Mid and Late Adolescents

Precious Gifts

We all know people who have gotten engaged. The gentleman usually gives his bride to be a diamond ring. The diamond is a symbol of their unending love one for another, but it is also communicates how the young man values and treasures this young lady.

We cannot give everyone a diamond, but we can give each of you a polished stone.

It takes time for this stone to become smooth just as it takes time for each of us to change and become more Christ like. Similarly, it is the friction of stones rubbing against each other that smoothes them and makes them more beautiful. Many of us have experienced friction as we have had rough edges worn smooth by friends. Nonetheless, this process makes us more precious and those around us dearer as well.

Rather than talk about building relationships, let’s put it into practice. Take a few moments to exchange your polished stone with someone in this room you value or treasure. As you do, tell them what it is that you appreciate about them or why they are precious to you. Continue this process as time allows.

Where do I get rocks that are appropriate?
I was able to purchase a 10kg. Bag of rocks at Hobby Lobby for$1.99! Three bags were plenty for our group of 85 young people.

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Skit about Timothy

What’s My Name?

[Four contestants are sitting facing the audience]

Welcome to another edition of “What’s My Name”. We welcome our four lucky contestants chosen randomly from the audience.

Contestant number one is a computer systems consultant. In his spare time he writes detective stories.
Contestant number two is a nuclear physicist. She recently was called to the White House and honored by the President for the role she has taken in organizing environmental clean up in her community.
Contestant number four is a brain surgeon. He loves parachuting, rock climbing, scuba diving, and hang gliding. He recently designed and built his own private airplane.

[Contestant three signals toward herself, to get the Moderator’s attention]

Oh, yes, Contestant number three recently began training to be an amateur wrestler. Her main goal in life is to one day have her name in the telephone book.

And of course we welcome our special guest Mr. X! As you know, each week we bring out a special guest, the identify of whom the contestants must guess. We will now let you the studio audience in on our little secret. Just who is our special Mr. X this week?

[Mr. X, comes in from side door and sits behind the contestants where they cannot see him.] [Show large name card to audience: Timothy, the able assistant of Paul the apostle]

OK, let’s get started.

Each of our contestants will now begin asking questions of Mr. X. If one of our contestants thinks he or she knows the true identify of Mr. X, then he or she can use their turn to ask the identity.

Contestant number one, what is your question?

Contestant one: Have you ever been on TV?

Mr. X: What is TV?

Contestant two: What is your life theme?

Mr. X: “The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”

Contestant three [anxiously appearing to think s/he has already figured out who Mr. X is]: “I know, I know, I know, aren’t you that famous trial lawyer guy who always gives the great speeches before the jury? Oh, I can’t remember your name, but I’m sure it’s you!

Mr. X: No, I’m sorry, that’s not me.

[Contestant three looks very disappointed]

Contestant four: When were you born?

Mr. X: Well, my mother did not keep great records, but I figure I was born about the year 30.

Contestant one: Oh, so you were born in 1930.

Mr. X: No, I don’t know what you mean by the 19. I was born in 30, just plain 30.

Contestant three: Oh, I know, I know, I know, you’re that really old guy who never seems to look older. Oh I know exactly who you are. Oh, oh, what’s your name? The oldest man who ever lived: Methu-mellowed-out, or something like that.

Mr. X: No, I’m so sorry, but Methuselah lived a long time before me. But you are heading in the right direction.

Moderator: Now, contestant three, you must control yourself and wait for your turn. OK. Contestant two, it is your turn.

Contestant two: What’s your job?

Mr. X: Well, you could call me a combination fix-it man, trainer and equipper.

Contestant three: Oh, I know, I know, I know. You’re one of those guys who works in the pit stop at the race track, who can change a tire in about 3 seconds. How do you do that anyway?

Mr. X: What’s a pit stop? I’m sorry, I don’t think that I can fix your problem in 3 seconds. However if you do tire, then I can encourage you like my teacher and mentor encourages me to keep going even when things get tough.

Contestant four: Who is your teacher and mentor?

Mr. X: His name is Paul.

Contestant one: Does you teacher give you a lot of exams? Do you have to sit and listen to his lectures?

Mr. X: Well, I’ve found that just by traveling around with him I run into plenty of tests. He teaches me as we go about our work. And he has written me a couple of letters giving me some great advice.

Contestant two: What kind of advice has this Paul given you?

