N/A

Comic Strips & The Bible

Give each student a comic strip which has the words in the conversation balloon removed (or paste balloons over the words). If you study a biblical passage, students are asked to rewrite the passage then write the new dialogue in the conversation balloons. If you discuss an ethical or moral question, the comic strip characters are used to suggest the student’s opinion about the subject. Discussion usually follows spontaneously from the use of this enjoyable medium.

Cracker Jack

This game is a relay between however many players you would like. Simply have one person eat crackers before attempting to blow up a balloon. Then, have the person put the balloon between there ankles while another participant tries to pop the balloon (after first chugging a can of root beer) without using his hands or feet (i.e. mouth, or any other part).

Crayon Creations

Gather old broken crayons for this art project. Before the meeting, separate the crayons by colour. Use a knife to make shavings out of them. You also will need scissors, wax paper, newspapers, newsprint, markers and an iron. Place several newspapers in the table to protect it. Start the meeting by discussing Christian symbols. On the newsprint, have the kids draw as many Christian symbols as they can think of (cross, fish, chalice, etc). Ask why they think these symbols are used by Christians and why they are important. Ask everyone to choose a symbol that has special meaning for him/her. Give each kid two 7″x7″ sheets of wax paper. Then place one piece of wax paper wax side up in the for of your chosen symbol. Be sure you leave a 1″ border. The final step is to place the other sheet of wax paper, wax side down, in top and seal it with a warm iron. The crayons will melt and create a stained glass symbol.

Crazy Creative Scavenger Hunt

Give each team a list of crazy names and the kids have to go out and collect items they think best fits the name on the list. For example: 1.) APBJ 2.) Zipper zapping shoestring fuse 3.) Idaho 4.) Tweed 5.) Snail Egg 6.) Chicken Lips 7.) Will be 8.) Snipe 9.) Yellow Grot Grabber 10.) Portable Electric Door Knob Kneele.
A panel of judges can determine the winners based on each team’s explanation of how their items fit the various descriptions in the list.

Creation Celebration

Have teens plan a party for the younger children of the church emphasizing the wonderful variety and beauty of God’s creation. Also, ask several parents to donate treats such as cookies and punch for the celebration. Use tables to create a number of booths where group members present inexpensive, creation-based entertainment for the children to enjoy. I.E.: booth entertainment might include examining an ant farm, petting a snake, or looking at empty birds’ nests and eggs. You might also borrow some makeup and gave a face painting booth where teens paint animals on children’s faces. Have animal-imitation contests to see who can do the best imitation of a cow or chicken, etc. End the party with a time of singing. This party is especially fun during Springtime.

Creative Weekend Retreats

Some interesting ideas:
1.) Times of silence (after an evening meeting for a couple of hours)
2.) Weekend of study: fellowship and everyone gets their homework done. Everyone brings homework, terms papers etc.
3.) Minority Weekend: Give group a glimpse of prejudice. Divide the group into 2 sub-groups. Each sub-group plays the role of a minority for half of the weekend.

Death Drum

This idea works well in a worship service stressing hunger and starvation in the world. According to statistics (need to be updated) someone dies of starvation every eight seconds. During the worship service, have someone beat a drum every eight seconds to symbolize another death taking place. The drum interrupting the normal course of the service dramatically illustrates how often we try to ignore the problem of hunger in the world but it just won’t go away unless we do something about it.

Do Not Be Conformed

Do Not Be Conformed

The purpose of this study is to teach youth to avoid the habit of imitating the pattern of sin in the world, and instead look to God and be transformed into something much more exciting.

Activate Your Audience

1. CHINESE WRITING

Have your “assistant” leave the room knowing the pattern. You ask the youth to come up with a short word that you can translate into Chinese (short — because your Chinese is not that good). After the youth have chosen the word, your assistant should come back inside. You draw Chinese looking letters on the board and your assistant guesses the word immediately.

Here’s the trick. For consonants, start a sentence with that letter. For instance, if the word is “moon,” you might say, “Maybe this is it.” For vowels, draw a Chinese type character using the same number of lines as the position of the vowel in the pattern AEIOU. Still using “moon” as an example, you would say, “Maybe this is it.” Then draw two Chinese characters, each with four lines, since “o” is the fourth vowel. Then say, “Now, do you have it?”

The point? There is a pattern that you have to know to figure out the solution.

2. THREE BY THREE

Place nine hymnals or same-sized rectangular objects on the floor in a three-by-three pattern. Have your “assistant” leave the room knowing the trick. Have the youth pick one of hymnals or objects to be “it.” Then, have your assistant come back inside. Using a pointing stick, deliberately point to the wrong hymnal, but place the pointer on the hymnal in the same position as the real hymnal. For instance, if “it” is in the upper right-hand corner of the pattern of hymnals, point to the upper right-hand corner of one of the other hymnals and ask “Is this it?”

The point? There is a pattern that you have to know to figure out the solution.

