Great idea for a swimming party. Teams have 10 members each and 10 places around the pool are marked for each team’s station. >>> Sample events: 1.) Swim across the pool with an egg balanced in a spoon. If the egg falls, the swimmer must retrieve it and continue. 2.) Dive to the bottom of the pool and retrieve a brick. 3.) Swim across the pool with a tether ball tied to each ankle. 4.) Dive and swim underwater across the pool 5.) Dunk the youth leader in the pool. The contestant must hit a target of some sort and if he/she does, the youth leader is pushed off the diving board.
Go to a crowded market with lots of tourists etc, or a mall/shopping complex. Have a number of Wallys (the group leaders) in various disguise wandering around, and kids in teams have to find them. One or more leaders could dress up as Wally (from the puzzles) and be worth bonus points. This lasts two hours easily at our local market – (kids can look at the stalls as well on the way).
This can be varied in a number of ways, include scavenger hunts, cryptic clues to get to the market etc, etc.
Our last one was renamed “Mission Impossible” and included a cryptic route to the market and then to find the leaders in disguise.
Take your small youth group outside and clean every car windshield on the church parking lot. After cleaning it, place a flier behind wiper blade stating “Your windshield was cleaned by (name of youth group) so other can see Christ in you.” Of course window cleaner and paper towels are a must. You wouldn’t believe the reactions!
A Wisdom Rocks Contest is where each week the kids have the opportunity to read (on their own time before youth) a chapter of Proverb that would coincide with any day of one previous to class (5th chapter for 5th of month). They would pick out their favorite verse and write what it meant to them in their life. Each week we’d pick a winner depending on who best “got it”. If you did not want to have to choose a winner, you could enter them all in a weekly drawing with candy or such being a weekly reward for such. We gave away money toward upcoming youth events. $3 for first, $2 for second and $1 for third. Of course, I kept the money in the youth account for them.
We did this last year at a sleepover and I thought it was really good. This is good in a large room. Have everyone (even leaders) take off their shoes and go do something, (a quick service or talk or something) just before dinner. Set up a small table (for dinner) with only two seats at it. Put on a fancy table cloth and centerpiece (the whole works) Set another table to hold about 8. Don’t put a tablecloth on it. Take two pair of shoes and put them on the chairs of the fancy table. Take 8 pair of shoes and set them on the chairs of the regular table. Throw the rest of the shoes into an open area on the floor. Have everyone come in and sit down with their shoes. Serve pasta and their choice of drink to the people at the small table on elegant china. Bring the people at the large table sandwiches and pop. Bring in a huge pot of rice and give everyone with their shoes on the floor a cup to fill with rice (no untensils) you can, if you want, have “river water” (water mixed with coke) for a drink for them, in the same cup. People will start getting jelous, and thinking it’s unfair. Explain this is how the world really is to show how many people only have a cup of rice a day. This is a good way to tell people they have lots to be thankful for. (You may want to order pizza later, but don’t let anyone know)
Some teens are really into top ten countdowns on tv or the radio. We tried a countdown of favorite songs for youth worship. For groups that are really into worship, there are songs that they love to sing. Worship leaders can take this into consideration and have an extended evening given to first discovering what are the ten favorite songs for a group and then leading the group in those songs that evening. If you want to turn this into a whole meeting why not have students assigned to read short verses as and introduction to some of the songs. If PowerPoint is being used, a count down from 10 to 1, with 1 being the top rated song for your group can be used that evening.
Cookout for city sanitation workers. Have you ever noticed those guys who ride around and pick up the trash on your curb? Have you ever thought they may not feel appreciated? In most cities the sanitation workers meet a couple of times a week for lunch in the area they’re working. Call the city and ask where the sanitation workers in your area meet and on what days. Once you have this information, get your group together and plan a cookout for the workers. Make invitations and deliver them a week in advance. Go ahead and ask if they will come. Chances are good they won’t turn down a free meal. When they arrive at the cookout, seat them, serve them, and clean up after them. The only thing they have to do is show up, eat, and be honored.
Once a year we have a youth service, where the worship team is made of youth and young adults. We introduce new songs for our congregation and bring a different “young” taste to things. This year we decided that we want to do something else special for our church. We told all the parents with younger children (nursery to grade 6) to leave their kids with us, while they go out for a nice quiet lunch. We (the youth and youth sponsors) supplied a hot dog and Kraft Dinner lunch, and lots of games to keep the kids entertained. It was a lot of fun, the kids had a blast and the parents did too.
Have business cards printed up for your youth church/group. Then go to a local mall or hang out and give them out having your kids invite other youth to attend your service(s). After they get used to approaching strangers teach them how to witness and use the invitation as an ice breaker with the youth.
We have been doing this for about a year and have led over 50 youth to the Lord. Definitely use them before your next “big event.” Your youth can give them out to friends with the date and time and they can reach you (youth pastor) for info if needed.
Here’s a way to learn more about each other in a fun way.
Announce that Universal Pictures called today and are looking to make a movie about the lives of the youth in your church. But to see if there is any interest, they need some information in advance. Then ask each participant to fill out a card with the following questions about a movie made of their life.
What will the title of this movie be?
Will the movie be a comedy, drama, horror or science fiction movie?
Who will they need to get to play your role?
Who will be cast as your parents? (I let them use personalities that are either living or deceased – since sometimes they think their parents are so old)
What other roles will need to be cast? (family members, friends, etc)
What will be the funniest part of this movie? (has to be a real life event that has happened in their lives)
What will be the saddest part of the movie? (actual event)
What will be the people’s reaction to the movie after they view it? ( how will they go away feeling)
We did this recently and had a great time and learned a lot about each other.