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Movie Night

502559: Do U Know? Game  
Card game similar to Uno accept you also have to answer questions about Bible facts. Fun for $4.99

Sunday School Lesson Plans

Youth Group-Group Building

Building unity in your youth group

takes some serious intentional effort. While not quite as important as teaching the Bible, building friendships and trust in your youth group is essential.

Often the major amount of the youth groups budget and time goes to trips and activities. There's nothing like a six hour car trip (if done right) to an event to build friendships. But with the always present budget constraints and the priority of faith-building, the arguments for not doing these trips quickly gains credibility. 

Group-building, however, can take place anywhere kids gather. That means that the Sunday School class room, mid-week youth group, even church can be a catalyst to relationship building. That is what we will concentrate on on this page.

92817: Ready-to-Go Retreats & Lock-ins: 16 Complete Plans for Fun and Soulful Events

Just $14.99 from Christian Book.com. Click on book to order.

Ready-to-Go Retreats & Lock-ins: 16 Complete Plans for Fun and Soulful Events
By Beth Miller / Abingdon Press

Each Retreat includes two individual morning meditations, detailed program notes for small groups with three to four sessions per retreat, ideas for a worship service and evening devotional, and fun, group-building activities. Provided meditations, counselor notes, handouts, and worship flyers are photocopiable.

Each Lock-In is theme-based and has games, small group time, worship ideas, and sleep time. Includes reproducible handouts, preparation lists, and bonus material on CD-ROM. Ready-To-Go resources are equipped with event themes that target contemporary issues teens face in the real world. These relevant messages are delivered with impact, through coordinated devotional plans, discussion frameworks, and captivating activities.
Many surveys have shown that the most important factor for young adults continuing to attend church is that they believe connection to a church has real value for their lives. As middle and high school age kids they found strength and comfort in their relationships at church and with other church attendees. These relationships go beyond the youth group involving caring adults in extended family situations. More on family ministry.
78813: My Friends Middle School Survival Series My Friends Middle School Survival Series
By Kurt Johnston & Mark Oestreicher / Zondervan

Will your middle-schoolers' peers help spur them on---or trip them up? Teach your teen students how to make great friends and be one! Exploring what God's Word says about friendships, Johnston and Oestreicher offer helpful advice on choosing close companions, dealing with conflict, and smoothing the bumpy road through adolescence with trustworthy fellow travelers. Just $7.99 from Christian Book.com

Youth group relationships extend into other areas of their lives:

Every youth group is made up of a bunch of kids. A strong youth group is made up of a bunch of kids who like each other. When they look forward to seeing each other and genuinely care for each other they will feel this way when they are at school and at home. The kids will draw strength from trusted peer relationships to help handle the stressful environments of school and home.

Our goal then is to teach them how to be a good friend and give others in the group the chance to demonstrate that they are trustworthy.

35719: The Friendship Factor, 25th Anniversary Edition  
 

The Friendship Factor
Bestseller -the essential ingredient of warmth and caring is at the heart of every relationship.

 

Ultimate Skits: 20 Parables for Driving Home Your Point          Powerfully connect spiritual truths with students lives and have some laughs at the same time!
20 skits on topics students care about.

 

 

007181: Bible Taboo Game  

Bible Taboo Game


 

74527: Retell a Story Cubes  
Anyone can become a great storyteller and there are no wrong answers. Simply roll the cubes and let the pictures spark your imagination! Use as an awesome icebreaker.

Team-Building Activities for Every Group

The Chunky Penguin ULTIMATE Group Activity Guide: Icebreaker Games, Team Building Activities And Group Game Ideas 

sharing ball

Throw & Tell Ice Breakers Ball
By Group Publishing / Group Publishing

Looking for a way to get the fun and conversations started with your teens? The teen's throw and tell ball is an easy and fun conversation starter! With 52 fun and thoughtful icebreaker questions, simply toss the ball, call stop and have the holder answer the question under their right thumb!

 

Friendships and Cliques:

"Cliques are groups of friends, but not all groups of friends are cliques. The thing that makes a group a clique is that they leave some kids out on purpose. Usually one or two popular kids control who gets to be in the clique and who gets left out. Kids may act much differently than they did before they were part of the clique." so says

Friendships are extremely important to kids at this age. Be mindful of this when forming groups or selecting teams for games and activities. I recommend allowing friends to stay together for discussions and some activities.  This is especially true if the newcomer was brought by his or her friend. This close attachment is exactly what we are trying to foster.  Watch out for the loner.

3613EB: Instant Skits: Using Improv to Create Memorable Moments in Ministry - eBook

There is a print version but this is link is a E-download.

By Youth Specialities.

Instant Skits: Using Improv to Create Memorable Moments in Ministry - eBook
By Eddie James & Tommy Woodard (THE SKIT GUYS)

It's Wednesday night and once again the youth pastor needs some elements to fill her program. She's got the message. She sees the purpose and value of getting students involved, but there never seems to be enough time. Between staff meetings and taking care of the ministry, she can't get to it all. SKETCHUATIONS can come to the rescue. The youth minister is sharing on lying/deception. She picks up the book, turns to the index of words, and finds "lying". Turns to the appropriate page and finds at least 15 situations she could use to get students on stage and illustrating the point. Granted, some SKETCHUATIONS may turn out to be home runs, and some may be duds, depending on who volunteers to get on stage. There is an introduction page for each sketch the user can read to make sure the situations go smoothly and the students are a success. The wonderful part of SKETCHUATIONS is that even if the situation doesn't go great, students love watching their peers and friends get on stage and be fools for a little bit. SKETCHUATIONS can fill that void with great visuals and great truths, which come out of the people who are experiencing the subjects firsthand. If there is a leader who likes drama, they can use the scriptwriting blueprint to take an improvised situation and (with some tweaking) make a great skit for the upcoming program. Plus, the book is packed with tons of useful improv games to use during rehearsal to make your team better onstage--or you can use them as icebreakers. Either way, SKETCHUATIONS is sure to be a success with your group!

