The first day I walked into a group of teenagers with some of the ideas I am about to share, I was surprised at the way their eyes lit up and their expression changed. I discovered that through these fun activities, I have been able to reach out to them more and to cause them to open up to me.
It is not a sin to include these activities in your teen and youth group. God is interested in building relationships as He is in getting the word of Grace to them. God thrives in relationship building. There are many ways to pass the gospel message beyond the traditional pulpit method. You can definitely have fun and relax while still passing sharing God’s word.
I have a list of ideas that I will share with you in a moment. Prayerfully let God use that to minister to your teenagers.
1. Story Story.
The leader starts a story in the Bible for instance, the story of Esther, Ruth, David and then stops, and allows the next person to continue the story. He stops and the next person picks it up until the whole story is told. This activity is better carried out with the teens sitting in a circle. One way to allow this work effectively is to give the teenagers a day or two before the meeting to read the story. Let them know ahead that you are going to test them on what they have read.
This is a beautiful idea. I started one with my teens last year but we were not able to complete the project before I left the location. You can do a scrapbook project with your teenagers. Let them get involved in cutting and designing the scrapbook. If none of your teens can draw or design, you can get a professional to make the book while the teens fill out the contents. In my case, to save cost we used different colours of cardboard papers and then cut out shapes from wrapping paper(papers you use to wrap gifts) to decorate the cover of the scrapbook.
Fill each page of the scrapbook with poems, Bible verses, quotes from great Christian leaders, pictures of the cross, of Christ, drawings etc. The idea is not to write directly on the pages of the book but to first scribble those things on little pieces of paper and then attached them to the pages of the book. just like you would on a noticeboard. So you will need to use gum or whatever can keep the paper attached to the book.
I must also add that, when you decide to start this project, get right to it quickly or the teens may lose interest if it drags for too long. Assign everyone to a task. Those who will collate the poems, quotes, those who will design and so on…
Before the meeting, write out a list of questions that the teens will answer on the spot. Make the questions interesting. Don’t go and be asking who was the Father of Methuselah. They should be questions these kids can easily relate to. Bible quiz and drills can be for another day but not for this session. The aim is to get your teens to relax. Questions like:
Which of the characters of the Bible with the exception of Jesus would you like to meet? What would you say to him or her. W What movie made you cry? Spell Ezekiel backwards in ten seconds. Teach me how to prepare your best meal…
4. Can I meet you?
This is a very simple activity. I carried this out with my teen girls last year. I asked the questions and they answered. To make this interesting, ensure that the questions asked are different for each person.
You could also get a pack of M & M sweets or any sweets with different colours, and get each of the teen to pick a colour, and say three things about herself before throwing the sweet into her mouth. It was fun doing this with my online ladies group (GL Home) last year and it helped us get to know each other better.
Another way to do this is to wrap questions inside pieces of paper and let the papers go round and each answer the question…again, the idea is to get these teens to relax…Be mindful of the questions you ask.
5. Team work
Pick about 10 topics or more, depending on the size of your teen group. Topics could range from prayer to provision to righteousness. Divide the teens into small groups and each group should be given a topic. They should then get as many scriptures relating to that topic. Not only would they get those scriptures, each person should be able to recite at least two verses. They should also be able to say something about the topic. For instance, on the day of the presentation, one of them come to church dressed as a teacher and the others as students. The teacher talks about that topic, the students ask questions on it. For another group, it could be a talk show on the topic. Just make sure they are aware of what they are going to do. You’ll be surprised at how creative these kids can be. The presentations should be timed otherwise, your teens will talk and talk and divert from the topic. 3-5 mins should be sufficient.
To make this more effective, all of the presentations should not be done at once. After each presentation would be the time for the coordinator to expand on the subject.
6. Role Play.
This is one of the ideas I really enjoy when I’m with my teens. I remember doing a telephone conversation with them and by the end of the class, we were laughing really hard. Even though it was in an academic environment, I was surprised when the bell went for break time and these kids badly wanted the activity to go on. Tell your teens an imaginary story, maybe a story of God’s deliverance or of healing. Divide them into groups and let each group play out that story… Give them five to ten minutes to rehearse. You’ll be surprised at the different interesting versions of the story they’ll pull out.
Prepare a meal with your teens. I mean all of them not just the girls. If you can’t cook, get someone who can do this. Now the idea is not just to teach the kids how to cook but the participation is what’s important. If your teens have to stand the whole time watching as you add the ingredients and then show them the final product, then the idea is defeated. This may not work for a group with a large size. You can put them in smaller groups. One group can prepare fried rice this weekend, the next group prepares efo riro next month, another group can get to do meat balls. The idea is that from start to finish, every teen is doing something.
As you prepare the dishes, you can bring in songs they are familiar with. You can talk about a scripture in your devotion, you can find out if they had their quiet time and allow them share what they learnt. (If a teen didn’t do his quiet time, don’t give him a history of the dangers of not doing quiet time. Move on to the next person. If none of them had theirs, then share what you learnt during yours.)
Teens must come to understand that a relationship with Christ covers every area of their lives.
As a teen Pastor or leader, these activities cannot replace the part of spending time with God in prayers for your teens and seeking revelation from God’s word to pass to these young lives.
Is there anything you have done with your teen group over the years? Have you had any breakthrough bonding with them? You may want to share those ideas with me in the comment section.