Resources

Social Media and Apps

Contributed by: Lorna Gray, National Youth Facilitator

An interactive activity to help young people reflect on their use of social media and apps in light of what the Bible says. Perfect for both individuals and groups of young people.
Using the online quiz tool, Kahoot, create a quiz to help them unpack their response to the following verses. Get... See more

Alt Carols

Contributed by: Diocese of Auckland

Some more fresh new Christmas music for your ears... and all your Christmas services and events too! Thanks to St Paul's in Auckland, here's a compilation of carols lovingly rewritten and performed by various kiwi artists.
Find the latest album on Spotify:... See more

Advent Illustrations

Beautiful and uniquely New Zealand Advent illustrations have been created by Annelies Berends and the team at Strandz. Perfect for Advent services and creative Christmas activities, there are four black and white illustrations:

This is the Day (Te Rangimarie)

Contributed by: Diocese of Auckland

A brand new song for Christmas that celebrates the peace of Christ and reflects our incredible kiwi spirit in the wake of the Christchurch tragedy. This is the Day (Te Rangimarie) was written by Josh Jones, an Anglican minister in the Diocese of Auckland.
About the song, Josh says "The awesome... See more

Endured

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

Paul endured through all sorts of hard times when following Jesus. This teaching session on Paul explores his inspiring endurance and will help young people to understand that our hard times can be an opportunity to demonstrate God's grace.
You will need: 'Paul's suffering' verses, Bibles,... See more

Better World

Contributed by: Kirstin Cant, NZCMS

Are you up for radical adventure? Seeing the world? Digging deep into the issues of social justice?
Better World is a radical social justice experience where a group of young people are taken on a 10 month journey across 3 countries and dig deep into 4 areas of social justice; Urban Poverty,... See more

Writer

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

Paul sent letters to help churches and individuals continue growing in their faith in Jesus and in their understanding of how to live as his followers. We too can grow in these matters and Paul’s letters continue to help us today. This interactive and engaging teaching session gives a good... See more

Using your unique ‘SHAPE’

Contributed by: Emily Paterson and Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

The final session in the 'Discovering Your SHAPE' series will help them see how the different aspects of their unique 'SHAPE' come together and discover how they can use their SHAPE to help others and to honour God.
About the 'Discovering Your SHAPE' series
'Discovering Your SHAPE' is a... See more

Discovering your Experiences

Contributed by: Emily Paterson and Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

This fourth part of the 'Discovering Your SHAPE' series focuses on understanding that what they have experienced in life forms a significant part of who they are. They will learn that God can use their experiences, both good and bad, to help others.
About the 'Discovering Your SHAPE'... See more

Discovering your Spiritual Gifts and Abilities

This third part of the 'Discovering Your SHAPE' series focuses on identifying what their natural abilities and skills are, as well as discovering what the Bible says about spiritual gifts and figuring out what theirs could be.
About the 'Discovering Your SHAPE' series
'Discovering Your... See more

Discovering your Heart and Personality

This second part of the 'Discovering Your SHAPE' series focuses on finding out their personality type and the heart that God has given them for people and causes.
About the 'Discovering Your SHAPE' series
'Discovering Your SHAPE' is a teaching series all about helping teenagers learn about... See more

Discovering your unique ‘SHAPE’

Contributed by: Emily Paterson and Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

'Discovering Your SHAPE' is a teaching series all about helping teenagers learn about their identity, with a special focus on how they can uniquely help others and impact their church and community using the gifts and skills God has given them.
Using the acronym 'SHAPE', they will learn about... See more

Psalm 23 Prayer Stations

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

A series of four interactive prayer stations based on David's famous psalm, Psalm 23. You can use this on its own, or as part of this series on David - A man after God's own heart.
Preparation
Beforehand, print out these instruction sheets. Set up each of the four stations in your meeting... See more

Straw Race

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

For this challenge, get 3 or 4 volunteers up the front. Each person puts one end of an ordinary drinking straw in their mouth. Their challenge is try to get their mouth from one end of the straw to the other without using their hands... only mouths and tongues allowed! See more

Fruitful Conversations

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

In small groups, young people share about their experiences with the Fruit of the Spirit and/or Kingdom character traits. Use the green Fruit of the Spirit cards and/or the blue Kingdom Traits cards (gifted to participants at The Abbey 2018). Alternatively, you can print your own sets of cards... See more

Ice Cream Extreme

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! It doesn't get much better than a whole night centred around the deliciousness that is ice cream. This theme night is a great treat for summer, but works equally well any time of the year.
Start by getting your group into teams, and get them to... See more

The Spirit in Me

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

Young people share openly about character formation and pray together in a supportive small group. Use the green Fruit of the Spirit cards and/or the blue Kingdom Traits cards (gifted to participants at The Abbey 2018). Alternatively, you can print your own sets of cards using our printable... See more

Repentance – David

Throughout David's life, he demonstrated some key attributes of following God - being chosen, trust, worship, obedience and repentance. This study looks at how, even though he wasn't perfect, God loved his repentant heart. It is the sixth and final in a series for older teenagers, looking at the... See more

Head Shoulders Knees Cup

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Get all your youth into pairs and standing facing each other. Place a plastic cup on the floor in between each pair.
For each round, give a series of commands to your players: head, shoulders, knees, or cup. Players must touch whatever you call out. When you say, "CUP!", the first player to... See more

Sheep Rescue

Rescue the lost sheep! This simple team game is great to play as an introduction to a session on Psalm 23, The Good Shepherd or the parable of the Lost Sheep.
Put your group into two teams, and number them off. Teams line up and sit on each side of a rectangular area. Place a ‘sheep’ in the... See more

Obedience – David

Contributed by: Karen Spoelstra, Diocese of Auckland

Throughout David's life, he demonstrated some key attributes of following God - being chosen, trust, worship, obedience and repentance. This study looks at how David demonstrated this trust in God through obedience. It is the fifth in a series for older teenagers, looking at the life of David - 'a... See more

Newspaper Theme Night

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Collect up a whole lot of old newspapers for a newspaper night! Add in a few simple supplies like scissors and tape, and you've got all you need for a youth group event that intermediates love.
Paper Fold
Choose a few volunteers to do this upfront challenge. Offer a prize to the person who... See more

Electric Fence

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Electric Fence is a great team game! Groups have to use any method possible to move their team over (or through) an ‘electric fence’ using a line or rope (not an actual electric fence!) without touching it. Make it a race if you have two teams and deduct points if people get zapped.
Use... See more

Feelings and Needs Cards

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

Feelings and Needs Cards have been created by Soul Tour for young adults to use in their small groups to develop deeper levels of sharing and community.
Each set contains 54 feelings cards and 58 needs cards. To use them, simply lay the cards out in the two sets. Ask group members to select at... See more

Airport Clue Find

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Teams must solve the clues around the airport and meet back at a designated spot (e.g. McDonald's) within a preset time.
Beforehand, head to your airport (or a mall will also work well) and scout out some information for the clues. Signs, displays and shops are all great options for clues, for... See more

Image Up Close

Contributed by: Emily Paterson and Karen Spoelstra, Diocese of Auckland

When we are in the thick of difficult situations, it can be hard to see what God is doing. Use this up front challenge to illustrate how, with time, we can look back and see how God has been with us through hard times.
Ask for two volunteers and get them to step outside of your room. Set up a... See more

Worship – David

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

Throughout David's life, he demonstrated some key attributes of following God - being chosen, trust, worship, obedience and repentance.  This lesson looks at how David worshipped God. It is the fourth in a series for older teenagers, looking at the life of David - 'a man after God's own... See more

Trust – David

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

Throughout David's life, he demonstrated some key attributes of following God - being chosen, trust, worship, obedience and repentance. As we get to know God more, and look at his track record, we should be able to trust him. This study looks at how David demonstrated this trust in God. It is the... See more

A prayerful review of your day

Contributed by: Karen Spoelstra, Diocese of Auckland

Often in life we move very quickly from one thing to the next, we rarely slow down to reflect on what God has been doing and saying to us during the day. Here's an outline your teenagers can use each evening to slow down and spend time listening to God. You can also use this as part of Night... See more

Chosen – David

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

Throughout David's life, he demonstrated some key attributes of following God - being chosen, trust, worship, obedience and repentance.
This study looks at how David was 'chosen' by God to be the King over Israel. This is the second in a series for older teenagers, looking at the life of David... See more

Newspaper Scavenger Hunt

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Collect a bunch of old newspapers or magazines, enough for one per team. You will also need scissors. Print out a checklist of scavenger hunt items that the teams are to try to find and cut out from their newspapers. Award a prize for the team that spots the most of these things on the... See more

Rollerball

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Challengers must stand and balance on the designated object while holding a tray that has 3 pool balls on it. If they drop any balls, they’re out. Last person standing wins. See more

David’s Story

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

Throughout David's life, he demonstrated some key attributes of following God - being chosen, trust, worship, obedience and repentance. This introduction to David's story will give your youth a solid basis for exploring key themes and aspects of the life of King David. It is the first part of a... See more

Chocolate Party

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

A chocolate themed night aimed at junior youth, e.g. 11-13 year olds. This is perfect for around Easter, just substitute chocolate bars for Easter eggs and include a short Easter themed message. Warning: there may be chocolate overload by the end of the night!
Guess the Number
You will... See more

Lord’s Prayer Stations

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Jesus gave us the Lord's Prayer as as an example of how to pray. These six prayer stations with creative activities and printable posters will engage your youth with each part of the Lord's Prayer. It will help your youth go deeper than just reciting the words, to getting to the heart of how we... See more

Egg Catcher

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

This classic egg catching competition is a great one for Easter!
Play in pairs. Each pair is given an egg that they must throw and catch between them without breaking.
Start 2 metres apart and with each successful throw, extend the distance they must throw between, until you have one pair... See more

Seasons & Soul Food

Contributed by: Karen Spoelstra and Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

This talk and small group discussion guide uses the process of bread-making to teach about spiritual practices and growing with Jesus the different seasons of life. You could use it as a follow on from the Bread of Life.
Note: If you don't have the resources or time to bake bread, you could... See more

