Knowing the why behind Young Life Club talks will help you in your preparation and delivery to give an excellent Club talk.

Do you know kids?

If you don’t know kids in Club, don’t give your Club talk.  Instead, spend time in building relationships with kids.  It is much easier to give a Young Life Club talk, especially for your first Club talk, to a room of kids that you know.  We are relational, not event driven.  Make sure you know kids and they know you before you give your first Young Life Club talk.

Prayer. Prayer. Prayer.

This can’t be over stated enough.  Spend a lot of time praying about your talk and see where Jesus leads you in the Scripture passage, personal story and cultural references.  Spending some good time listening to Jesus move around your talk, will give you the confidence to do an excellent job.

Get others to pray for you at the time of your Club talk.

It will give you confidence to know that a certain number of family and friends are praying for you during your first Young Life Club talk.  Remind them of the exact day and time you will be giving your talk.  Ask them to pray for specific things during the time of your Club talk.

Prepare well.

If someone took the notes out of your hand before you gave your first Club talk, could you do it from memory?  This is the level of preparation you should have for all of your Club talks, not just the first one.

Be yourself.

Don’t try to be someone else when giving your talk.  Don’t make up a story or steal a story from someone else’s life.  God created you uniquely in His image and has a plan for you in your Club talk.  If you try to be someone else, you miss out on kids connecting with the real you.

Go over it with other leaders and get feedback.

It is important for other leaders to hear your Club talk before kids hear it.  Make sure the person that you are giving it to, before you give it to kids, has given many Club talks before and can help you with your delivery and any theological issues you might have in your Club talk.

Steal concepts from great communicators.

Study, watch and listen to other great communicators about their approach and delivery.  Some of my favorites are: Andy Stanley, Judah Smith & Craig Groeschel.  You might have others.  See how they use illustrations, voice inflection, movement, etc to engage their audience.  Use some of their best delivery styles integrated with your style.

Practice your delivery.

The more you go over your Club talk, the more you know it and the better it will be delivered.  Go over your Club talk with another leader or your staff person.  Practice in the mirror or in your Club room.

Prepare early.  Leave room for the Holy Spirit to move.

If you are overly prepared early, you make room for the Holy Sprit to move.  If you are rushing to complete your talk right before you give it, you will miss out on this key step.  This is where the gems of your Young Life Club talk comes from.  This is where we see Jesus move in big ways.

What is missing from the list?  Leave a comment and let us know.

Young Life Club talks and Campaigner lessons for Spring 2014.

Young Life Club Talk Master - Spring 2014 Cover

We are starting a brand new semester of Young Life ministry.  Do you feel prepared?  If you don’t, here is a free semester of Club talks and Campaigner lessons.  Over, 1,200 people downloaded our Club talks and Campaigner lessons from the fall.  We love sharing these free resources with you!

What is included in these docs:

  • 11 Club talks and Campaigner lessons – intro talk, person of Christ talks, Sin talk, Cross talk, Resurrection talk, Appropriation talk and Walking with Christ talks
  • Background on the passage
  • Setting the scene of the Scripture passage
  • How this relates to kids
  • Campaigner questions and Campaigner questions 2.0
  • Media you can use in your Club talk or Campaigner lesson

Below are the themes and Scripture references for these Club talks:

  • The Beginning – Genesis 1
  • The Boy Jesus at the Temple – Luke 2:41-52
  • Attempt to Stone Jesus – John 10:24-39
  • The Parable of the Lost Sheep – Luke 15:3-7
  • Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand – Matthew 14:13-21
  • A Man with a Withered Hand – Matthew 12:9-14
  • The Woman Caught in Adultery – John 7:53-8:11
  • Peace and Hope – Romans 5:6-11
  • Jesus and The Doubts of Thomas – John 20:24-29
  • Do not Worry – Matthew 6:25-34
  • Messengers of Jesus – Matthew 28:16-20

Download these Club talks & Campaigner lessons in four different formats:

* Use PDF files in Adobe Reader ONLY.  Do not use Preview on Mac.

