Like most churches we hold a VBS and the youth participate. But we took it a step further. We have an X-Treme Team, which is a group of youth who come in on Sunday evening and stay through until the end of the Friday night program. They live at the church as a missionary team. They cook their own meals, clean up after themselves, and serve preping the materials for the next day. During the VBS they work directly with the children. When the VBS is over, the X-Treme team goes swimming (our church does not have showers) and gets clean. After swimming and lunch, the Team spends the afternoon and evening being discipled. We visit local areas that have devotional qualities (museums, rock-climbing, historical sites, parks, natural attractions) We incorporate all of the ideas of a mission trip (daily quiet times, worship times, teachings) plus we address feedback we get from the adult helpers at the VBS.
Since we are still at church we have youth group as normal and have lots of hang time with our students. We are going to be exhausted by VBS anyway so we thought why not make it a Youth mission as well.
Example situation: The youth fellowship was extremely involved in the workcamp; the sun was blazing. They were in need of a break and gathered in the shade of a nearby tree with some of the people who worshipped at the church. The teenager in charge read the account of the “Last Supper” in Matt 26:17-29. There was a watermelon sitting in the middle of the circle of 30 tired and thirsty teenagers. It was passed around (intact) and each person was asked to share how the watermelon helped him or her understand the passage. It was amazing how the students found a relationship between the watermelon and the passage. (i.e.: watermelon became the symbol of poor people.) After praying in a circle, the worship leader took a knife, cut the watermelon and gather the worshipers pieces of it.
At the beginning of the night youth groupers are put through customs (arrest a few for drug smuggling along the way, put them in jail). Give them money to buy things along he way (Monopoly money).
Send them off on a plane (do stuff on the plane – e.g. a hijacking).
At each stage of the night, we had some “guerillas” come and kidnap the group, blindfold them and take them to the next part of the world tour, e.g. an indian market, a jungle, night animal spotting (real or stuffed). Give them the experience of travelling overseas and plenty of third world hassles, even third world food, passports and problems etc etc. During some of the kidnaps, drive them to different places (suitably “guerrilla type” driving), and have tour guides rescue them.
This is an idea. The fun is in the plot and variations that YOU make up! Depending on your resources. E.g., we had animal spotting in a darkened church, an Arabic market at a friends house with sheets on the ceiling, candles, money to buy things, being ripped off by vendors etc. But YOU make the plot and the tour. Kidnapping and drug busts are good, so is jail.
Can be used as an experience of what missionaries go through in some countries. Tie in a talk along this theme.