Mr. X: Oh, lots of it. One time in a letter to me he wrote: “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

Contestant three: So, you go around preaching and teaching. I bet that brings you a lot of fame and honor. How does it feel to have everyone respecting you so much? Are you in it for the glory?

Mr. X: Well, let me tell you what Paul told me about what to expect from my kind of work:
“A time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear. They will reject the truth and follow strange myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord.”

Contestant four: Are you telling me you have suffered? What has happened to you?

Mr. X: Well, I’ve been arrested..

Contestant three: “I know, I know, I know, you are that guy who ran the big company and sold all your stock because you had inside information. Oh, I can’t remember your name, but I’m sure it’s you!

Mr. X: I’ve never sold stock. I’ve never even raised any sheep or cattle.

Contestant one: What were you arrested for?

Mr. X: For preaching the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Contestant two: You called yourself a “fix-it” man. Why do you call yourself that?

Mr. X: Well, several times when there were major problems in churches, my mentor Paul sent me to straighten out the problems.

Contestant two (again): I just have a follow-up question. You sound quite young to be given so much responsibility. Have you ever felt that you are not old enough to do all that?

Mr. X: My mentor, Paul, wrote to me about that in one of his letters. He said: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” Age is not the key. We can be an example to others no matter how old we are.

Contestant three: OK, OK, let me get this straight. You lived a long, long time ago. You went around with a man named Paul and taught people about Jesus. This Paul fellow taught you and sent you to fix all the hardest problems. You got hassled in your work and even arrested. How am I doing?

Mr. X: So far, so good.

Contestant three: I think I have it figured out. You are that guy that was on that old episode of Deep Space Nine who went back in time and taught the people all about the future so then they were able to mind-control their neighbors which threw off the balance of power and eventually led to the great battle of the Centaurs. Oh, I know who you are. Oh, oh, what’s your name? I just had it!

Moderator: I’m sorry contestants, but our time is up. So, I’ll introduce you to our special guest Mr. X, who is none other than Timothy, the able assistant of Paul the Apostle.

Contestant Three: Oh, I knew it. I knew it. His name was right on the tip of my tongue!

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Extreme Glow Stick Tag

Our youth group invented this game and it has proven to be a huge hit for out outreach games. Guys will enjoy it far more than the girls.

Find a large field. Lots of mud is best. We’ve also played in a slightly wooded field.

Have 5 youth each hold a glow stick of different color. Make sure you play at night when its really dark. Rainy nights are good.

The 5 youth stand at one end of the field and attempt to run to the other end of the field without being tagged… (we played grabbed… and if need be taken to the ground). Once tagged the runner surrenders and gives the glowstick to the person that caught them. That person than goes to the other end of the field and attempts the run again.

The runners that make it the end are rewarded with a CD, or something cool.

Be aware.. you will be exhausted after playing… and really, really muddy.

I’d love to here how it works out for you.

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This basically turns into an all out brawl, but our kids loved it.

Here’s the way it works.
1)Form two teams with an even amount of guys and girls.
2)Guys must play by only hoping around on one leg, like in Flamingo Football.
3)You have one ball per 30 kids and one adult officiating per ball.
4)The goal is to get the ball across the other end line, but there are some rugby related rules
– The ball can’t be thrown forward, only backwards or sideways.
– The ball may be only be advanced by running or kicking.
– Once the ball is scored, it is handed to the ref in charge of that ball and is then thrown to the middle.
– In the case of tie up, the ref says, “Jump” everyone stops and the ref throws the ball up like a jump ball in basketball.

This game is dirty, rough, and whole lot of fun. Feel free to email me with any questions.

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Underground Church – Variation

This game probably works best for a large retreat or camp with lots of kids, lots of space and quite a few adults. Needs to be played at night – be careful!

Object of the game is to not only find the underground church but obtain the password to get in. Christians vs. Centurions.

At least one hour or two before the game is to begin, one of the adults is selected to be ‘the Underground Church’. The rest of the adults will be Roman centurions whose goal is to stop the Christians. However, by drawing lots (whoever gets the ace in a selection of cards, say), one of the adults will be designated as sympathetic to the Christians’ cause. It is important that the other centurions do not know which of their kind is a ‘traitor.’

In secret, the Christian centurion meets with the adult who will be the Underground Church to determine what the password will be. The Underground Church adult may want to meet separately with all the adults so as to not give away who the Christian centurion is.

