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Need your ideas for a new international youth ministry

New ministry IDA good friend of mine, Bill Scott, former President of ZJAM Youth Ministries, is starting a new youth ministry under the American Association of Christian Counselors and needs suggestions for two things.

1. A name for this new ministry. The ministry will feature syndicated talk radio shows for teenagers, state of the art website with videos, radio, Bible study podcasts, online Bible studies, an international crisis hotline, an on-site mentorship campus (outside Nashville, TN), and provide plenty of resources on DVD for parents and youth workers. If you’re familiar with ZJAM, this new ministry will be similar in nature, but expanded on a much bigger scale. National student and youth worker conferences are in the making, as well. What kind of name fits all this?

2. What do youth workers need that isn’t currently provided anywhere else? There’s already several great ministries that offer resources and ideas for youth workers. Bill doesn’t feel it’s necessary to imitate what others are already doing well. He wants to fill a void that’s wide open, something that will help youth workers and parents in ways no one else is.

Post your ideas here. Bill will be checking frequently since he’s on a time crunch for a ministry name. Thanks for your input, everyone!


Posted on March 9, 2007

  • Tim, I’m glad to hear Bill is looking for something that benefits youth guys in a new way. If he hasn’t already, I would recommend he read everything he can by Seth Godin. I have used his books in a lot of marketing and promotion but more importantly in refining start-up ideas. Personally I would love to talk to Bill for a while about a recent series you did on the future and needs of youth ministry. I think we are in a pitiful place in the church in discipleship. I hate to even use that word because most people think that is something other than what it is.

    As for branding there are many sites out there for that talk about logos and naming. My recommendations for a high tech, new youth ministry would be:

    1. Probably a made-up senseless word not using X, Life, Student, War, Gen, Edge, Teen, Pulse, Z and especially Jam. (basically anything that is already out there, especially if it is really dated)
    2. Should be one word.
    3. Should start with A, I, S, T, X, Y, or Z.
    4. No Numbers.
    5. Best if it is 7 letters.
    6.Even better is something really narcissistic like Youtube or Myspace.

    So the top of my list is Twembie.

  • Tim

    Thanks for your input, Paul! I also read a lot of Seth Godin’s stuff and highly recommend his material. You’re right, what Bill is starting up is exactly the kind of thing that would benefit greatly from his insights, especially now at the current state of building everything from scratch.

    Bill, the series Paul is referring to is my “Issues in Youth Ministry” series that you participated in a while back.

    Paul, your ideas for a name are right on par with what Bill and I were discussing yesterday. Sometime simple, identifiable and not cliche. Otherwords we decided to avoid are Power and Surge, which seem to be overused in youth ministry a lot, too.

    The only name that’s come to mind so far, Bill, is Infuse, like infusing the Word into the lives of students. Not sure I really like it, though. Still doesn’t really stand out, but I dunno, it’s a start.

    Some stuff I thought of for your new ministry that no one else is really doing that well:

    1. Buy some prime real estate in the booming world of Second Life and build a virtual youth center where you guys can hold Bible studies, intro to Christianity discussions, play games, meet other believers, discuss life issues (like on Teenhopeline, but now “face to face”) and maybe even hold some concerts. Although, you probably wanna do it in Teen Second Life, I guess.

    2. A video podcast of music videos, interviews, and latest happenings in culture and how Christians can respond.

    3. We talked about this before, but create a free online wiki of all the content that was previously available only to Teenhopeline volunteers. Kinda like a one-stop site for everything we need to know about hurting teens and how to address their various issues.

    4. Put together a national network of local mentors for the purpose of providing soul care to youth workers. Through the AACC, this shouldn’t be too difficult. For youth workers who want to participate, provide free one-on-one mentoring, encouragement and spiritual renewal. I bet this would help to greatly decrease the youth worker drop-out rate. Churches should already have something like this in place, especially from their Sr. Pastor, but unfortunate that’s not always the case.

