This is a program I started last summer to keep my teens interested in our youth group during the summer months. It can be used at any time. The S.E.R. stands for Soulwinning, Excitement, and Reward Character(as opposed to talent only). A teen could become a member of the S.E.R. CLUB by accomplishing the following: 1.) Win a certain # of people to the Lord through personal soulwinning (youth leader sets the #). 2.) Show excitement for the youth department by being at all church services and teen activities, as well as inviting & bringing visitors. The teen would fill out an activity sheet weekly to show the services attended, daily Bible reading, souls won, etc. 3.) The teen would be rewarded once they reach a specific level, such as a special meal with the Youth Director, Pastor & their wives; a very nice plaque of achievement presented to them in the Church service, and special privileges during Youth activities. Over a 3 month summer period last year, our youth group read an average of 28.75 chapters in the Bible per week, and won 27 people to the Lord. They accounted for 40% of our soulwinning crowd on Tuesday nights, and almost 15% of our churchwide Sunday School attendance.
If you would like particulars of the program, such as rules and follow-up reports, you may contact me at the e-mail above, call me at 336-785-0527 (Church), 336-918-0759 (mobile), or you may write to me at the following: Ben Streett (Youth Director) Berean Baptist Church 4135 Thomasville Road Winston-Salem, NC 27107
S.L.A.C – Sunday Lunch After Church
This is a great program for Jr. High but you can use it for any age. The title explains it all…you eat lunch after church and play games. It offers some good fellowship and a very informal time for the kids to hang out.
S.N.A.C. (Sunday, Night, After, Church)
Once a month the youth meet at people’s homes. The homes are offered on a volunteer basis. This is a time for devotionals and prayer time leading into fun games the kids enjoy, such as “spoons” or board games. This has served the purpose of fellowship. The volunteers get to know the kids and relationships begin. This is how I organized our SNAC night.
Jr. High is every 2nd Sunday
High School is every 3rd Sunday
Volunteers usually prepare food. but you could have the boys bring pop and the girls bring chips or visa versa. This helps with the cost if you have a large youth group.
Have your youth group join/adopt another youth group from another city. The primary purpose is edification and and encouragement. Keep up monthly correspondence with your sister city through a newsletter, videos, pen-pal letters (you could match up each youth here with a specific youth there), etc. Lift each other up in prayer, share ministry opportunities, plan simultaneous events or Bible studies and then share the results, etc. If possible, plan a trip to meet up with the other youth group at some point.
Our youth group was really dying last spring! The youth were uncommitted and not very excited about the activites. When we asked them what they would like to do, they would only state the same activites they were seemingly bored with. They didn’t want to think outside of the box. So in an effort to salvage the group, we planned ahead our entire summer worth of activities for the youth. Trips to the mall in the middle of the week, baseball games, concerts, scavenger hunts, fundraisers, mission trips, etc. Everything had a point value, including bringing a first time friend, volunteer work, Sunday School and Church Services. At the end of the summer we tallied up the points. Youth that got up to a certain preset amount of points were entitled to a free weekend trip to an amusement park. We had a prize for he person with the most points, too. And all the youth were invited to go on our weekend trip, they just paid the percentage of points they were short!
The youth were really excited about the points system and now for the fall have submitted several creative fun ideas of their own to try! God is so Good!
Thank Goodness it’s Youth Friday
A Teen youth fellowship at the youth pastor’s house on the last friday of the month. It is a pressure free atmosphere where we gather to eat, play games and get to know one another.
We started this at another church and it was successful now at both churches.
Teens are not only excited about getting together outside of church, but they are excited about the games and food as well.
We alternate the menu and hype up the food aspect. We have had Mexican night, Breakfast at night, pizza, etc.
One of the greatest aspects of T.G.Y.F. is that it gives young people an informal atmosphere in which to enter church. I have seen young people visit TGYF and get to know one another and then say later that it helped them be more comfortable when they came to church on that Sunday.
I would encourage others to start this program or one like if you don’t have something already. It is one of the few things I have done right in my short work with youth.
Let me know what you think.
Once a month on Tuesday night (or any other time — change the name if necessary), invite youth to come together for a time of formal outreach. Divide into groups, go and visit/share with visitors and unchurched friends, and then head out to something fun — like bowling, volleyball, etc.
I just thought I would share this idea with you that we are doing with our youth group. This year we have a number of newcomers and we struggled with how to build bridges between the newcomers and the regular teens in the group. We came up with the idea of Team Factor, which involves six weeks of team building activities. Instead of having our traditional game time each week, we now plan on major activity that involves a whole team. Last week, for example, I measured a number of items within our community such as buildings, signs, park benches with a banana. The team was given a list of the item I measured and 2 bananas and were sent out to measure and record their results. I awarded points for the team who came the closest for each item. Another important thing is that the teens do not get to choose what team they will be on. I broke the teens up by age and wrote numbers 1, 2 and 3 on three card (I have three teams) and had them come up one at a time and choose a card. After the six weeks we will stop and see how much the teens have learned about each other. So far they are enjoying Team Factor and we find the newcomers feel like they are a part of the group.
What I have given you here is just the concept, but it is up to the youth leader to decide how to use it. So far we are very pleased with the results.
Once a month, perhaps in place of your regular Wednesday night Bible study, host Urgency Room, or UR. The name is related to the TV show ER and has a similar function, only on a spiritual level. This night will be a time to open up spiritually and emotionally and put problems “on the table” to be examined and doctored.
Here’s how it works. Divide your group into small groups of two to seven of the same age and sex. Make sure you have one adult properly prepared for each small group. Each person in the small group will now share the one thing that is troubling them the most (that they feel comfortable sharing with the group). The other peer members of the group will now do one of two things in response: they can either share what they would do (or did) in the same situation, or suggest a biblical passage/story that would offer guidance. No direct advice is offered — just indirect advice through sharing. The adult serves only as a facilitator and can steer the conversation away from rabbit-chasing or potential problems. One ground rule, what is said in the group stays in the group (unless it requires legal action). This gives every member of your group a chance to open up and share difficulties and discover that they are not alone.
This is something that our youth participate in every summer. The acrostic W.A.R. stands for: Worshipping God through godly music, Adherence to God’s Word through relevant lessons, and Recreation through fun games. These can be done in any order, but variety is the key. The name W.A.R is derived from the competition between teams through the summer. Every Wednesday night we spend time in worship, Bible study, and competitive games that add up to points. Teens really enjoy this and are encouraged to recruit new teens to be part of their teams. Who ever has the most points at the end of the summer receives a special prize, which should be relevant to your youth group.