Tag Archive | Youth Group

Ideas For Your Youth Group

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.

Jeremy Zach
Laguna Beach, California

This article “Ideas For Your Youth Group” By Ronald Falloway is excerpted from Resources For Youth Groups, 1999.

Posted in AIS File Library, YMGE - Youth Ministry0 Comments

Seven Ways To Deal With Cliques In Your Youth Group

Seven Ways To Deal With Cliques In Your Youth Group
Phil Bell

Cliques are a reality for our students in their schools and community. Unfortunately, it is often a reality they face at church too. Cliques are the enemy of healthy community and ultimately the enemy of students hearing God’s best for them. When students don’t feel relationally comfortable, they are less likely to relate to God’s truth. Here are 7 priorities I am constantly working on to avoid cliques in my ministry.

1. Cast vision—It’s important to constantly compare and contrast a vision for healthy community compared to painful reality of cliques. This can be done through intentional messages but also weekly in announcements. It’s imperative to constantly paint a picture of a community where students can feel safe and belong.

2. Know the difference between Comfort and Clique—Some student groups could be described as a clique, when in fact they are simply too comfortable to be aware of others. A clique is defined as, “a small, exclusive group of people” (dictionary.com), It’s important to discern whether students are intentionally exclusive or just missing the point. The way to respond to comfortable students is quite different from cliquey ones.

3. Understand cliques—It’s easy to get frustrated by students who are intentionally clique-y. I However, it’s important to remind ourselves that many of them find security in keeping others out. Most cliques, in my experience, are comprised of insecure kids trying to control their environment.

4. Address cliques immediately—It can be difficult to confront students in a clique, and it can be tempting to avoid conflict with these kinds of students, However, the longer we wait, the worse it gets. First, cliques will often sink deeper into their exclusivity. Second, as one group of students begins to clique, you might find that others follow the same pattern as a way to protect themselves.

5. Program for community—Intentionally break up circles of friends and place them in different groups from one another. Create ice-breakers and team building activities that allow for students to get to know each other better. Realize it takes time to see students connecting and developing authentic community.

6. Leaders set the example—It means everything that youth leaders cross the lines of friendship groups and do not become comfortable with their “favorite” students or fellow leaders.

7. Give ownership to students—Whether in a student leadership setting or in small groups, students need to be given the reigns to own the problem and create solutions. When we empower students to discover and develop solutions, they are more likely to be aware of cliques and break them up when they see them.

The above article, “Seven Ways to Deal With Cliques in Your Youth Group,” is written by Phil Bell. The article was excerpted from: www.youthministry.com web site. January 2011

The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

Posted in AIS File Library, YMGE - Youth Ministry0 Comments

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