    That’s all I got so far. I’ll comment again as other things come to mind.

  • Tim, those are great ideas. Is Bill looking for help?lol Sounds like he is going to really make a go of it.

    I especially love the mentor idea. Don’t we all need that at some time? It would be great to credential it in some way, too. Ordination is getting to be pretty loose in many places and having some qualifiers on skills and levels of competence might be cool.

    Lifechurch.tv is doing some pretty cool video podcasts that might be worth looking at. At least to see what is possible. Lots of bling there.

    I would love to also see something like Ypulse (ypulse.com) that tracked trends in teens and ministry to them. That’s how I heard about the ringtone hat only teens could hear. Just things like what teens are doing and what they like. That is a big component of affinity discipleship for me.

    It would also be great to highlight some ministries that are doing some things differently. Example: I have heard about a guy in the UK that has hacked a Nintendo Wii to control Ableton Live for leading worship. It controls transitions of slides, music, and even lights.

    Oh, and love the idea of second life. Why didn’t I think of that?

  • Hey great thoughts guys…thanks for giving me some things to think about. My brother in law has been talking about “second life” evangelism for a while…but I haven’t found/made the time to dig into it.

    Do you think it is really realistic?

    I am going to poll my students tonight and see how many of them know about 2nd life – I will get back to you with my results…my first inclination is to think that this mostly would hit 25’s-35’s who have come into a period of life that is lonely – not to say that teens aren’t lonely…they just have a lot of distractions.

    Thoughts?

  • Tim

    Yeah, you’re probably right about the Second Life demographic being more young professionals than teenagers. World of Warcraft seems to be the online fantasy world of teenagers and college students. Starting a ministry in WoW would be more difficult since everyone is separated on different servers. However, I see no reason why Bill’s new ministry couldn’t extend to include young professionals, too. I mean, the video podcast would include this age group, too.

  • Bill Scott

    Thanks for the help guys. We have a huge amount of resources while building this new international youth ministry. The name is a huge deal for me. ZJAM was something I had made up at the time. I need something like at the end of next week and a made up name might help because of the dot com and having it avaliable there.

    We are open to any idea’s you might have. I want to bless youth pastors in ways it’s not being done. We are working on a DVD series for parents about their teens right now. I would like to know what we could do for teenagers that isn’t being done as well.

    It’s not often you are at the beginning of building something and as you can imagine I want to do it right and powerful.

    Thanks to everyone who is posting and know that I am watching.

    Bill Scott

  • this is a really lame idea. but it sounds to me like this new thing bill is starting is kind of like a rally cry…or a place where youth pastors/ workers/ parents can come together to get resources/ share ideas and help to equip leaders to impact a generation for life. maybe i missed the boat. the only thing i can come up with…and as i said it’s really cheesy and corny but how about project nehemiah. i did some domain checking and that domain is gone but project.org is available. from what i can see it’s not trademarked or anything (project nehemiah) that is. i thought of it becuase as we know in the book of nehemiah they rally together and resource with each other suing each others talents and gifts in rebuilding the wall. maybe this is an effory to build a wall or a hedge around student ministries internationally…not to protect them or shelter them but to harbor a safe place where our culture can be impacted for real true life change…authentic life change…not hiding ourselves form the culture but living alongside those in our culture sharing what God has brought us through and done for us and them.

    corny? cheesy? yeah probably…but that’s the only direction I am thinking right now for what it is worth.

  • Bill Scott

    What about a name with “Life” in it? seeing second life is so big. Lifeforyou.com.

    You can say no and even make fun of me lol.

  • Bill Scott

    These two are open.

    Lifeforyou.org and Lifeforme.com

  • Bill, I would stay away from “Life”. For me it is just too over used.

    Chris, I don’t know if it IS cheesy, but I think you make a good point about something. The name needs to convey some meaning behind it, even if it is a made up word. The problem with this, though, is that so many people in the church have done this so poorly, that it takes something very different to stand out. I have made so many grossly cheesy rip off names that I am embarrassed at how bad they were.

