Camp

2017 Set List

One of the questions we get the most on social media is about the songs we sing at BigStuf! We know you’re probably wondering what songs we’ll be singing this summer…we have great news for you! We have released our set list for BigStuf 2017 so you can be ready to sing at the top of your lungs, together with over 1,500 other students at camp! SO, just for you, here is the Set List for BigStuf 2017…

  1. Real Love – Hillsong Young and Free
  2. Every Beat  –  North Point InsideOut
  3. Good Good Father – Passion
  4. Love Come Down – North Point InsideOut
  5. We Are Royals – North Point InsideOut
  6. Trust It All – North Point InsideOut
  7. Alive – Hillsong Young and Free
  8. When the Fight Calls – Hillsong Young and Free
  9. I Fall – Seth Condrey / North Point InsideOut
  10. What a Beautiful Name – Hillsong Worship
  11. This is Living – Hillsong Young and Free
  12. Christ is Enough – Hillsong
  13. Enough For Me – North Point InsideOut
  14. Death Was Arrested – North Point InsideOut
  15. No Longer Slaves – Jonathan David
  16. Sons and Daughters – North Point InsideOut
  17. Oceans – Hillsong

Even better, we’ve also created a Spotify Playlist for you to listen to before and after camp! Click here to listen to the “2017 BigStuf Worship Set List”: http://spoti.fi/2sk0nYP.

We can’t wait to sing with you this summer!

Resources

5 Things I’ve Learned About Leading Worship

At BigStuf, we’re so lucky to have an incredible team helping us put on camp every summer. And Emily Hearn is just one the amazing people who make up our worship team. As a musician and worship leader, Emily has years of experience leading students towards an experience with Christ through worship. That’s why we asked her to share some of her expertise with you!

Read on to hear more from Emily about worship and five big things she’s learned about leading worship.

  1. Shrink the space between the stage and the seats. Relate. Be honest.
    I believe that we were made to connect with God. We were designed to be in conversation with Him, and worship is a chance to do that. It puts words to our struggles, hopes, and questions. Most people don’t naturally feel free to step right in to singing and worship so it helps if their leader frees them up to be flawed, human, and vulnerable in worship. The best way we can do that is to tell our own stories. I try to leave enough space in a service to make connections with people that I lead by talking to them in between songs. This shrinks the space between the stage and the seats and gives me as a leader a chance to allow God to use my own flawed, human, and vulnerable experiences to lead others.
  2. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead and speak through you in the moment.
    I truly have learned to lean on the Holy Spirit in leading worship. Before I lead, I ask Him what He wants to say to His people and how I can be used to help Him speak. All the things I’ve learned about leading really hinge on the idea that He must become greater and I must become less, and this is no exception. I want to get out of the way and let the Holy Spirit speak through me in the moments I have to lead.
  3. Prepare during the week by praying over the songs, over your leadership, and over the people you’ll be leading.
    Prayer is a powerful tool for any believer—one I use daily to help me prepare to lead worship. Before I lead, I start simply by praying over the songs I’m going to be leading throughout the week, the people I’ll be leading alongside, and the leadership God has given me. It not only helps me prepare my heart to lead, but it also helps me maintain my focus on One who I’m leading others to in worship.
  4. Singing and musicianship are second to our desire to follow Jesus. Focus less on making it perfect and more on making it real.
    As musicians, it’s easy for us to want to focus all our energy on playing really well or sounding better than we ever have before. And while there is a lot to be said to trying to use our gifts with excellence, what’s more important is using our gifts in truth. Avoid the desire to focus on perfection and instead ask God to help you just be authentic. As long as we’re dependent on Jesus and seeking God’s will, we’ll be used in a powerful way to help other people experience connection with God. He so often calls people who aren’t totally ready to prove that He is the one doing the real work!
  5. Daily surrender your own desire to be seen and affirmed and constantly point to Jesus.
    It’s easy to be drawn in by the presence on stage or the incredible production or the attention of those you’re leading. But it’s my responsibility as a worship leader to turn from those distractions, take the focus off myself, and move the praise where it’s meant to be—to Jesus. By the grace of God, those who are gifted in music have such a great opportunity to lead and connect with others. Just remember that ultimately leading isn’t about you or your gifts, but rather about connecting other with the God who gave those gifts to you.
Resources

Three Things to Avoid When Hosting in Student Ministry

We all know a great host when we see one. But on the other end of the spectrum, we all know when your hosting time doesn’t go as planned! We want to help you avoid falling into that category by giving you some tricks of the trade for student ministry hosting. Take a look at these three things to keep in mind when it comes to student ministry hosting straight from our friend and expert, Britt Kitchen.

