Fellowship / Friendship

Mystery Dinner

Teach a series of lessons and then when you’re done with the series have a dinner. Plan the menu like you would normally would but give different names from the Bible study to the foods. For example, at ours four my first course I had sand, a battle axe, a skewer, and a papyrus sheet. Mmm that sounds appetizing doesn’t it. Well, the corn was sand, a knife was the battle axe, a toothpick was the skewer and the papyrus sheet was a napkin. They have to finish their plate with what they have before they get more. And the drink also comes in a course. Have 16 different items and make 4 courses with 4 different items. At the time of dinner have the servers serve the courses out of order. In the end, everyone gets the same meal, but in a different order. Have a quiz to test the kids on what they retained from the lesson and then have a prize for the top three. For example, a free lunch at McDonalds or a $25 gift card to Wal-mart or other stores.

Mystery Road Trip

We have devised a fun outreach event called Mystery Road Trip. Here you plan a road trip, but every aspect of the trip is unexpected, silly, and a complete mystery for your youth. Since I have a rural background, I take my city kids to rural places and have them do rural tasks. They seem to really enjoy it. The travel time is a good way for the kids to connect with you and each other. It is also an easy event to invite unchurched kids to.

Oreo Sculptures

Give teams of equal size several Oreo cookies (or have the kids bring their own). Also give each team two serrated knives, two spoons, a box of toothpicks, and a 4-foot-square piece of posterboard. They have 20 minutes to create a sculpture using the cookies the tools they’ve been given. The sculpture is to be built on the posterboard to control the mess. The filling in the Oreo’s makes great “”glue”” or “mortar.” The sculptures are judged and the winning team receives a couple of litres of milk.

Pass the Plate

All sit in a circle and each person is handed a paper plate and a coloured pen. Let youth know week beforehand to bring stationary from school if necessary. Each person writes their name in the center of the paper plate and then it is passed to the person next to them. Every one is instructed to write something good and encouraging about that person who’s name is on the plate they have. Keep on passing plates around the circle until each person has their plate back.

Pick-A-Card

Hold a deck of cards face down and have each person take a card without peeking at it. As soon as everyone has a card have them hold their cards up so everybody can see it (including them). Explain that they must tell the group something about themselves (that nobody would know). If there number is 2, they must say two things about themselves (if 3, three things, and so on). Face cards are counted as Eleven and Aces are worth Twelve! This is a great Ice-breaker!

Pizza Phantoms

Ask the kids to be on the lookout at school for any friends of theirs who may be going through a rough time. Ask kids to quietly compile a list of people who need encouragement and give it to you along with the student’s addresses. Then, after a youth group meeting, send the kids in groups on “pizza raids” to the homes of the various people kids selected. Have kids raid a house (make sure they’re home) by dropping a couple of slices of pizza at the door, ringing the doorbell and running away. Have all the groups leave a printed message that reads, “You are loved.” or something similar along with the group members’ names.

PP Night

This worked really well during the summer when school is not in session. We gathered one Sunday evening a month at the home of one of our youth and just had a PP Night. This simply consists of watching a movie and having only pop & popcorn. Hence the name PP Night. It’s not only a very non-threatning way to have our youth invite an un-churched friend, but they seemed to have a blast promoting it. They loved telling people they were going to PP at someone’s house Sunday night. We even promoted it in our church newsletter as PP at the (insert host persons name here).

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.

Race For Da Dinner

This event is a combination of a car rally, a progressive dinner and a trivia night. The idea is for the youth to find their meals.

We are doing a three course meal, so we have an entree, main meal and dessert. Each meal is held in a person’s home. To get to each home they must follow clues that the leader has designated (such as unscrable this street adress or clues as such). Also along the way they must spot certain objects (Such as what is the phone number of the local pizza shop). At the first course the youth will be asked trivia questions and given clues to find their next course.

At the end, add points for answers, include some puzzles and points for time. This event can take up to three hours. A great tool to reach out to young kids.

Senior’s Party

Have your youth group throw a special party for all your graduating seniors. Have kids each write encouraging notes on super-sized cards for each senior. As a part of your evening, take the seniors aside one at a time and videotape them offering words of encouragement to future youth group members. Keep these recordings on file and play them for new youth group members when they join. *** My twist: Go to their parents and ask for early school photos and video, etc and put them on display on bristol board or as a slide presentation. Good for a laugh!

Silly Movie/Mega-Banana Split

This was a favorite among our youth this summer. We rented a silly (age appropriate) movie and the youth were given a list of silly things they had to do during certain portions of the movie. (i.e. They watched Stuart Little, everytime they saw a mouse – other than Stuart – in the movie they had to stand up and hollar in a high sqeeky female voice, “Eeeek! A mouse! Henry get my broom!”) After the movie they met outside where we had lined 3 tables up end to end and covered with a plastic table cloth. We then had all the adults help us build a Mega-Banana Split while the youth watched. Once the split was done and everyone had a spoon we said grace and dug in! We’ve had many requests to do this activity again!