A Lenten Pathway

Contributed by: Rev. Jemma Allen, Diocese of Auckland

The Lenten season can be thought about as us accompanying Jesus on his journey to the cross, or as a pilgrimage of preparation for celebrating Easter. Making a physical pathway for Lent can help make a visual focus for this idea.
The idea is to move along the pathway, Sunday by Sunday, denoting... See more

Carbon Fast for Lent

Contributed by: Jocelyn Czerwonka, Diocese of Waiapu

Lent is the time when we remember the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, facing challenge and temptation. It is a time when we reflect on God’s purpose for our life. Many youth groups take this opportunity to encourage young people to fast from treats like Coke or chocolates or to take... See more

MasterChef

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Hold a Youth MasterChef competition, with the focus on getting into the kitchen and cooking up a storm. Get youth into teams and give them a cooking challenge for the night, e.g. cook an international dish, the best pancakes, or a fruit-based dessert. Bring in a panel of judges to pick the best... See more

Balloon Crab Soccer

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

It's soccer, but not as you know it. Teams play on their hands and feet, using a balloon instead of a soccer ball! See more

Birds Nest

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Split youth into teams. They must choose someone to be the ‘birds nest’. The birds nest then gets a new hairdo of shaving foam on top of their head. The others are given cheese balls or marshmallows to try and land on their head from a certain distance. Whoever has the most ‘eggs’ when... See more

Jesus Connections

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

Young people get a chance to think about Jesus, and practice talking about Jesus, by selecting two Jesus cards and describing the connection they see between the two. Use both the red and purple sets of Jesus cards (gifted to participants at The Abbey 2017) or print your own sets (Red Set / Purple... See more

Bucket of worms

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Prepare some large bowls or buckets of chocolate flavoured/coloured water. In each bowl or bucket place a certain number of sour worm lollies. Youth have to retrieve the most worms they can within a set time limit using only their faces. You might want to wear a bib... See more

Jesus Questions

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

Young people share openly and honestly their questions about Jesus in a supportive small group. Use both the red and purple sets of Jesus cards (gifted to participants at The Abbey 2017) or print your own sets (Red Set / Purple Set).
Spread the cards face up on the floor or on a table that... See more

Crazy Waiter

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Teams line up single file at the starting point (point A). Give each team a waiters tray with items such as cups, plates etc.
Players must navigate through an obstacle course to point B without dropping items before returning to tag the next player. See more

Shine Your Light

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

'Shine Your Light' is the sixth and final session in a teaching series called ‘Light/Dark’. Throughout this series, your youth will discover more about Jesus as the Light of the World, his victory over darkness on the cross, and the transforming power of his light in our lives… all through... See more

Rock Paper Scissors

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Play a group challenge of 'Rock Paper Scissors' where everyone plays. Give each person 9 wrapped lollies (lives). They must challenge someone to a game, best out of 5. If they win, they get to take one of the other persons ‘lives’. If they lose, they give up a life. If you’re challenged to... See more

Jesus and Me

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

A discussion starter for small groups, helping young people share what Jesus means to them. Use the purple set of Jesus cards (gifted to everyone at The Abbey 2017) or make your own set with our free Jesus card printable.
Spread the cards face up on the floor or on a table that the group are... See more

Pumpkin

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Teams line up side by side at point A. At point B, mark out three concentric circles for each team. The outer circle is worth 25 points, the inner circle is worth 50 and the centre circle 100. Players have to bowl three pumpkins into the circle to try and score for their team.
Keep a tally of... See more

Changed by the Light

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

'Changed by the Light' is the fifth session in a teaching series called ‘Light/Dark’ looking at our identity in Christ. Throughout this series, your youth will discover more about Jesus as the Light of the World, his victory over darkness on the cross, and the transforming power of his... See more

Knotted Up

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Hand out pieces of string or rope to everyone.
Without naming names, think about if there is someone you need to forgive (it might help if you give some suggestions of situations to help them.) You might have someone in your family you need to forgive, or perhaps a friend or someone at... See more

Spoons of Glory

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Set up a ring of spoons - one for each player minus one - on a table top. Youth sit around the table with their arms behind their backs. When the leader says the designated word, youth must lunge to grab a spoon. If they are successful, they stay in the game. If not, they’re out for the round.... See more

Light vs Dark

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

'Light vs Dark' is the fourth session in a teaching series called ‘Light/Dark’. Throughout this series, your youth will discover more about Jesus as the Light of the World, his victory over darkness on the cross, and the transforming power of his light in our lives… all through the... See more

Squish

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Map out a square on the floor with masking tape. Split the group into teams. Each team has a shot at squeezing everyone into the square you have created. No body parts can be touching the ground outside the square, people can piggy-back, stack or be held. The team must hold their positions for 5... See more

Girls Retreat

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Gather together all your girls and their friends for a sleepover, a weekend away, or even get together with other youth groups in your diocese or local area for one massive girls weekend.
A girls retreat creates a space where girls can just be girls. There can be open and honest conversations... See more

Pop it

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Teams number off and stand on each side of a rectangular area. Place 2 different coloured balloons in the middle of the area. When their number is called, players must try to be the first to pop their team's balloon for the point.
Mix it up by having a single balloon ‘first to grab it’... See more

Choose The Light

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

'Choose the Light' is the third session in a teaching series called ‘Light/Dark’. Throughout this series, your youth will discover more about Jesus as the Light of the World, his victory over darkness on the cross, and the transforming power of his light in our lives… all through the... See more

Iron Stomach

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

For this relay game, teams line up at point A. At point B is a table with items of food set up for each player. Players run, eat an item, and then run back to tag another player. First team finished wins. Items can be nice... or not so nice! See more

Seven Pathways to God

Contributed by: Emily Paterson and Kirstin Cant, Diocese of Auckland

A series of exercises to help young leaders and older teens to explore different ways of engaging and connecting with God.
God has made us all uniquely. Therefore, the way we draw close to and connect with God will be different for each of us too. Prayer and reading scripture are really... See more

Family Feud

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Explore the power of forgiveness in this third study on Joseph's Story.
Family Feud
Play a game of Family Feud (optional)
JOSEPH’S STORY: FORGIVENESS
If you played Family Feud, explain that Joseph’s own ‘family feud’ is at the root of his whole story.
Ask the group to... See more

Human Board Game

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Using masking tape, old boxes and paper, set up a human board game on the floor with humans as pieces. Base it on Trivial pursuit, Ludo, chess, Monopoly (using local street names), or you can make up your own crazy game! See more

Light of the World

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

'Light of the World' is the second session in a teaching series called ‘Light/Dark’. Throughout this series, your youth will discover more about Jesus as the Light of the World, his victory over darkness on the cross, and the transforming power of his light in our lives… all through... See more

Love Your Neighbour

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

A message on Jesus' command to “love your neighbour as you love yourself", based around a reflection on the video, "The DNA Journey".
Depending on how easy it might be to engage your group, either start with the pop quiz introduction (below), or just settle them and say, "Watch this,"... See more

God in the Ups and Downs

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

When we are in the thick of difficult situations, it can be hard to see what God is doing. Often it’s not until later on that we are able to step back and see the bigger picture. Then we are able to recognise how God has been at work in us and through us. Take your youth deeper with Joseph's... See more

Dodgeball

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Two teams have to try and knock the other team off the court by throwing soft-style balls, without crossing the centre line.
Start the game with teams lined up against their wall with 3-4 soft balls placed on the centre line. A person is out if they are hit A) anywhere or B) below the head or... See more

Daily Examen

Contributed by: Emily Paterson and Kirstin Cant, Diocese of Auckland

The daily examen is a way of prayerfully reflecting on your day. You are invited in four steps (presence, gratitude, review and response) to concentrate on the experiences and encounters from the past 24 hours in order to increase your awareness of God’s presence with you and discern his... See more

Light & Dark in the World

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1v5
This is the first in a teaching series called ‘Light/Dark’. Throughout this series, your youth will discover more about Jesus as the Light of the World, his victory over darkness on the cross, and... See more

The Face

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

An extremely messy game for indoors or outdoors. Split your group into teams, lined up single file. Each team chooses someone to be 'The Face’. 'The  Face' has to sit in a chair at the front of their team's line. Players must race into the designated playing area and find items to collect to... See more

Joseph’s Story

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

Joseph’s life was full of all sorts of ups and downs. It is a powerful story for helping young people journey with God through the ups and downs of their own lives. This Bible study divides Joseph's story into six key acts and will help your young people become familiar with his... See more

The Loudest

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

See who of your youth is the loudest at something. A great up-front challenge for a large group, or an all play challenge for a smaller one.
Good challenge categories include: loudest clap, finger click, burp, rooster crow, mouth pop, yell, car revving noise, foot stamp, whistle, wolf howl,... See more

This is my story

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

'This is my story' is a small group activity which will help your youth share about themselves and their lives through the use of symbols to represent key events in their own life.
You will need: pens, copies of the 'My Story' worksheet - enough for one per... See more

Transporter

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Split youth into teams. The aim of this relay is to ‘transport’ whatever is to be transported from a container at point A to a container at point B, filling it to  the marked level first in order to be the winner. Teams must transport using whatever methods or objects you designate.
Teams... See more

A Resurrection Journey

Contributed by: The Diocese of Auckland

A Resurrection Journey is an online, multi-media journey that takes us from Palm Sunday and runs all the way to Pentecost. That's 57 days of Scripture, prayer practices, questions for reflection and practical action.
Created by the Auckland Diocese, the content is drawn from a range of authors... See more

Engage

Contributed by: Karen Spoelstra, Diocese of Auckland

Engage is a new way to engage with God through scripture. Created by Scripture Union NZ, its a daily Bible reading app that is aimed at getting young kiwis exploring the Bible every day.
New audio Bible readings, along with discussion questions you can follow with on-screen, are released every... See more

Stacker Battle

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Divide your group into two teams within a square playing area. Each team has a table, a stack of paper or plastic cups and a couple of old newspapers.
Each team designates two ‘builders’. The rest of the team become ‘throwers’ or ‘defenders’ within the area. Teams must attempt to... See more