We would love your feed back or how you will use these.  Let us know!

Young Life Christmas Club Talk #1

Can we make the assumption in today’s culture that kids have heard the birth story of Jesus?  Some might have, but others have not.  The post modern/post-Chirtsian world in which kids live in, they might know pieces of the story, but not the real story of Jesus.

This is a great opportunity as Young Life leaders to present the person of Jesus in His birth story to kids.  We as Young Life leaders will need to work hard to direct kids to the truth of the story.  Besides the story of the cross, no other story has had so many incorrect facts associated with it.  Give kids the true facts about the story of Jesus’ birth.  Tell the narrative of the story in a compelling way.


These talks are purposely split into two different talks.  There is to much to cover in an excellent way in just one talk.  Young Life Christmas Club talk #1 focuses on Joseph, Mary, them traveling to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus.  Young Life Christmas Club talk #2 focuses on the Shepherds, Magi and the flee to Egypt.

DOWNLOAD Young Life Christmas Club Talk #1 HERE.  I will load Christmas Club talk #2 the week of Monday, December 2nd.

How do you tell the Christmas story to kids in Young Life Club talks?  Leave a comment.

Young Life Club talks and Campaigner lessons for this semester.

A new semester of Young Life is upon us.  This means Clubs are starting and Campaigner groups are back together.  So, what is your plan for Club talks and Campaigner lessons this fall?

2013-14 Club Talks Cover

What do they offer?

  • Complete Club Talks with three scripture versions (NIV, NCV & The Message) in each talk.
  • Each Club talk has – points you can make in your talk, background around the passage, setting the scene and how it relates to kids.
  • A great Campaigner lesson around each Club talk.  Each talk also offers Campaigner questions 2.0 – for a more advanced discussion.
  • Most talks offer a video clip that could be used.

Download different versions here:

  • Print PDF Version – This version is made to be printed out used.  It has QR Codes you can scan with links to the Club talk videos.
  • Interactive PDF Version – This version is a larger file with imbedded video for the Club talks.  It is best viewed on a computer in Adobe Reader.

Let me know if you need any help.

Should you compare Young Life camp Clubs with your local area Clubs?

Each summer I hear form leader, we should have our area Clubs like Clubs at summer Young Life camp.  You are fired up after an amazing week of Young Life camp and you want to change to make your Club better.  Thought there are many great aspects of the summer camp Club you can bring back to your local Club, be aware it won’t be the same.


The local Club and the summer camp Club are so different, I don’t think it is fair to compare the two.  There are elements in the summer camp Club, that if you tried to bring home, just won’t work.

Here is where I say you can’t compare the two:

  • A different atmosphere.  Kids will often show up early to Clubs back home, which is great.  But, they are not lining up an hour before Clubs starts like at Camp.  The whole week long atmosphere at camp is directed to amazing proclamation during the week in Club.
  • The environment.  One of the amazing things about Young Life Clubs at summer camp is that we take kids out of their environments back home (good or bad) so they can hear about Jesus.  Kids back home are coming into club with lots of things pulling for their attention.  With Clubs in our local areas, we are continually trying to get kids attention during the week.  It is not the same at summer camp.
  • The quality of the speaker.  We have amazing communicators that share at our summer camp Clubs.  Although, we strive for excellence in our local Young Life Club talks; it can be difficult to communicate in the same way as Club at camp.  The content might be the same, but the delivery will look different.
  • The quality of the program.  Gifted program directors spend months preparing for 5, 6 or 7 amazing Clubs at camp.  You get the best of the best program at a summer camp Club.  Many of skits and games you can recreate at home, but the execution and timing might not be the same.

Let me know what you think.  Leave a comment!

