Ideas for New Youth Leaders
1. Invite senior presentations. Invite older church members to share what life was like when they were young. To make it more interesting, have their old photos put into PowerPoint slides and show them as they tell their story. Also have them share how they came into the church.
2. Bring nature indoors. Invite curators from local museums, nature organizations or zoos to come and make nature presentations in your church. After the presenter is finished, you may need to bridge what has been said with Scripture. Make sure it ends on a spiritual note.
3. Organize and host a concert. Plan an outing to a park or nature preserve and have an outdoor music fest. Invite a special guest musician to do a concert.
4. Plan a children's day. Encourage your grade school children to present a program. If you have a church school, ask the teachers to plan a presentation that utilizes the children's talents. If you don't have a school, invite some of the children's Sabbath School divisions to help out.
5. Media support. Use DVDs and music clips to highlight a particular topic or theme. For example: If you're wanting to talk about missions, find a good DVD that makes a strong appeal for getting involved in missions both at home and abroad.
6. Do a talk-show! Create a discussion time that is patterned after a TV talk show. Invite a host to field questions and issues that are relevant to kid's spiritual lives. Encourage lots of participation. This is something you may even want to invite your community to attend. Make sure it is well organized.
7. Plan a drama Sabbath. Invite music and drama groups from other churches or schools to spend the Sabbath with your group. If your kids are into drama, make sure you inlcude thme in the activities.
8. Youth exchange. Invite the youth group of nearby sister church to plan one of your Sabbath School programs. This is an excellent way for churches to get better acquainted, and they may ask you to reciprocate in the future.
9. Visit a Jewish synagogue. Contact a local Jewish synagogue and arrange for your church to visit for a Friday or Saturday evening service. In the past, this has been done by some Adventist churches with great success. It's a great way to see the Sabbath through the eyes of others who value it as well.
10. Plan a story-telling Sabbath School. Feature a number of church members and leaders in a short series of presentations that encourage sharing interesting life stories. You could do a series entitled: What Jesus Means to Me, and have members share their personal conversion stories.
11. Read the Bible through. Arrange for a special week where members participate in reading the Bible through. Create a living room setting in your church sanctuary or foyer (use a rocking chair, lamp and table), and invite members to sign up for 15-minute time slots. Some may choose to do several together. Have members take turns coming to the church to read the Bible aloud, 24 hours a day until it is finished. You can time this so it ends on Sabbath morning at the beginning of the worship hour. This has been done in several churches with great success! It's a neat way to bring your church family together and emphasize the importance of Scripture reading.
12. Delay your worship service. Plan a Sabbath where your morning worship services are postponed until vesper time. Encourage members to spend the day with family and friends in nature, helping others, and sharing God's love. Invite them to a special service in the late afternoon to share how they spent the Sabbath and how it affected them. In larger churches have members break into smaller groups that are led by elders. Then, invite everyone to come together in a final session where selected ones share their group's responses.
13. Use drama for offering appeals. Invite your youth group to put on offering skits. Teens need to be challenged to participate in the life of the church. Usually they respond when given latitude to express their creativity.
14. Present a readers theater. Create a readers theater with several members reading from a Christian story book. After you have found a good story, select personalities to read the parts that fit the various characters. This can be very interesting and devotional.
15. Look at the stars. Invite a Christian astronomer to come and talk about the stars and planets. After sunset, arrange for a small telescope to be set up so members can view the stars.
16. Network with others. Check with your conference Youth Director to see if he knows of special features outside of your area you could schedule (i.e. ventriloquists, Christian magicians, musical groups, and guest speakers).
Rich DuBose is Director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference. All rights reserved © 2009 Church Support Services. Click here for content usage information.