Genesis to Jesus 7: Isaiah & The Prophets

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

This is the final study in the Genesis to Jesus series, exploring the key people and stories of the Old Testament, and how they point the way to Jesus. This study looks at Isaiah's prophecies about Jesus.
You will need: Bibles, charades ideas, laptop, projector, speakers, Isaiah 53... See more

Peg Face

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

This challenge involves an element of pain. Players must stand at a table with an evenly distributed pile of spring clothes pegs in front of them. Whoever can peg the most pegs to their head within a set time limit wins the challenge. See more

Burying the Alleluia

Contributed by: Rev Jemma Allen, Diocese of Auckland

In many churches it is the tradition to abstain from saying or singing ‘Alleluia’ during Lent. Lent is a solemn season and we ‘save’ the word 'Alleluia' for our resurrection rejoicing.  'Burying the Alleluia' is an acitvity which can be done during a service... See more

The Gauntlet

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Like an obstacle course, teams have to navigate through a gauntlet style course where each team member has to perform a key task before tagging the next player.
Good tasks inclue sculling, speed eating, shooting a basketball, swimming, dressing up, jumping or climbing through obstacles,... See more

Miss Inner Beauty

Contributed by: Phil Trotter


The 'Miss Inner Beauty' pageant is a fun teaching acitivity to explore character and virtues such as the Fruit of the Spirit:
"...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no... See more

Tallest Tower

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Split youth into teams and give them the same pre-prepared bundle of objects - such as newspapers, paper cups, toothpicks, straws, tape (choose some random and funny objects too).  Their aim is to build the tallest ‘tower’ in a set time limit with whatever objects you have given them. Make... See more

Plank Race

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Teams line up on the edge of a large rectangular area. They are each given 3 planks to use. They must navigate from one side to the other fastest without touching the ground. The first team to do so wins.
The trick is to make the planks a length that ensures the teams will find it tricky to... See more

Straw Soccer

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Teams line up single file at point A. At point B there is a small container as a soccer goal for each team.
Using their lung power, players must score a goal by blowing a ping pong ball with a straw. Once they’ve scored, they return and tag the next person. First team to finish is the... See more

Pudding

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Split youth into teams and assemble them side by side at the edge of the playing area. The object of the game is for each team to send out 2-3 people at a time  into the playing area to retrieve (in order) items assigned for making pudding. Make sure you have at least 5 or more ingredients (such... See more

Straight Face

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Prepare some interesting food items beforehand and invite participants to take on the straight face challenge. Players must stand in a line facing the crowd, down the food item and try to keep a straight face the longest.
Food items can include wasabi spoonful, chilli sauce, lambs tongue,... See more

Obstacle

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Set up an obstacle course with unique situations for players to navigate through. Include challenges such as over under, climbing, speed eating station, jelly bath tub, rope net, car push, spread the toast, monkey bars and can scull. Teams can either race side by side or you can time each team as... See more

Creation Calls

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

This talk uses Creation Calls, a 6-minute-long clip of the wonders of God’s creation as filmed by the BBC and punctuated with a beautiful song by Brian Doerksen. The images show the beauty of God’s creation on every continent.  In the background, worship leader Doerksen asks, “How could I... See more

Genesis to Jesus 6: David & the Kings

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

This is the sixth study in the Genesis to Jesus series, exploring the key people and stories of the Old Testament, and how they point the way to Jesus.
You will need: wrapped clues with verses (see 'King David's highlights & lowlights' below), wrapping paper/newspaper, tape, scissors,... See more

Genesis to Jesus 5: The Israelites & Sacrifice

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

This is the fifth study in the Genesis to Jesus series, exploring the key people and stories of the Old Testament, and how they point the way to Jesus.
You will need: rolls of toilet paper, large sheet(s) of paper, pens, tape/blu-tak
Beforehand, draw brick shapes on the paper to make it... See more

False Teeth

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

In this relay game, teams must line up single file behind a dressing station. At each station have some pre organised ‘grandma’ clothes, wigs etc, and sets of lolly false teeth (found in most dairies or supermarkets).
Players have to get dressed at point A, insert the false teeth into... See more

Superhero

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

This is a thinking/strategy game. The youth are grouped on one side of an imaginary divide and must cross it to survive. The only way they can cross is if the ‘superhero’ (with a super prop of some kind) is carrying them.
However, once the superhero has crossed once, they can no longer be... See more

Genesis to Jesus 4: Moses & the Law

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

This is the fourth in a series exploring the key people and stories of the Old Testament, and how they point the way to Jesus.
weird laws game show
Divide your youth into teams, and get each group to decide on a noise which they will use as their buzzer.
Round One
They need to be... See more

Genesis to Jesus 3: Abraham & Faith

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

This is the third in a series exploring the key people and stories of the Old Testament, and how they point the way to Jesus.
Introduction: Waiting Game
Play a game that requires speed or patience.
Have a discussion about how we like things to happen quickly (for example, fast food... See more

Eat it

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

This challenge is pretty adaptable. Simply invite youth to participate and give each ‘eater’ something to eat the fastest. It could be a hot chilli, wasabi spoon, lambs tongue, bowl of chocolate pasta, baked beans - whatever you wish. You can always make a 3 course meal of it or... See more

Family Photos

Contributed by: Carol Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

This photo challenge will get your group working together and thinking creatively! Based around song titles and sayings, this is a great intergenerational activity - perfect for a church camp (but it works equally well with a youth group). Print these Instructions which contain the following... See more

Spinner Questions

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

These engaging sets of icebreaker questions have been designed to be used with our Resourced! spinner... which is being gifted to everyone attending the Abbey 2016!
Simply print off the sets of questions below and use with the provided Numbers card or the Seven Dwarves card as appropriate.... See more

Swiss Ball Tennis

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Create a mock tennis court inside a hall or use a court outside and play team tennis... with a giant ‘Swiss’ ball!
It is heaps of fun. You can add 2 balls for even more carnage.
Also works with volleyball, soccer and rugby. See more

Genesis to Jesus 2: In the beginning

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

"In the Beginning" is the second in this series which explores the key people, stories and themes of the Old Testament, and how they point the way to Jesus.
Introduction: Story Time
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be looking at the big picture of the Bible: the people and... See more

Genesis to Jesus 1: Introduction

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

This is the first in a series exploring the key people and stories of the Old Testament, and how they point the way to Jesus. The aim of this session is to introduce the topic and help get your group familiar with the books of the Old Testament.
Finding our way around the Old... See more

The Wall

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

A competition of leg strength. Ask participating youth to stand against a wall in a line up. When you give the word, they have to assume ‘the wall’ position, which is as if they are sitting on a chair with their back against the wall—except there is no chair...
...Do your legs... See more

Paddling Pool Prayers

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Create a paddling pool for prayer boats made from tealight candles. Youth pray silently and then light and float a candle representing their prayers.
This can be used as a prayer activity on it's own or as part of a series of prayer/worship stations. See more

Dessert Pizzas

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Crank out the oven and pizza bases and make dessert pizzas.
The twist? Run team games around acquiring ingredients or even visiting people's houses to collect the toppings.
Great toppings include chopped fruit, chocolate, marshmallows, nutella, biscuits, ice cream, whipped cream,... See more

Love the Lord Your God – Worship Stations

Contributed by: Charlie Baker and Karen Spoelstra, Diocese of Auckland

These seven worship stations work well as part of a youth group session, a youth or all age service, or camp. Adapt the wording as needed to suit your situation.
You may like to begin with a discussion or message about God's love and worship being our response of love to His love, using... See more

Socks

This game is just like Rob the Nest except it uses rolled up old socks!
Teams set up in a circular pattern spread around evenly with a basket in front of their group. Each player gets a turn to be the ‘thief’ and must try and steal socks from other teams to put in their basket. Start... See more

Worship Jars

Contributed by: Charlie Baker

Your youth will make their way around a series of stations to create personalised Worship Jars filled with items that will encourage and inspire them to worship God.
You will need: recycled jars (with labels removed) - enough for one per person -  and simple craft supplies (coloured... See more

Rubbish Bin

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Teams stand on the outside of a marked off playing area. Each team is given a mass of old paper to form into balls. Within the playing area is a bin for their team. They must throw the most paper balls into their bin after time to win.
This game also works with paper darts. Or try it with... See more

Toothpaste

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Teams line up side by side and must choose a member to be the ‘catcher’. The catcher's job is to lie on the ground and place a small cup on their forehead. The team must then take turns to race and fill the cup by standing on a high chair and releasing the toothpaste over their... See more

Paint Race

Contributed by: Belle Tregoweth, Diocese of Auckland

Challenge your youth to a paint race!
You’ll need drinking straws, a large sheet of paper, and some water-based paint in different colours (one colour per participant). Thin out the paint with water, so that it will move across the page when blown with the straw. The thicker the paint is,... See more

Five Words Each

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Youth sit in a circle. They must form a combined prayer by only praying out loud five words each, before the next person continues the prayer. When the last person finishes, everyone shouts 'AMEN!' See more

Bogies

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Each youth is given a small number of green dot stickers (bogies) or red dots (chicken pox) - depending what you’re in the mood for.
Once time starts, youth have to run around the room and ‘stick’ their stickers onto other players.
The aim is to remove any stickers that get... See more

Text_A_Prayer

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Make use of technology by asking one youth to text a short prayer to someone else in the group.
They receive it, add to it and then forward it to another person.
Last to receive gets to read it all out. See more

Tic Tac Toe

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

A life-sized, fast paced twist on an old favourite - tic tac toe (aka naughts and crosses). This was a hit with Phil's youth group!
Watch the clip below to see how to play. Since you can play with just six players, this one's perfect if you've got a small group.
Note: If you don't... See more

Icebreaker Questions

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, National Youth Advisor

These 20 questions are a great way to break the ice and get young people talking to each other.
Simply pick one or two of these questions and give everyone a turn to share, or write out a bunch of questions onto strips of paper, shuffle them and have everyone take turns picking one out at... See more

