Ideas For Your Youth Group
By Ronald Falloway
Event: Kidnap Breakfast
By Blake Clevenger
Here’s an interesting way to help transition your kids into your middle school ministry.
First we send all parents an informational letter announcing the change and giving them an opportunity to sign their children up to be “kidnapped.” The Saturday before we promote the teenagers, our youth leaders wake up at 6 a.m. and go grab those who were signed up. They bring them back to the church for breakfast, games, and a tour of the youth ministry.
The best part of the event is that when parents come to pick up their kids, we have a short parent meeting. This allows me to meet the new parents, explain the program, and try to recruit new volunteers into the ministry.
Discussion Starter: What Color?
By Dustin Sauder
It can be frustrating when junior highers won’t open up, discuss, and debrief after an activity or missions trip. This idea has worked well for me.
Go to your local hardware or paint store and grab a handful of paint sample cards. After your activity, gather your junior highers together in a circle and put the samples in the middle of the group. Ask kids to each pick up a color that best represents their experience throughout the activity. Then ask kids to share which color they picked and why. It provides a concrete jumping-off point for discussion.
Game: Tootsie-Balloon Ball
By Mindi Ward
This is a small twist on an old game that produces funny results.
Put two small Tootsie Roll candies in a balloon and blow it up. (You should probably do a few of these just in case there are casualties.) Then playa regular game of baseball using the balloon as the ball and one of those swimming pool “noodles” as the bat. The game usually goes for three innings.
Creative Idea: Scrabble-Style Prayers
By Jeremy Zach
Use this puzzler to create a creative prayer experience.
Encourage your junior highers to think of a word that represents a joy or concern they’d like to lift up in prayer. It could be a feeling, a person’s name, a place, and so on. Have them write that name (as creatively as possible) on a series of 3×5 cards, writing just one letter on each card.
When they’re done, have them start laying their cards out on the floor, Scrabble-style, connecting the words whenever possible to other people’s words using common letters. Invite those who wish to explain the word they chose. You can follow up with a discussion of how we become connected spiritually as we lift up and share our prayers with each other.
Laguna Beach, California
This article “Ideas For Your Youth Group” By Ronald Falloway is excerpted from Resources For Youth Groups, 1999.