Good Things

S’no Charge

If you ever get snow in your area, here’s a “cool” idea for youth pastors and/or youth to do. Grab your snow scoop and go to some houses in your neighborhood. Ask them if they would like to have their sidewalks or driveways cleared. Most people will refuse, thinking that they have to pay. Then, say, “Oh, there’s no charge.” This will blow their minds away. Make sure to clear it as if you where getting paid a lot. When I did this some people insisted on paying me.

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Gifts for Homeless

Buy some $5 gift certificates (preferably with no expiration date) at your local fast food restaurant, attach it with a gospel tract or devotional, and hand them out when you come across a homeless individual. This reduces the chance of the money from being used for other purposes.

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Tidy Tipping

If your group eats out together, have everyone leave their area spotless. Then, overtip the waiter/waitress.

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Let’s Do Lunch Club

I am a children’s minister and wanted a way for presence to be known at the schools, so I do what I call a Let’s Do Lunch Club. Every Monday and Thursday, during the school year, I put out two notebooks. These two notebooks have the child’s name, the name of the school they attend, the time of their lunch, and the teacher’s name, and all of the dates, all ready printed on the paper, for Mondays and Thursdays of the school year. The kids fill out all the information and I eat lunch with the kids as the dates come up. After I eat lunch with them, I place their names on the ministry board where everyone can see it. The kids can go up to the board and see if their name is on it, who has eaten with me and who hasn’t. This is one of the best things that I have ever done in the program to get to know the kids and the teachers as well. When I come up to the school, the secretary sees me coming, has my pass ready and with a smile says, “So who are you eating with today?”

The only advice I would give is that you ask the principal permission to do this. It is basically an announcement of intentions and they want to make sure that you will not attempt to prosyletize or witness to kids in the school. Make sure you tell the principal that you understand his/her position on the matter and that you will comply completely. Also, let him/her know that you are there to eat lunch with the children only. Because of my involvement in that area, I have been asked to substitute and have been invited to read at schools, attend volunteer recognition meetings, etc, in just one year of doing this.

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Pray for Waiters

Next time you go out to eat, ask the waiter / waitress if there is anything that you can pray for them as you bless your food. This brings a variety of responses, but it is a true blessing for you. This will also work with a cashier at a fast food restaurant.

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Pay People’s Parking

The next time your church bus/van/caravan has to pay a toll or parking fee, pay for the vehicle behind you. The recipients will be surprised to see teens giving money.

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Forgotten Journal

This is more of a long term project but one that the kids will remember forever. Periodically I have them write journal entiries, prayers, or any other written entry. I have a file of each kid where I store these entries. They really don’t know why they are writing them or what the purpose is.
After they graduate I mail all their entries to them. They have usually, of course, forgotten all about them and find it very interesting to read through them and see how they have grown in the past years. I have found they absolutely love it and it is definitely something they want to hold on to forever. Of course this is only good if you are planning to be at one church for a long while.

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Encouragement Cards

We do this at our youth retreats: Our youth pastor prints off little papers called Encouragement Cards with a space to write a little note and they have a Bible verse on the bottom about building each other up. Everyone writes words of encouragment to each other throughout the weekend. But if you are going to do this make sure you print a lot off, we always run out!

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White Wall Cleaning

Use Wesley’s bleach-white to do a kindness project in a discount store parking lot. Do free white-wall cleaning and leave a note on the windshield.

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Twist On Lawn Forking

Instead of toilet papering or forking lawns get the same excitement out of it by sneaking out late at night and doing something nice. I’ve done it two ways. First during a sleepover instead of the usual toilet paper raid I bought a big box of plastic forks, tape, and construction paper. We cut the paper into dozens of hearts and taped them to the handle of the forks. Then I had the girls write encouraging comments on each one of them. We all sneaked out that night and forked the Youth Pastors lawn. He liked it so much that he based the whole Sunday youth service on it! We also decided to put Hershey’s kisses on spoons wrapped in different colored plastic wrap tied with curly ribbon. Then we made a huge sign that looked like a giant spoon that said some nice things about the youth leader. We sneaked out and spooned her lawn. It was so…. much fun!!

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