Build a Bridge

LUKEWARM DRINKS

Offer refreshing drinks before you continue or when the youth first come in from other activities. Only this time, have the canned drinks be lukewarm, and the water, and whatever else you might serve. Let everyone react to the situation, then offer ice to cool them down.

The point? No one likes a lukewarm drink. God doesn’t like a lukewarm Christian who tries to follow the pattern of the world.

Communicate the Word

I. LIVING PARABLE

Tell the story of the three riddles that Indiana Jones had to overcome in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The riddles were as follows…

1. Only the penitent man will pass. Indy had to bow his head to avoid getting it cut off.
2. In the name of God you shall walk. Indy had to step on the letters of God’s name.
3. The leap from the lion will take you there. Indy had to step off a cliff, so it seemed.

Transition: To get to where God wants you to go, you have to follow certain instructions, or the consequences will follow. If Indiana Jones had just ignored the instructions and gone on ahead his way, he’d be dead by now. We, too, have instructions to follow that will get us safely through the challenges ahead.

II. LIVING WORDS

A. The pattern of this world

1. Fame (Matthew 6:1)

Change who you are to become what other people are so you’ll feel accepted and people will like you. Look up to the popular people and get in line behind them to take their place when they are gone.

2. Fortune (Matthew 6:19 – 21)

Go to school so you can get into college, so you can get a good job, so you can make a lot of money, so you can buy a lot of stuff and save a lot of money, so you can retire when you’re old, so you can die and lose it all. What’s wrong with this pattern?

3. Power (Luke 9:25)

Just take over. Follow the example of all the other Hitlers and rise to the top no matter who you have to hurt and who you have to step on. Do your very best to become the most powerful person in your little world, be it school, or home, or work, or a big company, or a political organization, or a state, or a country, or the entire world. When you finally make it to the top you’ll hear a still small voice from above say, “How does it look from down there?” You know what we’re going to do tomorrow, don’t you? The same thing we do everyday — try and rule the world.

4. Pleasure (Hebrews 11:25)

It feels good, so do it. Listen to all the commercials and videos and movies and songs that tell you that there is a lot of fun stuff to do out there, especially the stuff your parents and youth ministers are telling you not to do, and enjoy the pleasure. After all, the mass media and your friends can’t be wrong, can they? It sure does feel good. As a matter of fact, it feels real good. I think I’ll throw away the rules I’ve grown up with and my reputation and my sanity so I can just enjoy these things. That’s the pleasure principle.

III. The Transformation of the Renewing of your Mind

0. Through God’s Word
1. Through Prayer
2. Through living your life the way Jesus would live it

In every situation you face in life, the world says to ask these questions…

a. What’s wrong with doing that?
b. What’s in it for me?
c. How much can I make for myself?
d. How good does it feel?
e. How good does it taste?

In the Christian life, there is only one question to ask…

Given my present situation, what would Jesus do if He were me?

Ask yourself what Jesus would do. Then do what Jesus would do under any and every circumstance regardless of the consequences to yourself or others. If you do that, then you will have broken the mold, thrown a wrench in the works, and gotten off the merry-go-round to become all that you were intended to be.

Do Something About It

Explain to the group that you cannot do what Jesus would do unless you know who Jesus is, and unless you know Him personally. To illustrate, show the video Secret Ambition by Michael W. Smith on the video cassette TwoxFour.

Sum up with specific challenges that fit your group. Discuss different practical ways that your group can do as Jesus would do: on school campuses, at home with family, in church when visitors come, etc.

Dragon

Split the group into two parts. Get them into line and have them wrap their arms around the waist of the person in front of them forming a long chain. Stick a rag or handkerchief in the back pocket of the last person. The goal is for the front person of one group to get the “tail” of the other, while the tail of the group tries to avoid getting caught. Can be done indoors as well if you have enough room.

Dream Of Whitehaired Christmas

Most churches have a number of senior citizens in the congregation who would love to decorate their homes for Christmas with trees, outside lights, etc., but just aren’t able to do it physically. Announce to your church this year that your youth are volunteering to provide a Christmas decoration service to all senior citizens. Place a sign-up sheet in a prominent location and assign a group of youth to each home. Pick one or several days in late November or early December where everyone can gather together and go to the various homes.

Drive-Thru Nativity

Set up a number of nativity scenes using kids from your group as well as live animals if possible. Held in your church parking lot, make the scenes as authentic as possible, each one with a sign with appropriate scriptures. Coloured lights really add a nice touch. The scenes are viewed from cars, and at the starting point a program is handed out explaining the scenes. Cars lights should be out (as long as the lot is well lit). At the exit point, they are thanked for coming out and reminded to turn on their lights. Kids can work one hour shifts. The event should be publicized in the community through community access TV, newspapers, radio, etc. If you’re gonna make a big production out of it, go all out with the advertising!

