Find things to do that motivate and captivate.
Being a youth leader
I have been an active youth ministry leader for several years now. I take great pride in knowing that I get the change to talk about God with a whole new generation of believers. I get to spread the love of Jesus to this group of amazing youngsters. Nothing pleases me more than to get to answers their questions and see a real curiosity develop in regards to God and the kingdom of Heaven. Recently two of my students abandoned the world and took up their own crosses and decided to let Jesus into their lives. It was a glorious moment and one I am thankful that I was able to be a part of.
Getting the word of God to the kids has never been the difficult issue. Our Bible lessons go rather smoothly for the most part and the kids generally get involved with stories and discussionsof their own. The problem is entertaining them before or after the lesson has ended.
Speaking with other youth leaders in my area I found that this is a problem they too deal with on a regular basis. On warm days basketball and volleyball are always going to keep them entertained and having fun, but rainy and snowing days present a new challenge for leaders. How do we keep our little ones occupied on those less than sunny days?
I hope to give you a few ideas that will assist in doing just that. I hope these ideas will work for you and make your group a little easier to manage.
Get them involved.
Resource From Amazon
The Is Game
The is game actually came about from my days as a pro wrestler. We would do a training task called I am. Simply you step forward and tell the trainer who you are as your wrestling character. I took that a step further in this little game for youth groups in the church.
Have your students get into a circle. One will act as the starter or first person in the circle. This person will say God is, and they have to finish the sentence. Maybe they might say God is Love. Write that down and no one else can say God is love. They have to fill in the missing end of the sentence them self. When you come back to the starter you have finished round one.
Round two is very simular but instead of God is, you say Jesus is and finish the sentence following the same rules from before. Very easy and fun right? The third round will be I am, and the kids have to describe themselves in one or two words. This is always fun because you never know what you might hear one of them say.
The last round is a little different. Have the kids look at the person on their left and now they will say you are and finish the sentence saying something about their neighbor in the circle. I find this helps the kids to speak out in the group, and even to some degree find a little individuality within it. It also gets them to become better acquainted with other members of the group. This is a great thing to do when a new student joins for the first time just to open them up a little more to the whole idea of group activity.
Bible Quiz Show
This is always a fun way to get the kids involved with after lesson activity. It takes some serious planning but in the end it is worth the extra trouble. Simply create questions based on the lesson you have just had. Now divide your group into 2 teams or 3 if they are large enough to do so. You start by addressing the rules of the game which are really however you wish them to be. Now ask a question and let the teams buzz in and answer. each question should be worth like 100 points for the first 2 or 3 and gradually move up.
This allows you to really see who was listening to the lesson and who wasn't so you can make adjustments in future meetings. It is also a great way for the kids to showcase what they learned and have a little fun at the same time.
A fun alternative way to play is pit the kids against the leaders. Have the leaders intentionally miss questions. Let's say you ask "who was Mary's husband?" Have one of the leaders buzz in and say Bugs Bunny. The kids will instantly chime in and correct them. The leader will then look at his team and say "sorry guys I really thought I had that one". This serves several purposes really. It allows the kids and leaders to bond and form a level of trust and friendship. It also is great fun for the kids to beat the leaders and get that feeling of achievement.
This one capitalizes on the popularity of American Idol. Kids pick their favorite song from the hymnal and sing it for the judges. The judges will be the leaders. After the kids get done each judge will say something really nice, except the judge who will act as Simon. They will not say anything mean but something utterly ridiculous. Let's say little Suzy belts out "Victory in Jesus" and the judges have complimented her and it comes to Simon. Simon might say "Your performance was good, but really it needs more peanut butter and silly putty" This will get the kids cracking up and even the ones who are usually to shy will jump right in to sing just to hear a silly comment from the Simon judge.
It is a great way to get that barrier of shyness broken down and allow the kids to express themselves a little more.
Films That Work
When in doubt, movies out!!!
I find a movie is always a great way to keep anyone entertained. Pick a good wholesome christian film. We have used 'Even Almighty", "Fireproof" and "Facing the Giants" as our choices. Interesting enough it was "Facing the Giants" that sparked that feeling within my two youth students that encouraged their devotional choice to accept Jesus as their Lord and saviour. Movies are always a sure fire bet to get the attention going. If your group is to young I would suggest Veggie Tales. I particularly like God is Bigger myself. I hope something here inspired you, even a little. Thanks and God bless.
This is even a good idea for adult groups as well. "Fighting Temptations", and films of that nature are great to reunite that inner feeling with Godliness. I love to use film to capture messages that need to be conveyed. It really is a great and resourceful way to help people.
The success of a good youth group program really depends on how much the leader can motivate the youth. You have to be ready to listen and learn with them and grow as they do. Getting young folks interested in the walk with Jesus can be difficult but the reward is far greater than the struggle. I always tell people working with youth be prepared. If you are doing it right you will learn just as much as they do and you will start to see the inner person of each child you come in contact with and that is a vital step to a program that allows fun and excitement but also the word of our savior to be expressed and absorbed. I wish you the best on this and may God bless.
Wilson Youth on March 11, 2020:
Looking forward to seeing how the youth react to these ideas! I'm excited for them!
Olivia on March 26, 2015:
I'm a HS youth leader in a small church. I really like these ideas. I think Bible Idol will be great for our lock in that we have in September. I look forward to trying these with my kids!
Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on April 15, 2013:
That is awesome! I hope you use it and it is a huge success, please tell me the results.
ninja on April 11, 2013:
i really enjoyed the Bible Idol lol sounds so fun I'm a Youth Leader so its kinda cool to find new ideas please tell me more about great ideas
Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on February 01, 2013:
I am glad you enjoyed it. Are you a youth minister or leader?
jaylan on January 30, 2013:
thank you for this great idea.
God bless :)
Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on March 19, 2011:
Thanks for reading. I hope it goes well. Just glad I could be of service.
Jen Buczynski from Buffalo, NY on March 19, 2011:
The "IS" game sounds great! We're having a "youth group sleepover" this Friday night, and I love the "Jesus is..." game--our focus is on the character of Jesus this week so that's perfect. Thanks!