1 – Don’t feel the pressure to be funny.
Some people are funny and some people aren’t. That’s okay! Hosts don’t have to be funny to be good at what they do. There are plenty of super successful hosts who aren’t high on the humor scale (hello Ryan Seacrest). Instead of trying to be funny, focus on what your job is: welcoming everyone, knowing the flow of the day, and handling the transitions. Do those to the best of your ability. And with confidence! Once you get more comfortable as a host you can start trying to find your funny on stage, but don’t feel the pressure to always be a stand-up comic. It’s only one of the many tools in your hosting toolbox.

2 – Don’t use a timer.
Most of the time, games are written with a time constraint in the instructions. Stage hosts assume that those timers should be placed on the screen for everyone to see. After all, won’t that crank up the suspense and drama of a game? Maybe, but placing a clock on the screen for all to see automatically locks you into a timeframe and restricts the freedom you have to navigate the time. Rather than using a visible timer, announce to your students that someone is keeping time but just use a mental clock in your head. That frees you up to feel the moment. If a game is going well, you can keep it moving a little longer. But if it’s not working the way you planned, you can wrap it up faster. This lets you as the host keep control of the energy in the room and guide the experience for your students.

3 – Don’t rely on video transitions.
A huge responsibility for a host is to handle transitions throughout the program. Whether it’s the initial transition from hangout time to the formal start of the program, or the more difficult one from hosting to the next element of the program (typically worship), it’s your job to make things move seamlessly. When hosts aren’t sure what to do, they seem to default to incorporating video in to their transitions. And while I love a good YouTube clip as much as the next guy, I think video transitions on their own can actually diminish the vibe you’ve worked hard to set up during your program. If you play a funny video and then move right into worship, the job of refocusing your students falls on the worship leader rather than the host. Or if you share a camp promo video and move right in to music, there’s no one there to give the details about camp while it’s fresh on your students’ minds. I’m all for a great promo video or a goofy clip, but be sure as a host to stick around and make the transition yourself, rather than treat the video as the transition itself.

Resources

3 Ways How to Be a Great MC & Host for Christian Youth Events

A great host & master of ceremonies (MC) can make all the difference in your student ministry.

They can make a room come alive with energy, get everyone excited about what’s about to happen, and lead the way to good conversations in small groups. For the time they’re on stage, your host has the reigns of your student ministry, and a great host can turn it into an incredible experience for your kids.

How do they do it? How do great hosts turn a room around just like that? Well, while some people are born to be great hosts, most of us have to learn how to be great. And our friend and student ministry expert Britt Kitchen has some tips to help you get started on the path to becoming a great host. Take a look at his three ways to enhance your hosting time in student ministry.

  1. Make students the stars.
    At its core, hosting for students is a servant role. We are serving them by welcoming them, giving them information they need, and creating a fun environment. Remember, the host isn’t the attraction; the students are. You’re there to serve them! Keep that in mind as you choose your games or stage interactions with students. A great host knows how to celebrate students, make them feel cool, and avoid embarrassing them (even when they’re asked to do something silly). The goal is to highlight your students and have a little fun with them while they’re on stage.
  2. Incorporate their group.
    This is huge for a small group driven student ministry. It’s important to always find ways to point your students back to their groups. The sooner you can get students interacting with their groups, the better their conversations will be. As the host, introduce opportunities for that interaction at the top of the program. Choose games where students have to work together as a group or encourage them to stand with their group before the music starts. Guiding them towards connection during hosting will help students feel more connected to each other once small groups actually begin.
  3. Pick the right song.
    Part of your job as a host is to bring energy to the room and focus your students’ attention for the rest of the program. A key ingredient to accomplishing that is playing the right music. You should constantly be searching for songs with great walk up intros for your host to take the stage. You also need to think about the right songs to play under a game. Are students shooting nerf guns? Then crank up “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” Are they eating something gross? We should be hearing something like “Eat It.” Adding the right music to your hosting will help the top of the day go from just a bland announcement time to a memorable experience for everyone.
Stories

Sunday is Coming…

They knew what it meant,

for their Jesus to be handed over into the hands of Pilate.

