Kyle Goings
Thursday, 28 January 2021 / Published in Free Download, Games, Ideas, Resources

Every month we will make available a free download from USMB Youth.  Some will be actual files and others will be links for free stuff!  The goal is so you don’t have to spend extra time or resources finding things for youth ministry.  Feel free to contact if you have a resource you would like to share with USMB YOUTH at  

Free Family Trivia Night Quizzes!

If you are looking for a fun and safe event for families during this COVID-19 world then you’ll want to do a family trivia night.   All you need is a screen, the internet, and (a free app or web platform, click here to learn about Kahoot).  We set this up pretty easily and had families form teams with 1 “controller” (which was just their phone).

You get access to two custom quizzes you can use and even edit if need to.  Each quiz tasks about 20-30 minutes depending on how fast you zip through the questions.  You will need a logo in but there is a free version available.

Receive Two Complete Quizzes of 20+ questions each
(see below for downloadable graphics)

Just tell everyone to get out their phones (so they can answer) and show the Kahoot quiz on the screen.  All you have to do is click “next” between questions.  We recommend some fun prizes for the first 3 winners.


  • Screen/TV to show the quiz
  • 1 computer with internet access

OVER ZOOM OPTION: (for quarantine restrictions)
This is doable but a little more tricky.  All you have to do is set up a tv with a computer attached to it that will host the Kahoot quiz on it.  The game show hosts will stand next to the tv.

Then a second computer with a video camera and zoom app on it will face the TV and hosts.  Make sure the camera is as close to the TV and hosts as possible because contestants will need to read the questions and answers off of their video screen.s  Parents will log onto the zoom link you send them and use their own phones as controllers.  (there might be some video settings that need to be changed in zoom, but it’s pretty easy to make sure everyone can see the words on the TV that the camera is pointing to).  If you want you can put up a second tv under the camera that is connected to the zoom computer so the hosts can see who is on and interact more with the audience.


  • 2 computers
    • 1 Computer to host the kahoot game on a TV (internet required)
    • 1 computer to host the zoom call facing the TV (internet required)
  • 1 TV (to showcase the Kahoot game)
  • HDMI cord
  • (optional) a second TV


Download social media post, Powerpoint Slide, and a banner:

Kyle Goings
Sunday, 24 January 2021 / Published in ASCENT, News, YouthCon

As most of you know, the event of YouthCon is no longer happening in the every-four-years format.  You can read all about it here.  But instead, we are excited to announce something has risen in its place.  A NATIONAL summer camp for high school students that happens every year called ASCENT.  To learn what is ASCENT click here.

This is something that we think has even bigger impactful potential because it’s during the summer months and happening every year, two things YouthCon could never compete with.  So save the date for June 16-20, 2021.  You will be hearing all about ASCENT as we get closer but for now, we are happy to announce the price for ASCENT (spoiler alert: it’s cheaper than YouthCon!)

Students: $350
Adult Leaders: $175
by April 20, 2021

On May 1st it goes up $50 per person ($400/students and $225/leaders)

This will include almost all activities, a t-shirt, food, and pretty much everything but travel costs.  

Special Deal:
If your lead youth worker is a member of our National Youth Worker Network your church gets 1 free ticket to ASCENT!  If you haven’t signed up already click here.




Kyle Goings
Thursday, 21 January 2021 / Published in Ideas, Podcast, Training, Youth Worker Life

Have you ever watched a movie or TV show and the characters are put into an awkward situation and it made you even cringe?  Do you remember how awful that felt?  Well sometimes in ministry we can experience the same awkward situations or even worse.  Embrace the Awkward Podcast has a four-part series on “Horror Stories of Youth Ministry” dealing with the topics that youth workers sometimes have experienced and regretted.  Have you ever looked back on a situation or event and it makes you cringe?  Listen to some pretty awkward stories and some advice on what to do afterward.

Part 1: Losing Students From a Break-Up

Part 2: Mess Ups and Mistakes 

Part 3: Creating An Atheist

Part 4: Failed Events



Embrace The Awkward Podcast: 

We have one goal in mind… to help you handle awkward better!  Join youth workers DJ and Kyle each week to discuss the weird and fringe moments of life and ministry.  If you have an awkward topic that you would like to discuss just contact us on Instagram @theetapodcast, join our Facebook Group or email us at



Kyle Goings
Thursday, 03 September 2020 / Published in ASCENT, Uncategorized, USMB, YouthCon

The National Youth Conference of US Mennonite Brethren Churches (YouthCon) has been happening since 1975. YouthCon has been an incredible experience for thousands of youth over its 44-year history. We know at least 48 youth have accepted Jesus at YouthCon since 2003, as far back as we’ve found records. Countless pastors, missionaries, and church and community leaders can share life-changing moments, and God callings that happened when they themselves attended a YouthCon during their high school years. The USMB Youth’s leadership, past and present, has dedicated many hours to provide opportunities for youth to experience God, be equipped for service, and be inspired to live a life with and for God. Hundreds of volunteers have served through the years. Many churches, parents, leaders, staff, speakers, etc. have sacrificed to make 12 of these events a reality.

