I am wondering if you could provide some guidance for me...
I was recently asked to establish a youth program for a small church in Toronto, Canada.
Without having much training in this area, I realize I need some guidance on how to do this.
Below are some thoughts about a successful youth group.
Youth Groups need to meet regularly so that the young people can build supportive relationships. We meet on a weekly basis (every Sunday evening) except for July and August but we made sure we had some type of "get together" each month in the summer.
You need as much parental support as possible. I always have a parent meeting at the beginning of each year to review goals and plans for the program. I also write a newsletter about every other month with articles about already held events as well as articles about future events.
Have a theme that describes your program. One theme years ago was "You've Got a Friend". The theme for the current program is "Fun...Faith...Friends". Have the theme displayed on the newsletter and in your meeting place.
Have a combination of events each meeting - some for fun and some faith based. My book "Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meetings" has 360 pages of activity ideas, skits and resources to plan a program. Some broadly popular ones are "The Jury Speaks", "Flashlight Sing", "Ha Ha" and "The Lifeboat Game". Another popular one, not in the book because it was developed after the book was published, is "Trust and Prayer". This activity can be found on the website. My second book, "The Chest of Visions" is more than just a story. It has nine additional lessons listed in the back of the book.
Find public service activities in the neighborhood. Our youth group has been servicing a soup Kitchen in New York City two or three times a year since 1995. The youth are very supportive of this and look forward to our days there – even though they are all day service events.
Try World Vision's "Thirty Hour Famine". Our youth have done it every year since 1997. They usually see this event as the highlight of the youth program. Just search the internet for details.
Try a longer event with church participation like the "Olympics" described in "Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meetings". Our yearly "Olympics" involved about 20 competitions lasting six or seven weeks with adults from the church being judges and a show at the end for the entire church to attend.
Jo writes, regarding Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meetings,
"I think this book is really good and helpful. I first read the online version of the book because i did not want to pay for it. But after reading a couple of program ideas and having a very very successful youth program I totally HAD to get this book. It is well worth the money."
For more reviews of the second book, received from the public, and a video of the book, please click: Christian Fantasy/Sci-Fi: What visions are in the chest?
For purchase and/or additional information click: The Chest of Visions
Book is available on Amazon.com, on Kindle or on Nook. There are additional reviews on Amazon.com.