The one who could crucify, the one who could kill.

Did they even have hope that Sunday is Coming?

We read words like “flogged”, “crown of thorns” and “cross”, but do we really know what it means?

We can’t even relate to the One who took our place.

He was betrayed with a kiss and arrested without validity.

but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss? Luke 22:48

 The Messiah, the saving One, the grace that we didn’t deserve…

He was mocked, but He was also being beaten over the head with a reed while insults were hurled at Him.

He was flogged, where whips with sharp shards were forcefully thrown into His body as those torturing Him laughed, mocked.

 

But after having Jesus flogged, he (Pilate) handed Him over to be crucifiedMatthew 27:25

 

A crown of thorns was pressed into His head as His raw body was draped in scarlet.

He was dragged to the place where criminals die.

 

When they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the robe, put His clothes on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him. Matthew 27:31

 

His hands and feet were pierced and He body was lifted up.

Maybe He already knew, Sunday Is Coming…

 

Maybe He already knew when He was weeping in the garden,

when He was washing His friends feet,

when He was illustrating His broken body and shed blood,

when He was hanging in darkness feeling forsaken by His father,

when he breathed His very last with a loud cry.

 

It Is Finished… John 19:30

 

The temple curtain tore in two from top to bottom, the earth shook, hope was lost and buried in darkness

But what now? Would the darkness stay? Was He really the one who came to save if He was gone?

 

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Luke 23:44-45 

But it’s only Friday…Sunday is Coming…

A week prior, Jesus overturned the temple, where I imagine He flipped tables if He ever did.

He set a challenge…destroy this temple and it will be built up again in three days.

But He wasn’t speaking of a building. No, He was speaking of Himself.

He was going away, it was necessary, but He would prevail. He would return.

 

The Jews responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all of this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. John 2:18-21

 

In three days, we will experience the grace we never deserved.

In three days, we will understand that He took our place.

In three days, there will be no more sacrifices to be holy or rituals to undo what we’ve done.

In three days, the gap is bridged, heaven is real, and death has no sting no more.

Hold onto hope because Sunday Is Coming…

 

He is not here, He has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee. The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised againLuke 24: 6-7

 

Today, the next three days, think about what is must have felt like to put your hope and faith into Someone who was, all at once, gone.

And prepare your heart for the day that is coming, the Sunday that is coming,

the day that changed everything.

Camp

New Music for BigStuf 2017!

One of the most exciting parts of BigStuf is our main sessions and worship. Every morning and evening during camp, all 1,500 students gather together in the big room for engaging and inspiring worship to deepen their relationships with Christ and connect them to Him in new and exciting ways.

As we approach the summer, our team is creating the perfect worship set list for BigStuf 2017! And if you’re joining us this summer, you’re probably wondering what songs your students and leaders will be singing this summer! North Point InsideOut Band has released their new Nothing Ordinary EP, which includes some of the songs that you’ll be hearing this summer! Whether you’re joining us for BigStuf 2017, or keeping up on all things BigStuf from afar, we encourage you to check out this awesome EP! You’ll hear familiar songs from North Point Community Church including “Death was Arrested” and “Love Come Down”, and even a few new songs too! The Nothing Ordinary EP is now available on iTunes! We hope you find these songs encouraging and inspiring as you lead in your ministry!

Check out the new 2017 BigStuf Set List

 

 

Resources

Youth Ministry Resources | 5 Ways To Find & Keep More Small Group Leaders

We all know the real secret to success for any student pastor is the ability to recruit incredible adult volunteers and small group leaders. While you as a student leader do an incredible amount of work to make your ministry a great place for your students, we all know that none of it would be possible without a team of small group leaders and volunteers dedicated to pouring into your students on a regular basis. But sometimes finding those people can be difficult. You don’t just want anyone leading your students so how knowing how to find, recruit, and keep awesome small group leaders and volunteers is essential. Check out some tips from our friend Joseph Sojourner on how to bring in more amazing small group leaders to your student ministry.