Blender

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Arrange a table of nice and not so nice foods. Give each food a number from 1-6.
Each player roles a dice twice to see which foods they must blend.
Put the corresponding foods into a blender and give it to the youth to drink.
If they drink it down they win!
For another great... See more

7 years

Contributed by: Darcy Perry, Bishopric of Waikato

Using the song "7 Years" by Lukas Graham, invite young people to think about what shapes them and what influences them as they grow.
Introduction
Ask: Who knows the song? Who knows what it is about?
Use their answers and add what you need to park the idea that it’s about the people,... See more

The Wall

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Build a makeshift brick wall in your meeting space resembling the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Israel.
Put on some music and ask youth to reflect before writing down a prayer and stuffing it in the cracks of the wall. See more

Secret Stash

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Before the youth arrive, hide items around the room or buildings — a 'secret stash' or hidden treasure.
Provide a check list with different points for what the youth are to find.
Let them go for it - with a set time limit.
It also works well with chocolates. See more

Tiger in the Grass

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Split your youth into teams. Prepare the playing area to resemble a grid - ‘the grass’ - using masking tape and pieces of paper (A3 or newspaper squares).
The leader makes up a map of the grid on a piece of paper to refer to and marks in squares that contain ‘tigers’. Youth have to... See more

Lent Quiz

Contributed by: Eleanor Calder, Diocese of Auckland

Learn about Lent and have fun at the same time! This Lent Quiz is short, fun and easy to run in your youth group as part of your Lent programme.  To make the quiz more challenging (e.g. for older teenagers), simply leave out the multi-choice options and see what answers they come up... See more

A Journey to Easter

Contributed by: Karen Spoelstra, Diocese of Auckland

A Journey to Easter is an online, multi-media journey to prepare our hearts for Easter.
Be inspired by the Sermon on the Mount, discover new prayer practices, participate in activities and open your heart to the world that we live in.
Created by the Auckland Diocese, the content is drawn... See more

Chicken Run

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

2 teams line up on opposite sides of a large playing area and choose a rooster each to wait in the middle. When the leader calls ‘chicken run’ each team has to swap ends without being tagged by the other teams rooster.
If tagged, a chicken must freeze until a fellow chicken frees them by... See more

Snake Tag

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

A good old fashioned tag game. Once the person who is ‘in’ has tagged someone, they become part of the snake (by linking arms) until everyone is tagged and the game begins again.
Add 2-3 snakes for more pace. See more

Laser Roulette

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Youth sit in a circle and the leader 'zaps' someone opposite them to pray for.
The zapped person then zaps someone else in the circle until everyone has been prayed for and thoroughly zapped.
  See more

Ringleader

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

A classic but a goodie. The group form a circle. 1-2 players are sent from the room to be the investigator/s while the rest of the group nominate a ringleader. Everything the ringleader does, the group has to do. The investigators have to try and guess who it is with just three... See more

Stomp

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Play as individuals or in teams. Each person receives a balloon (or 2) and a piece of string. Each person blows up their balloon(s) and ties it to their ankle. When play begins, the aim of the game is to pop other players balloons to take them out of the game using your feet (or feet and... See more

Spotlight

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Spotlight is a classic night game. Play in teams or as individuals.
Set up a glowing goal that youth must get to from a designated starting point some distance away.
Youth must try and navigate through the dark to reach the goal without being ‘spotted’ by leaders weilding flashlights... See more

Make a Movie

This is heaps of fun! Split into teams and give them time to prepare a script. Then let them loose with a video camera - or even just a phone will do.
It can help to have some guidelines and to set a genre or theme. Have a range of crazy props available as well.
Edit the videos during... See more

Christmas Pass the Parcel

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

This twist on Pass the Parcel is a fun way to tell the Christmas story and reflect on God’s gift of love in Jesus. Our young people really enjoyed this. Our churched young people appreciated hearing a familiar story in a fresh way, and our ‘community’ kids had a fun introduction to a side of... See more

Teddy

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

The soft toy version of ultimate Frisbee. 2 teams, 1 old teddy.
Mark out a rectangular playing area either inside or outdoors, with a goal line at each long end.
Teams must throw and pass the teddy to other team mates with the intention of passing it to a team mate behind... See more

Psalm Writer

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Produce a large piece of paper for the group. Begin with the leader writing down one line of a new psalm - praising and thanking God.
Once they have written their line, fold the paper over so their line is hidden from the next person chosen to write. They will then write one line, fold the... See more

Rob the Nest

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Play with multiple teams in a large outdoor setting. Each team creates a nest (using a rope circle 3m in diameter) with 3 eggs in it (use larger balls) which they must guard.
They are not allowed within their own nests circle but to the opposition this is the ‘safe zone’. Teams must... See more

Creator’s Walk

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Help your youth to encounter God and be inspired by His creation.
Take them on a hilltop adventure or a beach excursion - or just walk the block. Find a spot to reflect, give thanks and pray together. See more

Toilet Paper Theme Night

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

This one is a goodie! We did this a number of times over the years with our intermediate aged youth and they loved it. Basically, it's a whole night of games, activities and a message with just one thing in common... toilet paper. Buy it in bulk, you'll need a lot of it...
Toilet Paper Tell... See more

Bible Netball

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

Test your youth group's knowledge of the Bible with a game of Bible Netball.
You will need: a netball or volleyball, a hoop (we used a rubbish bin strapped to a chair), and a Bible for each team. Make sure you have enough space to pass the ball around relative to your size group.
How to... See more

Prayer Tree

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Grab a cool branch off a tree and paint it. Then 'plant' it in your meeting space.
Ask youth to draw, paint, or write a prayer decoration. Cut it out and attach it to the tree.
You can keep the tree up and add to it each week - celebrate and remove the answered prayers; keep the yet to be... See more

Wild Goose Chase

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Split your youth into teams and hand them each a sheet of items they must collect and bring back to the youth area after time. You can either use vehicles or walk on foot.
Items are worth various points based on difficulty and can include things like: cafe cards, fast food wrappers,... See more

Groupie

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Crank up the stereo and ask youth to walk at random around the room to a certain style, homie, robotic, animalistic, slow motion, speed walker etc...
When the music stops, yell a number and the youth must group together with that amount in their group.
Play this either as an elimination... See more

Young Leaders Training: Shepherds and Sheep

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

'Shepherds and Sheep' is a training session intended to be used with a group of young leaders. By looking at Jesus, the Good Shepherd, they will discover more about Christian leadership and how to care for their own 'sheep'.
Introduction
If appropriate, you could share briefly about how... See more

Paying It Forward Letters

Contributed by: Jeremy Harris, Diocese of Auckland

Paying It Forward Letters - paying it forward by writing anonymous letters to strangers with Bible verses, poems, quotes, and words of encouragement.
Our youth really got into this! The awesome thing was that, through doing this, they grasped that the good news - that they have been hearing... See more

The Lord, The Blindfold and The Mousetrap

Contributed by: Phil and Jonathan Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

A game that teaches about guidance. The big idea? God is a trust-worthy guide.
The Game:
Set the room up beforehand with up to four mousetraps, already set. Next to them place sweets and biscuits. We had the chocolate touching the mousetrap, other less appealing sweets slightly further... See more

Bread of Life

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

'Bread of Life' is a Bible study on John 6:25-40, based on the key idea that Jesus is essential for life.
Key scripture: "Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John... See more

Mexican Weet-Bix Stand Off

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Give each youth a dry Weet-Bix to eat. Youth have to stand in a row facing each other either playing as individuals or as teams. First to finish their dry Weet-Bix while staring out the person opposite wins.
Can also be played with multiple food items, saving the Weet-Bix for last. Also... See more

The Deluxe Burger Prayer

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

The Deluxe Burger (aka the Hamburger Prayer) is a great way to help your young people pray as a group. Intermediates especially love this one!
Assign someone to be the bottom bun, the tasty cheese, the relish, the lettuce, the meat, the mayo, and top bun. You can add more ingredients if... See more

A Life You Will Remember

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Use Avicii’s song “The Nights” to raise the all important question: “Who is Jesus?”.
Starting with the song’s key lyric - “live a life you will remember” - this interactive message will get your youth thinking about what it takes to live a life that will be remembered, and... See more

Dice Ride

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

This is a super fun and super simple outing that works especially well with a small group.
You’ll need some youth, a van and a dice. Then just drive and roll the dice at intersections:
1 = turn left,
2 = turn right,
3 = U turn,
4 = straight,
5 = toot,
6 = swap seats. See more

Topics Ticker – Stories, People, Places and Miracles

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Ever asked your youth group what topics they'd like to cover and just been met with a big silence... because they just don't have any ideas?
Help them figure it out with this ‘Topics Ticker’ by the Nelson Youth Unit. Invite your youth to tick the boxes of the stories, people, places... See more

Film Prayer: The Prayer of St Francis

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

A creative take on the Prayer of St Francis, prayed through the lens of the struggle between the old self and the new self, as described by Paul in Romans 6.
Commissioned by Mark Pierson of World Vision NZ, this 3.20 minute film prayer is one of the Just Prayers series that is made... See more

Random Acts

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Inform your youth beforehand that you’ll be taking time to pray and then act on what God leads you to do for others in pairs. It could be helping someone with their groceries, paying for someone’s coffee in advance, praying for someone who needs healing, encouraging someone or simply sitting... See more

Hospitality

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

Hospitality – How we welcome guests and new people says a lot about who we are. How could we recover the art of great hospitality in our groups and create regular times to eat and hang out together over food?
A study on Genesis 18:1-8 and Matthew 25:34-40 for young adults from the Society... See more

Lungs of Power

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Participants must be the first to inflate a balloon until it bursts...
Variations include rubber gloves and water balloons. See more

Toothpick

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Arrange your youth in two lines so that they are standing facing each other. Give each person a new toothpick.
Challenge them to see which line can transport whatever item you present the quickest using only their toothpick in their mouth - no other assistance.
Great items to use... See more

Keeping It Local

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

Keeping It Local - What does Christ’s incarnation teach us about engaging in our local neighbourhoods, committing deeply to the people around us, and transforming our communities? What would happen if we committed to our churches, each other and to our neighbours for the long haul?
A study on... See more

