4. Cardboard Skeeball
Kick up your youth group’s game time with a homemade Skeeball “machine.” Enlist creative kids to build a contraption out of cardboard. They can even add balloon “lights” on the side. In addition to adding fun to group meetings, Skeeball will be a hit at church carnivals or youth fundraisers.
5. A Sticky Situation
Craft a memorable lesson plan or retreat session around the theme G.U.M.—God Use Me. As kids arrive, hand out gumballs in baggies labeled with the G.U.M. acronym. For an icebreaker, have bubble-blowing contests. Then talk about how God used people in the Bible and how he uses his followers today. Also discuss ways you can stick together in Christ.
5. Enneagram Event
Host an event that sparks young people’s interest in their unique personalities, strengths, and spiritual gifts. Use the Enneagram assessment to discuss about kids’ traits and talents. Then make plans to put them to the best use as a group.
6. Love in Loads
Need a new idea for a youth outreach project? If you’re tired of car washes, try this Laundromat outreach for a new “spin” on sudsy difference-making. Beforehand, request permission from a shop owner to let your group pay for people’s laundry loads during a specific time frame. Kids also can ask if people want help folding their clothes. And they can hand out detergent packets with messages about Jesus’ free, “cleansing” forgiveness.
7. Fruitful Offering
Brighten people’s day with this easy random act of kindness. Make “Take What You Need” signs, complete with tabs along the bottom that people can rip off. On the tabs, write different gifts and spiritual fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and so on. Post the signs throughout your community. Then take walks as a group to see what people have selected. Along the way, discuss how you can keep meeting those needs.
8. Bowled Over
For an extended icebreaker and fun community-builder, try the Bowl Game. Give each person two paper slips and a pencil. On each slip, have them write one true thing about themselves. (Ideally something that others aren’t likely to know.) Collect all the slips in a large bowl. Then have players take turns selecting a slip and trying to guess who wrote it. When the person is correctly guessed, have them explain the “truth,” if necessary.
What youth group ideas for small churches do you recommend? Share your thoughts in the comments below!