Wednesday, September 19, 2012

10 Back To School Kick Off Ideas Youth Ministry

  1. Barbarian Hyped Up Capture The Flag – this is a fun crazy spin-off of capture the flag sure to get the blood pumping. It takes a little prep work, but it’s definitely a fun one.
  2. Before School Phone Blast – Blast an encouraging txt message to your students before they go to school to encourage them to live for Jesus! If your group is a little big or if you want to send group text messages – then read my post about Youth Ministry Text Messaging Service where you can txt your group all at once. Another idea along the same lines is to record a voice message every morning and encourage them to call in and listen to encourage them. I would try to keep it to 5min.
  3. Do a Lock-In After See You At The Pole – I’m enouraged that lots of students and youth ministries still participate at SYATP – but why stop there? Since SYATP is still early in the fall – you can do a lock-in that Friday – the same week as SYATP. This year besides Survivorz Lock-in (which is a blast) you may opt-in for something more outreach oriented like Supernatural Event. SYATP is a cool public display and also a cool platform to have the students in your community hand out flyers or txt their friends about Supernatural Event. I want to emphasize that Supernatural Event is for the non-church student so there needs to be a well explained plan to your leadership and Christian teens on what it is about and the purpose of how it can reach out to students in your community – could be very powerful and start off your year winning souls to Jesus!
  4. Bigger or Better – This is a fun activity where you break your group into smaller groups so that they can fit in cars and then each team starts with 1 penny and is set out to go knock on doors and introduce themselves to let the people know that they need something bigger or better then the penny (or whatever they currently have after the penny). Give them a time limit and award a prize for the team that has come up with the biggest thing and the team that has come up with the better thing. Sometimes the big is also better so just use your best judgement on how you want to handle that.
  5. Church Sponsors – take a photo of each student and have them fill out a card – try to keep things in order to make it easier to match the pic with the card (some churches have software programs to plug people in along with info). Then assign each student with an adult sponsor in the church. The adult sponsor is responsible for praying for the student throughout the school year and you can take it a step further where they meet the student for lunch once a month or twice a school year. Stick to your church policies about background checks and such because you just never know. This can be a great way though for the adults in the church to get know and pray for the student ministry.
  6. Progressive Dinner To Meet All The Youth Sponsors – A cool way for you to introduce your sponsors for the year would be to set up a progressive dinner where the students start at one place with say dessert and then move on to the next place main dish and each place they visit is also a youth sponsor (when I say youth sponsor – I’m meaning a youth leader volunteer for your youth ministry). The youth can then connect better with who the sponsors are so that when they head into their small groups – they feel like they at least know them a little more. Relationship builder and dinner = 2 for 1 SUPER AWESOMENESS!
  7. Fastest Text In The West – Or east or south or middle or north lol. To make this work a little better – divide into 2 – 5 teams and select one person as the texter for the whole group. The group that texts you the quickest with the right answer wins points or a prize or candy. You can go at it for say 10 questions or two rounds. You can also style it by making it like your favorite game show such as jeopardy or family feud.
  8. Messy Olympics – Since we just came off an Olympic summer – this may be something they are in the mood for – plus its messy – so definitely take some pictures – it will be fun to have those posted for the school year.
  9. Facebook Status Outreach Challenge – This activity is a challenge – guys vs gals to see who can by Facebook status update bring the most friends in within 1 hour. Structure what they need to say for there status update like: “Hey we are doing a girls vs guys challenge to see who can bring in more friends to [ such and such place] and the winning side gets free ice cream. The challenge ends in 1 hour from this post. please help us girls/guys win.” Or something similar. Have each group cheer when a new girl/guy comes through the door. You may just be surprised that you need to pay for 1000 ice cream cones, but you also will have made some new connections with students you may haven’t known before.
  10. Year Long Group Art Project – This is a cool idea that helps build and promote community in your youth ministry. Start your year by starting some type of art project that the students can build either 15min every week or a whole youth ministry evening once a month or somewhere in-between. Maybe it’s building something like the last supper (life size) out of news paper, or Jesus on the cross using play-dough. Come up with some type of project that will take your group a school year to complete – you will be glad you did.

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