This activity is done to help build unity and to let each youth know that they are appreciated and why.
A couple of weeks leading up to the actual meeting, have someone take individual pictures of each member of your group (leaders included). Have that person print the picture in the corner of an 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper giving ample room for people to write on it.
On the night of the meeting, post each person’s picture on the wall all around the perimiter of the room. Give lots of space between each picture. After your talk on unity and lifting one another up, have everyone take a pen and go right around the room and write an “I like you because…” statement on each person’s picture. They never sign their names.
It is a great morale booster for the group when each person gets to see what all the others think of them.
Of course you have to make the rule, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” There is always one goofball in every group that will write something stupid.
Each person can then take the paper home and any time they are feeling a bit low they can pull it out and be reminded that they are worth something to someone.
At your youth group’s New Year’s Eve Party, collect all of your pictures from the past year. Provide materials for making a scrapbook and/or a collage frame to hang in your meeting room and let the teens create the youth group scrapbook. Also, you can take a video camera and make a video collage with favorite youth group memories from the past year. Complete the evening by viewing the scrapbook and/or the video collage.
Have each person bring a plain T-shirt or sweatshirt to the meeting. Have kids put their names on the shirts with a piece of tape. Distribute several colours of permanent markers. Lay out the shirts and have kids go around and write positive qualities about each person on his or her shirt. Make sure that each person goes to several shirts and that all of the shirts are written on by several people. When everyone is finished, return the shirts to their owners and read aloud 2 Cor 4:16-18 and ask: Do you believe the saying, “The clothes make the man”? Why or why not? How do our outward actions – our dress and attitudes – reflect what we think of ourselves on the inside? How does it feel to wear these shirts that reflect the positive inner qualities others see in you? What can you do to make your inner qualities more evident than your outward ones?
Most people go out to lunch on Sunday after service. Create a great time of unity and fellowship by scheduling a monthly “youth do lunch.” Go to a variety of restaurants and learn of their country’s background. This works well as you can also teach about missions. Take 5-10 youth each time so everyone has an opportunity. Smaller groups allow for you to get to know them better.
To welcome the younger youth to our group, we stage a youth-napping. We try it in slightly varied ways so that the older youth are still suprised!
We contact the parents ahead of time with the date and approx. time. Then we go around to everyone’s homes and kidnap them. If they are barefoot, too bad. If they are wearing a bathing suit, too bad. Teeth need brushing, too bad.If they are in the P.J.’s, too bad. Hair not combed, too bad.
They are they are scooped up and placed in someone’s car. They all really enjoy seeing the others get ‘napped, too. After everyone has been “picked up” we take them to a particular location for a meal. Perhaps a pizza parlor, someone’s home for a bar-b-que, or the church for breakfast. After the chatting, giggling and food we play a couple “get to know you” games and officially welcome the new youth to our group!(Then we return them to their parents!)