Tag Archives: steve case

Why We Published This: The Audacious Seven

steve case is one of the most prolific youth ministry writers i’ve ever known. for 15 years or so, i’ve been trying to keep up with proposals from steve, and greenlighting as many as i can. you might know his work on books like The Book of Uncommon Prayer (and vol 2), Everything Counts, The Big Book of Case Studies, Road Rules, and many more. for the Cartel, steve wrote our very first book, The Youth Cartel’s (Unauthorized) Dictionary of Youth Ministry, as well as the Stations of the Cross curriculum. we’ve got a fun book coming out from steve in march called Bigger Badder Board Games. and we have a few more things in the hopper, just waiting for the right time.

so, yes, steve is prolific.

but the primary reason i’ve published steve so many times isn’t because of the sheer quantity of ideas he comes up with, or the speed at which he can write (which is mind=blowing, by the way), or how open he is to editorial input and changes. the reason i keep finding myself publishing steve’s ideas, year after year, is because he is one of the most creative people i have ever met.

9781942145066-coverThe Audacious Seven: Life Lessons from Seven Saints Who Didn’t Back Down, shows steve’s creativity. it’s a very outside-the-box curriculum (hard to use the word curriculum, as steve’s stuff rarely fits comfortably into preconceived categories) that looks at seven historic saints. but they are far from an academic lessons focused on information. instead, they use story to help teenagers think about bold living for jesus. you can use them as a series, or as one-offs (like the session on Patrick would be great near St. Patrick’s Day; the session on Nicholas at Christmas; and the session on Valentine at… well… Valentine’s Day).

here’s the official description:

What can we learn from the impudent, impertinent, insolent, presumptuous, cheeky, irreverent, brazen, shameless, defiant, fresh, mouthy, saucy, sassy, nervy, daring, fearless, intrepid, brave, courageous, valiant, heroic, plucky, daredevil, reckless, venturesome, mettlesome, gutsy, spunky, and temerarious servants of God?

The Audacious Seven looks at the lives of seven of God’s servants who went so far above and beyond the call that we refer to them as saints. Seven common everyday individuals who had the opportunity to crawl into a hole and hide, but instead looked adversity in the eye and with the power of the Spirit said, “Bring it on.” Teenagers will examine these saints not for their piety, but because their stories are part of our stories as believers. No matter what our denomination, these stories our part of our faith history and that makes them part of who we are as a church today.

it’s a downloadable resource, and includes this stuff:

A detailed introduction and overview of the curriculum for leaders explaining how to use The Audacious Seven, what we can learn from the saints, and why these stories matter today.

Seven lesson guides on the chosen saints: St. Patrick, St. Catherine, St. Francis, St. Joseph, St. Marina, St. Nicholas, and St. Valentine. Each lesson guide includes an introduction for leaders, dramatized stories and re-imaginings of the writings or lives of each saint, the prayers associated with or written by each saint, discussion questions, relevant Scripture, and ideas for actions that will inspire teenagers to take these life lessons and spiritual insights to heart.

download the FREE sample session (St. Patrick) here. and read this fun interview with steve about the product. then you’ll see why i think this thing is so cool.

a blessing for youth workers in the new school year

many years ago, i decided the staff of youth specialties were super tired. we were about to head into a busy season, and we were all running on fumes.

sounds a little like coming off a busy youth ministry summer and jumping into a new school year, right?

we decided to give everyone a 7-day weekend, a mini-sabbatical. our amazing spiritual director beth slevcove wrote some beautiful meditations for those days, and i’ve just rediscovered them. i’m going to share them in a series here on my blog, and hope you’ll take ten minutes to rest and soak in god’s love for you as you read them (when you see them posted).

but let’s start with this. steve case, a veteran youth worker and author for both youth specialties and the youth cartel, wrote this beautiful prayer of blessing for our staff. but as i read it again, i would love you, youth worker, to receive this as a blessing on your head:

blessingCreator and Rejuvenating God

Your servants are tired.

They have walked across a desert for you and now they stand







dust caked.

Take a balloon, God, one of those big ones with all the colors, and hook it up to some heavenly spicket. Let them stand together and rest. Let them know its okay to stop









Let them stand and wait as the balloon swells with your sweet water.

Let them take this moment and close their eyes and tilt their heads back and outstretch their arms.

When the water bursts let it pour down

not in a drizzle

not in a sprinkle

not in a sponge down

not even in a pouring

let it be a deluge

let it be a drenching of your love and presence

May they stand in the center of a waterfall obscured by pour God sized buckets of sweet renovating water.

let them stand firm and feel the washing away of the stress

let every speck of collected dust be wash away

Let this








Leave them standing refreshed and ready for what is to come.

