Youth ministry programs

Christian Youth Group Activities: The Rich Young Ruler

Read Luke 18: 18-27 and ask youth what they think of this command of Jesus to give everything that you own to the poor, then follow Jesus. Discuss to what degree this is possible today. How much "everything" is everything? Does Jesus simply mean something significant?

Try this exercise with your young people. It is fun and there is lots to talk about when it is over.

  • Get some play money like what you find in a monopoly game. Divide it up into differing amounts ranging from $15.00 to about $200.00 dollars. Have a different amount for each person. Put the money into envelopes and have the youth pick the envelopes randomly. Record the amount each youth has but do not make the amounts known to the group.
  • Develop three or four scenarios that would require raising funds. In our group we had the following:
    1. Funds needed to pay the church's monthly oil bill of $1,000.00 as the church was having trouble meeting its budget.
    2. Funds to assist an orphan in a foreign country where an earthquake just devastated her home.
    3. Funds to support a local soup kitchen to pay for repairs to a broken water pipe system - cost about $,1,000.00.
    4. Funds to purchase a new audio visual projector to be used with computer programs for the youth group.
  • Advise youth that the amount in their envelope is their monthly income. Ask them how much they would give to help with each of these projects. Record the donated amounts one project at a time.
  • Analyze the results in the following ways:
    1. Which of the projects got the most support in terms of identifying the project that received the most donations.
    2. Who was willing to give the highest percentage of their funds for projects. Did youth with a lot of money give a higher percentage or did those with a lower amount give the higher percentage?
    3. Were there projects that youth were willing to give 100 percent of their funds for.
  • After analyzing and presenting the statistical results there will be many topics that will arise for discussion.

We completed our meeting by addressing the reality that most youth do not have large amounts of money to give to God's work but there are other things that can be given. We presented ideas of giving to the church (being an usher, choir member or reader in worship), mission (helping with local soup kitchen, giving a little extra for the orphan we are supporting) and for the group itself (cleaning the youth room, writing articles for the newsletter, assisting with the website). At the end of the session almost everyone volunteered to do something for one of these entities.

We would love to hear if this activity was useful to your group. Please share your experience by writing to:

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