We are all out of Alert Level 3 right now however, should things alter, here are some guidelines for youth ministry at Alert Level 3.
As people have moved in and out of different levels, there is a weariness in many and it is taking it’s toll on mental well being. Let’s all continue to be... See more
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We are all out of Alert Level 3 right now however, should things alter, here are some guidelines for youth ministry at Alert Level 3.
Guidelines updated 20 September 2020
Resuming youth ministry in person is desperately needed but has to be done carefully, respecting the guidelines set out by the New Zealand Government. As a nation we have come a long way in the COVID-19 journey and we are not wanting to compromise the ground... See more
Kia ora, Hello to every one involved in youth ministry in Aotearoa. We are in a season like no other. From midnight 24 March we are moving into Covid-19 Alert Level 4. As anxieties build and things change so rapidly can we start with a quote from Farid Ahmed A Christchurch shooting survivor and... See more
As the church adapts to these extraordinary times, when we can no longer gather in person, we are navigating and exploring new ways of connecting. Even though your youth group may not be meeting in person, our young people still need opportunities to stay connect with one another, and receive input... See more
Most young people don’t see the internet as something they engage in; rather it is a vital part of everyday living – like electricity is. Phones aren’t a luxury in their minds but an essential part of life. Here are some questions that may be helpful in helping young people consider their... See more
What is available on the internet – and the challenges this presents – is constantly evolving and changing. It is important to keep up to date and current.
The NZ Police are specifically saying that parents and teens should know two things:
Once a picture or video leaves your... See more
Against the Tide, Towards the Kingdom is the story of the Urban Vision community in New Zealand. Written by Jenny & Justin Duckworth (Bishop of Wellington), this book recounts the story of a group of young Christian adults who over the last fifteen years have relocated to the colorful ends of... See more
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
Twenty-One Elephants is about a whole-of-life spirituality that messes with our relationships, reputation, families, money and living situations. It’s about the joy and the grief of embracing the reckless way of Jesus.
After coming to faith in the middle-class northern suburbs of... See more
Here are fifteen apps to be aware of in terms of keeping our young people safe online, including a quick summary as well as any issues to be aware of with and how young people are using these apps. The online world is forever changing and evolving, so get in touch if you are aware of any popular... See more
There are loads of great apps out there that help young people to grow and connect with God. Here are some of our favourites:
Engage: Scripture Union’s audio bible with daily questions and closing prayer.
YouVersion’s ‘The Bible’: Daily verses sent out (can be in a... See more
If you are walking with a young person who is struggling with their mental health, here are some recommended contacts and organisations that you can refer them to for help.
Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.
Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or 09... See more
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
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:
Love / Aroha
Peace / Rangimarie
Joy / Koa
Hope /... See more
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... See more
Performance management is an important part of the employment process for Youth Workers/Youth Pastors, to improve the effectiveness of their ministry and the church, as well as supporting the performance and overall well-being of the employee. A performance review is part of an ongoing cycle... See more
NUA is a film series that encourages questions, acknowledges doubt, and offers an engaging perspective on the Christian faith.
Created by Scripture Union, this series of eight short films is all about exploration, looking into questions about the Bible and what it means to be a Christian. NUA... See more
The Code of Ethics provides an agreed set of guidelines for youth work in Aotearoa to ensure that youth work is carried out in a safe, skilled, ethical manner.
The Code of Ethics for Youth Work in Aotearoa New Zealand is designed for youth workers but is relevant to all individuals working with... See more
Make sure you cover all your bases with a general permission form for your youth programmes. We’ve got a sample form that you can easily adapt to your own needs. This will enable you to also collect the relevant personal details, such as emergency contact details, and any relevant medical or... See more
The Faith Project is an exciting, challenging and uniquely Anglican youth initiative. Hear some of the stories of young people sharing about their own ‘Faith Project’ journeys, and how it shaped their faith.
The Faith Project creator, Jocelyn Czerwonka, shares her stories of how... See more
Are you ready to begin your own Faith Project? Then let’s get started!
First of all, you need to be in your teenage years and ready to take on a two year commitment.
If that sounds like you, then download and complete The Faith Project enrolment form. You will need to get your... See more
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... See more
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
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
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’... See more
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... See more
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’... See more
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... See more
‘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’,... See more
Friday the 15th of March was a very sad day in our nation. Many of us are struggling even to know where to start in processing the brutal murder of so many of our Muslim neighbours.