Let them shake water from their hair

And feel sweet relief


selections from The Youth Cartel’s Unauthorized Dictionary of Youth Ministry (part 4)

the second book published by The Youth Cartel is out. it’s real (ha! we’re a real publisher!). it’s a feisty little book of snark and giggles, by steve case, called The Youth Cartel’s Unauthorized Dictionary of Youth Ministry.

this is the last in my posts of some of my favorites, this time from the Ps through the Xs:

P is for…

Plagues of locusts, flies, lice, blood, frogs, disease. Is it just me or does this sound like the church van after a youth trip?

R is for…

The moment you find yourself on a mission trip, eating (right from the box) the cereal from the variety pack that nobody else wanted and washing it down with warm soda while standing in line to get a shower before the hot water runs out, and then you begin wondering if maybe you should have pursued accounting like your father suggested.

When the youth ministry want ad reads, “We are receptive to new ideas,” it means as long as they’re the same ideas as the old ideas.

T is for…

Classic game from the ‘70s. Never works out like it does on the box. Plus, there will always be some junior high kid who gets all creepy and says, “Let’s play it nekid!”

V is for…

Wait, what do you mean taking 150 kids to the beach for a mission weekend counts toward my vacation?

W is for…

Welcome Wagon
The pair of mothers who sit outside your office door on your first day just so they can tell you how sad they were to see the last youth worker leave.

X is for…

Youth worship service gone horribly, horribly wrong.

this is the last post in this series! but, you can pre-order the whole thing here!

(btw: that illustration is one of 10 in the book, all done by the amazing melanie crutchfield.)

selections from The Youth Cartel’s Unauthorized Dictionary of Youth Ministry (part 3)

the second book published by The Youth Cartel is officially out (ha! we’re a real publisher!). 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 Hs through the Ns:

H is for…

The thing your little side comment during Bible study became when it finally got back to your senior pastor.

Cling to it. You’ll find that kid. Hide and Seek can’t go on for more than 24 hours. #craftcabinet #boilerroom #communionwine

I is for…


  • Don’t bring your dog.
  • Don’t have burritos beforehand.
  • Don’t laugh when they ask for references.
  • Don’t start any story with, “This one time when we were on the roof …”

K is for…

The most holy and sacred place in the church building (be¬sides the secretary’s desk, of course). Whatever you place in this room will disappear. Actually, whatever anyone places in this room will disappear, but your students will be blamed. So avoid this room at all costs.

M is for…

Disciple. Tax collector. The money guy of the group. The one disciple who was always on Jesus’ case about keeping the receipts.

You may often hear the question, “You’re almost 30 (40, 50). When are you going to become a real minister?” You can usually answer with, “You’re almost 70 (80, 90). When are you going to break your hip?”

N is for…

Negative Parents
When paired with positive parents, you can complete an electrical circuit. #staygrounded

#longcardrives #letsplaythequietgame

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

selections from The Youth Cartel’s Unauthorized Dictionary of Youth Ministry (part 2)

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

today’s sampler platter is a handful of my favorites from the Ds, Es, and Gs:

D is for…

Demon Possession

Those quiet moments at the end of the day on the mission trip when you gather your youth together with (Jimmy stop that) candles and music and read (Shhhh, let’s be quiet now) something meaningful and feel the presence of the Creator God (Ewww, OK, who did that) in your midst (You know what? Just forget it. Go to bed.).

That really weird teenager who sings to himself and spends too much time at the convenience store, and nobody likes him, so he just hangs around you every time you go to the amusement park, and he won’t ride the roller coaster ‘cause it makes him throw up. #apologiestoalldougs

E is for…

Jesus comes hopping out of the tomb and gives everyone chocolate bunnies and jelly beans. #mixedmessages

Good, kindhearted church people who move slowly enough to be used as slalom poles for skateboard races.

G is for…

God’s messenger angel. Usually depicted in art and Sunday school curriculum as having a horn to get people’s attention. Continue this “biblical” custom at your next youth gathering, board meeting, or church event. #funeral

Graduation Gifts
Top five books to give your graduating seniors:

  1. Angry White Grandpa: Not Everyone Sees God Like You Do
  2. Converting The Unconvertible: How To Make A First Impression on Your Roommate.
  3. Real College: Study Habits to keep you from Moving Home with Mom and Dad
  4. Is That a Cross In Your Pocket? Dealing with Missional Temptation
  5. That’s Not Incense: Worship Practices of College Dormitories

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

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…

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.

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.

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…

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.”

You have none. Get over it. #thisisyouthministry

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:

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.

Love means never having to say you’re sorry.

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.