Scripture Tag

This is a cool way to get the kids to look into the Bible and have fun doing it. Someone starts by looking up a favorite scripture and then writing it down on a 3×5 index card. They then give it to someone else and now that person is it. That person has ’til the end of the day to then tag 2 other people with their own scriptures they have looked up and written down. You cannot just turn around and hand out the one you got… that’s yours to keep. The object is to get the kids to look up scriptures on their own.

It can get addictive. You really need to be prepared each day with scriptures already written. If you have already been tagged that day you don’t have to hand out more, but you can. You’ll find that once it catches on, some kids won’t wait to be tagged, they will just hand them out on their own. Get creative on the cards ie; draw a small cross, use gel pens, buy different colored 3×5’s etc. Let the students know this is not to be mean with either. There are some scriptures, given to the right person, could really cut to the core. Have them look for ones that encourage each other. After you’ve been tagged several times, you’ll have a lot of different scriptures for yourself. Carry them with you on trips or whatever. Can be great a encouragement. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. I Thessalonians 5:11 You’re it! God bless!

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Youth Room Decorations

I’m a youth worker in Texas and I hate bare walls! I needed some ideas for decorations for the youth room and I came up with this idea after talking with some youth. While in conversation with them, I heard a lot of them were into skateboarding, wakeboarding, water skiing, snow skiing, paintball, and so on – the “extreme” sports. They are also into the culture that goes with it – the clothes, shoes, etc. One youth said, “I’m trying to find clothes and stuff that fit this style but that not a lot of kids are into.” I told him I’d do some research for him. In the midst of my research, I found that a lot of these companies will send you stickers, posters, buttons, catalogs and sometimes other things like CDs, discount coupons for their companies, pens, pencils, and more – all for FREE (or at a minimal cost, at least!) With a lot of these companies, all you have to do is email them asking for stickers, etc. and they’ll gladly send you something. Some companies require you to send in a SASE and possibly a couple bucks but it’s worth it! When I get the packages, I put up stickers around the room (i.e. on the back of the youth room door, on the cabinet, on the sides of the dry erase board, on the air vents, on the trash can, etc.), and save a couple to put in a special box the youth can look through when they show up for church or midweek Bible Study. They LOVE it! Not only does it get them coming, they like to look around to see what’s new around the room!

I’ve received things from: Hurley, Atticus, Adio, DC Shoes, Element, O’neill, Quiksilver, Billabong, Es, Burton, Circa, Dakine, Alpinestars, Dr. Martens, DVS, Split, Jedidiah, Hawaiian Island Creations (HIC), Made, No Fear, Ocean Pacific (OP), Reef, Rip Curl, Rusty, Smith, Vans, Volcom, and MANY MANY MORE!

Like I said, the kids love it!

If you recognize any of these companies and might want to get something to surprise your kids, just email me at homer3341@hotmail.com and put “Hey Justin, show me how to get stuff for free!” in the subject line and let me know which companies you’d want and I’ll gladly help you out! Or you can do your own research too! It’s SO simple!

I hope you enjoy connecting with your youth in this way, like I have!

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Magic Mirror

Decorate a wall with a large oval mirror frame and a pane of glass instead of a mirror. Coat the glass with a sheet of aluminized window reflector (available at hardware stores), making the glass into a 2-way mirror. Put an operator behind the glass in a darkened compartment, with a dim green bulb in his compartment and a bright light in the viewer’s side, connected by dimmer switches. The viewer will look into the mirror and see only his own reflection when the light is on his side. The operator (dresses in black except for a white face) should dim down the viewer’s light and turn up the green light on his face. The viewer will them see the face in the magic mirror talking to him.

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Vine And Branches

In my Sunday School class I did this with middle school age kids and they had a lot of fun. We covered a wall in paper and painted vines all over it, using brown, green, and purple paint and some inexpensive foam stamps of leaves and grapes. They just painted brown lines all over for the vine and branches and then added leaf and grape stamps everywhere. Then we took pictures of all of the kids in the church and glued their photos on all the branches.

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Cymbal Shock

Whenever I show a video and there is a sudden scary part, I get in the back to the room behind the kids with a pair of cymbals and crash the cymbals as hard as I can for added impact. The kids jump through the ceiling, fall on the floor, food goes flying everywhere, etc, and they laugh about it for hours (and so do I).

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Good Friday Progressive Lockout

Instead of having a Lock-in at the church, ask members of your church or local businesses to host the youth for one to two hours throughout the night. At each house, have a plan activity plus snacks. We start at 5pm at the church and end at 7 am back at the church. The Kids have a blast!
Examples of activities
1.Wal-mart supermarket sweep and all items will be purchased for the local food banks. 3am in the morning is a great time. Only workers are in the store. Always have an adult with the groups of kids. Put clues in easter eggs and send them on their way.
2.Midnight Easter Egg Hunt – use flash lights or car lights
3.Slinky races down the stairs. Metal works the best
4.Tug of War
5.Dye easter eggs
6.Flash Light Tag
7.Easter Egg toss
8.Tumbling Contest in members yards
9.Hula Hoop Contest
10.Pudding Eating Contest – the catch is, MUST BE DONE THROUGH A STRAW
11.Pizza at the Pastor’s house
The list can go on and on.
Keep them busy or they will get tired. SO WILL YOU!

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Garden Competition

I get the youth at my church to plant flowers, plants and award them at the end of the year. Fisrt I put them into groups and then I allow them to choose the location they want to use. Next they fence it around with whatever attractive material they can find. The youth will learn to be dedicated, and nurturing. They pull out all the stops in collecting they most beautiful flowers they come across. In competing they beautify the church grounds and work towards the coveted trophy and a cash award donated by the youth department!

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Male Beauty Pageant

All Youth like to get crazy at times and with the “Male Beauty Pageant” they can do just that in a safe and secure atmosphere. The way to start is to announce that you are having a Youth lock-in or even a fundraiser. (sell tickets). Get as many “Male” volunteers as you can and instruct them to wear at least a tee shirt and cutoffs. Then assign the girls in teams of two. They can then choose from the list of male volunteers. The girls in teams of two then have about one hour to make their male volunteer as beautiful as possible. They can use makeup, dresses nylons, wigs, ( the works) . Then you can proceed in a number of ways. Last year we had a board of judges (The pastors wife was one of them) and the contestants walked down the runway and were judged according to overall beauty, talent and most memorable.
(We laughed until it hurt) This year we are combining it with a dinner fundraiser where the contestants will wait on the tables and the guests will be the judges. Don’t forget to video tape this for later. The Youth will want to see it over and over.

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Monthly Activity Sponsors

Depending on the size of the group of Youth to be sponsored …. ask parents (or singles) to sign up to sponsor the group for an activity once a month. This could be in the form of a picnic, barbecue at the sponsor’s house, bowling, hiking, etc.. For a group of 12 youth, we asked two couples or 4 singles to sign up as sponsors and gave them a choice of what month they would want to do this. This has been very lots of fun and encouraging. We start each activity with a bible study or class, then move into the activity.

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Disruptive Listeners

Split the group into two equal teams . Have three blown up balloons tied up above each team. Say there is a sweet / chocolate for everyone that listens well , if anyone doesn’t listen you will burst a balloon from their side if all the balloons are popped that team forfeits their rewards they are given to the other side. You rarely have to burst more than one balloon. There is a lot of peer presure on the usually disruptive children. At the end of the meeting say they can take their reward IF they feel they have deserved it. You will be surprised at the honesty from those you would least expect to be honest. You can then call that person back and reward their honesty.

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