“D.U.I.” Awareness

During a fellowship activity, we made an unannounced stop at a local vehicle towing garage. While there we looked over up close and personally the selection of vehicles that had been involved in collisions where the driver had been under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The owner of the towing service met us there and shared some of the heartfelt stories of the people and how their lives had been impacted by the bad choice of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. We later prayed for those people and the owner. The experience was one that neither the advisors nor the youth will ever forget.

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In order to create more unity and fellowship and love amongst our teens we thought up the idea of sending mail to one another that would solely be encouraging mail. We added a twist however, and decided to update the idea for the 90’s. We made up a shelf that had a slot for each person in the youth group (including the adult sponsors, and myself) and also made up slips with room to write these letters of encouragement on. The whole system is called e-mail for encouragement mail, and we have found that the youth have caught on to the idea well,and every week almost, everyone gets an “e-mail!”

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2 Good 1 Bad 1 Great

Some youth are very excited and talkative and some are quiet. I find that it is easy to pay attention to the more outgoing kids in my group and sometimes the quiet get ignored. The “2 good 1 bad 1 great” concept is to give every teen a chance to share how their day or week has been. It’s real simple and a fun way to have “praise/ testimony” time. Tell them you want to hear how their week has been and they can share 2 good things that has happened followed by one bad thing and end it on a very positive note with one GREAT thing that has happened in the past week. If you have a small group you can let everyone share. If you have a large group let 6 or so share.

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Abraham & Sarah Skit

Characters: Abraham Sarah Pharaoh Officer Officer 2

Scene: Abraham in Egypt.

Narrator: Abraham was getting ready to enter Egypt when he became afraid…

Abraham: Sarah, You are sooooo beautiful. If I take you into Egypt, they will want you for themselves, and so they will kill me, so they can marry you with a clear conscience.

Sarah: Oh, Abraham, God has taken good care of us before, and I am sure he will again.

Abraham: No, I think we need to be very cautious. Say that I am your brother and I will say you are my sister so that nothing will happen to us. If we do this, I will not be killed.

Sarah: Oh, Abraham! I will do it, but I am only doing it because the Lord commands me to obey my husband. But… I am not happy about it.

Narrator: Later that Day, They entered Egypt, and as Abraham expected, the Egyptians were enchanted with Sarah’s Beauty. Pharaoh’s officers immediately went to Pharaoh.

Officer: Oh, Pharaoh, you should see this beautiful woman that just came into the city. She has the most beautiful eyes, and her hair is so silky. Her whole face lights up when she smiles! I just know you would love her when you see her.

Officer 2: Oh yes, not only is she lovely, but she is very very sweet. Her voice is tender as a flower, and sweet as sugar!

Pharaoh: Bring her too me. She sounds like a beauty. I just can’t pass this opportunity up, without taking a look at her.

Narrator: The officers came to Abraham and Sarah and asked them who they were.

Officer: We have come on our Great Pharaoh’s behalf. He would like to know who you are and why you are here.

Abraham: I am Abraham, and this is my sister Sarah. We are on our way through Egypt to our new home.

Officer 2: Sarah, since Abraham has no claim to you and you are his sister, you must be free to wed, is that correct?

Sarah: I am his sister, that is correct.

Officer 2: Well then, The Great Pharaoh would like to see you, please come with us.

Narrator: So, Sarah went to the Palace, and Pharaoh thought she was soooo beautiful that he wanted to make her his wife. He was sooo pleased that Abraham had let him take Sarah, that he gave sheep, cows, donkeys, servants and camels. (Which would be like getting a Car, Truck, Freezer full of food, housecleaners, and a BIG FAT pay check today.) But…pretty soon, Pharaoh and his entire household became very very sick. And Pharaoh noticed that Abraham was very fond of Sarah, and she of him and he began to see them flirt all the time—then he figured things out.

Pharaoh: I command you officers to go and get Abraham and Sarah, his sister, right away.

Officer: Yes your majesty, we will go immediately.

Officer 2: Yes sir

Narrator: So, The officers went to get Abraham first.

Officer: Abraham, our Great King Pharaoh has commanded that you and your sister come before him immediately.

Officer 2: And I don’t think he was very happy, you do know that his whole household is sick, and miserable, even the servants. Even me, look at my horrid hives and spots, and that is just what you can see, not what is under my shirt, its even worse, because the shirt irritates my skin.

Officer: Yes, and for some strange reason, Pharaoh thinks that you have something to do with the diseases going around.

Abraham: Uh oh!

Narrator: The officers took Abraham along with them while they went to get Sarah.

Abraham: Oh, Sarah, before the officers say anything to you, let me tell you that I am very sorry, and you were right.

Officer: Sarah, Great King Pharaoh has commanded that you and your brother come before him immediately.

Officer 2: He thinks that you have something to do with all the sickness in his house.

Officer: Come with us.