YouthCon has a long and rich history. While we celebrate that history, the past 12 years we are seeing a sharp decline in attendance and the decision has been made to discontinue the national youth conference as we have come to know it. This decision follows many hours of prayer, discussion, and data analysis. As a denomination, we cannot continue to support an “every-four-years” youth conference.

Here are the eight (of the many) of the reasons we have discovered:

  1. The frequency of YouthCon – we lose promotional momentum and in today’s “everything now” culture and news cycle it’s hard to get people excited about it.  Every time we do one it’s all-new students which are difficult to explain and the draw of a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience is no longer what it used to be.  
  2. The short tenure of youth workers – when the average youth worker stays 2 years at a church it’s difficult to keep that connection to the church.  
  3. Fewer churches are hiring youth workers who have “MB historical ties.”  Which compounds explaining what YouthCon is to someone who has never experienced it.  
  4. The lack of value of being together denominationally by many churches – a growing number of churches and zero church plants- has not participated in the past 4 Youthcons. 
  5. The hurdle of missing school has become a bigger hurdle than it was in years past.
  6. Competition with other non-denominational events and camps
  7. Shrinking of the size of youth ministries from all across the nation and throughout all denominations.  (We had the same number churches in 2019 as we did in 2015 but over 150 people less).  
  8. The ever-rising travel and event expenses.  It’s become more difficult to put on a high production event with rising costs of almost everything and still make it affordable for youth ministries.

You can read more in the Christian Leader Magazine by clicking here.

The Bottom Line:
There are many more reasons but the bottom line is the numbers just aren’t supporting it. Declining attendance + rising costs of hosting conferences like this + having it only once every-four-years which means we start from scratch every time = not worth the cost. We must be good stewards of the time, money, and resources that God has given to each of us and USMB Youth believes more effective ministry opportunities are available with a higher return on investment.

The Future:
The loss of a national youth conference is difficult to swallow. So many people have experienced life change and have very deep ties to our national youth conference. We didn’t just want to end YouthCon without at least offering something different.  With God’s guidance, a new opportunity presented itself.  YouthCon is finished, as sad as that maybe, but something new is coming and it’s called ASCENT.

The idea of ascent is a very simple one. In terms of camping adventures, the idea suggests a climb or walk of some sort to the summit of a mountain or hill. Have you ever hiked up a mountain? Usually, it’s a struggle. There are many obstacles that come into play that make the journey difficult. Yet, at the top of the ascent, there is always some kind of payout. At the peak, you will find a view or a treasure that made the whole journey worthwhile. We see camp through a similar lens. Many variables come into play to make the journey to camp a tough one. Our desire is that a couple of things make the ascent valuable. First, gathering together as a family of believers is and always will be a special aspect of the camp experience. Second, and most importantly, we hope the ascent to camp leads to a very special place of intimacy with Jesus. We hope teenagers from all over the nation experience a deep place of peace and rest found in Christ that makes the journey meaningful. We believe the pinnacle of the camp experience is worshiping our creator together in community, while personally stepping into deeper places of God’s unique callings, plans, and purposes for our lives. We believe gathering together and leaning into the presence of God to enjoy a special place of rest make the various struggles to camp especially beneficial.

How It Works:
Ascent is an annual national camp experience for High School Youth.  USMB Youth has partnered with the Southern District Youth Commission to replace their annual high school camp.  It will be held at Glorieta, NM (the same place as YouthCon 2019, 1987, and 1975), and all USMB churches are invited! 

Is ASCENT held annually?
Yes!  It will be held in mid-June each year.  All churches are invited every year.  The beauty of this new annual format is you can decide on your own if every year, every other year, or every four years works best for your ministry.  An open invitation will be available every year.  

Is this only for the Southern District?
No, it is a national camp.  Open to all churches and all districts.  Whether you attend on the national level (like YouthCon), the district level like a summer camp, or never participated this camp is open to you and your youth ministry.  The Southern District has graciously agreed to partner with USMB Youth to host a national camp.  

What will the cost be?
The price has not been finalized yet, but early estimates suggest it will be cheaper than YouthCon!  We hope to make this event as affordable as possible.  

What can we expect for ASCENT 2021?
The same big and exciting atmosphere as a YouthCon but with a more laid back summer camp feel.  There will be challenging messages, engaging worship, and custom workshops plus tons of activities.  And since it will be warmer weather all 55+ activities (including water ones) will be available and most with no extra cost!  

What will be the exact dates?
It will be June 16-20 (Wednesday – Sunday), 2021.  Registration will open in January 2021.  


We will release more information this fall.  Stay tuned!