Design a Game

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Explain to the youth that you’re fresh out of ideas and need to design a new game.
Split them into groups and give them a list of what they can use to design the world's next best new game — as well as a few safety guidelines.
Set a time limit and see what they come up with. They... See more

Tongues of Fire

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

This icebreaker is great as a small group starter and doesn’t actually involve fire.
Give the invitation to take on a selection of ‘tongues of fire’ challenges. Categories could include: Speed alphabet recital, speed count to 30, speed reading a set passage, longest “Aarrgh”... See more

Urban Surfing

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Split your youth into teams and give them a something to ‘surf’... like an old chair, ironing board, shopping trolley, couch...
Youth have to get from point A, to point B (usually the youth area), without being spotted by leaders or parents roaming in cars.
If you’re spotted you... See more

Identity

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

Identity - The personal identity we have as followers of Jesus, and the group identity we have by being part of a Christian community.
What makes us who we are and what makes us different from the people and culture around us?
A study on Genesis 17:1-16 and Acts 9:1-16 for young adults... See more

Speed Bible

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

A great game for small groups. Sitting in a circle, give each youth a copy of the exact same Bible to use. Bibles must be face down on a table to start.
From your Bible, say out loud a book, chapter, verse and word number for them to find, for example "Genesis, 1:1, 3". Then say,... See more

Body Guards

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

This game is best played in a hall with a halfway mark. Divide your group into 2 teams. Each team has a certain number of cones or plastic buckets set up at their end of the playing area in a straight line, evenly spaced apart (5 works well).
By throwing soft balls, teams have to try and knock... See more

Flying Solo

The Bible suggests that some people will be called to singleness, while others might be currently single but still on the prowl for Mr or Mrs Right Enough. How can our faith communities embrace and make space for single people? And what qualities should followers of Jesus look for in a future... See more

Human Bingo

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Put together a human bingo card requiring interesting facts, traits or skills and ask youth to find other youth who qualify to sign their card off.
They must find a different person for each square to sign and must have proof if it’s a physical trait.
Required squares could be things... See more

Watch The Lamb

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Bring the moving song "Watch The Lamb" by Ray Boltz to life by inviting members of your youth group and Sunday School to mime/act it out while it plays over your sound system.
Performed on Palm Sunday or during any Easter service, it brings Jesus’ Passion and sacrifice home in a powerful... See more

Human Keypad

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Tape a large card bearing a letter of the alphabet to each person’s arm. Give each person a small card and a pencil. The goal is for letters to get together and spell words. Once they’ve spelled a word, they write it on their card. Then separate everyone and look for new words.
Award points... See more

40 Day Lent Challenge 2015

Contributed by: Karen Spoelstra, Diocese of Auckland

Anglican Youth Ministries has created a new 40 Day Lent Challenge for 2015! This year's challenge consists of 40 simple and fun tasks designed to show teenagers what it looks like to love God and love their neighbours.
The team at AYM have stepped it up a level this year too, with an... See more

Temptation

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

Sometimes it can feel like the world is full of temptations pulling us away from God - and it seems almost impossible to resist. How do followers of Jesus deal with a world that seems to encouraging us to act on our immediate desires?
A study on Luke 4:1-3 for young adults from the Society of... See more

Lent

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

Lent is the season when we remember Jesus’ 40 days of testing in the Wilderness and his victory over the evil temptations. Why is Lent so important that I’d want to give up coffee for it?
A study on Luke 4:1-3 for young adults from the Society of Salt and Light, in Christchurch.
THE... See more

Rescue

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Divide your group into two teams, and set up play within a rectangular area, and include some obstacles around the space.
Give each team 3-4 sturdy chairs that they must use to stay off the ground in order to collect or ’rescue’ items around the area. Items could include random... See more

Topics Ticker – Topical Talks

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Not sure what topics to cover this year?
Give your youth group the choice!
Just handout these 'Topics Ticker' which have been put together by the Nelson Youth Unit. Your youth just tick the boxes of the 15 topics they would most like to discuss at youth group.
There are two 'Topics... See more

Cabbage Soccer

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Play this game with multiple teams. Give each team a bucket and gather in a circular playing area with a cabbage positioned in the middle.
Each team numbers off and gathers behind their bucket awaiting to be called in. Call in numbers, or ‘all in’ if you’re bold.
Once called in,... See more

Sardines

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

This classic game is the opposite to Hide and Seek. At the start, 1 person is chosen to go and hide somewhere. The rest count to 100 and then must individually try and find the hider. If they do, they then hide with them, waiting for someone else to find them and squishing into the hiding... See more

Woolly

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Youth are split into multiple teams depending on numbers. The object of the game is to seek out stations and bring to home base different coloured pieces of wool from each station.
Assign a leader to each station with a ball of wool. Each different coloured piece of wool is worth a certain... See more

The $500 Challenge

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

Raise some funds for a organization that really helps people.
You could produce a play, a concert, do a long walk, run or bike together for sponsorship, run a fair or creative market.
From "Look Out! Twenty-one Ways to be Outward Looking with your Youth Group", developed by the Social... See more

Sung Electronic Eucharist

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

A sung electronic Eucharist, performed & arranged by Rev Spanky Moore from the Diocese of Christchurch.
Spanky used this at the Abbey in 2014. The liturgy is from the New Zealand Anglican Prayer Book, page 732.
See more

Six Symbol Study

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

The Six Symbol method introduces young people to Bible Study in an interesting and engaging way. It gives them a tool to explore a Bible passage and develops the skills of looking for meaning, understanding and application in Scripture. It can be used individually or together in small groups which... See more

Splat Volley

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

To play Splat Volley, you'll need two teams on each side of a marked out court area separated by a volleyball net. Instead of a ball, teams must lob water filled balloons of various sizes over the net to the other team.
Lobs must be underarm. If the other team catches the balloon, they... See more

Big Christmas Quizzer

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

This is a Christmas Quiz of epic proportions. See how much you really know about Christmas with this massive series of Christmas quizzes covering Global Traditions, Kiwi Christmas, Most Expensive Toys, Christmas Carols,  All About Jesus, and a good old True & False section as... See more

Body Parts

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Ask your group, "If you were a part of the body, which part would you be and why?"
Hand out sheets of newspaper or A3 paper, and scissors. Invite them to cut out the shape of their chosen body part from the paper. Then get them to share it with the group, explaining what part they are and... See more

Playing Around

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Auckland

Along with your youth leaders, run a fun games, crafts & face painting afternoon for young local kids.
It’s a great way to meet and reach out to your community.
From "Look Out! Twenty-one Ways to be Outward Looking with your Youth Group", developed by the Social Justice Unit of the... See more

6 Creative Ideas for Written Prayers

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

These six ideas all use pen and paper to create a space where your young people can quietly speak to God on their own. For some people, writing down their prayers can be a helpful way to focus their thoughts. It can be a great alternative to praying out loud as a group, especially for those who... See more

A Welcome Interruption

Contributed by: Scottie Reeve, Diocese of Wellington

‘A Welcome Interruption’ online Liturgy Resource
Blueprint Church Community in the Anglican Diocese of Wellington has created an online Liturgy - a resource for people to develop a rhythm of prayer and to re-engage with this ancient form of devotion.  The project is called ‘A Welcome... See more

Quiz Night

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Organise a selection of crazy categories (multi choice, true or false, NZ, youth culture, movies, random, genius, Bible etc) and put on a super team quiz with multiple rounds and a quality prize.
Throw in some bonus rounds with challenges or, if you like, copy a classic TV game... See more

Hail Storm

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Divide your group into two teams. In the middle of a rectangular playing area,  set up a makeshift wall that is high enough that the teams can’t see over it (approx 1 metre high). You will need 3-4 soft balls.
Teams lay low on either side of the wall, and attempt to avoid being hit by... See more

Lonely Planet

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

Many young adults can feel lonely and isolated, even when they seem to have plenty of friends. How do we help our faith communities to be places that embrace the lonely, while also encouraging deep and honest friendships?
A study on 1 Corinthians 11:17-22 for young adults from the Society of... See more

Mute Organization

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Simply announce that you want everyone to line up by birth date. Only catch... no talking.
This provides a way to randomly mix people up. Once they are all lined up, get everyone to call out their birthday in order, starting from the top.
Congratulate them if they have it right, and note... See more

Theme Night

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson & Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Theme nights are always a winner, and easy to pull together - just make sure that everything you do includes the designated theme for the night.
Your theme could be a colour; it could be a food (like ice cream or chocolate); it could be a word, genre or Bible character. Tie it all in with a... See more

Film Prayer: The Lord’s Prayer

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

A moving version of the Lord's Prayer, as seen at the Abbey 2014.
Created by Mark Pierson of World Vision NZ, this 2.29 minute film prayer is one of the Just Prayers series that is made available to individuals and communities to encourage their engagement with injustice, locally and... See more

Chairball

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

This game is just like netball, except you use a person standing on a chair within a circle instead of a goal. They have to catch the ball for a goal to be scored. If the ball touches the ground it’s a handover. The goalie swaps each time a goal is scored. Players aren’t allowed into the... See more

Amigos

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

Friendship is one of the most important relationships we’ll have as adults, but it’s something most people hardly give any thought. How do we cultivate deep friendships that stay true to what God had in mind for them?
A study on John 15:9-17 & Romans 6:8 for young adults from the... See more

Live Below The Line

Do the "Live Below the Line" challenge together!
Live Below the Line is bringing about change and giving people hope. It is a campaign to create awareness and raise fund for some of the 1.2 billion people around the globe who live below the global poverty line - that's the New Zealand... See more

Prayer Balloons

Contributed by: Jo Lane, Diocese of Nelson

You will need balloons (ideally all the same colour) as well as strips of paper and pens for each person.
Get each person to write their prayer on the strip of paper, and then insert it into a balloon. The balloons are then blown up and thrown into the air (this is best done indoors so none fly... See more