Our interdenominational national youth leaders have put together this simple resource to help you and parents... See more
Mark #5: Strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
We are to care for everything that God has made because He has entrusted it to us. We also see our creator God revealed in it. Your projects for this Mark will give you opportunities to worship... See more
Mark #4: Seek to transform unjust structures of society, challenge violence of every kind, and pursue peace and reconciliation
The fourth Mark of Mission is to seek to transform unjust structures of society, challenge violence of every kind, and pursue peace and reconciliation. It’s standing... See more
Mark #3: Respond to human need by loving service
The third Mark of Mission tells that the way we response to human need is through loving service. Basically, it’s as simple as putting love into action!
The projects for this Mark will help you notice the people around you who are in need,... See more
Mark #2: Teach, baptise and nurture new believers
This second Mark of Mission tells Christians to teach, baptise and nurture new believers – that’s you! So for you, this Mark is about growing in your Christian faith and equipping yourself for the awesome, life-long adventure of... See more
Mark #1: Proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
The first Mark of Mission tells us to proclaim the incredible ‘good news’ of God and His Kingdom. It’s about knowing God’s story and sharing it with others, because these stories are powerful. Working on projects for this Mark will help you... See more
Being able to understand and interpret scripture is an important skill in Christian leadership – not only for our own personal growth as a disciple of Jesus, but also for teaching others. This is a training session on how to use the framework of a ‘journey’ for understanding and... See more
The Faith Project is about raising confident young people who are committed to faith, service and leadership. A key part of The Faith Project is the mentoring and support the young people receive from their local church through their mentor. A mentor is an experienced Christian person who can... See more
The Faith Project is an exciting, challenging and uniquely Anglican youth initiative.
The Faith Project takes young people on a journey that will grow their Christian faith and their confidence to step out and do the things God put them on this planet for. With the support of a mentor, they... See more
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.
Beforehand, print out these instruction sheets. Set up each of the four stations... See more
Faith Talk Triggers are a great way to start God-centred conversations with intermediates and teenagers.
The cards have fun ‘would you rather’ openers, and cover 40 different topics including reputation, peer pressure, forgiveness and many more.
They are easy to use to start up... See more
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!
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
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... See more
As a leadership team, you need to have a clear policy about smoking at youth events as there are issues of role modelling, self-control, health and anti-social behaviour to consider. It is generally advisable to ban smoking during youth group. At the same time, you need to be careful not to make... See more
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
Depression has been described as the common cold of Western mental illness. In “Defeating Depression”, Belinda Stott explains the six different types of depression and how to heal from each of them. The framework provided for this talk has been developed by Kiwi counsellor David J.... See more
A youth takeover is a great way to give your young people a chance to stretch themselves and have a go at leading!
There are lots of different ways for doing this, but a couple of ways that we have found have worked well is having a youth-led worship service and getting our youth to lead our... See more
Disappointments and losses are a normal part of life, so sooner or later everyone will have to process grief.
In ‘Good Grief’, Belinda Stott explains what grief is, how to work through it and how to know when you’re healing. In addition, Belinda tackles the six most common... See more
Not sure if that movie is suitable for your next youth event? Common Sense Media is a great tool for honest reviews on current movies (including the perspectives of parents and young people) that cover issues like content, themes and language. There are also reviews of games and apps, tips for... See more
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,... See more
1 in 4 New Zealanders suffer with anxiety. While small amounts of anxiety can provide us with necessary motivation, too much fear for too long can have a devastating impact on our mental/emotional health and physical bodies. In this episode of Soul Talk, Belinda Stott explains what anxiety is and... See more
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... See more
Soul Talk is a young adults resource to help groups to go deeper with each other and grow in their understanding of several important mental/emotional health topics. It tackles some of the big issues that are tragically affecting our society today – issues like anxiety, depression and burn... See more
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
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... See more
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.
Choose a few volunteers to do this upfront challenge. Offer a prize to the... See more
A national research study has been completed, exploring attitudes towards religion, spirituality and Christianity in New Zealand. Commissioned by the Wilberforce Foundation, the research was undertaken during March and April 2018 and the full report was is available now. The research enables us... See more
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 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
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... See more
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
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... See more
Youth ministry text books for the thinkers and the scholars!
All these books can be borrowed from the John Kinder Theological Library via their online catalogue: firstly, become a member, and then request the title(s) you want. If the requested books are available, they will normally be... See more
Young Anglicans’ Programme forming Young Anglican Leaders
Te Ruinga is a one year discipleship programme with St John’s Theological College for young Anglicans (18-25) from across Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific. Over the year, participants will live, learn, pray and serve together... See more
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.... See more
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... See more
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,... See more
How hard is it to make sure your leaders have had adequate training in health and safety? People are so busy that getting them together in one place to spend the time required to train is challenging to say the least, and is made even more difficult by the fact that many will not see this topic as... See more
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
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.
