Why did you get into ministry? I know for me, it was not a love of making detailed plans of activities...but because I wanted to walk alongside young people as they meet and deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ. But so often it feels like our time gets eaten up by planning details of the next weeks program or making flyers. Today I want to introduce you to two resources that have saved me a ton of time as I have planned various youth events or retreats over the years. And just FYI, they are not Catholic resources. That won't affect 80% of what you find and use, like games or logistical type things, but if you are using something with a more theological basis, make sure you adjust, or even better, infuse it with our Catholic Tradition.
Download Youth Ministry (DYM)
This is not a Catholic resource, but they put out some fantastic stuff that is easily adapted for use in Catholic settings. Doug Fields and Josh Griffon started DYM because they noticed there were a lot of Youth Ministers coming up with great stuff and wanted to provide a way for them to share what they created with other Youth Ministers in an inexpensive way. There is a ton of resources, from message series to games to training videos, that are all very inexpensive all things considered and will save you so much time.Their membership program is a great deal, providing "members only" resources but also big discounts on their stores, so it pays for itself pretty quickly.
So while their paid stuff is great, the ways I use them most regularly is for their community (which is free). I have listened to the DYM Podcast since it started because it is entertaining and it feels like I am just there sitting with a bunch of other Youth Ministers talking shop. They also have a very active Facebook Page filled with Youth Ministers seeking & giving support and ideas to their fellow Youth Workers.
Find it at DownloadYouthMinistry.com
The Source for Youth Ministry
When I am looking for a quick game, this is often my first go to. TheSource4YM.com's Icebreaker and Games list is crazy. You can search by number of participants, type of facility, mess or no mess, how long the game is, and more. Not all of the games are sure-fire winners, but it is certainly a great place to start. It has a bunch of other resources to check out as well. Probably the area that I use most after the library of games is the Music and Movie Clips Discussion. Even if I don't use the full discussion they provide, it is an easy place to start to look for a music or movie clip to discuss a certain topic. And best yet, its all Free.
Go to TheSource4YM.com