Pharaoh: Ah! Abraham and Sarah, you have finally made it. Listen, I wish you would have told me the truth right up front. I would have let you pass through to your new home without a word. Instead you lied to me, and caused my whole house, even my servants to get sick. I am not happy with you, but I am not a cruel man. I have a mind to kill you or put you in jail, but, I cannot, my conscience won’t let me. Go Away from here.

Abraham: Oh, sir, I am so sorry, my wife did not want me to lie, but I forced her to because I was afraid. I…

Pharaoh: I don’t want any more excuses, get out of here. I don’t want to see your face again.

Narrator: And with that, Abraham left Egypt with his wife and all of his belongings. Now, you would think that Abraham would learn his lesson, but…a few months later the same thing happened again. Abraham and Sarah were now living in the country Gerar, but before they moved there he talked to Sarah again.

Abraham in Gerar

Characters: Abraham Sarah Abimelech Servant God

Abraham: Sarah, the people in the land we are about to make our home in, are not very nice to strangers, especially strangers with beautiful wives. I think we need to tell the sister story again.

Sarah: Oh, Abraham. You know what happened before. I nearly had to marry the king, and then when the truth came out, we almost got killed or put in jail.

Abraham: I know, I know, but it will be different this time. I am sure of it. I just don’t want to get killed, actually, I am kinda scared of the people in this country.

Sarah: Abraham, I refuse. This is so stupid. Don’t you trust God enough to tell the truth. I think it is worse to lie. At least if you tell the truth, you are obeying God.

Abraham: NO! I absolutely refuse to tell them the truth. Sarah, I know what will happen. It won’t be pretty. You MUST agree with me to tell them that you are my sister, and I am your brother. If you don’t…bad things will happen.

Sarah: Abraham, I cannot. I will not say anything at all. I will NOT lie again. It made me feel horrid. I will not disagree with you, but I will not assist you in lying either.

Narrator: Pretty soon, here came the kings servants for Sarah. Abraham had made it known the city that they were brother and sister. When the king saw her, he was overwhelmed with her GREAT beauty and grace. And now.. we see the same thing happen all over again.

Servant: Abraham,& Sarah, greetings from the Great King Abimelech. The Great King, wishes to see Sarah Immediately

Abraham: Uh Oh, here we go again

Sarah: I told you so!

Narrator: So, you guessed it. Sarah again appeared before the king. And I bet you can guess what happened.

Abimelech: Oh, Sarah, you are more beautiful than I ever imagined. I am prepared to offer you and your brother great gifts if you will please marry me. I cannot imagine life without you. Your eyes sparkle and your face is beautiful., More beautiful than any other woman in my kingdom.

Sarah: Thank you for the great honor and compliment my lord, but…

Abimelech: Servant, please take Sarah to the nicest room, and give her the best perfume and clothing that we have. Make sure that she has anything and everything that she needs and make sure that Abraham is paid for his sister.

Narrator: So, Sarah was taken to a beautiful room. More beautiful than any room we have ever been in. Imagine. Silk Sheets, Beautiful Tapestries & Paintings on the wall, Fresh Flowers in large vases, and drapes made of the riches fabrics imaginable. The floors were lined with the softest carpet, and the bed had the softest mattress that money could buy. There were candles glowing and plenty of food on the side table. There was Fruit, chocolate, and many different kinds of drink. There was gold and silver knobs on all the doors and dresser drawers. It was breathtaking. But Sarah was sad! She knew this was wrong, she could never marry a king. She was already married. That night, Abimelech was in for a surprise.

God: Abimelech, you are as good as a dead man! The woman in the next room is not single, she is married.

Abimelech: But, God, I did nothing wrong. I didn’t know that she was married, Abraham said that she was his sister. Will you really destroy a nation, because of this? I am innocent. I did nothing wrong. I have not touched her. Not even kissed her, I did this with a clear conscience.

God: I know you did this with a clear conscience, and that is precisely why I have stopped you now, before you wed her. Now, be sure and return her to her husband. If you don’t, you and everyone in your house will die! Mark my words.

Narrator: Early the next morning, Abimelech called all his servants and officials and advised them to go and get Abraham and Sarah(didn’t this happen once before)

Servant: Abraham, come with me, the king wants to see you and Sarah.

Abraham: Uh oh, I know what comes next. Maybe I should have listened to Sarah

Narrator: Duh—pretty soon, Abraham and Sarah appeared before the king.

Abimelech: I don’t understand you. Why did you lie to me. I was nearly killed, but your God spared my life. What is wrong with you? Why??

Abraham: I was afraid your highness-I thought you would kill me because of my wife and her great beauty.

Abimelech: I may be a King, but I do have morals and I don’t just kill for no reason. You have caused a lot of harm to me. The Lord is punishing me. Because I respect God and know that you are a prophet, I will let you continue to live here in this country. Since I have offended your God and Sarah, I will give you one thousand shekels of silver, sheep, cows and servants, to cover my offence. Please pray to your God, that he will remove the curse from my household. I cannot bear it.

Narrator: So, Abraham prayed to God, and repented for lying and asked him to remove the curse from Abimelech’s household. You see, God had caused all the women in the kings’ household (even the servants) to become barren (which means you can’t have a baby) because of Abimelech’s sin. After Abraham prayed, God was pleased and healed all the women in the kings’ household.