Easy Food Ideas

1.) Molded ice-cream for season: especially Christmas, Valentine’s Day
2.) S’mores: sandwich of toasted marshmallow, and chocolate between two graham crackers
3.) Watermelon and cantaloupe a la mode
4.) Make your own: cupcakes, pizza, Mexican foods, cake.
5.) Make your own sundaes with all the fixings: ice-cream, syrups, nuts, sprinkles, M&M’s, hot pudding makes a cheap “hot fudge”, whipped cream, etc

Ecological Scavenger Hunt

Good activity for get-togethers at a beach or picnic/park area. Give the kids a list of items which must be found on the ground. Taking from garbage cans is not allowed! Points are awarded for each item and there is no limit for the amount of items retrieved. Also, bonus points for the most different items on the list are awarded. For example, if anyone brings in at least one of every item on the list, he might get a bonus of 100 points. If he brings back 7 different items, 70 points could be awarded.
Sample items: 1.) Candy wrapper 2.) Aluminum beverage can 3.) Plastic fork 4.) Paper cup 5.) Gum wrapper 6.) Pop or beer bottle, etc, etc.

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!

Faith Is…

Visual Aids: One or two optical illusion posters — particularly the 3-D posters that you have to unfocus your eyes in order to see it correctly. Try to find one where the 3-D images is either Jesus or the Bible. For children especially, since they will not likely be able to see the 3-D picture, it is helpful to start off with a simpler optical illusion.

Good morning boys and girls. How are you today? It’s great to see you here. You know, I bet when you were coming to church this morning, you probably saw some things outside as you drove along in the car. Can you tell me some of the things that you saw? [Allow responses]. You know, all of you had to look through the window of your car in order to see those things, didn’t you? That’s right. You don’t look at windows, do you? Of course not, you look past the window to see other things.

[Pull out the 3-D puzzle, or the simpler puzzle] Now, boys and girls, what I have here is kind of like a car window. When you look at this picture, all you see are a bunch of squiggly lines. But you’re not supposed to look at this picture. You’ve got to look through it, or past it in order to see the picture of [the Bible, Jesus, or whatever the 3-D image is]. Does anybody see the image? [Use your discretion in allowing time and responses to this question].

Boys and girls, this is a picture of [the Bible, Jesus, etc.]. But you cannot see it unless you look past it, and that’s difficult to do. Your eyes play tricks on you and keep you from seeing the real image. You know what? Faith is the ability to see past what’s in front of your eyes and to see God and His image. The book of Hebrews says that, “Faith is substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

What does that mean for us? Boys and girls, that means that if you have faith, you don’t look at the things you can see on this earth, like money and problems and things like that. You look past those things until you see the image of God and how He is working behind the scenes to help you and love you and take care of you. God loves you. So, remember, the next time you are afraid, or mad, or sick, or out of money, or in trouble, look past what you see with your eyes and focus on God. He loves you and He will take care of you. Just have faith in Him.

[Close in prayer.]

Flamingo Football

Announce that you’re going to play “tackle football… guys against girls!” Then after the guys have calmed down, announce that the rules are the same as regular tackle football, except that the guys must hold one foot off the ground with one hand at all times. They must run, pass, hike, catch and even kick on one foot. The girls usually clobber the guys in this game.

Flashlight Floor Hockey

Get out your floor hockey equipment (or broom-ball) and 2 flashlights. Set up your nets or else you can use two large tables lying on their sides.
Make 2 teams and have one person stand against the wall at half court on opposite sides (they can’t move during the game). Give these two people flashlights and then turn off the lights. Let the teams play hockey using the flashlights as the only source of light. Outlaw physical contact and assign penalties when needed. Watch out for high sticks (brought above the waist in a windup or follow-through).

For Parents Only

Have youth put on a Parents-Only Car Wash. Schedule a Sunday afternoon to hold the carwash at your church. One week before the car wash, have kids create car wash coupons and deliver them to their parents. Then on the day of the wash, have kids wash any parent’s car who brings in the coupon. Don’t take any donations. Let this be an opportunity for kids to give something to their parents – no strings attached.

Foto-Map

Works like a normal treasure hunt, but with a twist! The clues are photographs. At the starting place, each team receives a photograph (maybe photocopied if clear enough). The photo is the first clue location and the group must identify that location by looking at the picture. Difficulty of figuring them out is up to you. Each group should be traveling by car (plan ahead). 5-10 clues will suffice. The group that arrives at the final destination first is the winner. *** My twist: Give each group an envelope with the final destination if they don’t get there before a specific time. You may then serve refreshments and perhaps have a study / talk at that time at a nice locale.

Foto-Match

Hang up 20 or so photos of all kinds of people. The 1st week, have the kids write descriptions of each person based on what they see in the picture. Collect them and during the following week, combine the descriptions into a single paragraph which reflects the group consensus. Attach the descriptions to each picture for the next meeting and have the students look at the photos with descriptions carefully (make sure they’re numbered) and then answer the following questions:
1.) Choose 5 people you would want to travel with for 1 year. Why?
2.) Is there any one person who you would not want anything to do with? Why?
3.) Who, if any would you be willing to marry?
4.) Who, if any would you worship with?
5.) Which person do you think you could really like? Why?
6.) If only 5 others and yourself were allowed to live and the others executed, which 5 would stay with you? Why?