Pirates

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Set up a course within your playing area made up of different objects and bits of furniture that can be safely climbed and walked on. Make sure there are multiple routes and ways to get around the room.
Split the youth into pairs. Each pair has a turn to be the ‘catchers’ and must chase... See more

The Meaning of Life

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

For followers of Jesus the Meaning of Life isn't so much what, but who. How do we live a new life of meaning in light of who Jesus is?
A study on Colossians 3:1-17 for young adults from the Society of Salt and Light, in Christchurch.
THE STORY
A quick introduction to the week’s bible... See more

Clumps

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

The simplest game to divide your group into teams is to simply yell "Form a group according to..." (e.g. school year, number of siblings, month born in, shoe colour, etc...)
If you're looking for an exact number of people per team, you can just say, for example "Form a group of 6 people with... See more

Paper Stick Hockey

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Divide your group into 2 teams, and have them stand on opposite sides of a rectangular playing area, with a small goal at each end. Number everyone off and give each person a rolled up paper stick made with newspaper and masking tape. Place a small ball in the centre and call in a... See more

The Theory of Everything

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

Humans have been searching for the Meaning of Life since the dawn of time. How do Christians make sense of the Big Question, and how does Jesus fit into that?
A study on Colossians 1:15-23 for young adults from the Society of Salt and Light, in Christchurch.
THE STORY
A quick... See more

Shuffle the Deck

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Hand everyone a playing card as they come in. When you are ready to form your teams, call out a poker combination that they have to form a group with:e.g. if you want them in threes, call “Three of a Kind”; in fives, call “Full House” (three of a kind plus a pair) or “A flush” (five of... See more

The Law: Exodus

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

Activities you can use to help your youth to explore and relate to the story of Exodus. "The Law" is part 4 of a series on Exodus.
The Big Idea: Being obedient, living the way he requires
Passages you could look at: Exodus 19:3-6, Exodus 20:1-17, Matthew 5:17-20, John 14:15
Game... See more

Numbers

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

Divide the room with masking tape into 6 squares with a number (1-6) in each.
Youth have 10 seconds to decide which square to stand in before you roll a dice. If the square number they’re in comes up, they’re out and have to sit down.
Play until you have 1 youth (or team) remaining as... See more

‘Make a Million’ or ‘Make a Difference’?

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

Inspire your young people to make an impact for God using the Script ft will.i.am song, Hall of Fame.
If I Were Famous
Start with a round where everyone answers: “If you could be famous – what would it be for?”
Hall of Fame
Introduce the song, Hall of Fame.
Ask students... See more

Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Instruct your whole group to walk randomly around the room. About every ten seconds or so, call out a number and an (appropriate) part of the body. Players must immediately form a group of the number called, with everyone connected in a circle or a line by that body part, e.g. line up shoulder to... See more

Manna & Water: Exodus

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

Activities you can use to help your youth to explore and relate to the story of Exodus. "Manna & Water" is part 3 of a series on Exodus.
The Big Idea: God’s Provision & Trusting in Him
Passages you could look at: Exodus 16:1-27, 31, Exodus 17:1-7, Matthew 6:25-34
Whining... See more

A Midwinter Christmas

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Winter games + Christmas games + a Christmas message + presents: a midwinter Christmas is a winning combination.
Why not celebrate Christmas twice a year?
Beforehand
Decorate your area as a winter wonderland (e.g. paper snowflakes, polystyrene balls, white/blue/silver streamers) and... See more

The Works

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

Followers of Jesus have often wrestled over what it is that allows humans to maintain our relationship with God - having faith in Him, or doing good works inspired by that faith. As Christians, how should faith and good deeds relate to each other?
A study on Romans 3:27-4:12 for young adults... See more

Ping Pong Football

Contributed by: Luke Shaw, Diocese of Nelson

This is a great game for a smaller crowd. You will need a table tennis table or large table, ping pong balls, tape, and paper cups (optional).
Assign each person playing a goal - you can either use masking tape to mark it out or create a physical goal with 2 paper cups taped to the... See more

The Cloud & The Pillar of Fire: Exodus

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

If you're teaching on Exodus, then here are some activities you can use to help your youth to relate to the story. “The Cloud & The Pillar of Fire” is part 2 of a series on Exodus.
The Big Idea: God’s presence with us & his guidance by the Spirit
Passages you could look...
See more

Puzzle Mixer

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

As young people arrive, give them each the piece to a kid’s jigsaw puzzle (min. 10 pieces, max. 25). Have the same number of puzzles as you want teams (e.g. three). If you have extra puzzle pieces left over, place them back into the correct puzzle frames. When it’s time to form teams, lay out... See more

Camp Debrief

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

After your latest camp, get the feedback rolling from your youth group with one throw of a dice!
Sit in a circle in groups of 4-10 with a leader. Take turns rolling a dice. Answer the question attached to the number rolled.
What was your favourite...?


  1. Worship experience or... See more

Second Chance

You can make a difference in your local school! Here are a couple of ideas:
Does your school have recycling? How could they not have recycling?! Campaign in your school to get recycling. If necessary, set up a system for them.
Run a campaign in your school to promote 'restorative justice',... See more

Give Them a Hand

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Build positive self-esteem with this easy-to-run activity.
Pre-make paper hands, or have each participant trace their own hand on a piece of paper and tape it to their back. Then the whole group walks around and individuals write a one word POSITIVE description of the person whose back they are... See more

These are a few of my favourite things

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Find out a few of each other’s favourite things with this quick get-to-know-you activity.
You'll need a pen and a copy of “My Favourite...” questionnaire (see below for instructions on how to create this), for each student in the room.
Before starting, each student fills... See more

Trapped: Exodus

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

Activities you can use to help your youth to explore and relate to the story of Exodus. "Trapped" is part 1 of a series on Exodus, which you could run over four weeks or use all four sessions at a camp.
The Big Idea: Just as the Israelites were trapped in Egypt, we can also be... See more

The Wall

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Young people create a newsprint ‘wall of sin’ to illustrate how sin cuts us off from God and to show how Jesus breaks down the wall between us and God.
You will need: newsprint, vivids, blue-tak or masking tape, a cross, a candle, matches and a good torch.
This works best at night and... See more

What’s that got to do with Easter?

Contributed by: Susan Baldwin

Learn more about the story of Easter through the objects named in the Bible.
Split the group into teams of 5-8 (for fun ways to do this see our Team Forming Games).
Step 1: Make the Connection
Place the selected objects (e.g bread, nails, towel, sword - see list below) in... See more

The Answer

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

For followers of Jesus, his death on the cross and resurrection is seen as the most important moment in the history of the universe, and God’s ultimate answer to the problem of sin and evil. But how and why was Jesus’ death the solution?
A study on Romans 3:21-26 for young adults from the... See more

40 Day Lent Challenge

Contributed by: Karen Spoelstra, Diocese of Auckland

A 40 Day Lent Challenge designed especially for teenagers!
It encourages young people to follow in Jesus’ footsteps as they journey toward Easter with daily challenges for home, school and the weekend.
We love the 'Foto Friday' photo challenge every Friday, and the Sunday readings from... See more

Jesus Stopped: A Bible Study on Mark 10:46-52

Contributed by: Phil Trotter


Big Idea
Jesus is the compassionate king, distracted even from his biggest mission by one man in need.
Launching Questions
1. What stops you in your tracks? For example if you’re on your way to something, or have something important to do, what distracts you from... See more

Lolly Scramble

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Lolly Scramble is a fun way to quickly get your youth to form teams for games or group activities. 
Bring a few distinctly different types of wrapped sweets (e.g. Minties, Éclairs, Fruit Bursts etc...) and have a lolly scramble. But tell them they can only grab one kind of... See more

Angry God

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

Throughout the Bible there are plenty of references to both the love of God, and the wrath of God and the final judgement of all humans before Him. How do followers of Jesus make sense of these two very different impressions of God?
A study on Romans 2:1-11 for young adults from the Society... See more

Tell me Something Interesting…

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Secretly plant several people in your crowd who have a wrapped lolly (e.g. a Fruit Burst) hidden in their pocket.
Tell everyone to go and introduce themselves to each other and tell them something interesting about themselves. Announce that your "planted people" will give a prize... See more

What the Hell?

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

Hell is a topic not many of us know much about, but one that also puts plenty of people off following Jesus altogether. What do Christians believe about hell and how should it impact the way we live our lives?
A study on Matthew 25:31-46  for young adults from the Society of Salt and Light,... See more

Chalk it up

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

Draw chalk messages, poetry or art around your community or school that gently or quirkily helps people to think about a social justice issue or inspires them to live differently.
From "Look Out! Twenty-one Ways to be Outward Looking with your Youth Group", developed by the Social Justice Unit... See more

Let Your Light Shine

Contributed by: Phil Trotter


A Closing Prayer or Night Prayer for camps or youth group gatherings.
Equipment: Tea Light Candles (one per person) and a Lighter
Opening Reflection: Our Deepest Fear
Gather the group in a circle, seated so that all can see each others’ eyes.
Begin with the following... See more

Man of Steel Mirrors Jesus

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Since his creation, it has been said that Superman is a type of Christ figure. For example, his heavenly Kryptonian father sends his only son to earth as a baby. Also, Superman is 33 years old when he finally reveals his great powers to the world -- the same age as Jesus when he went to the... See more

Christmas Pictionary

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

Teams gather round a table with 10 pieces of paper each.
In turn, a person from each team is shown one of the Christmas phrases below (or make up others) and has to draw it while the rest of their team try and guess what the phrase is.
With larger groups use two whiteboards back to back... See more

A Brother Like That


A friend of mine named Paul received an automobile from his brother as a Christmas present. On Christmas Eve when Paul came out of his office, a street boy was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it. "Is this your car, Mister?" he asked.
Paul nodded. "My brother gave it to me for... See more

Christmas Carol Sing-off

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Divide into groups of 3-5. Give each group a few minutes to make a list of as many Christmas Carols as they can think of.
After time is called, each group takes turns singing a few lines of one of the Christmas Carols on their list. No group can sing a Carol already sung by another group. If... See more

Better than Santa

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

This is a reworked version of 'Why Jesus Is Better Than Santa Claus', with an added activity for you to use with it.
Why Jesus is Better than Santa Claus
Santa lives at the North Pole...
JESUS is everywhere.
Santa comes but once a year...
JESUS is an ever present help.
Santa... See more

Human Christmas Tree

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

For this game, divide your group into teams of four or five: one person will be the 'Christmas tree' and the others will be the decorators.
Our youth group loved it when they got to decorate the leaders. And yes, this is me covered in tinsel in the photo!
Give each team a decorating kit,... See more

Mary’s Prayer

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Use this imaginary account of Mary praying for her baby, Jesus, either as a reading or as a dramatic monologue in a service with someone dressed as Mary on a dimly lit stage holding a 'baby' by a straw filled manger.  Based on Mary's Prayer from "It Began in a Manger" by Max Lucado.
God. O... See more

Is NZ fair? How wealth is shared

Contributed by: Kate Day, Diocese of Christchurch

Use this exercise to demonstrate how wealth is shared in New Zealand


  • The richest 10 percent own over half the country’s total wealth.

