Category Archives: humor

selections from The Youth Cartel’s Unauthorized Dictionary of Youth Ministry (part 1)

the second book published by The Youth Cartel comes out in a couple weeks. it’s a feisty little book of snark and giggles, by steve case, called The Youth Cartel’s Unauthorized Dictionary of Youth Ministry.

how ’bout i give you a sampler platter of a handful of my favorites, from the As and Cs:

A is for…

Aaron
Moses’ brother. Occasionally asked people to call him Betsy. No, I just made that up, but I wanted to let you know the kind of book you are in for.

Absence
Makes the heart grow fonder. Unless it has to do with one of those kids you secretly can’t stand, in which case you may want to accidentally replace that little “We Missed You” post-card with a “We’d love to have you visit” postcard that you stole from the youth ministry at that other church.

Alluring
Jezebel painted her eyes to look “alluring.” Also the name of that perfume worn by the 80-year-old organist who applies it so heavily you know exactly where she has been anywhere in the building. Hey, new youth game! #finddoris

Armor of God
No, I am NOT dressing up to watch Lord of the Rings. It’s for Sunday school! #myprecious

C is for…

Christ-Centered
Use this term every time you have to write a newsletter article about your ministry. Examples: “Christ-centered Dodgeball,” “Christ-centered Bake Sale,” “Christ-centered Pizza Party.”

Control
You have none. Get over it. #thisisyouthministry

Crying
There’s no crying in youth ministry (unless Michael W. Smith’s “Friends” is playing). #camphighlightvideo

i’ll post more in the weeks to come. and, you can pre-order the whole thing here!

The Youth Cartel’s Unauthorized Dictionary of Youth Ministry

Releasing in a couple weeks, the funniest, most consistently over-the-line book published in the world of youth ministry:

The Youth Cartel’s Unauthorized Dictionary of Youth Ministry, by Steve Case

From the back cover:

Most church people don’t like to work with teenagers. Teenagers scare people. But what do youth workers like you do? You love them. You spend all your time with them. You do your best to listen to heartaches, guide fledgling souls, and avoid dismemberment. You’re like a saint. A saint who drinks a lot of coffee.

Even with all that coffee in you and with the mighty hand of God shoving guiding you, sometimes the pressure, church committees and annual budget meetings can make you feel like you are gonna explode. Don’t do that. It’s gross.

Instead: breathe deep. Allow yourself one of those “snort” church giggles. You can even hide this book inside your Bible (just bow your head and you’ll look like you’re praying). Go ahead and laugh. We won’t tell anyone.

And, here’s just a little taste – four definitions in a row from a random page in the “A is for” section:

Apocalypse
The end of the world. Watch for these telltale signs that the end is near:

  • The parents committee gathers together and spends two full hours talking about all the things you did (and do) right.
  • The Methodists drink in front of each other.
  • The local school system refuses to schedule games or practices on Sundays.
  • The church budget committee says, “We’d like to double your budget this year.”
  • Nicholas Cage does not “lose it” in a movie.

Apologetics
Love means never having to say you’re sorry.

Apps
Provides one million ways to not pay attention to the sermon, while pretending to be a tech-savvy smartphone Bible reader.

Aqua Team Rescue Force
A great game! You will need:

  • 1000 Ping-Pong® balls.
  • A baptismal pool.
  • Snorkels for everyone.
  • Your senior pastor’s vacation schedule.

Seriously, you’ll laugh until it hurts. And we all might get in trouble for this thing. But, hey, if a company called The Youth Cartel can’t be a little edgy, we should change our name, right?

We’re offering a special pre-release price on the print version of The Youth Cartel’s Unauthorized Dictionary of Youth Ministry. Order prior to its release date (which should be on or about October 15), and we’ll knock the price from $8.99 down to $7.49. If you’re a bit of a risk taker yourself, you just might want to pick up a bunch as Christmas gifts for all your volunteers. Or, you could get one for your senior pastor as a creative way of resigning!

Pre-Order for just $7.49
Download a free sample

Amazon Kindle & Apple iBooks versions are coming October 15th, too.

photo in need of a caption

hey, we haven’t had a photo in need of a caption in a while. i’m feelin’ it, are you?

here’s a gem for ya. i’ll even award a real prize this time around: downloadable copies of two of my new books, A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenage Girls, and A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenage Guys.

bring it!

CONTENDERS!

tons of good stuff, and lots of great groaners. but i’m just going to list the current best of the best here:

Kevin I
Camp Crystal Lake EMS takes a special breed of people…

Rob
Zombie CPR

RevBT
John the Baptist’s followers are REALLY grieving

Ben
Jesus is coming…look busy!