5 Ways To Find & Keep More Small Group Leaders

  1. Ask your current leaders.
    If you have incredible leaders already serving, chances are they have incredible friends. Look to your current leaders for recommendations for new leaders. Ask your great leaders to give you the name and number of a friend they think would be a great addition to your student ministry.
  2. Ration your requests.
    One of the biggest hesitations people have about signing up to volunteer is time. In other words, they’re worried you’re going to ask too much of them. Keep this in mind when recruiting small group leaders and ration out the requests you make of them. Let them know up front what’s expected of them as a small group leader—weekly obligations, meetings, major events, outside commitments—and then limit your additional requests to be aware of the time and sacrifices they’re making.
  3. Don’t make them go it alone.
    One of the best ways to set your leaders up for success is to partner them together to lead. Pairing up your leaders to co-lead with one another allows them to share the load and support each other along the way. It also allows the leaders to form a bond with one another, growing together spiritually as they walk through life with their students.
  4. Make it easy.
    This is key to keeping your small group leaders a part of your student ministry for years to come. And this one falls solely on your team! Make it easy for your small group leaders to lead by doing what you can do ahead of time to set them up for success. Prepare early, do the work, give them the materials, and over communicate. Your leaders are there to lead so don’t let them get bogged down in the details. Do what you can to communicate and give them what they need so they can simply focus on their relationships with the students.
  5. Give them encouragement.
    Your leaders are the hands and feet of your student ministry. Sometimes that means doing the fun stuff like showing up at a football game or taking a group to the movies. And other times that means doing the hard stuff like walking with a student through the death of a family member or having hard conversations about bad choices. That’s why the best thing you can do is provide a constant source of support and encouragement to them as they serve. Choose the best encouragers on your team to meet regularly with your small group leaders. Cheer them on and let them know you see and value what they do. Happy leaders are not only more likely to stay, but they’re more likely to invite others to lead, too!
Stories

The “Yes” of Easter

He said “yes” to sending His Son…

Bold and brave and entirely human,

to live among us.

Us, being the ones who were lowly and small. Self seeking and fixed on the offerings of the world instead of the One who met us here.

He said “yes”…

to coming down from heaven,

to feel what we feel,

to hurt where we hurt,

to be tempted amongst the people He would soon sacrifice to love in entirety, for eternity.

 

He said “yes”…

to bearing our faults, mess ups, accusations, brokenness and sinful nature.

 

But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyoneHebrews 2:9

 

As we prepare to remember and rejoice in just a couple of weeks, what do you really believe?

Are you believing that this is true? That heaven really bent low to lower our Savior?

A Savior that was fully human and Who walked among the people He so desperately loved.

A Savior that cares for your every need, thought, action, and prayer. He sings with you when your days are good and light. He is also the comfort of a friend. One that mourns with you and breaks with you.

 

Sunday is coming…the day that changed everything.

The day where death was defeated.

The day victory tore a veil of separation and replaced it with an un-expiring invitation.

 

…and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished- he did it to demonstrate righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:24-26

In these next couple weeks, I would challenge you to do these couple things…

 

1) Spend time reading about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

And then spend some time with Him. Tell Him your every need. Ask Him for the advice you can’t seem to get. Thank Him for what He gave on your behalf.

Trust that He is bigger than what stands in front of you taunting you, questioning you, intimidating you.

 

2) Say “Yes” this Easter.

If you aren’t already, find a way to serve at your church this Easter.

You have the Hope of the world stored away in your heart, and other people need to hear about Him.

You can be a part of that! I’m sure your youth pastor can find you a place to serve that day.

 

…they paid me for that shameless plug. Just kidding!

It’s honestly one of the most amazing things to be loving others while celebrating the days God showed us the depth of His love.

 

I would love to hear from you! What do you want to focus on this Easter?

Production

Youth Ministry Resources | Tips for Stage Design On A Budget

One of our favorite things about the first night of camp at BigStuf each week is the big reveal of our set and stage design for the summer. Our team works incredibly hard to create a new and unique environment each year that both reflects the theme of camp and engages students with excitement. We want to help you do the same right where you are!

