Mid and Late Adolescents

Amazing Mobsters – Variation

I loved the Amazing Mobsters game. Instead of using playing cards maybe we could just write on index cards (for those who frown upon any form of gambling) and instead of calling them mobsters could they be bad guys from the bible? And when they plead their cases could they use scripture? Just a thought.

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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

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Name That Spiritual Gift

This is a study, understanding and development game. The leaders or orchestrators of the game must have a clear uderstanding of the gifts to lead the game. First write as many of the spiritual gifts and there definitions on different scrap sheets of paper. Ball them up and put them in a hat or bowl. Then each student picks out a spiritual gift. then the leader will read a scenerio and choose one of the students to dramatize there spiritual gift and how they would use in the situation. Once they have figured out the gift that is being represented, another student who feels that there gift would best help support the situation they would raise there hand and dramatize their gift. This will continue until the scenerio changes. It is a very deep game that students seem to take very seriously, it also gives better understanding for those who might not be to clear on the subject.

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Mexican Hut Campout

Our youth group is going on a missions trip to Mexico so we needed to raise money to get down there. At the place in Mexico that we are going to, people are very poor and they live in cardboard huts, and all they have to eat is rice and beans. So we did a campout for 24 hours, and all we ate was rice and beans(which we cooked over a campfire), and we built a cardboard hut and slept in it all night. We got people to sponsor us for a price per hour, or a total amount. Altogether we raised close to $1000 in sponsorships, and we had fun too.

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Amazing Race Challenge

Split the group in teams of two.

First challenge: Wheel Barrow race, The heaviest person on the team had to get in the wheel barrow holding 3 blown up balloons. The other person pushed the wheel barrow around the block. If the balloons burst or got dropped, they had to come back to the beginning and start over with the balloons. Unfortunately, we picked a very windy day so this challenge was hard! The first team around the block got the clue for the next challenge.

Challenge 2: Had to walk about a 5 blocks to the nearest gas station. Flag down someone or call someone (since all teenagers have cell phones) and pump exactly one gallon of gas into somebody’s car. No more, no less. There was a $1 in their envelope when they got the clue. Had to get a receipt. One of our leaders was at the station. When they got done, gave the receipt to the leader and got the next clue.

3rd Race: Calf Pull: Had to walk to an empty field that is about another 1/4 mile, waiting for them is 1 year old calves that have not been with mama for a while. The team had to lead the calf from one point to the next and back. Trust me, the calves didn’t want to follow. This was very funny to watch a bunch of city kids trying to get a calf to follow.. first team done got the next clue for the next challenge.

Pig Dig: Buried in the dirt piggy banks with a clue in them. They had to dig with their hands a pig and open it to get the last clue. The last part: Find the Gift Certificate with the grand prize: It was hidden up high in a tree at the local park where we ended the race. The prize was a hot air balloon ride gift certificate that we lucked out in getting from a member in our church. The kids had a blast and the winners said it was worth the challenges.

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Amazing Race: Mission Edition

Based off of the TV show, but with a Service-centered twist.

I try to emphasize to my youth group how important service and volunteerism is, so when I saw their passion for scavenger hunts, I decided to combine the two.

You’ll need adult drivers for each team and lots of colored index cards.

Begin at the church. Divide youth into teams and tell them which color cards they will be looking for. They can only touch cards that correspond to their colors. Any tampering with other teams’ cards is off-limits.

Hand each team a card with a Bible verse on it, e.g. Matthew 3:16, which leads them to the baptismal font. Teams race to locate the verse and reach their destination where they find the card that tells them their next destination. You can tell them outright that they are going to a certain destination, or make it a clue.

The teams drive to their next destination where they either get another clue or have to do a challenge (I do a challenge at every other site). This is where the mission comes in.

For challenges, pick homes of church members who need help around the house, like raking leaves or walking dogs. Our church is in a rural area, so we milk cows or pick cotton. Drive to church members houses and pick up donations for Goodwill, then drop them off. Pick up grocery lists for shut-ins and deliver them. So long as it’s service, it’s a good challenge.

Since the teams may arrive at close to the same time, make sure the challenges are things that they will be able to complete simultaneously. For example, if they’re raking a yard, have the yard evenly divided before they arrive. However, you don’t necessarily have to have even amounts of rakes and bags – that’s part of the bonus of arriving first.

After teams complete challenges, they receive new clues for their next destination and the race continues. The last clue brings them back to the church for a celebration dinner and reward for the team that won.

A nice addition is to give each team a video camera (which they can give to the adults to use when they’re doing their challenges) and you can watch each team’s video during dinner.

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Devil’s Advocate

Here’s something I sprung on the kids when I wanted them to take a serious look at how they live their lives in today’s society. I had them to pretend to be the Devil’s servants. They would each have to come up with what they think the Devil would want in 5 different areas:
1) how people view Jesus
2) how people view Christians
3) how people view the Bible
4) how people view evil
5) how people view goodness
(Of course, the areas you would want to deal with can be anything you think the kids would respond to best.) After that, I have the kids think of strategies to accomplish the Devil’s goals for each area. Let the kids be creative here. Then as a follow-up, do the same activity with God as the focus.

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Electric Fence

Divide group into two teams. For each team, find two trees close together. Take a length of rope and create a sort of web by cutting the rope and tying sections together with duct tape. The teams must get their entire team through the holes of this fence without being “electrocuted” (touching the rope). First one to do so, wins. A great activity that was a lot of fun!

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Easter Egg Hunt for Teens

I usually work with teenagers, so I took a childhood idea, and made it a little more difficult for the older kids.

This took a lot of preparation, and you will need a concordance.

I gave each teen a scripture to start with. They had to read the scripture and find a hint in the scripture as to where the next egg would be, which would contain the next scripture, etc. I used places inside and outside the church. The concordance will help find a scipture to use for whatever may be around your church. I also put a piece of candy in some of the eggs, along with the scripture.

The hard part was giving each kid a different starting place. I listed all the scriptures several times on a piece of paper, and moved down one line with each new starting scripture. So they were all in the same order, but one group was behind another in the search. It helped keep them from getting bunched up. I had them all end together though, which just takes a little thinking about where to send them last. Each church can customize this. I used one color egg for each group. That way they didn’t get someone else’s message. And we knew who had skipped an egg by what was left around. Most of the kids really enjoyed this. Hope yours does too.

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Inky Hands

Best done on all day or weekend event. This is an idea used to promote the thought that while we are all individiuals – we are all one in God.

Using multi-colored paper, have the kids sign their names in the corner (whatever corner they like) with a marker – and tell them to make sure they either use their signature or do something a little artistic…no straight printing allowed.

Then handprint them (we were able to have real handprinting ink – but fingerpaitns will work just as well). Cover the whole hand – from the fingertips to bottom of the palm.

Then lay all of them out to dry. Then go on with your events.
Then, while setting up for a moment of reflection, evening meditation, whatever, lay the handprints out in a cross. With the appropriate Bible verses (that either reflect on this specifically or your topic for the event). This is a very powerful illustration of how much a part of us God really is – especially for kids who are trying to find their “individual selves”.

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