Choosing Teams for Games and Activities:

When designating teams or groups, do it quickly, so the loner or unpopular kid isn't stuck waiting to be picked. I prefer the counting method to designate who is one what team or in which group. Quickly go around the room pointing to each kids and say, "One," then, "Two," etc.  Tell them where their group is supposed to gather and encourage them to get there fast. This keeps the discomfort of the kids with poor self-image to a minimum.

55326: Experiential Youth Ministry Handbook Experiential Youth Ministry Handbook
By John Losey / Zondervan Youth Specialties

Wish youth-group fun could accomplish more than burning off energy? It can---if you have the right tools. This innovative Youth Specialties resource offers lots of action with a purpose for weekly meetings, small groups, mission trips, retreats, and more. Programming sequences and adaptable templates offer approaches to activity that make spiritual lessons stick. 156 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

Choose Student Leaders:

Pick one boy and one girls for every eight attendees of their gender to be student leaders. These student leaders should be the most mature and natural leaders already. Train these student leaders to be sensitive to assist in creating a welcoming, comfortable environment in your youth group. It's really heartwarming to see your student leaders blossom into shepherds with just a little direction. When given the responsibility these natural leaders just take the reins and run.

421972: Groupbuilder Games and Activities for Youth Ministry Groupbuilder Games and Activities for Youth Ministry
By Group Publishing Inc

Building unity among teenagers is as easy as Ready...Set...Go with this must-have resource packed with cool youth games and activities with a purpose. Unique and loads of fun, these games and activities will help tear down walls and build community in any group of teenagers. Unlike other game books on the market, it emphasizes teamwork to build a stronger group and to shape self-confidence in teenagers.

Sibling Rivalry:

In most cases siblings do well together. When joining a new youth group they will support each other. If this is the case, allow them to remain together (sitting together, being in the same small groups, and same teams for games). However, it is very common to see siblings bully one another. Most of the time they are not aware that their actions can be very emotionally destructive. Teach my lessons on bullying to the whole class. If things do not improve make a home visit to discuss the behavioral issues privately, one-on-one. A home visit can be a real eye-opener into the family dynamics that might be behind the behavior. Sometimes helping parents with parenting is the best solution.

On Sunday I have the kids in my middle school Sunday school class stay in the service for praise & worship time. Praising God together is a great group building activity. Unfortunately, I don't play any instruments and am not very musical. The answer is karaoke. No kidding. There are a lot of Praise Karaoke CD's available. These are the "official" song tracks that pay the musicians their royalties. They come with a "G" computer CD that has the words for you to print out.

CD91923: Casting Crowns, Volume 1 Karaoke Style CD

Casting Crowns, Volume 1 Karaoke Style CD

Includes: CD+Graphics, Lyric Sheet, Karaoke Track and Vocal Demonstrations by the finest studio musicians in Nashville. (Not original artist recordings). Includes "Here I Go Again," "If We Are the Body," "Lifesong," "Praise You with the Dance," "What If His People Prayed," and "Who Am I."

Available from ChristianBook.com for $10.99.  The website has a demo you can listen to before you buy.


This is real fun to do with the kids. If you sing loud, they'll sign loud. Then it's a blast.

Pictures:

Take pictures at every opportunity. Copy the photos on the back of my one-page Sunday school lesson plans or send as attachments on e-mail. Send them to parents as well.

Do not publish them on FaceBook, MySpace, or from your phone unless you have express written permission from parents and students in each picture. Pictures sent via any public media are easily copied and used for other purposes (not always good).

20379: Crowd Breakers & Mixers, Idea Library Crowd Breakers & Mixers, Idea Library
By Youth Specialties / Zondervan Youth Specialties

Break the ice and warm up your group - at meetings, parties, studies, or any other youth group event - with one of these 230 crowd breakers and mixers! MIXERS - Make is fun for kids to get acquainted! Lots of creative ways for a group of strangers or classmates to circulate and learn a lot about each other in a little time. MEETING-OPENING CONTESTS - All you need usually are two or three brave souls to jump feet first into a crazy competition while the group watches - like Greasepuff (page 55) or Foot Signing (page 112). MUSICAL CROWD BREAKERS - Your youth will enjoy these engaging musical openers. All you usually need is a tape deck or CD player. QUIZZES & WORD GAMES - Quizzes with absolutely no academic consequences, but loaded with crowd breaking potential (and lots of laughs, too). If you're a youth worker or recreation director in a church, school, club, or camp - Crowd Breakers & Mixers is your storehouse of proven, youth group tested ideas.
Building friendships and relationships within your youth group will benefit your students throughout their lives.  Strong unity within a youth group offers teens a stable base to face the challenges of their fast paced lives. Strong friendships can help teens defy society's current trend towards casual sex. Friendship is the springboard to every other love relationship.
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