Good Things

S’no Charge

If you ever get snow in your area, here’s a “cool” idea for youth pastors and/or youth to do. Grab your snow scoop and go to some houses in your neighborhood. Ask them if they would like to have their sidewalks or driveways cleared. Most people will refuse, thinking that they have to pay. Then, say, “Oh, there’s no charge.” This will blow their minds away. Make sure to clear it as if you where getting paid a lot. When I did this some people insisted on paying me.

Table Clearing

At a recent Sonlife conference, I encouraged our youth to find someone that was finished with their meal and was just about to take their tray into the long line in the cafeteria and offer to take it for them. We received many compliments, smiles and “thanks”. Towards the end of the conference we noticed other groups doing the same thing!

Tailgate Party

Each home football game an adult group from the church sponsors a tailgate party starting one hour before the football game. Generally it consists of something like chili or pizza, a drink, and cookies. A small note is given to all that come inviting them to church and gives our church address and phone number. Anyone can stop by whether they are a member or prospective member.

Teacher Thank-you’s

Have the youth write thank-you notes to some or all of their school teachers, expressing appreciation for the time they give to their education.

Tidy Tipping

If your group eats out together, have everyone leave their area spotless. Then, overtip the waiter/waitress.

Travelling Thanksgiving

Our youth group of 20 did this a week before Thanksgiving. We all got together at our church kitchen and made all the fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner. (One of our guys even got up early that day to make fresh bread roll.) By lunchtime we packed all the food in plates and added a Scripture to the top of the plate. We then all got into our church van and went to go look for homeless people that were out in the streets. Happy to say it worked to show our youth how to work as a group and it showes us how blessed we are to have a hot meal everyday. The homeless were also very happy.

Twist On Lawn Forking

Instead of toilet papering or forking lawns get the same excitement out of it by sneaking out late at night and doing something nice. I’ve done it two ways. First during a sleepover instead of the usual toilet paper raid I bought a big box of plastic forks, tape, and construction paper. We cut the paper into dozens of hearts and taped them to the handle of the forks. Then I had the girls write encouraging comments on each one of them. We all sneaked out that night and forked the Youth Pastors lawn. He liked it so much that he based the whole Sunday youth service on it! We also decided to put Hershey’s kisses on spoons wrapped in different colored plastic wrap tied with curly ribbon. Then we made a huge sign that looked like a giant spoon that said some nice things about the youth leader. We sneaked out and spooned her lawn. It was so…. much fun!!

Valentine Cookie Care

Our youth group got together and baked heart shaped sugar cookies and then we delivered a dozen cookies each to each person over 80 in our church with a nice Valentine card. This can be done anytime.

Warm Encouragments

Get a big brown shopping bag and attach it to the wall in view of everyone. Pre-decorate the front with Christian symbols of Lent or the appropriate season in which you are having your meeting. Place pencils and index cards on a small table close to the bag. As each youth enters have them write their name on a piece of paper and place it in a bowl. After EVERYONE has placed his/her name have them pick out a name from the bowl. If they pick their own name have them put it back and re-draw a name. The purpose is to have all students write something nice about someone in the room for that day. It can be a word of encouragement, praise or other good thought of how they can help each other during their Lenten journey or any other time and that they will be there for that person. Make sure the name of the Receiver is on the front of the card and the Giver’s is at the bottom of the message.

Then an hour or two before the meeting/retreat is over have an adult helper take down the bag and go over the cards to see if every one has a card. Have the Adult helper use a low temp glue gun and have them glue a candy bar or a “Hug or Kiss candy to the card. Then have the students pick up their cards and give a them few moments to read and feel the encouragement of their peers and have them talk out their feelings.

Word of caution: Make sure EVERONE has a card!

Warm Fuzzies

We do this at every camp we run. Get every student / kid / person / sentinent being to decorate a paper bag of some sort. Then stick it on the wall. Over the course of the weekend (or whatever) people can use their spare time to write short little messages to each other. Something nice, so it makes you feel all ‘warm and fuzzy’. Just be careful no one gets left out.

White Wall Cleaning

Use Wesley’s bleach-white to do a kindness project in a discount store parking lot. Do free white-wall cleaning and leave a note on the windshield.

Windshield Washing

Spend a Saturday morning at your local Rest Area. Bring along glass cleaner and lots of paper towels and ask motorists if you could clean their windshields while they are stopped. Most will ask why you are doing it, so explain by saying, “It is a way for us to express God’s love for you,” and perhaps give them a tract or some kind of remembrance.

Windshield Witness

Choose a date ahead of time and have the youth bring squeegees, window cleaner, and paper towels. When the congregation is in a Sunday service, have the youth go through the parking lot and wash everyone’s windshield (make sure they don’t leave streaks). Have a “business card” prepared ahead of time that says, “Compliments of (your youth group’s name).

Youth For Dinner

Have your youth sign up in small groups of 3-4 and take turns inviting the groups into your home for a “home-cooked/sit-down” meal! We have found that Monday nights work best because you can pick the group and remind them on Sunday. We fix an easy but hot meal like spaghetti, pot roast, casseroles, etc. with vegtables, bread and desert. We set the dining table properly and the kids love it when we eat by candlelight! It is really amazing how many families these days don’t sit down and eat a hot meal, much less eat together, so this is a great time to not only spend some quality time with your youth but it is also a great way to open your home to them and remind them of prayer, forgotten manners and have good discussions in smaller groups! Your kids will love the attention!