• I love my wife
  • It was fun to lead worship today.  It stretches me every time and that is good to get out of my comfort zone.
  • It was good to see the fam this weekend
  • Had my first problems uploading a facebook album
  • It was sad to see Davidson lose, but the all #1 final four should be entertaining
  • Wore my new Ohio State hoodie today
  • Went to Wal-Mart today as the big family outing. I bought super glue and batteries.
  • I was looking today at the members of the facebook group created in honor of my balding.  It is funny who has joined since the last time I looked. Check it out!
  • Malachi got a ton of gifts this weekend
  • I caved in and took a nap today. You know I have been busy when a Sunday nap happens.
  • Got to hang out with Sean and Melissa Spoelstra tonight.  They are our ministry older siblings.  I am so excited to watch them plant a church from our church next year and get to journey through it with them.  God is going to use them in some big ways.
  • I ate some bacon from the pig Kristin’s grandpa gave us today….sooo good!
  • I don’t want to Twitter, but it seems everyone else is
  • My student ministry partner in crime Dustin is down and out with Mono and could use some prayer
  • Not ready to say this for the Browns yet, but I think it is the Indians year
  • These two posts on leadership are some of the best I have read in a while and

  • Put up some news pics of Malachi at the end of this album
  • Welp off to bed, if I can sleep after my nap



That’s right kiddies, the one and only Josh Atkins has a blog.  Yes the same Josh Atkins who was in Godsound, makes some of the cheesiest jokes you will ever hear,  loves Huey Lewis, and can do every voice from Family Guy.  While those things are all true, He is also the middle school guy at Wooster Grace and that is why you should track his blog.  He is getting it done in a great way at a great church, so I am sure everyone would benefit from the influence of spending some time reading what he wants us to know.



I found some old notes from my days as a student and teachers assistant at Grace College and CE National’s National Institute Youth Ministry major.


What are the Benefits of Playing Games?

            Games can:

  • Build Community
  • Get people acquainted
  • Burn off excess energy (and then it helps students focus)
  • Strengthen teamwork and cooperation
  • Create a welcoming, positive atmosphere


Why Do Some Youth Leaders Not Use Games In Their Ministry?

  • Games can foster too much competition (Competition is not bad, but needs monitored)
  • They forget the needs of students (youth meetings need to be planned for teens, not 40 year olds)
  • They personally don’t like playing games—they would rather watch than participate
  • They don’t understand there are various Learning Styles:

·  Auditory

·  Visual

·  Kinesthetic


Things to Consider when Playing Games:

Questions About Safety

§       See Play It Safe by Jack Crabtree

§       Is there enough supervision?

§       Are there sharp objects in the area?

§       Is there any broken equipment?

§       Is the playing surface wet, clean, slippery…?

§       Is it acceptable to have older/younger or bigger/smaller students in the same game?

§       Is the game appropriate for the size of the group and the space provided for the game?

§       Do you have first aid kit?

§       Do you have a plan for a “worst-case scenario”?

§       Be aware of any games where things are thrown or when water involved

§       A Word about “Chubby Bunnies” and Bananas and 7-Up…don’t kill anyone


Choose Teams Carefully

·      Not all the strongest or fastest or biggest on the same team

·      Try not to name the teams as “1” and “2”


            How to Start a Game

§       Be enthusiastic

§       Have all of the needed equipment ready


Give Good Instructions for the Game

·      Get everyone’s attention

·      Explain the rules as simply, clearly, and quickly as possible

·      The number one rule:  try not to have too many rules

·      Speak loudly when giving instructions


            Before Starting the Game, Consider:

§       Using a small group to demonstrate the game

§       Playing a practice round or two

§       Is there adequate supervision


A Truth Learned Over Time:

Stop the Game while it is still phone and leave them wanting more for next time


Gaming information gleaned from:

The Game Trunk!  Bible Games for Elementary Kids.  Susan E. Harper

The Game Box!  Bible Games for Preschool Kids.  Susan E. Harper

Instant Games for Children’s Ministry.  Susan Lingo.  Group Publishing

Play It!  Wayne Rice and Mike Yaconelli.  Youth Specialties


So last week you saw the presents my wife got me for my birthday. I also got some checks and way more stuff than I have ever got in my life…..and tonight it happened. Brandon walked in the door and handed me not 1, not 2, but 3 pieces of Kanye West College Dropout merchandise. This is classic stuff that I have been eyeing and he made happen through a connection.  I am as giddy as a school girl right now…….and so hood!
Just for the record, I finished college and actually have a master’s degree 


  • I get to wear my new shorts for some Thursday night basketball 
  • Lots of guests coming through Casa De Artrip all the time.  Tomorrow night I pick my brother and his wife up at the airport, next week Lexi (Oliver) Fretz will be here.
  • I have been watching sooo much Making the Band 4 and Rob and Big on recently.
  • Had the night off tonight and enjoyed it
  • Going to Wayne County this week for Malachi’s first world tour
  • Our neighbors brought us cookies tonight. I am praying for ways to minister and share with my new neighborhood
  • Excited about the chance to teach away from home a couple times in the next month
  • Malachi got some cool clothes that I get geeked about.  My mom bought Malachi some Superman pajamas and Josh and Chelsea bought him some Nike Shox to wear to Liberty Soccer games.
  • I have a huge homeowner/husband/father to-do list right now. Mostly stuff I have put on myself like laying a new patio to put my grille on.
  • Anyone have a bike they want to give me?
  • Malachi was in the car for like 4 hours today and handled it like a champ…that’s my little man!
  • Why is it I always want more sleep?


Justin Ross had this to say about me and some others he recently started linking to…“I consider these 51 people friends in ministry, even though I have never met most of them. I am fairly confident that if I were neighbors with anyone on the list we would swap house keys and share tools with each other.” Justin I can’t give you a house key, but we can link to each other and trade resources.  Go check out Justin’s blog!


tdI said how much fun I had the other day with my friend Travis and forgot to thank his wife for brining him to visit. So Vanessa thank you for helping Travis marry out of his league and for bringing him to see me and taking time our of your schedule with your family.  Vanessa, thank you for also giving Kristin great conversation, advice, and friendship from a pastor’s wife I respect.  I know you will challenge and listen to her as you both share the pressure of life in the ministry bubble.I must admit it is fun to be around them and see the life and ministry they have.  I think the wife is what separates some pastors from others and Travis has a GREAT ONE!


This week is my “break” from youth ministry. The school district our church is in has spring break this week, so every year we cancel our Wednesday night.  That means that our music pastor Phil goes on vacation with his family and I put on my secondary hat of worship leader.  Just got back from practicing with the band and had so much fun.

Some guys do this every week, but for me it is like a vacation. 

Here is the setlist…

  1. Holy
  2. All Creatures of our God and King
  3. From the Inside Out
  4. Salvation is Here (offering and closing song)


Today was a fun day off.  Got to spend time with some good guys.  One visited in person and one by phone.

The first was Travis Davenport.  He has been a great friend since high school and is the college pastor and does the contemporary service at West Hill.  He is that friend that just relaxes me.  It is weird, even though we don’t see each other as much anymore we still end of liking all the same stuff and gravitating toward all the same things and having more in common than the last time we hung out.  The day was spent talking of Steven Furtick, church planting, and Audio Adrenaline.

The second guy (whom I talked to by phone) was Jordan Muck.  He is one of the up and coming bloggers in the world of Youth Ministry. If you don’t believe me, check his blog out for yourself.  It was fun to catch up and see what he was learning and can teach me.

Both of these guys will be going with me and Kary Oberbrunner in our party van down to the Catalyst Conference this fall….I can’t wait!