No matter the size of the stage or the scope of your budget, we think you can create an incredible design for your student ministry. Read on for tips from our technical director Jonathan Amacher on how to make the most of your design on a budget.

6 Tips for Stage Design On A Budget

1 – Dream first, implement second.
Often times when I’m designing a stage, I don’t try to design with the constraints of what we have available in mind. Dream up an idea first—think big! Then see if and how you are able to accomplish it. Don’t be disheartened if the first or second idea doesn’t work. It’s a chance to not only exercise your creativity in design, but in problem solving as well!

2 – Collaborate.
Don’t be afraid to invite others in to the design process. You never know where you’ll find a new idea or who will have an awesome perspective to add. Bounce ideas for your design off your lead pastor, friends, church staff, interns… even my mom has had some great ideas along the way!

3 – Shop test.
Try your ideas out on a small scale before you commit to buying the bulk of your supplies. Things don’t always work out as intended, and it’s better to discover what will and won’t work before you blow your budget on it.

4 – Do the homework.
Put in a little research to find out what your gear is capable of and make sure you’re getting the best out of what you have. Often times I find that I’m only getting half the potential of out of the gear I use. As boring as it may sound, a quick Google search and scan of a product manual can give you loads of insight.

5 – Appreciate, but don’t imitate. It’s very easy to implement someone else’s design in to your own set. Sometimes this can work out great if you’re in a bind or time crunch, but try not to fully depend on imitating someone else’s plan. You won’t get the biggest impact out of implementing a design that wasn’t created for your specific program. Look at the individual aspects of a cool design you like and figure out how to implement those things in to your venue or design.

6 – Design with intention.
Before I even start a design, I like to talk with the people creating and executing the content of the program (worship leaders, hosts, speakers, video editors). I try to find out if there’s anything I can do to help them get where they need to go design wise. These conversations often serve as a springboard for my creativity and help me kick off the design process heading in the right direction.

Resources

5 Stage Presence Tips Before You Step On Stage

As student leaders, sometimes we get so bogged down in the details of what we have to do to make Sundays successful that by the time we actually get to Sunday, we’ve forgotten to take the time to think about what we’re going to do when we actually step on to the stage. Whether you’re giving a talk or giving an introduction, your presence on the stage is important, and you want to make sure you’re making the most of it each and every time.

When it comes to stage presence, we consider our friend Joseph Sojourner the expert in the field! Whether he’s sharing a message, closing out a session, or just gearing everyone up for a good time (Piñata Party, anyone?), he does a great job of being prepared to take the stage to lead students. So we asked him to give you just five things he keeps in mind before stepping on stage in student ministry. Check them out below!

5 Stage Presence Tips Before You Step on Stage

  1. Cast the vision.
    Every time you step on stage, remind yourself and your students of the vision of your ministry. That’s the heart of your ministry, and it’s important to keep that in the forefront of your mind. Instead of giving announcements or reminders, give vision. Remind students what your ministry is about and how all the things you have going on fit into that vision.
  2. Stay humble.
    The opportunity to stand in front of students in any capacity is a privilege, and that’s something I think about each time I step on stage. It’s a humbling feeling to know that God has given me the chance to speak to students about Him, and I don’t want to forget that. Remember to be humble enough to know that you don’t deserve the stage, but confident in knowing that God chose you to do it.
  3. Know where you’re going.
    There should be a goal—an ultimate destination—every time you step on stage. Where are you trying to go? What do you want students to get from the night? What’s the ultimate win? Know where you’re going each time you step on stage and keep that goal in mind.
  4. Remember to relax.
    While your words hold the most weight, believe it or not even your movements matter on stage. Think about your body language and remember to relax a little bit! If you’re stiff and uncomfortable on stage, your students will know. And they’ll instantly disconnect. Remind yourself to stay loose, relaxed, and just be who you are!
  5. What am I made to say?
    Remember that you have a message to deliver to students, and that message is the amazing, unconditional love of God. Always remember that no matter what other things you might have to say on stage, that saying what you’re made to say is the most important thing you can do for you students.