NOTE: To build the banana split we split the bananas and set them down the center of the table (lengthwise) then scooped LOTS of ice cream, laced with gobs of carmel, strawberry and chocolate sauce, then smoothered in whipped cream. Sprinkles, cherries and a few chopped nuts completed the 24 Foot Mega-Banana Split!

Stuff-a-Stocking

A Christmas idea – Give each youth a Christmas Stocking or have them make one. Then, have them find items that total 3-5 dollars to put in the stocking. Have them staple the stocking shut and bring it to the Christmas party. Place the stockings in a pile; give each person a number. Starting with the number 1 have that person pick out a stocking. They open their stocking, and then the person with the number 2 goes to the pile and chooses a stocking or they can take the one from number one. Continue on through until everyone has a stocking.

Sucker Game

Give each youth a wrapped sucker at the start of the game. Tell them they can’t eat them or unwrap them until the game is over, but they will have an opportunity to earn more suckers in this game. They can get another sucker by telling a story to the group. If they talk while someone else is talking (other than for encouragement) or if they repeat a story or idea that someone else had, they have to give the speaker their sucker.

This encourages group sharing and understanding. This can be used to just plain get to know each other, to review ideas (they can try to stump the leader about material covered by asking questions. No one can repeat a question asked already, so they have to listen to each other), to make up stories, to retell Bible stories…. Suckers are very motivating!!

Super Bowl Sub Sandwiches

Each youth member takes orders for 3 varieties of sub-sandwiches 3-4 weeks prior to Super Bowl Sunday. Build subs on Sat. and include pick-up time and delivery time for the elderly or those who need delivery. Through the years we’ve learned to make ham, turkey, and the club (ham and turkey) all which automatically comes with cheese (Beef was too expensive). Additional cost for subs with the works of course. We’ve chosen lettuce, onion, pickle and black olives. So the choice is meat and cheese only, or “the works” (choice of meats and everything on it.) It took too long to custom make subs -(we make nearly 500 – 600 each yr.) Put on the music and make your assembly line and go to it. When you’re good enough you’ll be done by noon! Order sub buns through a local bakery and it would be a good idea to place plastic sheeting over a carpeted church basement. People may smell onions in church on Sunday morning but nobody minds. Just hope their mind is on the message and not the game. Ha!

Thanksgiving Dinner

This idea works well with both middle and high school youth groups. It works especially well with smaller groups. Pick a Saturday in November before Thanksgiving to have dinner with your youth. Each member signs up to bring one part of the Thanksgiving dinner (vegetables, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, etc). The catch is that they are supposed to bring someone they look up to (parent, older sibling, mentor). Before dinner, have each member tell who they brought and why they are thankful to God for them. A lot of supermarkets donate turkeys to church groups as well. This activity is always a favorite and it creates an atmosphere of not just a youth group, but a family united by God.

Turkey Bowl

This is a great idea that our student leadership team came up with for the Friday after Thanksgiving, when most of our students are off school and are bored stiff.

Meet at the church around noon for a second Thanksgiving feast. Have the students bring leftovers to share from their Thanksgiving dinners the evening before. It becomes sort of a youth group potluck.

Then split up into two groups. Have one group go to a local field to play flag football (US football). Send the other group to a local shopping mall or outlet center for “Black Friday” shopping. It’s the biggest shopping day of the year.

So many times we program toward the guys. This activity is fun for everyone.

Twelve Days of Christmas

You have to have a brave group to try this but it is a blast if it is done right!

As fun affirmation activity, students substitute one of the parts of the song the 12 Days of Christmas. They are to make the gift in the song to be something that they would love to give the group or one member in the group. For example they could sing “on the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me “a pizza topped with pepperoni” – This may get tricky so you could assign numbers to the first 12 people brave enough to participate. Leaders could help younger youth who may struggle with this.

When the group members know each other if can be a fun way to recognize the interests of the students in the group.

Wacked Out Parties

Have a party for some unusual holidays. For example: January (Louisiana Yam Supper Season), February (6-9th: Annual Camel Wrestling Competition in Yenipazar, Turkey), March (6-11: National Procrastination Week; 15: Buzzard Day in Hinkley, Ohio), April (6-15: National Artichoke Week), May (18-27: International Pickle Week), June (4-10: Girl Watching Week; 17 National Hollering Contest in Dunn, N.C.), July (2: Stone Skipping and Ge-Plunking Open Tournament at Mackinac Island), August (Sandwich Month; 11-12 Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa), September (2: Moustache Day; 24-30: National Dog Week), October (5-14: National Macaroni Week), November (23-Jan1: National Indigestion Season), December (16: Man Will Never Fly Memorial Day)

Web Of Affirmation

Have everyone sit in a circle and hand one person the end of a piece of string. Tell them to say something (nice) they appreciate about another member of the group and throw the other end of the string to someone else. Continue the process until you have a huge web representing unity in your group. Encourage the group members to say something specific.

Welcome Teens

Have a senior high member of your youth team up with a younger member. This will help the transition into the group and will also give each person a boost of self-confidence!