iphone youth ministry

Clips, the newest app for youth ministry

One direction I think youth ministry resources need to go is mobile

In the latest edition of Immerse Journal I have an article called “Technology Swiss Army Knives” that’s all about apps that help you spend less time in your office and more time with students. I’d actually like to see apps for youth ministry get to the point where we could ditch our offices altogether. It’s not like any of us went into youth ministry hoping to maintain office hours. More on this concept later…

Clips is one of those apps that is a great resource for on-the-go youth workers, small group leaders… even parents.

About the creator – RJ Grunewald

It was created by one of my long-time youth ministry network guys from Detroit, RJ Grunewald. He’s a middle school pastor who fell in love with the iPhone and started dreaming about how to use his phone for ministry. Back in 2008, fiddling around after church, he created an app that farts. (Perfect for middle schoolers!) He submitted it to the iTunes store as the WhoopieCushion app and it blew up. (Get it, blew up?) I actually heard about it because RJ called me for some advice about starting a business. It was perfect timing because YS was just starting to think about apps for ministry, too. Long story short, RJ built the MyGuitar app and Tough Topics. (Both successful, but now retired.)

What is Clips all about?

It’s really simple. You’ll be mad you didn’t think of it. If you have a set of Videos that Teach in your office– this is an updated and mobile evolution of that. (I’ve bought at least five sets of Videos that Teach over the years, it’s my most stolen resource.)

The app has a library of popular movies with amazing and powerful clips. The app suggests a clip and provides Bible-based discussion questions and some suggested Bible verses. You can search by movie name or topic. You can save things as favorites so you can come back to it, stuff like that. In a future version he’s opening it up to the community a bit more by allowing users to suggest clips to include in the app. But there’s enough there to last you quite a while.

It’s a great idea. And for any youth worker who is an app junkie, it’s a must-have. It’s available now in the app store for $2.99.

It’s a resource you’ll want to make sure is in the hands of your small group leaders and parents, too. Help them turn movie time into worthwhile discussion. Tip: Use the iTunes “gift this” button and you can send it to the youth workers in your ministry. If you need a raise… gift it to your senior pastor.

Last thing, I love the fact that RJ owns Clips. So literally, buying this app is supporting RJ and encouraging him to not only make this app better, but to make more apps like it.

Question 1: What’s your favorite movie for teaching students?

Question 2: If you have the app, what do you think?

Full-disclosure — RJ is a client of The Youth Cartel. 

Film Sports

The Four Greatest Basketball Movies of All Time

Everything I’m doing from Thursday to Sunday is measured by the following questions: “What  time does ___ start and who is playing now?” I love March Madness!

And all of those basketball dreams lead me to this list:

The Four Greatest Basketball Movies of All Time

  1. Hoosiers – Clearly, the best basketball movie ever made. I’m only slightly biased because I grew up in Indiana and my high school team won the 1994 State Championships.
  2. Hoop Dreams – (1994) The documentary which simultaneously helps you fall in love with high school basketball and the craft of documentary film making at the same time.
  3. White Men Can’t Jump – (1992) Wesley Snipes & Woody Harrelson in a basketball movie? Yes, please! I quote this movie all the time. Any time I receive unexpected money I proudly declare, “We goin’ Sizzler!
  4. Coach Carter (2005) If this inspirational story doesn’t make you cry than you probably don’t like sports. I’m pretty sure Bobby Knight called Coach Carter to tell him to tone it down a little.

Honorable mention: Basketball Diaries, The Super, Space Jam.

Agree? Disagree? What is your favorite basketball movie of all time?