  • The richest 1 percent own 16 percent of total wealth.

  • The poorest 50 percent own just 5 percent of all... See more

Is NZ fair?

Contributed by: Kate Day, Diocese of Christchurch

Fairness used to be a strong part of New Zealand’s identity. Is New Zealand still fair? Is inequality a problem?
This conversation is heating up in New Zealand and the Anglican Social Justice Unit in Christchurch has developed resources to help youth groups and schools explore the question... See more

Cardboard Minigolf

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Minigolf is an old favourite, but this time you will be creating your own course... out of cardboard!
You'll need a large indoor space, ideally a church/community hall or similar.
In the lead up to your event, ask people to bring cardboard boxes and tubes. Borrow golf balls and small clubs... See more

Film the Past

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

Past ways are powerful!
Make it your group project to visit rest homes with a list of questions and ask the residents about how they coped before the age of the refrigerator, cheap clothes, and plastic bags.
Share the results to inspire your school, community or church to live more... See more

The Fox and the Narrow Road

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Start with a game of hangman, awarding a lolly to everyone who guesses a correct letter. The clue was "Two Phrases", the answers were: "BE  SHARP" and "LOOK CLOSER"
Jesus said, “The road to life is narrow and not many people find it, but the road to destruction is wide and many people travel... See more

Sin City

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

Sin doesn’t just impact us personally on a moral level, but also responsible for the problems at a wider level in society. How should followers of Jesus respond to the overwhelming injustices and suffering in the world?
A study on Romans 1:24-32 for young adults from the Society of Salt... See more

Buy Nothing Week

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

Live simply...
...so others can simply live.
Organize a ‘buy nothing’ week (or day) at your school, church or youth group to encourage people to consume less and think about how much we spend on ourselves.
From "Look Out! Twenty-one Ways to be Outward Looking with your Youth... See more

The Bad

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

At the heart of the problem of sin is what happens when humans put other things above the first place of God in our lives. How do we make sense of The Bad in our own lives & make sure we keep God as our first priority?
A study on Romans 1:18-25 for young adults from the Society of Salt... See more

Join the Movement

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

What big issues do you care about most?
Ring up an organization that inspires you, explain who you are and ask how you can help. You might like to try Amnesty International, Forrest and Bird, the Global Poverty Project, Green Peace, or the Social Justice wing of the Anglican... See more

Shame

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

Followers of Jesus can cop plenty of flack for what they believe, Christian culture, and wrong doings of the church. How do Christians move from feeling timid or defensive about our faith, towards being confident?
A study on Romans 1:8-17 for young adults from the Society of Salt and Light, in... See more

Ashamed of What?

Contributed by: Spanky Moore, Diocese of Christchurch

Lots of people feel a sense of embarrassment or shame for being a Christian. How much of that comes from the actual content of what followers of Jesus believe, and the fact we don’t know how to talk about the gospel?
A study on Romans 1:1-7 for young adults from the Society of Salt and Light,... See more

Cookin’ Up Some Love

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

Does your youth group love food? (What group doesn't?!) Here are a few ideas to use their love of food to bless their local community.
Does your church have a freezer of pre-prepared meals ready to go for families that have a crisis and need some time off cooking? If so, spend an evening with... See more

Mission Encounters

Contributed by: Kirstin Cant, NZCMS

NZCMS Encounter trips are two to three week overseas experiences designed to help people understand and engage with what God is doing around the world. Encounter trips are strategic and intentional experiences created to have a long-term impact for God’s kingdom. The name says it all: Encounter... See more

Newspaper prayers

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Collect a few local and national newspapers throughout the week and bring them along to youth group.
Invite your youth to look through the papers. Ask them to read through and look for issues or articles that stir them up inside. Does anything they read make them feel angry? Sad? Happy?
Get... See more

Love your neighbour

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

Looking for ideas to help your youth group be a blessing to their local community?
Why not give one of these a try:
Bake together as a youth group. Take your neighbours a plate of baking and start a conversation.
Get into a team, grab some gardening tools and offer to do outdoor work... See more

Prayer Planes

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

This is a fun way to encourage youth to pray for each other. You’ll need pens, A4 paper and a big open space.
Invite your group to write an intercession or prayer request onto a piece of paper. They can put their name on it, or keep it anonymous if they would prefer. Then instruct them to... See more

Famine

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

Do the 40 hour famine together!
Held every year in term 2, the World Vision 40 Hour Famine is a great way for your youth group to experience what it is like to be hungry, or to go without something basic.
Give them a challenge to see how much money they can raise as a group.
Find out... See more

Supersize Me

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Each team will be given an identical item that is small and doesn’t have much value e.g. a paper clip. The aim of the game is to supersize that item by making a series of swaps so that they have the biggest/most valuable item at the end of the event. Assign an impartial judge to decide on the... See more

Tinfoil Prayers

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Give each person a square of tinfoil. Invite them to mould or shape something out of the tinfoil that is a symbol of their prayer e.g. an aspect of their life that they would like to offer to God.
Encourage them to pray silently as they create the shape.
You may like to have a small cross... See more

Click and Grab

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

A scavenger hunt where each team has a digital camera and a vehicle (with responsible driver!) to get around your local area. Give the teams a list of items which they are to either ‘click’ (take a photo of) or ‘grab’ and bring back to your designated meeting spot. Note: Nothing can be... See more

Mall Hunt

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Split your group into teams and give each team a $10 note (note: this is a great activity for a small youth group e.g. 2 teams – otherwise it will get very expensive!)
Give each team a list of items that can be found or bought in a mall (see below). The aim is to collect as many items on the... See more

Warm Fuzzies

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

Hand round a piece of paper with your name at the top and invite everyone to write a positive quality about you before passing it on to the next person.
Or for a twist on this classic activity, get one person to stand in front of a blank whiteboard. Give everyone else whiteboard markers, and... See more

Christmas Quiz

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Here are two multiple choice quizzes: one is based on the Gospel account of Christmas, the other is based on all the wordly add-ons. See which one people do better in!
All the questions and answers for both quizzes are below, or you can download and print the Question and Answer Sheets... See more

Trivia

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Ask a series of trivia questions about any topic, such as history, science or geography.  Most correct answers wins points for team.
Here's a sample quiz - feel free to download & use this! Countries Quiz (PDF, 73KB) See more

Unscramble

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Put a scrambled word on the screen . . . first to unscramble it gets points for their team.  Play a couple of rounds.
Or… make a whole activity of it around a Bible passage as below  (Mark 4 or Matt 13) (click on the image to view larger).
  See more

Famous Failures

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Just because you have failed at something, doesn't mean you are a failure. Here are some famous people who have suffered rejection and failure. You can use their stories to spark discussion about topics such as self-esteem and depression.
Michael Jordan
After being cut from his high school... See more

Mad Math

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Put a series of math problems on the screen. First team to solve them all correctly wins points. See more

How many words?

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Put a word or phrase on the screen. The team to make the most words in one minute wins. See more

Definition

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Display a word on the screen and a few definitions to choose from. Correct answer wins points for his or her team. Play a couple of rounds. See more

Total Recall

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Show a 2-3 minute clip from a movie or TV show. When it’s finished, ask a series of questions about what the students just saw. The first person to raise their hand and correctly answer the question gets a point for their team.
Be sure to watch the movie ahead of time and come up with plenty... See more

Scattergories

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Divide your group into a minimum of three teams. Teams are given a list of subjects e.g. Country, Girls Name, Food, Sport, Job etc… Pick 9-10 categories.
The leader calls out a letter and in 2 minutes the teams have to write down examples of each category that start with that letter. E.g. if... See more

Back to back

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Start out with two people sitting back to back. They have to stand straight up without using their hands.
Add one person every time they stand up successfully. The students will be amazed at how it works! See more

Bodyguard

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

All you need is a soft ball (not a softball!) and a minimum of four players. Two players step into the circle. One is the “President” the other the “Bodyguard”. Everyone else forms a circle around these two. The players around the circle throw the ball to try and hit the President. The... See more

Behind the blanket

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

A blanket is held up with the group in two teams obscured from each other on either side of the blanket. A person is selected from each team to stand in front of their team behind the blanket (effectively two opposing team members are facing each other but with a blanket between them.) When the... See more

Spell my feet

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Take five people and have them take off their shoes and socks. Take a marker and write a large letter on the bottom of each of their feet so if they sit facing you and hold their feet in the air, you can read the letters. On the first person put an A and a N (one letter on each foot), on the next... See more

Blend ‘O’ Rama!

