Outreach & Witnessing

Adopt A Highway

Many highways invite groups to adopt a stretch of road and come out to pick up litter. Make this a quarterly event at least. Give prizes away to those who collect the most trash. Recycle what you can.

Adopt-A-Phonebooth

Have the youth search out and “adopt” a full phone booth (one that is enclosed). Have them stock it with gospel tracts and maintain it by keeping trash cleared out of it. Have surprise inspections and reward the youth who have the cleanest and best stocked booth. This is a good introductory form of evangelism.

Anyone Seen the Christ Child?

Around Christmas time, the youth or church bible studies get together and make cookie bags, or any gifts of such. Then go around to your local Fire-Stations, Emergency rooms, etc., and present the gift to them, and ask them “Have You seen the Christ Child?” and share with then the story of the candy cane or the Christmas story, and share about your church’s ministries. It’s a very effective and positive outreach.

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!

Barn Party

All you need to do is find a barn/warehouse in/around your community and ask for permission to use. Then you can find a local band to play at the event(or like we have done a local christian radio) and bring out food and play some games like Capture the Flag and other “war” games that will get teenagers pumped up.

Bicycle Trip

The youth and some adults get together and set up a youth bicycle trip. You look at different mission sites (places that need to hear a word from God, such as camping sites.) And the youth drive up to a specific location and then bike back home. On the way home they stop at the different places. And at these places they meet to worship with the campers. They provide a speaker such as a youth leader at our church They also sing and do skits.

Blessing with Blankets

Around October when the weather is getting colder tell the youth you will be doing a blanket drive. The week before you go out and collect hand out cards telling the people in your area that you will be coming around collecting blankets. You can also join with area businesses and put up flyers and drop off boxes. This is also a great PR thing so it is easy to advertise with local TV and Radio stations.

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.

Boxed In

We were preparing our youth group to attend a service project to homeless children in our city. In order to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless we collected several cardboard boxes (refrigerator type). It was late October, which is fairly chilly in our city. We advertised a campout and told kids to dress warmly. The group spent the night in our wooded lot in cardboard boxes (with the luxury of a sleeping bag). We had a fire in an old barrel (with Fire Marshall approval), roasted hot dogs on the fire, snacks were served in a new garbage can. Youth group members had to dig through wadded up lunch bags to find the snack they wanted. We played kick the can and other no-cost outside games. We had great support for our homeless project!

Casting A Saving Vision

Have each youth write down the name of ten unsaved people that they have contact with on a regular basis. It can be friends, relatives, the lady at the grocery store, whoever… as long as they have contact with them. Collect the papers and make business card sized card stock with each student’s list on it. Take them to a printer and have them laminate them or jazz it up with desktop publishing. Give the cards back to the youth at Sunday School or Youth night and each week have the group pray for each person on the cards. If these people are kept in the forefront of their minds, they will be a lot more willing to witness.

Christmas Tree Delivery

Our Christian school sells Christmas trees for our scholarship fund. Last year we had about thirty trees left over. We contacted several community service agencies like those that deal with the poor, children with cancer or chronic illnesses, the elderly, etc. We got the names of families who would have no Christmas at all, then delivered the trees to them. This was a simple way to share the love of Jesus. It only took a couple of hours on the Saturday before Christmas. This year we are adding decorations, food, caroling, etc., and asked for corporate sponsors of trees. This was an incredible blessing to the families who participated.

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.

Community Closet

Our Teenage Group cleaned out their closets and collected clothing from others (that would have went to Goodwill, etc.) and set up a “Community Closet” in the parsonage of our church. Anyone who needed clothing for their children were welcomed to come in and “shop” for whatever they needed. There was no charge for any of the clothing and the Group assisted the shoppers in filling their needs.

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.

Cookie Bake for Elders

Got this idea from,”Cookie Bake for Shut-ins”. Have the youth bake cookies and decorate the cards and sign them. Then after they are done with all the baking and card-making have them then go out to the elders of the church that aren’t able to make every service due to the age or medical problems and fellowship with them. Let the elders know that we miss them and are praying for them. Have the youth gather around and pray for the elder. Move on to the next home till you have visited everyone. You will be surprised how much the elders enjoy seeing young people visit them.

Cookie Bake For Shut-Ins

Want to begin doing service projects with your youth group, and don’t know where to begin, here’s an idea.
Do a Cookie Bake for some of the shut-ins, seniors, etc in your church or community. Have your youth group bake cookies (keep the recipe simple, or buy a mix — Pillsbury and Quaker has some good ones). Make cookies that anyone could eat – stay away from chocolate, nuts, etc because of allergies. Maybe get some parents to help out in the kitchen.
After your cookies are ready, put them in as many cookie tins as people or homes you are going to visit. In advance find someone with a computer and printer who will type up cards for your group to sign, make sure you give the name of your group and where you are from. The ideas for the cards are limitless (you probably have someone in your youth group with a computer and printer who will do this).
Pre plan the people or homes you are going to and make sure that it is ok, and that you visit at a good time, early evening, late afternoon, whatever is appropriate. Maybe ask your church secretary for a list and her input.
Set up drivers (one adult with each group of youth) and have them deliver the cookies, cards and greetings from your youth group.
This is a great project and involves your youth, and seniors. Two different age groups that probably don’t spend a lot of time together, it helps bridge gaps, and teaches your youth they can serve God, by sharing his love to people who can not get out on a regular basis. After you’ve delivered your goodies, return to the church and let the young people talk about the different places they stopped, what happened, etc. It wouldn’t hurt to enjoy some of the goodies they made as well during your discussion time.

Create-A-Card

Have the youth group assemble somewhere with computer access. Allow them to make “Get Well” cards. Have the members sign the cards and then send them to shut-ins.

Dream Of Whitehaired Christmas

Most churches have a number of senior citizens in the congregation who would love to decorate their homes for Christmas with trees, outside lights, etc., but just aren’t able to do it physically. Announce to your church this year that your youth are volunteering to provide a Christmas decoration service to all senior citizens. Place a sign-up sheet in a prominent location and assign a group of youth to each home. Pick one or several days in late November or early December where everyone can gather together and go to the various homes.

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.

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.