Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


One of my greatest joys as a youth pastor is watching kids laugh. I know it’s supposed to be watching them repent, or ditch a bad habit, or learn something new about God… and those are great, but I think when they laugh would be in that list for me too.

I love it when they feel at home so they can laugh.
I love it when they genuinely forget about their worries for a few hours and laugh.
I love it when they are allowed to be 15 and not forced to act like “an adult” and they laugh.
I love it when they get dressed up, invite a friend, and laugh.
I love it when they genuinely have a great time, and laugh.
It’s one of my favorite pieces of our semi-formal Christmas party we throw every year. I attended a similar one like this all 4 years of high school in my youth group. I’ve now thrown one like this for 16 years as a youth pastor. Every time, it is tons of work. So much work that after 3 full days of nothing but set up, stress, hard work, and preparation, I wonder if it’s worth it. But after the first kid genuinely smiles, says something like “this is great”, and then laughs with their friends… I say to myself, “it’s all worth it, I’d do it again”
One “bit” or “element” we do solely for the purpose of silliness and laughter every year is change the words to the 12 days of Christmas. We assign tables to certain numbers and have them stand up and shout their day out as we “sing/shout” it. It’s tons of fun. This years list was Roman themed to go along with our decoration theme. Here’s the whole list, from the perspective of the 12th day.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
  • Twelve gods a-greeking
  • Eleven sculptors sculpting
  • Ten roman columns
  • Nine lions feasting
  • Eight 
Caesar salads
  • Seven gladiators fighting
  • Six abs a-packing
  • Five naked runners
  • Four big head-wreaths
  • Three coliseums
  • Two chariots racing
  • and a toga for this fine partee. 

I posted some pics on facebook, but here’s some for the bloggin world, starting with the set up, and then a few from our night.


  1. Brian,

    This years the black and white ball was Brianna’s first real “date” experience. This boy picked her up, and I almost drove her myself on account of the rain.
    I was freaking out!!! I am happy and very thankful that she had an opportunity to attend your event.

    You do amazing work. The quality of work and dedication you give to these highschoolers is phenomenal.

    Thank you soooo much!!!

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