Outreach & Witnessing

Supplies for the Homeless

We do this in the fall, and have people bring donated items in October. First, we contact area homeless shelters to see what they need, and then put out the request. We were hoping to get a box or two to each one, and ended up making several trips! Second, be specific in what you are requesting. One easy way to specify for items that will help those on the street in the winter is for people to thinking of what they would take camping. We had a ton of clothes come in, but only 1 box worth of dress clothes and a few summer items that we are going to take this spring. The dress clothes went to a battered women’s shelter.

Here is what we suggested:
sleeping bags, backpacks and duffle bags, coats (not fancy – that puts the homeless at risk for being robbed), shoes for walking, new underwear/socks, sweatshirts and longsleeve knit shirts, jeans and casual pants. We also accepted toiletries and food items. It is very important to find out what each shelter wants ahead of time, how items need to be delivered, and when someone can deliver the items. No two shelters operated alike, and they each had different needs. I know that the workers were surprised to see that we were actually bringing in needed items. The week we delivered the items, the weather had just turned cold in the evenings, and I know that the sleeping bags were quickly put to use!

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Band Practice Room

On a certain day in the week (maybe Saturday afternoons) open up your youth room as a free band practice room for Christian and non-Christian bands (use your common sense here as to what you think is acceptable in a Church). We have our own PA equipment that we let the young people use and we let some of them use our amps, mics and drums etc. Have some of your Christian young people around to serve and to love the young people that have come in – set up the sound for them, give them drinks, print out songs for them. This has proved very successful in our youth group and has already built links with many non-Christian young people and served as a way to share the Gospel with them!

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Minister To a Friend Follow Up

We did this with the junior highers and it seemed to keep them interested and excited:
First I passed out a blank envelope to each teen and told them to write their name and address on the front of the envelope (address it to themselves). We didn’t tell them why, so this piqued their curiosity.

Next, for the lesson part, I shared with them how I wanted to challenge them to minister to just one person this school year (this is good for a new school year, a new year, etc.). It didn’t have to be a classmate, but it could be anyone God had laid on their hearts that needed to be ministered to, preferably, one who was unsaved. I then shared several verses with them about evangelism and ministry, letting your light shine before men, etc.

Then, I passed out a notecard to each teen, and told them to write the name of the person they wanted to minister to on one side of the card. On the other side, they had to write a verse that would encourage or remind them of their person.

Then, they put the notecard inside the envelope, sealed it (I told them this is confidential) and gave their envelopes to us leaders. Once all had turned in their envelopes, we prayed over them.

I told the teens we would be sending these out to them sometime in the coming weeks or months in order to remind them of the challenge we made to them. They will not know when the envelopes will come, but we will probably wait about three to four months before we send them out to them. This will remind them to continue to minister in case they forget.

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No Fear Fest

On Trick-or-Treat night, I had my cousin Mark, who is a DJ, bring his equipment (sound and lights) and we had a rave at our house and played all Christian techno, dance and hip hop songs. We strung up Christmas lights in my carport and he put his strobe lights out on my porch. I took window markers and painted my car up and drove it around that entire week like that, with our website and all the information about the event on the windows! We contacted every church and Christian family we knew and asked for food and candy donations for the event. We passed out a TON of candy, tracts and flyers about our ministry. We also had worship dancers, human videos (skits) and singers from our group performing in our front yard. We had tons and tons of kids pass by and get candy, free pop and hot dogs. We invited all our teen and young adult friends over because nothing draws a crowd like a crowd. We danced, played hacky sack and goofed off in the carport and it really drew a crowd. Our neighborhood still remembers us as “those people who passed out free food and had a rave at their house”.

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Community Center

We have a nice church facility and lots of loving people. So we offer our site for community functions such as Chamber of Commerce luncheons, Senior Citizen Tax Preparation, Driving Classes. We don’t charge the community for the service which makes us a really nice option. Many people who would not normally enter our church use it. When they see youth serving, cleaning, and helping it is a double whammy. This is not what they experience in the world.

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Evangelism Training 101

This is designed for youth groups where the majority are Christian and are for the most part timid when it comes to evangelizing.

Have the youth get into pairs. One person is person “A” and the other is person “B”. “A” then is instructed to witness to “B”, that is, to explain what it means to be a Christian or why “A” decided to be a Christian. After “A” is finished, “B” will do the same thing to “A”. You can share some of the answers that were given. Then have all the “A”‘s stand to one side and the “B”‘s to the other. Explain that “A” is going to persuade “B” (pretending to be non-Christian) to become a Christian. “B” can respond positively or negatively. “B” might be very open or “B” might be closed, but “B” at least should be open to hearing what “A” has to say. While giving “A” a couple of minutes to think of what they will say, ask “B” to try to think of a couple of questions for “A”, that is, questions about problems they have with Christianity. Ask them to base it on excuses people give for not accepting Christianity. Then let “B” and “A” go for it; “A” persuading and “B” maybe asking questions.

After a few minutes, get some feedback; what worked, what didn’t, did anyone convert, what could work better? Then divide “B”‘s and “A”‘s again, this time having the “B”‘s evangelizing the “A”‘s.

Since the group probably knows each other well, they will probably feel more comfortable doing this with each other. From the results of this exercise, you can decided what the next step is to getting them excited about sharing the Good News with friends, family, and strangers.

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Mid-Week Meltdown

This activity is designed for teens to reach out to pre-Christian teens. Get a “non-threatening” place to meet, we have reserved a middle school gym, and invite teens from all over your area. Offer games that anyone can enjoy, music, video games, etc… The primary goal is for your youth group teens to make loving relationships with their peers. It is a great way to reach the lost!

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Community Dinner

Have a dinner night at your church. We had the Jr. High youth set up and serve a dinner to the community. The parents of the children cooked the food, we picked out the menu, and everyone sold tickets, so we knew how many plates to have ready. Of course we still had extra food in case someone else wanted to come on in. By doing this the youth learned how to work together, and the parents and community had more respect for the youth. The profits went to a charity.

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Kindness Day

Plan a Kindness day with four or five kindness things the group can do. When we did this we asked everyone to meet at a designated time and asked everyone to bring with them: 1.) canned or non parishable food items 2.) a couple of dollars 3.) finally,we had already collected a new or gently used stuffed animal. These must be brought to most hospitals or old age homes so they can be checked out prior to coming.When we met, we began by buying bagels and cream cheese and went to a local fire station and gave them the food, being sure to thank them for their hard work. Next, we went on the local tollway and paid for a couplecars to go through the booth. Next, we went to the downtown hospital where they have a huge medical ward for children, many charitycases. Although we chose a hospital, you can also go to an old age home. When we got there, we split up, each with stuffed animals in hand, and began passing them out to people in the hallways and went into different rooms and gave them out. We were amazed at how grateful, suprised and excited people were. Finally, we went to a local shelter and dropped off the canned food. We had a marvelous day.
Other Ideas: 1.) buy Mc Donalds booklets and pass out to homeless people. 2.) Collect coats and blankets and donate or pass them out on a cold day.3.) Collect old books and donate to a shelter or childrens hospital. 4.) Create Valentines cards or just everyday cards and bring them to and old age home (make sure you do alot so you have enough for all) The ideas are endless, and the benefits last even longer!

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Paint-A-Pumpkin

This Hallowe’en our we had each youth bring a pumpkin to the meeting and we supplied the paint and paint markers. Each member painted a pumpkin and signed them “Happy Halloween from UMYF.” We then delivered them to the shutins of our church. It was a lot of fun, and a great project for our youth. They also are less messy than carved pumpkins and they last a lot longer! We received a great response from the both the kids and the shut ins!

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