Rachel Oakes
“That awkward moment when you realize you are addressing the wrong issue…”

Dave Wollan
Scene from the long-awaited “Chips” relaunch

Trey
This is what hell’s like…

Andy
[insert any mainline denomination] is meeting this week for their tri-annual national conference.

and the winner is…

i laughed out loud at andy sahl’s:
[insert any mainline denomination] is meeting this week for their tri-annual national conference.

so you win, andy!

but i’m going to give out a 2nd place (one of the two books — your choice) to another fantastic entry, from rachel oakes:
“That awkward moment when you realize you are addressing the wrong issue…”

andy and rachel — shoot me an email ([email protected]), and we’ll get you set up for your prizes!

photo in need of a caption

hey, it’s summer! we need to have some fun! so, yes, a photo in need of a caption is certainly in order.

let’s see — i want to offer a prize.

how about this? the winner gets to choose between these three prizes:

  1. a $50 discount off a single registration for the Middle School Ministry Campference (for which the price goes up $30 after sunday — so win, and use it before sunday, and you get $80 off! holy cow, have i lost my mind!?).
  2. a $25 discount off a single registration for The Summit.
  3. the respect and admiration of The Youth Cartel (all of us).

ooh! at least two of those are pretty good!

so, here we go. make me laugh!

CONTENDERS…

Geoff Snook
Sometimes even Matt McGill has to catch the bus.
(marko comment: so extremely youth ministry blog-world insider-ish, and yet so funny!)

daryl
When’s the last time you saw people wearing ponchos? Weird.

Stevie Pointon
“…sure hope I make it to that ark in time or else my buddy will have a lonely ride!”

Mark Bushor
(Lyrics to Singing in the Rain…..maybe)
私は雨の中で歌っている
ちょうど雨で歌う
どのような輝かしいフィーリン
私は再び幸せ
私は雲で笑っている
上記までのように暗い
太陽は私の心にある
と私は愛のために準備ができています
嵐の雲追跡してみましょう
場所から誰も
雨で点灯
私は私の顔に微笑をしました
私は車線を歩いていく
幸せなリフレインと
ただ歌う’、
雨に唄えば

Christian
I know we need to protect the rain forests. But barbwire? Really?

brian aaby
“Now that it’s raining more than ever, know that we’ll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella, You can stand under my umbrella, Ella ella, ay ay ay.”

Jonathan
That awkward moment when your blind date turns out to be a pocket monster.

Heidi
you think he would’ve gone to a different bus stop after escaping the chia pet zoo

Joe Iovino
If that Goonie gets wet, we’re all in big trouble!

Gene
NO! I did not just escape from those woods.

Gene
No, YOU, tell her she’s violating the leash law.

stephen
where the wild things aren’t

Gman
Princess Kate’s attempt to not be seen by the photographers doesn’t seem to be working.

AND THE WINNER IS…

a few of these really cracked me up. had a hard time picking one.

i’m going to give an honorable mention to Gman for “Princess Kate’s attempt to not be seen by the photographers doesn’t seem to be working.” really funny. Gman, as a consolation prize, you get #3 of the prizes.

and, i’m awarding the grand prize to stephen, for his succinct, unique, and witty “where the wild things aren’t.” let me know what prize you want, stephen! (comment, or email me: [email protected])

don’t forget to set your clocks forward saturday night (10 suggested uses for your leap second)

have you ever heard of “leap second“? it’s real — seriously. and it occurs tomorrow night (saturday, june 30). don’t believe me, or just want to know more: read this. in short, a leap second is a scheduled adjustment in the worldwide “coordinated universal time” (UTC) to adjust for the extremely gradual and unpredictable slowing down of the earth’s rotation. yeah. that’s how i responded too. so, we’re all gonna die. that’s the basic message of leap second.

anyhow, the official leap second is schedule for 23:59:60 (i don’t get the :60, btw, as it seems like that would move into the next minute; but, whatever). it’s actually happening around the world at the same moment. so here in my lovely san diego, leap second will occur at 4:59 in the afternoon.

anyhow, this means you can have an extra second of sleep saturday night! just think — church attendance should be extremely high this weekend, as people have an opportunity to get plenty of rest.

in fact, i think it might be helpful to offer my loyal, smart, beautiful and particularly interesting readers a helpful list of SUGGESTED USES FOR YOUR LEAP SECOND:

1. wink at someone who will be creeped out or disoriented by your doing so. like: wink at your senior pastor. or, at the church organist. or, at the mailman.

2. shout “FREE TIME” wherever you are at the exact moment of leap second. you’ll have to say it rather quickly to get both words in during the second; but i know you can do it.

3. hop. really — just take a nice jaunty vertical hop. trust me — you will not be disappointed with this use of your leap second. because awesome.

4. call your mother. sure, you’ll have to disconnect before you even get to dialing the 4th digit of her number. but it’s the thought that counts, right?

5. pray. all you’ll be able to say during your spare second is “God;” but, really, in’t the essence of most prayers anyhow?

6. hit send on an email that is courageous or fantastically risky (in a good way). in order for this one to work, you’ll need to compose the email ahead of time, and have it ready in your draft folder. at about 58 minutes into the hour when leap second occurs, pull up that email; then hit send with flourish on “the second that does not exist.”

