Thank Goodness it’s Youth Friday
A Teen youth fellowship at the youth pastor’s house on the last friday of the month. It is a pressure free atmosphere where we gather to eat, play games and get to know one another.
We started this at another church and it was successful now at both churches.
Teens are not only excited about getting together outside of church, but they are excited about the games and food as well.
We alternate the menu and hype up the food aspect. We have had Mexican night, Breakfast at night, pizza, etc.
One of the greatest aspects of T.G.Y.F. is that it gives young people an informal atmosphere in which to enter church. I have seen young people visit TGYF and get to know one another and then say later that it helped them be more comfortable when they came to church on that Sunday.
I would encourage others to start this program or one like if you don’t have something already. It is one of the few things I have done right in my short work with youth.
Let me know what you think.
Once a month on Tuesday night (or any other time — change the name if necessary), invite youth to come together for a time of formal outreach. Divide into groups, go and visit/share with visitors and unchurched friends, and then head out to something fun — like bowling, volleyball, etc.
I just thought I would share this idea with you that we are doing with our youth group. This year we have a number of newcomers and we struggled with how to build bridges between the newcomers and the regular teens in the group. We came up with the idea of Team Factor, which involves six weeks of team building activities. Instead of having our traditional game time each week, we now plan on major activity that involves a whole team. Last week, for example, I measured a number of items within our community such as buildings, signs, park benches with a banana. The team was given a list of the item I measured and 2 bananas and were sent out to measure and record their results. I awarded points for the team who came the closest for each item. Another important thing is that the teens do not get to choose what team they will be on. I broke the teens up by age and wrote numbers 1, 2 and 3 on three card (I have three teams) and had them come up one at a time and choose a card. After the six weeks we will stop and see how much the teens have learned about each other. So far they are enjoying Team Factor and we find the newcomers feel like they are a part of the group.
What I have given you here is just the concept, but it is up to the youth leader to decide how to use it. So far we are very pleased with the results.
Since parents and teens have trouble understanding each other, we thought of this: We’re going to have a parent/teen forum. We’ll take 4 kids and 4 parents (all unrelated). Then we’ll pose them Q’s for them to answer and discuss. Q’s like: “Why don’t teens and parents talk to each other?” They’ll discuss it, and both parents and teens will begin to understand each other better. We plan on holding a forum with different sets of people every Sunday night for a month. Then we might have them meet together in small groups to discuss things some more.
Ed. Note: Depending on the questions and their seriousness, maybe try doing something like a TV talkshow atmosphere to keep everyone listening and involved… but please… no Jerry. 🙂
Full of study aids like the following: The Bible Says study guide that addresses controversial issues, scientific facts, and intellectual questions. Direct Line offers application for specific verses. Dear Sam is an advice column that answers questions most often asked by teens. Quizzers ask and answer interesting Bible trivia. Jericho Joe is a cartoon character offering a lighthearted touch in unexpected places. Great for the teen Christian interested in really learning on a deeper level.
This idea works well with both middle and high school youth groups. It works especially well with smaller groups. Pick a Saturday in November before Thanksgiving to have dinner with your youth. Each member signs up to bring one part of the Thanksgiving dinner (vegetables, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, etc). The catch is that they are supposed to bring someone they look up to (parent, older sibling, mentor). Before dinner, have each member tell who they brought and why they are thankful to God for them. A lot of supermarkets donate turkeys to church groups as well. This activity is always a favorite and it creates an atmosphere of not just a youth group, but a family united by God.
Version: The Message (Eugene Peterson)
God’s Word was meant to be read.
But more than that, it was meant to be understood. It was first written in the language of the people—of fishermen, shopkeepers, and carpenters. The Message gets back to that: You can read it and understand it.
In The Message Remix, there are new verse-numbered paragraphs that will help you study and find favorite passages. Or, you can just read it like a book and let the narrative impact you. After all, it is God’s story, with its heroes and villains, conflicts and resolutions. Either way, it’s God’s Word—the Truth—in a user-friendly form.
The Message REMIX Pause: The Daily Bible for Students
By: Eugene H. Peterson
Description: Life moves pretty fast. This one-year edition of The essage helps students pause and reflect—so they don’t miss the best part! Flexible plans help young people read through all of Scripture in one, two, or four years
* Thoughtful questions for each passage
* Size: 6″ x 8″
* 1856 pages, softcover from NavPress
A translation of the Bible into the language of the city. Rob Lacey reworks the metaphors, situations, and speech patterns of the Bible for the modern, urban reader.
Taking the key texts of the Old and New Testament, Lacey employs the “MTV” dialect of today’s urban city to create a new look at what may be over-familiar stories. Through its modern style, this book acts as an introduction to the Bible for the uninitiated reader while giving a fresh perspective to the church community. A translation that will bring the timeless message of the Bible into the 21st century.
Includes a topical devotion guide, book introductions, maps, a plethora of well-written topical devotions from Genesis to Revelation, and a very brief dictionary/concordance. Great for a new Christian or someone looking for lots of application.