During a fellowship activity, we made an unannounced stop at a local vehicle towing garage. While there we looked over up close and personally the selection of vehicles that had been involved in collisions where the driver had been under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The owner of the towing service met us there and shared some of the heartfelt stories of the people and how their lives had been impacted by the bad choice of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. We later prayed for those people and the owner. The experience was one that neither the advisors nor the youth will ever forget.
In order to create more unity and fellowship and love amongst our teens we thought up the idea of sending mail to one another that would solely be encouraging mail. We added a twist however, and decided to update the idea for the 90’s. We made up a shelf that had a slot for each person in the youth group (including the adult sponsors, and myself) and also made up slips with room to write these letters of encouragement on. The whole system is called e-mail for encouragement mail, and we have found that the youth have caught on to the idea well,and every week almost, everyone gets an “e-mail!”
Steger Sebastian has a community program where it donates 10% of a week of sales to an organizations. Maybe you can talk to a local company/business to have a special day where a percentage of sales or sales on specific items goes to your group. Maybe have donation buckets at their cash registers.
Discipling Youth by reaching children.
The idea seems too simplistic but it is a powerful transferable concept. As part of my Master’s Program of studies, I had to design an urban ministry. My concept was to run programs in a local park during the summer to reach disciple teens by reaching and discipling children, and then move the program to a school gym in the colder months.
I began with a few youth who helped put up posters in the neighbourhood on telephone poles. Kids were invited to a neighbourhood water fight. The first day 60 kids showed up. We had them all register to participate. The girl doing the registration was only 10 years old!!
All the kids were told to stick around after the fight to receive a prize. At the end I spoke for five minutes about Jesus, announced next Wednesday’s event and then gave out prizes. (on the first day a ten year old boy named John stuck around to pray the sinners prayer with me and volunteered to be a helper!)
In a few months we had twenty teens who wanted to volunteer and a dozen kids who wanted to be part of our discipleship program called DC (direct current)
The really 1derful thing about the Program was the way teens boldly took leadership and shared their faith. Over 6 years 2000 kids in that Toronto neighbourhood accepted Christ. Over 600 of these kids also graduated from our discipleship program that met on the same day half an hour before the event.
Today some of the teens who ran those programs are pastoring, leading Christian organizations, and being effective leaders in their churches.
Originally I asked teens in my youth group to devote one summer to Christ. Over time they came to devote their whole lives. If you want to hear more about this or would like some tips on getting started please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org -Ron.
Some youth are very excited and talkative and some are quiet. I find that it is easy to pay attention to the more outgoing kids in my group and sometimes the quiet get ignored. The “2 good 1 bad 1 great” concept is to give every teen a chance to share how their day or week has been. It’s real simple and a fun way to have “praise/ testimony” time. Tell them you want to hear how their week has been and they can share 2 good things that has happened followed by one bad thing and end it on a very positive note with one GREAT thing that has happened in the past week. If you have a small group you can let everyone share. If you have a large group let 6 or so share.
Torential rain poured down as we gathered in the church hall to head out to the baseball field. Soaked and dejected I came up with 2Ping on the spot. If you have very little room and you want to play indoor baseball consider 2ping.
You have probably guessed that you will need a ping pong paddle and a ping pong ball to play this game. It is played in a room just smaller than a half gym. The pitcher must throw the ping pong ball to the batter (you would not believe the wild spins you can put on it) The batter gets only two strikes, or walks to first base if hit. It is a zany fast paced game of indoor baseball that does not require baseball gloves, bats or an outside playing diamond. If you have a small group that is willing to try new things, see if this will become their new favorite game.
I assume that each church has rolls of plastic tablecloths that are used for potlucks and dinners.
Make a maze on the floor using the tablecloths, tape the cloths together, have 3 entrances to the maze. Blindfold the 3 contestants and place each kid on their hands and knees at one of the entrances. Each one must crawl to one of the other entrances using their hands to feel where the tablecloth leads or ends or turns. All 3 contestants are in the maze at the same time and the first one to find their way out is the winner.
The idea is pretty straight forward. All the rules of standard kickball apply, the only difference is that each player is 2 players tied together at the leg as you would for a 3-legged race.
Plan and run a 3-on-3 basketball summer league. Have your youth share short 5 minute devotionals on relevant issues. Have a tournament ending banquet, with a special guest speaker (local Christian sports celebrity). This is a great way to reach out to the community!
This is regular capture the flag with more than two teams. Our youth group has played regular capture the flag for so long, that we thought it would be fun to try something different. It was a huge hit.
SETUP: Have 3 (or more) teams, each with a flag and a specific territory. You can make each team have its own jail, or you can have a central neutral area where all people who are tagged go for 3-5 minutes. Each team places their flag somewhere on their territory in plain sight (must be visible from at least 10 feet away. We say they must be stuck in the ground.)
TO PLAY: Each team tries to get the other teams’ flags with out losing their own. If team A captures team B’s flag, they plant it next to their flag, and teams A and B become one team possessing the territory for both teams. They then have numerical advantage over team C, whose flag they then attempt to get.
These rules make it very intense, because you do not want to be the team that is ganged up on, so you go out as fast as possible to find the other teams’ flags.
These rules also work for more than 3 teams.
OTHER POSSIBLE RULES:
1) When a person is tagged, the tagger must escort them to jail without tagging anyone else. If the tagger does not escort them, then they can run back free.
2) A variation of the above rule would be that a defender can freeze one person in place, and tag one more before escorting both to jail.
3) Have a safe zone around your flag in which the defenders may not enter. I don’t care for this rule, but many people like it.
4) Have colored string tied around the wrist to indicate what team you are on. If the string is broken, you must go back to the designated neutral area to have a new string put on.