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... See more
These books are for youth leaders looking for practical youth ministry reads.
All these books can be borrowed from the John Kinder Theological Library via their online catalogue: firstly, become a member, and then request the title(s) you want. If the requested books are available, they will... See more
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
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... See more
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
Street Stories is a two-part series of DVD resources designed to build emotional resilience and empathy in intermediate age students. It is packed full of gritty street stories about real people who overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The stories are hard-hitting and honest, telling the... See more
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... See more
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
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
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
It’s soccer, but not as you know it. Teams play on their hands and feet, using a balloon instead of a soccer ball!
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
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
The end of the year is a great opportunity to say thank you to your leaders for all they have done throughout the year.
Here are some ways to say a big ‘thank you’ and to help them know how much they are appreciated:
Have them over for a BBQ or brunch
Surprise them by... See more
Looking for a resource for discipling young Christians? Growing Young Disciples is a series of discipleship studies, written by experienced Australian youth pastor, Tim Hawkins.
Aimed at younger teens, these short studies give a simple, scripture-based overview of what it means to follow Jesus.... See more
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…
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
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.
Kahoot! is a free online tool which makes it easy to create fun, multiplayer quizzes. These quizzes are great for youth group – play them just for fun or use them as a learning tool.
‘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…... See more
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... See more
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
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’ 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... See more
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
About the Book | About the Author | Buy the Book | Supplementary Resources
Do your youth ministry well
Just as you can draw life-giving, refreshing water from a well, Youth Ministry Well offers refreshment that will deepen your youth ministry and strengthen your faith in God.... See more
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... See more
‘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... See more
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
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
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... See more
‘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... See more
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!
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
Explore the power of forgiveness in this third study on Joseph’s Story.
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... See more
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!
‘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…... See more
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... See more
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... See more
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
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
“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
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... See more
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
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’ 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
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
Good support for youth leaders ensures a safe environment for everyone. It also helps leaders enjoy what they are doing and grow in the process rather than burning out. Here’s a checklist of things to put in place to ensure your youth leaders can thrive.
Pray together as a team, for... See more
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... See more
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
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
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
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.
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... See more
Life saving skills at your fingertips! The New Zealand Red Cross has a free first aid app. It’s a comprehensive pocket guide to first aid and emergency response. It features simple, easy advice on everyday first aid scenarios, as well as tips on how to prepare for natural disasters and... See more
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
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... See more
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.... See more
Keeping in regular communication with the parents and caregivers of the young people that participate in your youth programme is a must. Regular emails, sending out detailed term planners, a facebook group, your church website, conversations at church or before/after your youth gatherings are... See more
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
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
Confidentiality is an important issue in youth work. Used well, it can strengthen the relationship and deepen trust between youth leader and young person. The general rule is that what is shared privately, remains between you and the young person. However there may be circumstances when, for... See more
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
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
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
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
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,... See more
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
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
A 10 course buffet of ideas to help your church services inspire and enthuse the youth – through visuals, involvement, prayer, worship and more.
How does the room look and feel?
Is this a youth friendly space? Is it comfortable and inviting? Is it warm? freezing cold? does it... See more
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
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.
They need to be... See more
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
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... See more
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... See more
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
Do you want to turn the leadership potential you see in your teenagers into reality?
Are you keen to help your existing young leaders grow and mature in their leadership roles?
Are you looking for leadership training that is straightforward, grounded in Scripture, adaptable, and... See more
This is one of Phil Trotter’s favourite resources! He highly recommends that every youth group has a copy of the Student’s Guide to the Bible.
It’s a great resource just to have lying around the youth room. Because of its magazine style format– young people will pick it up and... See more
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.
“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... See more
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
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... See more
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.
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
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... See more
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
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... See more
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
Alcohol can be a destructive influence in a community setting. Whilst it may be appropriate at a family event or event for those 18 years and older, it is not recommended for an event that young people are attending. Special care will need to be taken on occasions when alchohol is available at a... See more
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
Use this odometer-type tool to help your mentee consider how they’re doing on several important self-care gauges in their ministry or life. Such tools actually make it easier to share personal stuff by shifting the focus off the person and onto the piece of paper.
Like an odometer on a... See more
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
A sample pay scale for youth ministers in parishes/ministry units. Please note that this is not a national scale but the one adopted by the Diocese of Christchurch. It is provided as an example. Now updated with 2016 figures.