    So at this point I am stuck. I would need more information about the object of the org to come up with something more creative. I am looking forward to what it is called and what it does though. Will we get updates here?

  • Paul thank you for your kind words. I agree that it has to convey some meaning behind it…not just cool name. It needs to be both. I also resonate with your thoughts on the church using cheesy rip-offs and I have done that as well. Something creative, attractive, edgy, but at the same time conveying purpose and meaning behind the meaning of the word.

    Bill I agree with what Paul says about the word “life.” I think in Christendom it is over-used. I’m thinking of things like young Life, Life Way we are always throwing around “life change” (which I do a lot and it’s mostly because that’s what we are after with our students), Life Church. I love the word life and the meaning and connotations behind it but is it being over-used in the Christian circle?

  • Bill Scott

    Yeah, that is what I thought about LIFE. No bad idea’s on here ok. Someone’s bad idea can be built on and perhaps give someone the edge they need to come up with a name uh? We’ll get you updates about the ministry some how through Tim ok? I appreciate your input big time. Remember NO BAD IDEA’S. Something good will come out of one of them. Pray for me. I have been talking with Billy Ray Cyrus the country singer. He lives up the road from me. He has 10 acres and a school on it. He uses the school for storage, it’s on the back of his farm. I asked him to give me the full thing. I will re-do the school and make it our Mentorship Center where students can spend one, two and three years with us. I’ll build dorms, a gym etc… It will be a small campus that will hold 100 students in our mentorship program and at the same time impact teens around the world. My goal for next year is to reach 1million teens.

    QUESTION: I founded Teenhopeline.com an online crisis hotline for teens. I am not with them any more. They talked to 100,000 teens last year one on one, pretty cool.

    I am beginning another crisis hotline online. I have two names. Give me some feedback if you would.

    Hopechat.com
    StudentHOPELINE.com

    I like Studenthopeline but I am open to either of them or maybe something new. I have the domain for StudentHOPEline.com.

  • Tim

    Back to the domain thing, a lot of these domains are registered, but it doesn’t look like they’re currently in use. They’re just registered to re-sell and make a profit. Check the Whois info on the domains and find out if they’re just parked or what. Use the domain’s contact info to see if they’re willing to sell the domain. I think firstlife.com and youthlife.com are both examples of this. Even if a domain is in use by a small organization somewhere, they may be willing to sell it for a good price anyway.

    Some people are getting creative with the new .us domain, too. For example, YouthFor.Us or TheBestYouthR.Us kinda thing.

    Concerning the hopeline domains, I say go with something completely different than what was used at ZJAM. Otherwise it might confuse people who have heard of teenhopeline.com and now you’re pushing studenthopeline.com. Unless they write it down, they may walk away with teenhopeline.com in their minds. Maybe a better way to go is to make it part of your main ministry’s site and just work with one single website domain. So, for example, your ministry is called youthway.com and everything goes through there. Visitors are given a couple easy clear choices of where they wanna go (chat with a prayer partner, sign up for bible studies, or check out music). See LifeChurch.tv’s main entry page for an example of what I mean. They do it well.

  • I agree with Tim about using something completely different. You wouldn’t want confusion leading people to the wrong place if they are thinking of suicide or are just incredibly stressed. I would go with something like feelbetter.org or steamblower.org. I also like the idea of using the main ministry as a gateway to other functions within the ministry. That will help your google ranking as well.

    Since this is a new ministry that has many facets, it is really difficult to narrow the idea for a name down. It might also be hard to get started with so many offerings. That sounds like it is a good thing, but sometimes it can be damaging because people aren’t sure what they are coming to the site/ministry for. If it were me, I would focus on one niche that I knew I could really get some traction with. Once the initial niche is secure, it would be easy to branch out from there.

