When I first heard about YouthBytes.org I thought, “Oh no, not another video curriculum of shallow content and lame production. The youth ministry video curriculum market is already saturated with products that enable youth leaders to outsource the teaching of scripture.”
But what I appreciate about the videos from YouthBytes.org is that, not only are they MTV quality videos, but the host, Chad Daniel, actually communicates the Word. The videos are not intended to be a surrogate teacher for your kids — they’re created to spark discussion and engage teenagers’ minds on Biblical truths that you, their youth leader, can (and should) follow-up on. That’s why each episode includes a 1-minute version, a 3-minute version, a 6-minute version, even up to a 30-minute version so you can pick which works best for your group. The included leader’s guide contains ideas for icebreakers, a lesson, discussion questions, key scripture passages, and more to help you teach your kids on the subject matter covered in the video. They really do a professional and quality job with everything they produce.
When you get a chance, check out some of the video clips at YouthBytes.org. The first time I went to their site, I only intended to check out a couple clips, but I actually ended up watching all of them! They’re engaging, funny, and thought provoking. And the longer DVD versions are even better! I actually watched the episodes on the YouthBytes DVD I have twice!
I actually had no faults with YouthBytes until the second time I watched the DVD: I realized that I was so engaged with what Chad Daniel was doing the first time around that sometimes I stopped paying attention to what he was actually teaching. Instead my mind focused on things like, “Oh wow, flares strapped to tennis shoes! I so wanna try that!” or how I need to tell my wife about a funny clip that made me laugh out loud. Unfortunately, I missed some of the valuable gems of wisdom that Chad Daniel shared the first time I watched it. However, this could actually be a positive thing because it makes the replay value of the DVDs pretty high. You could watch it several times and pick up something new each time. I’ll probably use YouthBytes as discussion starters for my own Sunday morning Jr. High ministry starting in 2009.
Tips from Chad Daniel: How to improve your teaching
A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to talk with Chad Daniel. Of course, YouthBytes entered the discussion and how to communicate with teens in a media-based culture, but he gave me some great tips on how to improve my teaching and communication with teenagers. Listen to this interview with him to hear his advice.
A HUGE thank you to YouthBytes for being the official sponsor of our Youth Ministry Mentorship program! Because of their support, every mentee received the required books for free and every mentor was blessed with a gift. Thank you, YouthBytes, for your investment into the training of new youth workers across the country!
Posted on October 7, 2008