Keeping your Christian youth group exciting and relevant to children and teens is pivotal if you want to build a successful youth group. That’s why it’s important to always have a variety of activities that are appropriate for a wide range of ages if you want to stay up-to-date and interesting with today’s youth.
From picking out the right materials to use for discussions to finding unique angles to make pop culture and other activities speak to youth and their religion in new contexts, there’s plenty to be done if you’re working on improving your youth group. Here are several of the best ideas to embrace if you want your youth group to shine.
While they shouldn’t be the sole focus of your youth group, keeping things exciting and fun with time-honored board games once a month is a great way to build community in your youth group. Consider playing traditional games with a Christian twist, such as Bibleopoly instead of Monopoly or Bible-inspired editions of trivia and other games like Outburst. You can also challenge kids to play word games like Scrabble using modified rules that allow proper nouns and offer bonus points for biblical references.
A movie night is a great way to spark a discussion on a topic and its intersection with your faith in a fun and engaging way. Many times, Chrisitan themes can be found in popular movies even without having to choose overtly Christian films. Oftentimes, the hero’s journey mirrors elements of Jesus’ own life, making it a great jumping-off point for discussion.
Think about the ways that popular movies like The Blind Side, The Chronicles of Narnia, Finding Nemo, and Holes can all be a window into the teachings of the church with the right discussion questions. Best of all, a movie night for your youth group means popcorns and soda, too!
Finding an age-appropriate Bible is crucial when it comes to sourcing Bible passages and quotes that resonate with the kids or teens in your youth group. For some youth group leaders, that means picking up a copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible, an illustrated version of the Bible that links each story to the teachings of Christ.
For leaders helping conduct discussions with older kids such as teenagers, a King James Teen Study Bible may be more appropriate. Whichever Bible you wind up choosing, make sure that it’s one that you can imagine youth using on their own in addition to within youth group.
Outdoor Outings and Fun
Sometimes you’ll want an activity that’s just pure fun. These sorts of activities are helpful to build into longer youth group weekends as a way to break up discussions, meals, and other activities and keep the weekend fresh. You may want to look into renting a bounce house or other carnivalesque games if you’re interested in really creating an exciting time for your youth participants.
Simply Googling “bounce house rentals NY” or whatever state you’re located in can help you find a quality company to rent your bounce house from. Especially for team building games, a bounce house can add a fun twist on typical activities like ice breakers and learning names.
There are plenty of indoor activities that can be used to bolster camaraderie and community, too. These might include popular activities that appeal to teens like bowling, laser tag, or even glow-in-the-dark miniature golf. Having monthly or quarterly field trips based on participation during the weekly youth group is a great way to ensure that kids aren’t just coming for the excursions and invest in their youth group, too.