Sample Pay Scale for Youth Ministry Staff from 1 May 2016
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!’
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... See more
It is essential that when we are providing transport for young people we do it safely and competently. Creating a safety policy for transport will ensure that this happens. Here are some mandatory requirements for drivers, as well as points to take into consideration when creating... See more
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.
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... See more
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
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
Using the song “7 Years” by Lukas Graham, invite young people to think about what shapes them and what influences them as they grow.
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... See more
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.
Mentoring Young People is a practical guide for training adults to be mentors. This manual covers the mentoring process from start to finish, and includes the purpose of mentoring, questions to ask during sessions, and safe practices.
Prepared by Phil Trotter, following a request by young... See more
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.
The Anglican Youth Ministry Qualification (AYMQ) is for people called by God to a vocation in youth ministry.
Students obtain a Bachelor of Ministries Internship Degree from Laidlaw College with high Youth Ministry and Anglican components.
Study is undertaken via regional courses, block... See more
How do you transition kids into youth group? How do you transition youth into young adults ministry?
A new year is beginning. We find ourselves hoping and praying that as term one begins, the new kids will just rock on up to youth group or turn up at our small group. We hope that it will just... See more
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... See more
Looking for a new youth leader? Here are the four things you need to check before your new volunteer jumps on board…
Note: This checklist is intended as a guide. Your Diocese will have their own Recruitment Policy for Volunteers. Check your diocesan website, or contact your Diocesan... See more
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 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
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
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.
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.
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
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 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
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... See more
Young leaders are people who will make mistakes and fail occasionally; they aren’t expected to know everything. They are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Young leaders are allowed to ask questions about faith and life; they are allowed to wrestle with doubts and fears. They are prepared... See more
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
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 the goal... See more
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... See more
For so long ‘burn out’ has been synonymous with youth ministry. Ministry is sacrificial, yes. But where we can look after our workers, we must.
The Network of National Youth Ministry Leaders (Aotearoa/NZ) have put together a list of seven practices that will sustain youth workers, youth... See more
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
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.
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... See more
What are the key elements of a youth group? The team of youth staff in Wellington have identified these seven practices as being integral to youth ministry in their diocese.
Tribal Identity: Ensure you have a group culture and that everyone knows they are part of your group.
Small Group... See more
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... See more
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;... See more
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
Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Disciples are people who are captivated and changed by God’s grace and are in the process of becoming more like Christ.... See more
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... See more
‘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’.
If appropriate, you could... See more
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... See more
A game that teaches about guidance. The big idea? God is a trust-worthy guide.
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’ 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
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 (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
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... See more
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... See more
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,... See more
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
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 – 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
Participants must be the first to inflate a balloon until it bursts…
Variations include rubber gloves and water balloons.
A fun and engaging way to cover many basic safety issues with your youth leadership team. Include it in a full safety training session or just spend 20 minutes on it over the next few leaders meetings.
How to use this video:
Play the video, asking leaders to spot the safety issues within... See more
Here is a simple method to use when reading scripture: respond with your head, heart and hands.
To make the most of this method, create a space that is quiet and free of distractions from the outside world or from your own busy mind.
Start by reading your chosen Bible passage, then ask... See more
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 – 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... See more
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.... See more
The Kairos Method is a simple way to read the Bible, inviting readers to focus on a God thought, Life thought and Self thought that arises out of the passage.
To make the most of this method, create a space that is quiet and free of distractions from the outside world or from your own busy... See more
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
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... See more
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... See more
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... See more
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
The Swedish Symbol Method is a straightforward Bible reading method with three helpful symbols to help you get into the passage.
Start by choosing a passage – this method is most suited to the teachings of Jesus and sections of the Epistles.
Read the passage, then use the following... See more
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
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
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... See more
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
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
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... See more
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
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
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... See more
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
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
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
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... See more
20 practical ways to engage and excite young people with the Gospel…
Nelson Anglican Youth have come up with twenty simple, practical and honest ways that will get people excited about engaging with teenagers and the gospel.
1. Start with who you have.
Invest into the young... See more
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.
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
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,... See more
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
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... See more
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... See more
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
Lectio Divina is an ancient form of seeking to hear God speak to us through the Scriptures, which is attributed to Saint Benedict (c. 480 – c.543). Here the basic form has been adapted for use by small groups.
Small Group Method
Start by choosing the text that you... See more
‘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... See more
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
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
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
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... See more
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... See more
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
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
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
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... See more
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
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
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.
A quick introduction to the week’s... See more
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... See more
Prayer is one of the foundational practices of the Christian faith. Praying with a group of other believers is one type of prayer that can bring great blessing and encouragement to everyone involved.
