Relationships

Coin Drop

Place a large bank in an accessible area in your church or youth room. Make up a sign that states what you are raising money for, and the instructions to drop off those unwanted pennies that everyone has too many of. This is a great inexpensive way to raise funds for an event.
Ed. Note – Maybe make a crazy “machine” (like the game “Mouse Trap”) that the coins will drop and roll through before they get into the jar/container to interest the kids and keep everyone giving.

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Come To The Table

This is something that I did with my youth group in Friona, TX last summer along with Lessie Collins, we were summer youth interns. Every week (or every other week if schedules are stuffed to the brim) we would host a lunch. It can be anytime during the week or weekend. We usually tried to do them on Sunday after church. Lessie and I would cook for about 10-12 youth, make sure to mix it up and have people that don’t “hang out” often, and also have little cards with a verse centering around a specific theme; friendship, honesty, faith, etc. After lunch we would all gather and the youth would read their cards and tell us what it meant to them and then we would discuss the theme after everyone was finished. Later that same evening we would have all the youth at the church for dinner and a devotional. The youth that were at the Come To The Table earlier would then serve the youth that were not at the lunch. They could also be the ones giving the devotional for the dinner. It was a big success. It gave us a chance to connect with smaller groups at a time and break the ice between people who normaly wouldn’t associate with one another.

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Crazy Fellowship Potluck

Set a night and have the kids bring their favorite craziest dish. Anything goes!! Tell them that their dish must represent their personality. Have them explain what the dish is and why its like them or why its their favorite. I’m sure everyone will enjoy surprising each other with their cooking skills and its a fun way to get the kids to fellowship. Make sure to tell them not to let anyone know what they are making because the surprise is half the fun! (younger youth may need to ask a parent to help)

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Creation Celebration

Have teens plan a party for the younger children of the church emphasizing the wonderful variety and beauty of God’s creation. Also, ask several parents to donate treats such as cookies and punch for the celebration. Use tables to create a number of booths where group members present inexpensive, creation-based entertainment for the children to enjoy. I.E.: booth entertainment might include examining an ant farm, petting a snake, or looking at empty birds’ nests and eggs. You might also borrow some makeup and gave a face painting booth where teens paint animals on children’s faces. Have animal-imitation contests to see who can do the best imitation of a cow or chicken, etc. End the party with a time of singing. This party is especially fun during Springtime.

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deCycles

One of the most powerful programs that my church has is called deCycles. deCycles are approximately 40 to 50 teenagers who get together for 2 weeks in July and bike ride throughout places,while staying at churches along the way.This bike trip helps everyone get a better and closer look to God and even helps people who are not familiar to God get a better view.This year many kids were Saved on the trip.It has helped a lot for all of them.This group originally started in Hartford City,Indiana in the 1970’s and at that time they would ride 1,000 miles (like we do now) but it would take at least 1 month or longer because the deCycles at that time rode to and throughout Canada.Now the deCycles are owned and operated by Shiloh Community Church in Orleans,Michigan. Shiloh Church purchased the deCycles in 1986 from the church that owned it in Hartford City, Indiana.

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Dinner Theatre

Find a short play on a Christian theme. Prepare a stage in the fellowship area, where people can eat just before the performance. If you can get the food donated, all the better. Your young people are both the cast and the waiters. They should wear their costumes under neat, matching aprons (you may be able to convince some of your parents to make simple chef’s aprons for this purpose). Be sure to prepare them for serving the food as well as presenting the play. Have them work in teams, with the larger, stronger kids carrying trays of plates and the smaller ones serving (with flair and style, from the left) the people of the congregation. As soon as desserts and coffee are served, hang up the aprons and hand towels, and CURTAIN UP! Both the young people and the congregation will appreciate this special chance for the young people to serve.

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Easy Food Ideas

1.) Molded ice-cream for season: especially Christmas, Valentine’s Day
2.) S’mores: sandwich of toasted marshmallow, and chocolate between two graham crackers
3.) Watermelon and cantaloupe a la mode
4.) Make your own: cupcakes, pizza, Mexican foods, cake.
5.) Make your own sundaes with all the fixings: ice-cream, syrups, nuts, sprinkles, M&M’s, hot pudding makes a cheap “hot fudge”, whipped cream, etc

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Elders’ Ball

Plan a night just for the elders of your church (You can even send invitations made by the youth to the elders). You can have the youth serve them a nice meal dressed in nice clothing (banquet attire). You have the youth share with the elders about how they appreciate them. They can read poems, perform a song for them and read scriptures showing the worth and importance of the role of an elder. The youth can hand out letters of appreciation to each elder. You can also do it as a total surprise. Just announce in church that there will be a dinner and give date. Everyone else in the church will have already been in formed of the real event. Then when the elders arrive seat them first and then start the dinner! There can be lots of ways to do this one!

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Encouragement Plates

One of the most encouraging things I’ve found for the youth is to do “encouragement plates.” It’s very simple, fun, and has a major impact.

All you need is paper plates, duct tape, and pencils. Each teen gets a plate taped to their back and must go around to other teens and write something they like about him or her. I try to discourage generic comments. Each teen should write something on everyone else’s back. It’s fun because you get in chains and have lots of laughs over the awkwardness of it all. By the end of the night, don’t be surprised if you have tears from people who were moved by what was written about them.

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Family Picnic

Have a family picnic for the youth group and their families. Have each family pack a picnic and meet at a park or a place large enough for everyone. If there is a lake nearby have a family fishing tournament. Don’t forget to check the weather before you plan.

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