Yes…I honestly think that if I was to have a youth rally and get a bunch of youth from around the diocese excited about it….I would want to name it “Going Banana’s for Jesus” as well!
I had an opportunity to serve 650 Catholic youth from around the Diocese of Grand Island, NE this past weekend. It was quite an amazing event. My responsibility was to do a workshop and a keynote. Once for the Jr. High then once again for teh Sr. High. Then at the end of Saturday night, do what I do and bring the Catholic Dance to the entire 600 plus in attendance!
I was amazed at how the day flew by and how things just kept building to a huge explosion of praise, dance and fun. Some of my highlights were…
1. Working with Jesse Manibusen – he is my friend and mentor in this industry. I am honored to have worked with him and now we are both suffering from “Post Banana Potassium Deficiency” now!
2. Watching the youth be the stars of the show. I had asked for 5 boys to come up on stage (and ironically had 8) and played a classic N’Sync song “Bye, Bye, Bye”. I said that they should be the next awesome boy band…well one guy walked to the front of the stage and lip synced the whole song. It was fun…I think he was channeling Justin Timberlake a little. Lots of fun!
3. Watching the Bishop do “If Your Happy And You Know It” and then “The Catholic Dance” – nuff said!
I was honored to have an opportunity to share with everyone about my stillborn son William Christopher. Anytime I get a chance to talk about him it makes it helps me remember him a little more than before. Even after 9 years I miss him terribly and look forward to seeing him in heaven!
I am so excited that Jesus was praised and people across Nebraska are now doing the Catholic Dance. Amen!
Feel free to comment and post your favorite memory of GBFJ XV!
So today I am happy to share with you that I have been married for 9 wonderful years. The sacrament of marriage is an interesting one and I have to admit I am still learning as I walk with my beautiful wife through this world.
I remember like it was yesterday. With Heather in her beautiful white dress, not being able to stop smiling ear to ear. She truly was and still is a vision. Her heart is pure and her love is constant. I can honestly say I am a lucky man to be blessed with her love.
Not every year over the past 9 years has been all wonderful and dreamy…we have had our share of disagreements and times when we do not see anywhere close to eye to eye but through it all, she has remained my best friend, the one who supports me with all my crazy thoughts and ideas and the one who has always loved me.
Next year will be year 10 and maybe I will finally give her that honeymoon I have always promised her but this is year 9 and I hope and pray she enjoys the flowers, the dinner with me away from our beautiful kids and that she just knows that above all I love her completely and unconditionally!
Please pray for the sacrament of marriage. May all marriages stay strong and last through all the struggle that may arise. What God has joined may no one separate!
I love my job. I love being able to have experiences and be with amazing people who are seeking Jesus.
I was blessed to be a part of the Diocese of Crookston’s JPII Junior High Leadership Camp this past week. Instead of coming in and just doing a dance, I was able to help MC and be a part of the entire week. It was a great time and I was honored to work with some of the most faith filled high school students and together we were able to share Jesus with the Junior High students who came as campers. God was truly present!
One of the days was focus on being “The Hands of Jesus” and focused on Catholic Social Justice. The presenter was Sal Solo who is a good friend of mine and his presentation was amazing. During his presentation, he was mentioning a bunch of different organizations that help people in different ways. One organization he mentioned was Compassion International. Compassion gives people an opportunity to sponsor a child and donate some money every month so that the child can get an education. My wife and I have always wanted to do this and after Sal’s presentation I knew in my heart it was time to ACT.
After the camp, I went to a Christian Music Festival in Minnesota called Sonshine. I went for only Thursday night and got to jam out to TobyMac and Newsboys. I knew from year’s past that Compassion always had a booth there and this year was no different. I walked over, looked at the table with all of the pictures of kids in need and after talking with the people behind the table I chose one of the kids labeled as Priority Child which means he needs an immediate sponsor!
His name is Leonel and he is from Columbia. He will be 8 years old in August and we are very excited to have him as our sponsored child. The guy from Compassion said that we will get a letter from him and that we are encouraged to write as well. The one thing that they always want is a picture of the people who are sponsoring them because they want to “see a picture of Jesus”. Knowing that something so small can mean so much to someone else is quite an amazing rush. It is quite the feeling of being the Hands of Christ.
Please keep Leonel in your prayers and please consider helping out a child in need. America has 35% of all the wealth in the world.Â We can be that change. It does not matter if you are young or old, God wants to use you to help change the world. He is just waiting for you to ask Him in what way.
I just want to give a quick shout out to all of my friends from Extreme Faith Camp 2007! I had a great time coming up and performing for you tonight. I have kept you in prayer all week and hope that you are all on fire for your faith and going out to tell the world about the amazing things God is doing in your life!
Don’t forget to teach everyone the Catholic Dance. Get a group together and record it and send it in…who knows…you may win the iPod I am giving away in my Catholic Dance contest!!
I will be posting some pictures as soon as my friends Donovan and Neil hook me up! Be sure to stop back often!
OK…so I have decided to have a contest. I have NO IDEA what to expect, I have NO IDEA what is going to happen, I have NO IDEA if anyone will even care…but…I am still going to do it.
Since video websites are EXTREMELY POPULAR I am going to have a Catholic Dance Video Contest. I want you to take your video camera, record yourself, your family, your priest, your youth group, your mom, your school, your anyone doing the Catholic Dance. Post it on YouTube and email me the link. I will post all of the videos on my site and we will have a contest.
I am thinking about giving away an iPod nano as a prize. (peaked your interest yet?)
So…I guess there should be rules….here they are.
