Ah, youth group events. You know them and your kids love them. You’ve got your lock-ins, your winter retreats, your Fifth Quarters, and (of course) your summer camp blowouts. But what about D-Nows? These events are fantastic ways to further discipleship in your youth groups while also allowing your kids to connect with other area youth groups. (They’re NOT meant as a way to steal kids from other groups…)
Let’s unpack the logistics of D-Nows and see how participating in (or even hosting) one can benefit your group:
What is D-Now?
“D-Now… wasn’t that a 90s boy band?” (You’re thinking of O-Town, but close!) D-Now is short for Discipleship Now, a weekend retreat that typically takes place at a host church for youth groups from the area. Depending on the size of your town, it can involve a couple churches or a couple dozen. Some churches lead by sponsoring the event and renting out facilities that can hold everyone. Think of it as a less intense, youth-centered revival. D-Nows focus less on the high-energy fun that summer camps have and take an introspective look at a students relationship with God and also with others in their group.
What do kids learn?
Typically, D-Nows are broken up into sessions — an opening session, morning and evening sessions, and then a closer. These sessions involve worship bands and a speaker (and sometimes games hosted by an emcee). Think of them like mini-worship sessions that all tie back to a theme for the weekend. Then, kids go into breakout groups with their host family or youth group, and group leaders unpack more of what was said on stage with them. This gives kids an opportunity to ask questions, seek clarification, and talk about how they’re feeling.
So if this is at a church taking place over multiple days, where do the kids stay?
This is where your amazing, spectacular, incredible volunteers come in. Typically, students are broken up into smaller groups by age and gender. They spend the night at a host family’s house, and those group sizes will depend on the host family’s space. Some churches elect to keep their youth groups together, but if you’re in a tighter-knit community, you can mix up kids of different groups in the same host family.
Okay, you convinced me. I want to host a D-Now. What do I need to get started?
We’re so glad you asked! Here are the basics:
A guest speaker
Look, we’re not saying that an area pastor wouldn’t do a great job, but D-Nows are huge community-wide events. Typically, churches invite someone like a popular regional youth pastor or that totally awesome camp pastor your group saw this summer! Don’t sweat reaching out to a pastor to guest speak. They LOVE working D-Nows because they love working with youth groups!
Again, I’m sure your high school worship band would crush it. However, you want them to experience the D-Now and not feel stressed about working it. Bring in a worship band that you all enjoy or (to go back to our point about guest speakers) invite the worship band you saw at camp! This might draw in more kids who recognize the band’s name, and they can tell their friends how good the band was — thus getting more kids excited for the event.
Blue whales eat 3.6 tons of krill each day. Most teenagers could probably compete with the average blue whale. Have food and tons of it. By scheduling time for food, you’re not only alleviating a burden on your host homes to cook for 8-12 growing teens, but you’re also reducing travel time for other youth groups. We’d recommend anything that can be served buffet style — taco bars, hamburgers & hotdogs, and (of course) pizza.
“Of course the t-shirt design company would pitch shirts.” Wooooow, we thought you knew us better than that…
Seriously though, shirts are a great way to unify kids who aren’t from the same church group! If everyone is wearing the same free shirt, it makes it way less intimidating to talk to someone from a different youth group. Plus, free swag is free swag. We’ve never met a middle schooler who would turn down a free t-shirt.
No matter when your D-Now takes place, Uth Stuph is here to help supply group shirts of all kinds. And, in case you missed it, we do a bunch of other swag as well. Hats? We got ‘em. Beach towels? You bet! Fidget spinners? (Are those still around…?) Yep! And right now, we have awesome deals you should check out. Place your order by 5 p.m. EST on Tuesday November 30 and get our special pricing!Get a free quote today.