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Announcement Mania

Why do we do announcements? We want kids to remember what is going on and hopefully bring out some of their friends. The key word is remember. Memory experts say that we remember best what is put to word pictures. Also we pay attention to things that are either novel or intense. So when it comes to making announcements zing and stick the idea is make them MEMORABLE!
Try video announcements, Man on the Street interviews, forehead advertising, but especially linking ideas to pictures in kids heads! Using these techniques will help your group remember times, places, and other important details (that I can’t remember right now!) Remember word pictures made memories, and memories make announcements stick!

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Balloon Sunday

Have the class bring in two balloons each. Bring in a helium tank and fill the balloons up and tie a string on the ends. On the balloons, have them write the name of a person that needs to be saved. Take them outside and let them go. Tell them by doing this, they can use it as a way of giving the person up to God in prayer. If your church has very small tracts or cards you can attach those to the string.

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Big Girl/Little Girl SleepOver

My husband and I work with the junior high kids at our church. We to offer activities that build relationships with each other and within the church body as much as possible. I think junior high kids are often mis-labeled as having bad attitudes and being difficult to work with. We believe this age group is the best age to set a foundation of what real friendships are, how to encourage each other, how to build others up, how to look at other’s needs, etc. That’s how
this idea began.

The Big Girl/Little Girl Sleep Over was an overnight at the church where each girl in the youth group requested a younger girl in the church to ‘buddy up’ with for an overnight event. The girls who didn’t know any little girls or who didn’t go to our church regularly, I assigned a little girl to them. First I got a definite list of Big Girls for the night. Then I personally called the mothers of the little girls to explain what we were doing and to invite them. That way, it came from one adult to another and if a little girl wasn’t available, I could substitute a new little girl with no hurt feelings.

The event went from 7pm until 10am the next morning. We held it at the church because there was more room for everyone! All the girls brought the regular stuff for a sleepover. The big girls brought their makeup and hair stuff. The little girls brought their favorite board games and favorite book to be read aloud and videos.

We made sure it was 1 big girl to 1 specific little girl. The big girl took complete charge of the little girl the whole time. We had a couple little games to help them get to know each other, then snack time, then we turned them loose to do the make up stuff! First the big girls did the little girls make up and hair and fingernails and toes. Then the little girls did the same for their big girls! We took videos and pictures of each pair. They surprised us and spent about 2 hours doing that! And they ALL loved it!

Then the big girls played the little girls’ board games. It was wonderful to watch the junior high girls playing “Pretty Pretty Princess” or “Clue Jr.” and interacting with these little girls (all about 4-6 years old). Big girls were in charge of getting little girls in PJ’s and getting sleeping stuff all ready. The girls even slept by each other.

Video time got most of the girls quieted down and ready to sleep. Then we let the big girls enjoy some time together after the little girls were all tucked in and asleep. In the morning the big girls got little girls fed and dressed and packed up and ready to go.

Both big girls and little girls loved it. It taught the big girls about mentoring and the little girls were enthralled that a teenager gave her so much attention. The parents of the little girls were thrilled with the junior high girls and the parents of the junior high girls were so proud of them. It was a positive experience that really touched a lot more lives than I expected.

We’ve decided to make it an annual event and the girls are already talking about next year!

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Big Shirt Memories

When we ordered T-shirts for our last retreat, we found a place that specialized in really BIG t-shirts – some went up to 13X! When we placed the order, we also got a 10X printed. After we got to the retreat, we hung it from a curtain rod in one of the cabins, and the kids thought it was hilarious! (I’m 5’7, and the shirt came past my fingertips and knees.) We had all of them sign the shirt before they left the retreat, and when we got home we hung it on the bulletin board in the lobby. It got a whole lot of attention from folks coming in the building, and really helped publicize how well the retreat went. After a couple of weeks, the t-shirt will be moved to the teen’s room where it will stay on the wall permanently as a reminder of the weekend.

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Bored & Confused

At my church, our youth group is from primarily unchurched teenagers. Since I want to be sure I don’t bore them to death, or confuse them with my “church talk” I decided there must be a way for them to let me know when they were either bored or confused in a fun way. I had a friend draw me a bored looking face and a confused face (you can also find some great faces on clip art) I then copied the faces and pasted them to paper plates. when they get bored or confused they just hold up the plate. This is great if your group doesn’t take advantage of it.

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Bridging the Generation Gap

To help bridge the generation gap, I contacted several members of our congregation in the 70-80 year old range, and asked if I could send youth to visit them. During our regular meeting time, I divided the group up into groups of 5 and sent them each to a different house to visit. They visited for 30-45 minutes. I prepared questions for them to ask if the conversation was having trouble. The youth were all so excited when they arrived back at the church. They couldn’t wait to share what they had learned about the person they had visited. It was a great experience for my youth to learn about older people in the congregation, and the older people got to meet some of the youth of the congregation and learn about them. The youth want to do this activity again.

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