Outreach & Witnessing

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.

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!

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.

I Believe, We Believe

This has become a HUGE thing in our city. On the first and third mondays of every month, students all across the city wear a navy-blue t-shirt with the words “I Believe” on the front. Every Monday this takes place you can walk though a middle school or high school and see hundreds of kids wearing these shirts. When people stop to ask, this is the opportunity to share the Gospel.

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!

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!

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!

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.

Mission to the Mall

If a nearby mall has a stage, you can set up a Mission to the Mall. We used the stage in our mall for a youth service. We had dances, skits, worship songs, and testimonies and blasted Christian music at the mall. It was awesome for us as students and we witnessed to a lot of people walking by. We asked people ‘how may I pray for you’ and gave out tracts. I had to go through insurance and clearing everything up with the mall manager – but it was free and an awesome and beneficial time.

Musical Tour

Every year my high school youth group puts on a huge musical. We practice all year long. Every musical is complete with music, choreography, and a script with a great christian message. In the spring we perform at various local churches and for one week in the summer we tour out of state. We are reaching out to many different communities while learning a whole lot about ourselves and Christ in the process. I know that’s its changed my life

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”.

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.

Paint Ball

Check with your local city or county offices and see if they have facilities that need painting. Most of the time they will furnish the paint if you do the labor. Spend the entire day scraping and painting with your group. They will have a ball. For added fun, have some sort of water fight at the end of the day or during a break to cool off and help wash the paint off your skin.

Paint Your Day Away

Make it a fun, workout, group day. Volunteer to paint, touch up, and clean a Senior Citizen home or a local neighbor’s home, who maybe elderly or handicapped. Show them that teens can do it, when they pull together and help each other. And there’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to put new life into a home or senior’s center!

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!

PopReach

We did this in 2001 and the results are amazing!
A month before the PopReach, we collected cases of pop donated by people in the church. In the end, we had 1,200 cans of pop. We used the parking lot of the church as our stage and did human videos and skits while passing out free cans of pop to all who stopped by. We even passed them out at the stop sign nearby.

Our worship team set up outside and we had games for kids with lots of prizes. The kids could play as many times as they wanted and always received a prize. Adults participated in the skits and had a blast. Afterwards we gathered in the foyer for testimony time. Everyone was able to witness to at least 1 person. It was the most successful outreach we have done!

Public Pie

Have the senior ladies of your congregation make pies and deliver them to the church. Go to the local hospital or other public place and let your youth give the pies away.

Reverse Trick Or Treat

This is a fun way to spend Halloween and spread the Gospel. Our teens prepared “reverse trick or treat” bags that contained candy, a tract, and an invitation to their youth activities. They then went to neighborhood houses as a group and gave the goodies away. The reactions varied from people being initially intimidated by the group of teens to surprise. We then went back to the church and talked about the reactions they received.

Senior Adult Dinner

Since Senior Adult day is during the month of May, our youth sponsored a Senior Adult Dinner for persons in the Senior Adult Sunday School class. We sent formal invitations which included a ticket for their meal. Youth volunteered to be welcomers, photographers, servers, cooks, clean-up, etc. The youth, with the help of volunteer Youth Workers, prepared the meal of turkey, dressing, vegetables, desserts, etc. Afterwards, door prizes were given (i.e. plants used for decoration). This service project for the senior adults made our youth realize the importance of serving others (respecting senior adults) as well as how important senior adults are to our church. In turn, the senior adults felt proud that the young people thought of them to have such a special dinner. To some of the senior adults, you would have thought they had gone to the prom!

Senior Center Outreach

If you have a group of willing servents in your youth group, then set a date on your calendar to help local senior citizens in the community. You will need to make a sign that says that your youth group is willing to do odd jobs for senior citizens in the community simply because Jesus loves them. Put your church number on the sign and the date of the event. You should also consider limiting it to the first 10 to 20 people that call depending on the size of your group. Otherwise, you will be working for weeks on end! Next, post the sign at the town senior center and watch the calls come in.
When the day arives, have tracts on hand and some literature on your church. Accept no money because you are doing it to be a blessing and a witness for Jesus Christ.