4 Digital Resources all Young Life leaders should have.

Our lives have been transformed by technology over the last few years.  With the launch of smart phone and tablets, the way in which we consume media and content has completely changed.  We have the ability to have digital resources at our finger tips.  Why not have some digital resources at your finger tips to be a better Young Life leader.


As Young Life leaders, we are continually on the go with kids.  We pursue relationships with kids.  We get to have some amazing conversations with kids.  We need to have resources at our finger tips to help us do these things.  Here are a few.

Here are the digital resources we suggest:

  1. Growing Leaders Podcast – Tim Elmore is a gifted teacher looking at the millennial generation and how they are impacting our world.  They do a great podcast and have amazing materials you can use with staff, leaders and kids.  Download the episodes in your favorite podcast app.
  2. The book ‘Letters to a Young Life Leader‘ in a digital copy – Some moments as a Young Life leader can be difficult and challenging.  You will want to be motivated and inspired during these times.  Letters to a Young Life Leader does just that.  Having a digital copy, means you can read it anywhere.  With short and inspiring letters, it is a must have for all Young Life leaders.
  3. The book/resource ‘Lifting Up Jesus in Every Talk as We Proclaim His GospelTy Saltzgiver has a great book/booklet that will help you plan and execute great Young Life talks.  It can also help you in conversations with kids and leaders around amazing stories of Jesus in the Bible.  Get the digital copy and have it in your favorite book reading app.
  4. Campaigners Training Digital Resources – If you are leading Campaigners, you know that sometimes it does not go according to plan or you might need additional resources as a leader to excellent Campaigner ministry with kids.  There are some great Campaigner lessons on this web page.  Load up your smart phone or tablet with these PDF documents and you will be good to go.

What else is in your digital arsenal as a Young Life leader?  Leave a comment.

Young Life Club Talks (first semester) – Year 3. Download here.

Our Young Life area is in the third year of a three year scripture strategy of having a different scripture passage for each week.  The idea is that we don’t use the same scripture passages all the time.  As Young Life leaders we often go back to our favorite scripture passages.  But, there are some great passages that you often over look if you are not careful.

You will find the first semester of our Club talks and Campaigner lessons.  We hope you find it useful.  We would love your feedback on these Club talks and Campaigner lessons.  Leave a comment.

Download Year 3 of Club Talks (first semester), here is three different versions:

Here are some other Club talk resources on YL Digital:

Three resources for writing amazing Young Life Club talks.

I am in the midst of writing our Club talks for the fall for our Young Life area.  It is always an overwhelming and inspiring time.  It is a prayerful time of thinking about the kids that will hearing these talks.  But, I get to see how God creates and transforms His word in my heart.

As a staff team we outline the talks then add in four elements to each club talk

  1. Where kids are at in relationship with the scripture?
  2. Campaigner Questions
  3. Thoughts on the passage (exegesis)
  4. Media to use in your talk

When it comes to the scripture versions to use in our Club talks and Campaigners lessons, we have landed on NIV (updated version) and The Message.  We are going with the updated NIV version, because the Bibles kids are getting at camp this summer are NIV.  In previous years when the camp Bibles were TNIV, we would use that version.  We use The Message (which I know may have some controversy for some of you), because it is the best paraphrase of the Bible out there.

So here are the resources I use when creating club talks for our Young Life area:

1. New Bible Commentary.  This is a great and low cost bible commentary that goes in depth, but not over your head.  The language is easy to understand.

2. Glo Bible software.  I love this software.  You can download it on your computer, iPad and iPhone.  There is a free version, but it is worth the $34.99 for the premium edition.  You can put it on up to 5 devices.  The interactivity with this software is amazing.  With interactive maps, videos, etc; it makes the Bible come alive.

3. NIV Youth Quest Study Bible: The Question and Answer Bible.  I often get stuck with creating great Campaigner questions around my scripture passage.  This is a great place

What resources do you use to create excellent Young Life Club talks in your ministry?  Share your resources by leaving a comment.