Outreach & Witnessing

Bottled Water Outreach

For times in which you wish to involve your youth group in a ministry to the people in your community you can add this idea to your list of things to do.

On a day that is particularly hot go out and purchase a few cases of bottled water (Popsicles are another idea… make sure they’re frozen, though) and a couple bags of ice, and then place them in a some ice chests.

Choose a way to get your youth group name or church name on the ice chests for people to see. You can simply place it on a piece of paper taped to its front or let the students in your youth group find a creative way to display it.

Then, choose an area to visit in your community where large groups of people migrate to and/or participate in different sports or other physical activities. Some such places might include a skate park, or other community park/gathering place.

Once you have chosen and made it to your location have your students get into groups of three or more and give them a certain amount of time to offer and hand out the cooled water bottles to those in the park.

Make sure to give your students ideas of what to say to curious people who might offer them questions concerning their gesture of kindness.

Overall, this is great way for the teens of your group to get involved in sharing the love of Christ through their actions.

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Labelled as a Christian

Ok, this isn’t really a game or anything, but it is a good way to reach the youth’s schools. The whole idea is to get stickers that kids will wear and print little phrases that will catch someone’s attention. Something like what the people at Publix, Winn-Dixie, etc. have printed on their vests: “Ask Me, I Can Help.” But you would need a question before you put that: perhaps “Do you know where you’ll spend eternity?” Hope this helps some people or just gives them some more ideas!

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Homeless Missions

Call the local rescue mission or homeless shelter and volunteer to help serve food. This is an incredible way to get your youth involved in serving and also allows them to see just how much they really do have. It was an awesome experience for our youth and all the youth loved it!

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Weekly Outreach Event

Christ had a balanced ministry. At times He taught the disciples, mentoring them. Other times, he would teach to the multitudes. We seek to have that same balance between discipling and reaching out. To do this, we have a weekly outreach event called YAK (Youth Activities Knight). It is extremely low-maintenance and yet high impact.

You tell your kids up front that it is an evening designed for their unchurched friends, with only a short devotion. The teens bring snacks, drinks, and friends. All you have to do is provide the program. We usually do stupid games, $5 challenges, dumb songs, snack time, a crazy rendition of Craig Kilborn’s 5 Questions with questions like “Who is cuter? ET or Yoda?” Then at the end of the evening, a short devo and snack time takes place. It’s awesome because it gives your teens an open opportunity to bring their friends to a comfortable environment, plus it’s low maintenance for you. Your sponsors love it too, because they just get to have fun, laugh with the teens, and spend time getting to know them better. Our youth group has grown ever since we instated this program.

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Hot Chocolate & Homeless

Every year during late January, or early February, which can be very cold in our city, our group goes to a central corner in our downtown where many homeless hang out. Once there, we hand out hot chocolate, and homebaked cookies to everyone and anyone who wants them. The people appreciate it, and often ask for prayer, or simply share a church/faith experience with us. The group learns a lot from the experience as they get an opportunity to see how truly unfortunate people live. As leaders we get to see the kids interact, and grow during the whole experience.

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Free Coke!

A really simple yet effective way of encourage youth to get excited about serving the community is to go to a public place – e.g. the entrance to a shopping centre – and hand out free Coke cans to passers by.
A few 24-cases of coke is all you need – and this isn’t too expensive once you split the price.
In our experience, the youth were quite nervous about it at first, but after they saw the leaders do it, they chimed in! It really makes the whole idea of “serving” a practical one.
P.S. – Make sure you get permission from the shopping centre or wherever you are doing it! And it’s probably best to steer clear of busy intersections and potentially dangerous places.

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Halloween Trick or Treat

Many of the youth groups in this area take their youth members out trick or treating. But instead of collecting candy, they ask for donations for the local food bank.

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Old Fashioned Caroling

A simple idea, yet one which our group loves to do. Instead of doing the standard Christmas Caroling at a nursing home or hospital, we go out into our church’s neighborhood. We take along with us some church business cards that have a prayer on the back. We make sure to only knock on doors of people who have Christmas decorations up, and we designate one person to be the doorbell ringer. People LOVE to see youth at their doorstep doing something positive. After we’re done, we invite them to church and give them a card.

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Toy Give Away

We did this in NYC a few weeks before Christmas. We collected thousands of toys and took them to a church in NYC. All night we sorted 25,000 toys to give away the next day to families who couldn’t afford to buy their children Christmas gifts. The following morning we headed out early and gave out tracts in English and Spanish telling about the free toy drive. Thousands of people came. As they waited we gave them free hot chocolate and candy canes with the salvation message attached to it. That trip was one of the biggest blessings in my life. Helping other people changed my life.

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Socks for Dad

Idea for Father’s Day that was done in our church:

Send a letter to all the dad’s in the surrounding community inviting them to church on Father’s Day. In the letter/package, include 1 dress sock. State in the letter that in order to retrieve the matching dress sock, they must be there for the morning service on Father’s Day. Just a neat little thing to do for Dads and it might actually get some to come to church that normally wouldn’t.

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