When you’re a youth minister you are often short on time, juggling several jobs, trying to keep up with the youth and wondering how you got so old and uncool without even realising. You’re walking that constant tightrope of trying to imaginatively, creatively and relevantly share the Gospel to young people…with very little time to plan it.
So we’ve put together our favorite links to help make your resources top notch and your life a little easier!
There’s more to Pinterest than elaborate projects that you save and then never do. Pinterest is a goldmine of beautifully designed prayer quotes that you can use to engage your youth groups with Bible quotes. There is every style under the sun, so you’re sure to find a look that works for the demographic of your group. You can search for just “Bible Quotes” in the search bar, or narrow down your choices with the specific verse that you are looking for. The size of most of these designs is perfectly printable for your youth to take away with them and keep them safe in a wallet or phone case.
We’re all familiar with “death by Powerpoint” so shake things up a bit by using prezi.com. This website allows you to easily make interesting, animated presentations that are perfect for a youth-group setting. There is a simple tutorial to teach you the process too. There is a cost involved for making your account private (and for more add-ons) but the public profile option is more than adequate.
Sometimes you’ve got your talk ready, or you’re going to share your testimony, or you want to pose your small group with a challenging topic to chew over. But one thing is missing. You just need that elusive movie clip to make the whole thing come together and work perfectly.
Wingclips.com helpfully catergorizes hundreds of short movie clips into useful, searchable themes, catergories and even scriptures, so you can find just the thing you’re looking for and enrich your talk or discussion with a great jumping off point.
Pablo Buffer allows you to design simple, clean, modern images with text overlayed ontop. The images are all copyright free and can be easily used for sharing on social media. Perfect for if you need to quickly create an attractive quotation, uplifting verse or even share news about your group or publicise an event. The website is easy to use and has helpful instructions to guide you all the way. You can share directly to social media or download to your device for later.
Sometimes other people’s videos online don’t show exactly what you need, or you wish you could just quickly throw together some of your points to show a message in a neat, simple way. Adobe Spark can do this. Walking you through the process step by step, Adobe Spark will have your video made in a matter of minutes. You can add photos, text and images, themes and music. You can even record a narration if you want to.
Similar to Adobe Spark, Powtoon lets you make your own videos for free and gives you another option that might work well for your groups. It is cartoony in style, which would work well for younger groups, but can also be used for making presentations or talks more interesting. You can also add a voice-over.
Of course, I couldn’t write this list without mentioning Catholic-Link.org! Everything we write and do is geared towards providing our readers with resources for evangelisation. Our video posts come with a commentary that you can use to help you make the basis of a talk or discussion, and we very often provide questions that you can pose to your small groups too. Feel free to use our images for talks or presentations. Don’t forget to check out our Library of Resources (link). All these images can be used for free as long as you quote us!
When you have the requirement to use copyright free images, there are a number of places you can check out, but the best place to start is www.creativecommons.org. Its keyword search will take you to a number of options on the web where you can search further for copyright free images, music, videos and much more.
Canva is a little more sophisticated than the other media-making websites in this list so far, but it is still very user-friendly. You can create posters, blog graphics, letterheads, certificates and even ebook front covers. While there are some free attributes to this website, the highest quality graphics require upgrading to a payment plan (after a free 30-day trial). Canva could be great option for taking your youth ministry media up a notch, without breaking the bank.
Don’t forget Netflix is great for finding suitable films if you’re going to have a movie night with your youth group. There are hundreds of great movies, secular and Christian, that you can check out. If you’re not sure where to begin, take a look at these lists here and here. Or, if you’re short on time and want to cut out the searching for appropriate content, take a quick look at Pureflix, a Netflix-like website that hosts only family-friendly and Christian movies to watch online.
There’s nothing worse in youth work than when you and your group are tired of playing the same old icebreakers and games. Or, the moment when you’ve forgotten every game you ever knew and the group are arriving as you panic to get your brain back in gear! Well, there’s an app for that. Found here for Apple and here for Android, this app has more than 200 searchable games, all available offline once you have downloaded it to your phone. You can search by age group, type of game, location of your youth group, or you can shake your phone to find a random game. Perfect for when you need to shake up your games night!
Of course, no list can ever be exhaustive, and we’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite online resources or websites for youth ministry? If you aren’t a youth minister but you know one, don’t forget to pass this article onto them. And if you are a youth minister, we want to give you a big thank you for the work you do in sharing the Gospel with young people. You do a great work.