This serves well for both community in the youth group as well as building them spiritually! They will love it!!
Simply order enough pizza for everybody coming (have them chip in if need be). For the first hour at least, have hang out time and pizza eating! This also includes playing some games. Then for the second half, have one full hour where the group has prayer. To make it effective time, schedule out different kinds of prayer (praying alone, for others, with each other, ect.) so that they can learn different ways to pray, and so time can seem to move along swiftly. Also, keep them informed the whole way, so they know what is going on. Your teenagers will be amazed at how quick, meaningful and fun just one hour of prayer can go!
We did a basics of beliefs series entitled “Plugged In”. To generate interest we mailed out individual plugs to our members with the date to bring them to our next meeting to “Get Plugged Into God”. We painted a 2×4 black and attacked plug recepticles to the board. Each week when students would arrive they would “plug in”. Our series covered…Plugged into God, Plugged into Prayer, Plugged into Bible study, Plugged into Church, Plugged into Service and Plugged into Giving. It was a great reminder to our young people that we need to connect to our power source!
One night at youth group have PLUNGER NITE. Your games and devotional all centre around plungers. Play plunger hockey, javelin plunger, relay games with plungers. Use balls and balloons as well. The wilder your games the better – be creative.
Devotional – Ask the youth what is a plunger for, what does it do? Why? Then describe that Christ is the plunger for our sin. Our sin had to be removed in order for our relationship with God to flow. Like the drain, when its clogged, the water does not flow freely, and the drain needs to be unclogged. We don’t work the way God intended when we are clogged with sin, and Christ became the plunger for that sin.
The scriptures challenge us to care for the widows and orphans, to reach out to the poor and downtrodden, but most kids in our churches don’t know what it is to be poor. In this study they are invited to consider poverty.
– copies of grocery advertisements
– copies of newspaper: apartment rentals section
– other store clothing adds.
Youth are broken into groups of three or four and told, they are now a family. They work 60hours a week at a fastfood chain making $5.50/hr. that is the only income for the house of three or four.
they must find an apartment in the paper they can afford, with the remaining money buy groceries for the rest of the week that will keep them healthy.
Now imagine a problem. Children want to wear clothes, shoes and buy some fun toys. How do you handle it?
As a service idea have the kids go trick or treating for the poor, collecting one food item from each home. Then deliver the food to a local food bank. Also ask if the kids can organize some food in bags for families that will be using the food bank that week.
Close thanking God for the blessing you have and asking how we can help “the least of these brothers of mine.” Matt. 25
– 5 strips of paper
– pencil(pen will not work) for each person in your small group
– a large bowl
– red Kool Aid
At one of my small group sessions I used this activity to illustrate the divine power of the blood of Jesus, to remind them that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, and that God never changes His plans for us. It was a great way to get them to reflect on their lives and their personal relationships with God and to surrender everything to Him.
I told everyone to examine their lives and write 5 negative things concerning their decisions in the past or areas in their life that they knew weren’t lining up with the word of God – past sins, failures, thoughts, etc. I had them tear up the papers they had written on and put them in the large bowl.
Then we had a time of worship and prayer so everyone was given the opportunity to talk to God and pray about what they wrote down. While this was going on I took the bowl and secretly filled it with the red Kool Aid, which represents the blood of Jesus. When we finished our quiet times with God I brought the bowl back in and by that time the Kool Aid had already begun to erase and wipe away the things they had written down. It was a great way to illustrate that regardless of how bad we feel about things we have done, we have already been cleansed and forgiven by the blood of Jesus. Nothing can separate us from His love!!!
A great prayer session for a retreat or even a meeting: (I strongly suggest dimming the lighting in your room and having one candle light the circle)
To prepare for this activity, you need to have three different bowls that EACH contain pieces of paper folded up with the names of all people participating in the activity.
Have your group get into a close circle.
Take the first bowl around the circle and have each person take a name (have them check right away to make sure they did not get their own name) have them write the number “1” on this first paper. Then take the second bowl and do the same thing, then the third bowl. Tell them to keep their names to themselves. Next, explain to the group that God has a plan and that things happen for a reason, therefore there must be a good reason God has planned each person to end up with the three names they did. Go around the circle and have each person take turns telling the rest of the group what they would like prayed for. (Before-hand emphasize that each person needs to have their complete attention on what everyone is saying, especially the names of the three people they picked out of the bowls.) After everyone has had a chance to make their prayer requests, ask them all to spread out in the room where they can be alone to allow a good connection between them and God. Then, ask them to all focus on the first name that they chose and put all their thought and energy into praying for the specific intentions that person requested. Allow for at least 5 minutes of silence for this, then go on to the second names, and then finally the third names, reminding them each time to fully concentrate on just that one name. (You may want to have some soft music playing in the background). It has the potential to be very powerful and meaningful. It is also such a warm feeling knowing that someone right in the same room, and at the same time is praying for you.
Have a decorated shoe box or any object that can be used as a prayer request box. At the beginning of the session have the youth write down something that they want to pray for. Then at the end of the night have each person pick a slip from the box, take the request home and pray for them that week.
In teaching the Youth about Prayer, we created a “prayer chain” using boxes of the jumbo paper clips linked together. We have an 8 foot cross that is stored in the Youth room for Easter, so I utilized that, and the teens draped the chain around the cross. I then asked then to take index cards and write their prayer requests on the cards, and put the cards on the chain. At the end of our lesson, our small youth group of 12 had almost 100 prayer requests draped on the cross. Next to the cross I placed a basket. We call this our Praise Basket. As the kids see their prayers answered, the write the answer on the back and place it in the Praise Basket. Each Wednesday night they can’t wait to look at the prayer requests and watch them move to the Praise Basket. The most exciting aspect of this lesson was to watch the teens realize they indeed have many things to pray for.
Form groups of no more than four and give each group a newspaper section filled with world news. Say: “Your group has 5 mins to search your newspaper for one situation you want us to pray for, such as gang violence, drugs, famine, floods, or earthquakes.” After 5 mins, gather groups and have them describe their situation. Close by praying for each world need. As the “Amen” read John 16:33. Create a “World Prayer Needs” bulletin board. Throughout the week have kids cut out magazine or newspaper articles containing world need they want the group to pray for. Have them tack the articles to the bulletin board as visual prayer reminders.
Keep up with your youth’s prayer needs. Get a small binder with 3X5 index cards in it, (I found one at a local department store). Print out the youth’s name, address, b-day, phone, etc. on labels that attach to the front of the card. on the back, write prayer requests during youth meetings or if they call. This will be a helpful guide to look at before visitation, or sending out birthday cards. You can easily keep up with the prayer needs of your youth.