    Warning: I am thinking out loud like I would during a brainstorming session!
    I had in my head something like guide or train but I don’t like either of those words. Faithmaps is good but a little too religious and already taken. I was also thinking of having a lasting impact. I like resolute a lot, because it conveys a sense of commitment and there are lots of things that could be done with typography. I also like resource except splitting “re” off of “source” somehow. There is also the urgent brand like “11:59″ (as in the stroke before midnight” that conveys a sense of the eschaton. One other I like and that is “Strophe” which is the basis for part of the word catastrophe that conveys movement. Strophe is a series of parts of music and also a plot turn in classical Greek plays. Other than that, I all out. I’ll chime in if I think of something else.

    Bill, I think I would like to be more involved in this if you are looking for people. I have a lot of time right now, let me know.

  • Tim

    Paul, I think you’re right about becoming more focused and specific with this new ministry. Here’s part of an e-mail I just wrote to Bill as we’ve been dialogging about this off-site:

    Rather than think of a bunch of good ways to reach teens, you should develop a mission statement that clearly defines what it is that you want to accomplish through your ministry and who the target audience is. Based on that information, decide which of these ideas fit your ministry’s direction best and go from there. Otherwise, you’ll hit a lot of people but no one really on the bulls eye, ya know? It’s more effective to take a sniper approach than a buckshot approach.

  • Tim, sometimes I wonder if weren’t brothers separated at birth. Of course, we look nothing alike on the outside though.

  • Tim

    Aww geez, my parents already had six of us! There can’t be more that I don’t even know about. lol

  • Bill Scott

    Things are moving forward. Thanks for the input on names etc… I am going to list a few and open to many but I have to land on something this week. All domains will go to one web site. The crisis hotline might have a different domain name for bands and others to point them towards but will still go to one web site, it’s better to only have one site. The company will be hired tomorrow to begin building the site which will be updated daily with great content, video’s podcasts etc…

    The radio program is named

    Radio – Xtreme Radio, the web site will be xtrlive.com.

    I would love to use Xtreme in the ministry name so it sorta of flows.

    Xtreme Youth Alliance
    Xtreme Student Ministries
    Xtreme Global Outreach
    Xtreme International Ministries
    Ignite Youth Ministries – Someone gave me that one.

    Give me some help on this. I would use xtrlive.com for the web site. For the crisis hotline.

    Studenthopeline.com – which many had concerns on…noted.
    Hopechat.com
    feelbetter.org
    blowsteam.com

    I am not in as much of a hurry on the crisis hotline but the ministry name will have to be done this week so our mailings can go out to churches etc…

    The radio program will begin in June, Sunday nights from 7-9pm Central Time. Contact your local station to see if they’ll air this talk show for students.

    If you would like to be involved in this new ministry, please email me at bill@billscottlive.com and we’ll begin to talk as this takes on a life of it’s own ok? I would love to have you join with me. This is going to be an awesome globlal outreach to teenagers!

    I appreciate all the comments that I have gotten so far.

    Bill Scott
    xtrlive.com

  • Tim

    Chris, I really liked your Nehemiah idea and read through the book yesterday looking for a “theme verse” or something that would summarize the ministry well and then try to make a name from it. I read from The Message and this is the best summary verse I found:

    Nehemiah 2:20, “The God of Heaven will make sure we succeed. We’re his servants and we’re going to work, rebuilding.”

    I’m not really coming up with anything great there, but maybe it’ll spark something for the rest of you.

    As for the Student Hope Line, PrayForHope.com is available, too.

  • Friends are friends forever—a cool name for the show—Bill Scott is a cool iv’e known him for along time,I know he will do something good for everyone. WCIE used to be the radio station where I met him yrs ago.

  • Pingback: Xtreme Youth Alliance launches tomorrow! » Life in Student Ministry()

  • Lala

    hey, u guys said on the radio that u can go to this website for help. is that true?

  • @ Lala: No, not this site. Try Xtrlive.com.

  • Pingback: Facebook app: Daily bible studies for teens | Life in Student Ministry()

  • Nice site! Thanks for the great post

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