The kids are now all gathered together in a building or other designated area that will be the prison. All of the youth will be first century Christians. They will be told which of the adults is the Underground Church. They will also be told that one of the centurions is a Christian, but obviously, not which one.

15 minutes before the game begins, the Underground Church leaves to hide – no one will know where.

When the game begins, all the centurions (each ‘armed’ with a flashlight) fan out, not only to look for the Church, but to start arresting the Christians (youth)who will be looking for the Church. The youth are told to wait 2 minutes then to go out and find the Underground Church – and hide from the centurions.

When a centurion finds a Christian, he flashes his light on them and yells, “Halt Christian!” The youth must stop, and the centurion will escort the prisoner back to the prison, where the prisoner must wait a designated time (2-5 minutes) before going back out again.(typically, no one is there to ‘guard’ them so they ignore the time requirement and go back out as soon as the centurion leaves! You may want to have snacks at the prison. The secret Christian centurion can spend this time letting his prisoner know what the password is, which can then be shared with fellow prisoners.

As the game goes on, the other centurions can try to get the password from the kids by letting them go in exchange. (It’s amazing how easily some kids will spill the beans!)

On the other hand, a centurion can sabotage the Christian cause by giving out false passwords. (Optional rule to speed up the game: don’t allow this)

Once the Underground Church is found, the kids must give the password to get in. They can either wait there or go back out to let others know the location & password, subject to arrest. If one of the regular centurions finds the Underground Church AND gives the correct password, the Underground Church has been compromised and the Centurions win.

The Christians can win by getting a pre-designated percentage of the Christians into the Church (50% to 100%).

Option: A centurion can accuse another centurion of being the traitor. If he is correct, the Christian centurion is out of the game (and if he/she never gave out the password the game is effectively over). If the accuser is wrong, the accuser is out of the game.

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Youth Group Devotional

Instead of using daily devotional guides published by your denomination, have your youth group write their own. This gives the young people a chance to express their ideas about the Christian faith. Most importantly, the kids will want to read the devotional because they know the authors and they can relate to their own peers better. Sample Format: Day and Month, Scripture, Commentary, Thought for the day.

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Acid River

Take the group out in the woods, or anywhere suitable. Make sure you have 3 coffee tin cans that are strong and sturdy as well as two boards roughly 4 feet long and half a feet wide. Set down two ropes about 10 to 12 feet apart. The object is to get everyone on the boards or cans at the same time and then to get everyone off successfully without anyone falling off and touching the ground with their feet – or else they fall in to the imaginary “acid river.” If one person falls off, the whole group has to start over. This activity will build communication skills, leadership skills and fellowship skills.

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Amazing Mobsters – Variation

I loved the Amazing Mobsters game. Instead of using playing cards maybe we could just write on index cards (for those who frown upon any form of gambling) and instead of calling them mobsters could they be bad guys from the bible? And when they plead their cases could they use scripture? Just a thought.

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The scriptures challenge us to care for the widows and orphans, to reach out to the poor and downtrodden, but most kids in our churches don’t know what it is to be poor. In this study they are invited to consider poverty.

– copies of grocery advertisements
– copies of newspaper: apartment rentals section
– other store clothing adds.

Youth are broken into groups of three or four and told, they are now a family. They work 60hours a week at a fastfood chain making $5.50/hr. that is the only income for the house of three or four.
they must find an apartment in the paper they can afford, with the remaining money buy groceries for the rest of the week that will keep them healthy.
Now imagine a problem. Children want to wear clothes, shoes and buy some fun toys. How do you handle it?

As a service idea have the kids go trick or treating for the poor, collecting one food item from each home. Then deliver the food to a local food bank. Also ask if the kids can organize some food in bags for families that will be using the food bank that week.

Close thanking God for the blessing you have and asking how we can help “the least of these brothers of mine.” Matt. 25

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Name That Spiritual Gift

This is a study, understanding and development game. The leaders or orchestrators of the game must have a clear uderstanding of the gifts to lead the game. First write as many of the spiritual gifts and there definitions on different scrap sheets of paper. Ball them up and put them in a hat or bowl. Then each student picks out a spiritual gift. then the leader will read a scenerio and choose one of the students to dramatize there spiritual gift and how they would use in the situation. Once they have figured out the gift that is being represented, another student who feels that there gift would best help support the situation they would raise there hand and dramatize their gift. This will continue until the scenerio changes. It is a very deep game that students seem to take very seriously, it also gives better understanding for those who might not be to clear on the subject.

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