7. take a step backward. that way, you get to live that same second two times. you’re like a walking human version of hip hop scratching. wiki-wiki.

8. slap yourself. it only takes a second, and that’s how much time you have. this would be especially helpful if you tell yourself some truth you need to hear just as you start the swing. locks that truth in, man.

9. collapse on the floor. really. just go 100% limp at the moment of leap second, folding into an organic pile of mush on the floor. if someone happens to be nearby and sees you, get back up and say, “that was my performance art piece to acknowledge the slowing of the earth’s rotation, and your imminent death. have a great day!”

10. exhale and smile. quite possibly the best use of a bonus second ever.

jesus junk of the month award: christsicles

back in the day, i used to post a “jesus junk of the month award” fairly regularly on this blog. but somewhere along the line, i stopped coming across the worst offenders, or i stopped looking, or stopped caring. and this one doesn’t officially qualify, since it’s not a product for sale and wasn’t intended as one might assume: as an “evangelistic tool.” it’s actually an art piece:
here’s the real story. but, i still gotta think there are plenty of people out there who would see this and think, “just think of the impact on our neighborhood’s children!” so, on their behalf, i give these christsicle sticks an honorary jesus junk of the month award!

flashback: top 10 benefits of living in a christian subdivision

while digging up my old (2006!) post of top 10 annoyances of living in a thomas kinkade custom home, i stumbled on two likewise old posts, based on a news article i read (alas, the link is dead, so i can’t point to it anymore) about a subdivision in development (again, in 2006) that was only for christians. yesterday, i reposted my list of the top 10 annoyances of living in this subdivision; and today, with tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek, i give you…

the top 10 benefits of living in a christian subdivision

10. no political signs on lawns, since everyone votes the same.

9. the only homo here is homogeneity.

8. zero pressure to witness.

7. mormon and jehovah’s witness doorbell ringers are swallowed up by mysterious sidewalk-crack-of-turin.

6. one school for every home (because they’re right there in the homes!)

5. your best lawn now.

4. the potential of being featured in a michael moore documentary.

3. no lawnmowers waking you up on sunday mornings.

2. cool signs that say “caution! children being raptured!”

and #1: purpose-driven curbs.

flashback: top 10 annoyances of living in a christian subdivision

while digging up my old (2006!) post of top 10 annoyances of living in a thomas kinkade custom home, i stumbled on two likewise old posts, based on a news article i read (alas, the link is dead, so i can’t point to it anymore) about a subdivision in development (again, in 2006) that was only for christians. tomorrow, i’ll repost my list of the top 10 benefits of living in this subdivision; and today, with tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek, i give you…

the top 10 annoyances of living in a christian subdivision

10. constant presence of rainbow steals the wonder from your kids’ souls.

9. burning rage develops at the sheer quantity of fish on cars.

8. the idiots who live on ark street all stupidly think they have to have two pets.

7. mystery casseroles at hoa parties.

6. fines for not smiling.

5. fear of a michael moore documentary.

4. inability to identify the obviously rebellious teenager who keeps nailing stuffed animals on the cross in the park (though it’s probably that darn goth kid).

3. community movie nights are always “left behind” movie, with never-ending encouragement to “bring your unsaved friends!”.

2. no salt allowed.

and #1: nagging sense that this might just be hell.

flashback: top 10 annoying things about living in a thomas kinkade custom home

yeah, you probably heard that self-described “painter of light” (i thought that was rembrandt, btw) thomas kinkade died a few weeks back. made me think of some old posts i wrote a LONG time ago, when i’d heard there were plans afoot to build thomas kinkade custom homes ($4 – $6 million!).

this is one of those lame posts that might not have made anyone else laugh, but totally humored me as i wrote it, and as i read it again now!

so, with respect to t.k., i give you…

TOP TEN ANNOYING THINGS ABOUT LIVING IN A THOMAS KINKADE HOME
by marko

10. everything is fuzzy, all the time. please, some crispness.

9. lamp posts are fun on mainstreet disney, and quaint in parts of london, but get really old in your front yard.

8. constant flow of tourists who think jesus lives in your house.

7. those TBN tour busses are always stopping in front of the house, blocking the view of the faux covered bridge.

6. the animatronic ducks have to be reset everytime there’s a power outage.

5. village ccr’s require kinkade quote “in ‘lakeside manor’, first in my mansions in paradise series, i attempted to create a mansion truly worthy of a paradise, whether earthly or heavenly” printed on door mat.

4. requirement that all your coasters, tapestries, checks, tea cozies, mugs, throw pillows, bible covers and various other household items be “kinkade only”.

3. discovering that the stone bridge over your private stream is only styrofoam and won’t even hold the weight of your bichon frise.

2. third-world laborers claim rights to portions of your house in massive class-action lawsuit.

1. sleep becomes impossible with constant flow of yellowish light in every room. and the electricity bill? oof!

and a bonus…

0. rembrandt, the real painter of light, awakes from his deep slumber and is extremely ticked — begins sending you daily threatening emails.