The Mobster game is super! while we played it, I came up with the idea of blending in a lesson. The townspeople put 5 people on trial as accused mobsters, they got 2 out the 5 right. We talked about false accusations based on assumptions instead of proof, and how we do that in real life by the way a person looks or acts. We had 3 falsely accused people, which means we had 3 mobsters in the townspeople group that were “hiding” their “sins” or trying to blend in to accuse others so they would not get found out. It really made the group do some soul searching, and was great fun for all.
Each week for a month talk about persecution. Meet in the basements of different homes and only tell the youth what street you are on each time. Make a fish (><>) lawn ornament to stick in the lawn each week and they have to look for that to know which house you’re in.
The first week gather and talk about persecution in the early church and where the fish symbol came from.
Second week make them take off anything they are wearing that identifies them as Christians (our host gave us t-shirts to use if needed) as they come in the door. All our scripture was on pages torn out of a Bible. Talk about the persecution that is going on right now in foreign countries.
The third week start the meeting with a short intro about something (we used announcements) and have several big guys in riot gear come storming in, break up the meeting, and forcibly remove the leaders. Give the youth some time in the basement to think and talk on their own before bringing them all upstairs to talk about what we would do if this were reality here in America.
The fourth week, meet together at your usual meeting place and write letters to Christians in persecuted countries. You can get addresses from Voice of the Martyrs.
We had great success with this and really had the youth thinking about persecution and whether they were willing to die, or worse yet be tortured, for their faith for months after!
Next time I want to try and get the whole group hauled down to the station and put in a jail cell to finish out the lesson on the 3rd week.
Be creative, it makes a lifetime impact!
I have used this in many retreats and meetings and it always gets a lot of oooh’s and ahh’s from the group.
This is best used to start or end a lesson on the forgiveness of God.
Obtain some flash paper. This can be found at magic shops or pyrotechnics companies and they’ll usually sell you 8.5X11 sheets in packs of 25 or. I take those sheet and cut them into fourths leaving me with smaller rectangles.
Each student will receive a piece of flash paper and a marker (Sharpie’s work best). Ask the students to write something that represents their sin. Remember the paper is small and thin, so remind them they don’t need to write every sin, just something that represents it. Ask them to take some time and pray over the paper, praying for God to forgive those sins. Then they should bring you the piece of paper. Don’t let the students do the lighting!
You should be stationed in an area with no flammable things close by sitting or standing behind a lit candle. Take the student’s paper and pray over it. Then light just the edge of the paper and throw it into the air. The paper will burn in a flash leaving behind no ashes or other residue. Make sure you practice burning it before the students arrive. It takes a little practice to get it right.
End with a discussion on forgiveness and how once your sins are forgiven God forgets them and will never bring them up again.
Go and buy a model car kit from Wal-Mart. Next fold Pieces of blank copy paper in half and write instructions on the front. Leave the insides of the “booklet” blank and give each youth member one. Tell them not to open them until you tell them they can. Take out the instructions to the kit and put in your pocket. Now take it to the youth and sit it on the table in front of them. Ask them to put all the pieces to their car kit together with the instructions they are given. Of course when they open their “booklets they are blank. They will look at you with confusion and some giggles. Then start the conversation with asking who could put the car together. Not many will say they could without real instructions. One will may say they probably could. That’s when you show them the real instructions. Begin to show just how many instructions come with such a small car. Then explain that going through life without reading the Bible is like trying to build that car without the right instructions. You may get the car together but will it last. You need God’s instructions on how to live a good christian life and how to make it to heaven. How can we be good Christians… if we don’t read the instructions on what God wanted us to do for us to make it into His Kingdom. You can just go from here and really get the kids thinking and talking. (another good analogy to use… You may be able to put a lawnmower together without instuctions but will it cut the grass?)
Instead of using daily devotional guides published by your denomination, have your youth group write their own. This gives the young people a chance to express their ideas about the Christian faith. Most importantly, the kids will want to read the devotional because they know the authors and they can relate to their own peers better. Sample Format: Day and Month, Scripture, Commentary, Thought for the day.
Good for discussion of the family and a way to discover the values of the kids in the group. Tell the kids they are to find the world’s most perfect couple. Divide them into small groups and have them describe the couple.
Things to consider:
1.) The couple themselves (background, age education, religious affiliation, race, political views)
2.) Their lifestyle (jobs, hobbies, sex life, leisure time, entertainment, habits, friends and associations)
3.) Their possessions (money, furniture, house and neighbourhood, books, appliances, recreational needs, cars)
4.) Philosophy on child rearing (discipline, education, manners, dress, independence)
These are only suggestions, give them 20-30 mins. Make lists on chalkboard and compare. Discuss and bring up prejudices and how they relate to scripture. How does God describe His perfect family? What matters and what doesn’t?
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!
You set up your court room like a real court room. You have two sides. One side proves the world’s view. The other side proves the Bible is the word of God. It really makes the youth have to study the word of God. It also shows them what the world thinks about the Bible and gives them the tools to go out into the world to teach them the word of God.
You can use either post-it notes, index cards, or even one of those magnetic boards that you write on with markers. Write on them short verses you want to memorize or even long verses you want to have for inspiration. Put the verses somewhere in your home where you will see them often. Example: on the fridge, on your bathroom mirror, on your computer, etc.
I wrote on note cards the O.T. prophecy, also the N.T. fullfillment on another card. Played the game where they had to look up the Scripture and then find who has there match. I gave a small gift as prize. It was fun seeing them look up Scripture most had to use index, then see them interacting through God’s Word it was great!