All throughout middle school and high school, I spent a lot of time with my youth group and youth leaders at Faith Church in Milford, Ohio.
Sunday morning meetings were definitely a time to meet with others in a community setting, but the youth leaders did not stop there.
Each month, there were several opportunities to meet with other members of the youth group and connect with new people in interesting ways.
These events also cause us to schedule times to meet with each other on our own.
I am an extreme advocate for scheduling at least 5 activities per week for the students in the church youth group.
Activities bring students together and bond them through consistent meetings.
Well, what activities should be included in planning for youth group events?
I’ve had enough experience to tell if an event worked or if it didn’t work so well.
Awesome Youth Group Activities for Both Junior and Senior High
1. Ask volunteer parents to lead weekly Bible study groups
First of all, this is a great way to get the parents involved in what is going on with the youth group.
Second, Bible studies encourage students to read and learn the content of the Bible and apply it to their lives.
Next, it brings groups of the youth group together consistently. The key to developing relationships is consistency.
Finally, Bible study group options are flexible: you can have a co-ed Bible study or all girls and all boys Bible studies.
Additionally, you could divide the Bible study groups into grade levels.
All these options work.
2. Arrange weekly game nights in the youth room
Game nights are the absolute best way to get to know other people.
Games cause people to let their guard down due to competitiveness.
Personalities blend well and the best part is that you get a group of five people around one table.
That’s community, I’d say.
3. Ask students to host parties at their houses (with Their Parents’ Permission, Of Course)
This gives students the option to open their doors to other students.
There are a variety of things to do depending on the house and the time of day.
If the family has a large back yard, people can play volleyball, soccer, or capture the flag. If they have a pool, they can host a swimming party.
If a family has an awesome entertaining space, students can hang around and chat or play games.
4. Host a mid-week worship night in the youth room for an hour
Schedule a once-per week worship night outside of church on Sunday.
You can do different things like a prayer walk, a short sermon, prayer groups, sing worship songs, and more.
The purpose for this mid-week event is to help the students by taking a productive break from school and work to worship Jesus.
There is also an option to have a time to hang out after the worship night is over.
Just set up some games, set out some chips and drinks, and play some music.
5. Host one special event each month
Special events are more work than regular weekly events, so one per month is ideal for preparations.
One month, you could host an all-nighter at the church where you play large group games all night.
Another month, you could host a scavenger hunt. There are endless kinds of scavenger hunts, so it’s possible to host a different form of a scavenger hunt each month.
Another month, you could have a cookout outside the church with corn hole and other outdoor lawn activities.
For a list of more activities, click here to read about my other suggestions.
Don’t Overwork Yourself in the Process of Planning Events
Finding a rhythm for planning events will take some time.
For example, you may have scheduled six activities in one month and that made you feel burnt out and spent.
In addition to that, it may have affected your relationships with family members.
A general rule for event planning is four events each month. Sometimes two events may fall on one week, but exceeding four events total may push your limits.
When you are pouring yourself into students, you don’t want to pour out anything but your best.
Most importantly, you have to continue to put the needs of your family before the needs of the youth group.
Step One, Plan
Get together with your youth group leaders and sit around a giant calendar with red pens.
Determine what days would work at what times.
Lock in the events that will take place at the church. For the events that would occur at people’s houses, call the parents of your students and find out if they would be willing to host an event.
From here on out, schedule a monthly meeting where events are planned and people are contacted. Send out flyers to students with the events of the month.
I hope that these ideas will help for the future of your youth group’s event planning!
For more access to community, worship with us here at the Inbound Church <-Click!