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Blend 'O' Rama is a great up front game that is very entertaining to watch. Find 2-4 students who have strong stomachs.  You know the type - the students that claim they'll do anything!
Place a blender each on a table up front. Have several different edible items placed in a lunch bag for each... See more

Lemonade

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Get 4 volunteers up front and have them sit down facing the rest of the group. On a low table in front of each of the volunteers, have the ingredients for lemonade: half a lemon each, a tablespoon of sugar, and a glass of water.
Announce that this is going to be a race to make lemonade. When... See more

Frozen to a T

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

An hour before-hand, get two t-shirts, soak them in water and wring them out to a good damp (if they’re too wet this won’t work). Fold them up nicely and place them on wax paper inside your freezer.
Ask for two volunteers. Pull the t-shirts out of the freezer. When you say “go” they... See more

Stud Walk

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Take 3 guys out of the room. One at a time tell them to walk in with music playing with their studliest strut while the crowd is clapping and cheering. Each one is to sit down between two girls on a make shift couch (consisting of two chairs and a blanket). There is no chair in the middle where he... See more

Balloon Blow Up

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Get three volunteers to stand in front of the group and have a race to blow up a balloon - till it bursts! See more

$10 Jump

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Hold up a $10 note and offer it to anyone who can perform a simple task. Bring the volunteer up the front and tell them that the $10 is theirs if they can simply jump over it the way you designate. Lay the note on the ground. Have the person stand with their toes to it. They must bend over and grab... See more

Baby Burp

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Three girls put a towel around three guys, sit them on their lap and feed them a baby bottle of fizzy drink. Then make them burp. The first guy to burp wins. See more

Chocolate Drop

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Prepare beforehand by spreading out plastic on your stage area. Try to find a place where everyone can see someone lying down.
Get 2-3 pairs to come up front. Have one partner lay down on the plastic and the other to stand above them with a small cup of chocolate syrup. The "dropper," standing... See more

Clothes Pegs Face-off

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Get four students up front with a bucket of clothes pegs. They have 1 minute to put the pegs all over their face. The one with the most pegs on their face after a minute wins. See more

Quick Draw

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Have two challengers face each other with their hands behind their back. On “Go!” they are to whip both hands out in front of them with a random amount of fingers sticking out. The first one to yell out the total number of fingers their opponent is sticking out, is the winner. See more

Double Dream Hands

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Get everyone to do a 2-3 minute workout using this YouTube clip - Double Dream Hands.
Follow it up with Double Dream Feet at the next meeting (or the next day at camp).
You've just got to introduce it enthusiastically - after that it works a treat. See more

Make Me Laugh

Group sits in a circle and a volunteer in the middle selects someone whom they will try to get to laugh. If they fail, they move on to someone else. If they get the person to laugh, that person is ‘in’ and swaps places with them. Now it’s their turn to make someone else in the circle... See more

Fast Arms

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Group forms a circle (minimum 7 people needed). One person starts off with a ball and throws it to someone anywhere in the circle. Someone catches the ball and the people either side of them have to put their inside arms up without hesitation. If there is reasonable hesitation that person has to... See more

Bang!

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Group forms a circle and someone e.g. a leader calls the name of a player. Immediately the people either side of the named player turn to that person, form their hand into a gun and say “Bang!” The person named tries to ‘duck’ by bobbing down.
The slowest person to ‘duck’ or to say... See more

Blood Brother

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Jesus said, “Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”. This is a story that helps illustrate that love and how much Jesus loves us.
Once there was a boy called Jeremy, aged 10, who had a younger brother, Jonathan, just four years old. Jeremy had always... See more

Million Dollar Pen

During the heat of the space race in the 1960s, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration decided it needed a ball point pen to write in the zero gravity confines of its space capsules. After considerable research and development, the Astronaut Pen was developed at a cost of about US... See more

What I’ve Done – Linkin Park

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Hand out copies of the lyrics for Linkin Park's song, "What I've Done" and play the video clip.
What I’ve Done
In this farewell
There’s no blood
There’s no alibi
‘Cause I’ve drawn regret
From the truth
Of a thousand lies
So let mercy come
And wash... See more

Night of CHAOS

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland


Night of CHAOS* (CHristian Acts Of Service)
Tell your youth to come dressed head to toe in black. You will be embarking on a night of acts of service in the cover of darkness, in order to bless and encourage those in your church. But the trick is do it without them seeing you do it – you... See more

Go Bananas!

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

A banana themed social event aimed at junior youth, ie 11-13 year olds. Timings given are approximate.
Banana Jokes
Kick off the night with banana jokes - the worse the better. We also told a banana joke in between each game, which they loved. For example:

Prof Ann Eyeland

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

These are fun activities that help young people explore topics around loneliness and our need for relationships.  The name 'Ann Eyeland' plays on and discredits the idea "I am an island"
Meet Professor Ann Eyeland
'The word is out. Professor Ann Eyeland, the recluse from the South Pole... See more

The Battle of Helms Deep

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Show the clip of the Battle of Helms Deep in the Two Towers. If you're using the DVD, show Chapter 48 “Forth Eorlingas”. Alternatively view it on YouTube Battle of Helms Deep
Like Helms Deep, a battle wages within us between good and evil. Like Gandalf there, our victory comes through... See more

If Jesus were a teenager today…

Contributed by: Phil Trotter


Discussion Questions
If you had a chance to meet Jesus in person, how would that feel?
What questions would you want to ask him?
If your history teacher at school asked you, "Who was Jesus?", what would you reply? How would most of your friends answer?
Who did Jesus say he is?... See more

Peace in the Storm

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Years ago, a major art gallery sponsored a competition for painters and they were offering prizes for the best painting on the subject of "Peace." The painting that won was a real surprise. The scene was the ocean in a violent storm. The sky was ominous, the lightning was cutting across the sky,... See more

The Two Towers – Romans Style

Contributed by: Phil Trotter


Bible Study on Romans 7:14-25
Big Idea: Jesus sets us free to do the good we want to do and overcome the sin that holds us back
Opener
Romans 7 describes an internal battle we all face between our good and our dark sides.
Think about yourself. What good thing do you want to do... See more

The Parable of the Good Roller Blader

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

At social events we can point to God in a low key way. Here’s an example of taking a parable of Jesus and resetting it in your social event, in this case - roller blading.
A popular man came up to Jesus and asked, “What must I do to have eternal life?”
Jesus answered, “What does... See more

Depression

Contributed by: Phil Trotter


Opener
Share a time when you were really down or depressed (the goal is to show how common and normal depression is.)
OR
Show the YouTube clip Like Minds campaign: You make the difference (John Kirwan) (1m 2secs).
Depression in the Bible
EITHER: Introduce (or play) the... See more

The Secret to Being Perfect

Contributed by: Phil Trotter


Opener: My Perfect Person
Invite everyone to draw a stylised picture of their perfect human being (e.g. with big ears because they’re a great listener)
OR
Write a personal column advert for the “perfect human being” (50 words or less)
Be Perfect
In Matthew 5:48 Jesus... See more

Relationships and Sex in the Bible

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

God’s Word has a lot to say about sex and relationships. Use the verses below to help discussion on the questions attached to each heading.
No Shame
Genesis 2:18-2
Who created sexuality?
The Big Picture
Matthew 19:4-6
What are the two other important ingredients to... See more

R.E.L.A.T.I.O.N.S.H.I.P.S.

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Find words that start with each of the letters in the word "Relationships" to describe the qualities of a good friendship. See more

Guys vs. Girls on Relationships

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Make two sets of cards with the following words. Give one to a group of girls, the other to a group of guys. Ask each to pick the three words that are most important to them in relationships. Then have each group explain their selections to the other... See more

Guys & Girls

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Split the group into guys and girls – give the girls a copy of the “Girls Only” questions; give the boys the "Guys Only" ones. Each group spends 20-30 minutes on their own, then they share their answers with each other.
Girls Only
Guys:
Think about the guys in your life: What are... See more

Roll the Dice

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

All you need for this activity are two dice. Sit in a circle and take turns rolling the dice. Answer the question that matches the number rolled.
2) Which of your parents’ rules do/did you appreciate the most? Why?
3) Where do you want to be 5 years from now? (If that’s hard to answer:... See more

Talk Sparkers just for fun

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Choose from these questions and sentence completions to get young people talking with each other.


  • What three things would you put in a time capsule that your descendants would dig up in 100 years?

  • Which one of Superman's powers would you choose for yourself?... See more

Talk Sparkers about Social Justice

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Choose from these questions and sentence completions to get young people talking about social issues


  • Describe a time when you felt like a victim of racial, social, or religious prejudice. What's a Christian's responsibility in these situations?

  • Agree or disagree:... See more

Talk Sparkers about Family

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Choose from these questions and sentence completions to get young people talking about their family.


  • What do you like best about your family?

  • Finish this sentence: "One thing I wish my parents knew (or understood) about me is..." How can you help your parents... See more

Talk Sparkers about Faith

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Choose from these questions and sentence completions to get young people talking about their faith.


  • How would you describe Jesus to a person who's never heard of him?

  • C.S. Lewis once said that Jesus was either God, a liar, or a lunatic. Are these the only ways to... See more

Rapido

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Rapido is like Pictionary but with playdough (or Cranium's Sculpturades). Bring along to youth group some (bought or home–made) playdough - about an ice-cream container full is good. Split the group into two teams who will compete to be the fastest to complete each of 7-10 rounds. Give each team... See more

Move If

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Have everyone seated. Instruct people to move according to your directions, if they fit the description. Soon you’ll have some funny pile ups and lots of laughter. Check beforehand for people with a disability or injury that may exclude them.
Move 1 seat to the left if …. you’re wearing... See more

Jesus Images in the Fellowship of the Ring

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Organise a screening of the clip of Arwen’s Flight to the Ford in The Fellowship of the Ring (DVD Chapter 17 ) or from YouTube: Flight to the Ford and Give up the Halfling, She-Elf! (this 2nd clip gives you Arwen’s prayer for Frodo).
Invite the young people to watch the clip and note ways... See more

The Emperor’s Seeds

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

An emperor in the Far East was growing old. He knew It was time to choose his successor. He had no children, so had given considerable thought to how he might find the right replacement.
He called all the young people in the kingdom together one day and said, "It is time for me to step down and... See more

Jesus Actionary

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

Explain that this game involves miming to your team things that Jesus did in his time on earth - just like charades. There will be 10 rounds in which your team tries to guess the answer before the other teams.
Use the red Jesus cards (gifted to participants at The Abbey 2017) or print your own... See more