1. One entry per person/youth group/church/event.
2. The winner of the iPod will be the person who POSTED the video.
3. The contest will go until Dec. 31, 2007. My guess is that most of the videos will come in after I announce the contest to thousands at NCYC on November 8-10, 2007 in Columbus, OH.
4. In January we will vote on the videos submitted and have a winner.
5. Have fun. Share the Catholic Dance with everyone and take pride in your faith, your religion and your God!
So…sound like fun. If you don’t know what the dance is…I am going to make my video in the next couple weeks and you will know. If you want a sneak peek…look at “The Catholic Dance?” page for the Sweet Moves!
More info as it comes out but I think 2007 is going to be the year of “The Catholic Dance”!
GO TO THIS SITE AND LISTEN TO MY FIRST EVER PODCAST!
Here is some cool things about it…
QUOTE TO NOTE: At any type of event when we gather youth together, the goal is to have them bring something with them (home) from it. To have that pride of what they are and who they are. And to really spread the word. OBSCURE FACTOID: The Catholic Dance was a part of the celebration at the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry in Las Vegas in December. This YouTube link should never be shown to our young people- – - Yes, we do dance and party in our seats at the adult conferences. Bill is leading the way, even Jesse Manibusen danced, and video was contribute by our tech-friendly Canadian friendClay Imoo.
Go now…hear my thoughts on the Ministry of the Catholic Dance!!
So what is YOUR initial reaction to that statement? I am guessing it would be something like “Yes! I agree 100%!” or something more like “No way! All you need is God!” or maybe more like “What is an inflatable obstacle course?”
Whatever your reaction is this was a statement made by a member of a Diocesan Youth Council member from the Diocese of Rochester, NY who was accustomed to always having one at their junior high youth rally during the entertainment and activity time.
Now, I enjoy the inflatable stuff as much as the other guy but this rally decided to instead of place money into this type of entertainment, they would invest in something new, different and exciting! Yep. They invested in DJ Bill.
Change can be tough. Change can be difficult. However, trying something new can have AMAZING RESULTS!!
The nice thing about investing in my show was that I was able to be a part of the whole day not just the entertainment and activity time. I was able to start up the youth rally with spontaneous fun and games while people were entering the room. I even had made a rule that for the first 30 minutes no one could sit down. As people came in, they saw that everyone was standing and no one was sitting down so they stood too!Â Right before the MC’s took the stage I taught everyone the Catholic Dance and challenged them to share their faith by teaching it to their friends at the schools and churches. This was happening before the day was scheduled to begin.
Later that day before the official entertainment time I had everyone play a large group game that luckily no one broke any bones and everyone had a great time!
When the official time came for entertainment, no one even missed the obstacle course and enjoyed the music and fun that was provided.
After gathering again for dinner and Mass, once again I was called on to engage the group while releasing them for dinner. Slowly releasing groups for dinner while having the rest work up a healthy appetite!
At the end of the day we all celebrated Mass and left on a high note praising God for his goodness and his call to “Walk His Way!”
I don’t think anyone missed the inflatable obstacle course but I promise you they all had fun!
May 2nd is only one week away! Mark your calendar now!!
My guess is that you are like…ok DJ Bill. Why am I marking my cool calendar on May 2nd? Well, that is an easy answer. I am going “Inside the Youth Minister’s Studio” to be interviewed! There will be a 10 minute podcast that will allow people to get to know a little more about who I am, why I am a DJ who does National things and what the toughest things that face my ministry and youth ministry as a whole.
My friend Scott Miller who works out in Baltimore for the Archdiocese of Baltimore made a New Year’s resolution to post a weekly podcast of youth ministers, youth leaders and Catholic entertainers on his blog. So far, into May he has kept his resolution and I am who will be on May 2nd!
Check it out, let Scott know that you are thankful that he is doing this and continue to support him by checking out all of the posted interviews!
Finally..I found a video of the Catholic Dance on YouTube! I did a search for my friend Jesse Manibusan and found 2 videos. Once was him in Las Vegas during a “Dance Off” and the other one was some people who were in attendance of the show who filmed Jesse dancing to the Catholic Dance! It is me up on stage and my crazy voice over the main speakers. Crazy!! The thing is that this video shows a large group of people doing the Catholic Dance. Check it out…
I am still going to do a video of the Catholic Dance at some point but until then this is a small taste of what the Catholic Dance is. It is silly, it is fun, it is something that a group of people can do to celebrate their joy and love for Christ! It is all about Full, Active, Conscious Participation in your Catholic Faith!
It is very true. I am more than a DJ. In fact, in certain ways I am not a DJ at all. I do not use LP’s or Records. I do not “Scratch” or “Mix”. What I do is entertain! I create an environment for groups of youth that is fun, inviting, free and very much God focused. I do use music and yes…most of the things I end up doing resemble “exercise” but above all I connect with youth and adults by allowing them to be themselves. I perform and speak and have fun. Through it all I allow kids to be kids but challenge them to look differently. Look differently at the music they listen too. Also challenge them to look at the skills that God has given them and how they can use them to better themselves, their family, their parish and their world.
I have branded myself as “DJ Bill” so people can remember who I am and that I can provide music, entertainment and dancing…but I am much more than just a DJ.
Don’t take my word for it…if you look at my “rave review” section of this website you can read what some of the people who have seen me have said. The title of this blog entry is from my friend Kevin who I worked for in Nov. 2006. He is a great Diocesan Youth Leader and said some very nice words about me. (Thanks Kevin!) I also have a few more to add over the next few days so check back often.
GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME! Now believe it and LIVE IT!