Some main barriers to ‘group prayer’ are:
Shyness: many people are very shy when it... See more
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
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.
A quick... See more
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
Here’s our top 5 places on the web for youth ministry! At each of these sites you’ll find plenty of quality, free youth ministry resources, ideas and inspiration.
This is the site that inspired RESOURCED! Best adjective: abundance! With thousands... See more
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... See more
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
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
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
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... See more
Winter games + Christmas games + a Christmas message + presents: a midwinter Christmas is a winning combination.
Why not celebrate Christmas twice a year?
Decorate your area as a winter wonderland (e.g. paper snowflakes, polystyrene balls, white/blue/silver streamers) and... See more
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... See more
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
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... See more
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
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…?
Worship experience or... See more
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... See more
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
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 out... See more
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
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
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 a... See more
A Simple Method for Studying the Bible One on One
It can be quite daunting meeting up with someone to look at the Bible together, especially if you have never done it before. However, even if you have never read the Bible with someone else before, it is possible to mine the riches of the... See more
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
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... See more
Jesus is the compassionate king, distracted even from his biggest mission by one man in need.
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 your task?
(E.g.... See more
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 lolly!... See more
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
The heart of a good study is the questions and personal study of the passage by the leader.
Be well familiar with the passage; study it yourself, maybe using these notes.
Come up with a ‘Big Idea’ – a 1-sentence summary of what you think the... See more
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 to... See more
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
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... See more
It’s great to get together with your youth ministry team at the beginning of the year. Gather for an evening, an afternoon, a day or even get away overnight to team build, to pray and to plan the first term (or the whole year).
Here are some exercises you can use to help build and bond... See more
Whether you’re planning a special youth event, service or camp, here’s a step by step guide that will help your event run smoothly and take your youth to the next level.
Prayer is an essential part of the planning process. It’s easy to forget to take time to pray... See more
Atmospherics: Set up the room well before young people arrive.
Check-Ins: Have a fun activity that gives everyone a chance to say their name and/or share something interesting. (See Community Builders)
Run a game (model positive interactions, cooperation, encouragement)
Have a... See more
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
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
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
These books are for youth leaders asking, ‘What’s the next step?’. Combining a biblical framework with cultural insight and an honest critique of the church, they provide new thinking and understandings of youth ministry that may challenge current practice, counter... See more
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... See more
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
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... See more
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... See more
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... See more
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 wealth.
You will need: 20 people and 20... See more
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
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... See more
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
There are so many great books out there on youth ministry, but it can be hard to know just which to read. These five books cover Youth Ministry 101. All have proven the test of time in delivering sound theology and practice for making disciples of our young people. Filled with practical ideas for... See more
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... See more
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
…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... See more
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
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
Sarah West shares the approach she has used with her youth group to help them develop a passion for praying together.
Modelling: Keep it Simple
If the youth pastor and/or youth leaders are praying long and complex prayers, it can put a silent pressure on the youth to conjure up ‘fancy’... See more
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
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
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... See more
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
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
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
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
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
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
Looking for a youth minister? Or trying to find out what positions are available around NZ? Here’s where to go and who to contact within the Anglican Church and beyond.
Church vacancies are listed on anglican.org.nz/News/Vacancies under each Diocese.
To contact a... See more
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
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
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
Questions you can use in a mentoring relationship, where the focus is on leadership and/or ministry development.
What is the strength of your ministry at the moment? Where would you like to see growth?
How are you keeping God’s purposes at No.1?
How has your pastoral love... See more
Doing talks using the Hook, Look, Book, Took approach.
‘Talks’, ‘God-spots’, ‘devotions’, ‘up-fronts’ – whatever you call it, youth leaders often feel nervous about doing Christian input well on your main youth group night.
The ‘Hook, Look, Book, Took’ model is a... See more
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
In a small group young people are given the space to grow in a more intimate setting. Small groups have the potential to create lasting connections with other people in an atmosphere where honesty and vulnerability is encouraged.
While small groups should be able to... See more
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
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)
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).
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.
After being cut from his high... See more
Put a series of math problems on the screen. First team to solve them all correctly wins points.
Put a word or phrase on the screen. The team to make the most words in one minute wins.
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.
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
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
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!
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
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
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 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... See more
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
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
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
Get three volunteers to stand in front of the group and have a race to blow up a balloon – till it bursts!
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
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.
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... See more
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
An easy to use template to use when planning your next youth group outing, whether you’re just heading out for the night, or away for a camp. Plus a handy checklist to make sure nothing important gets overlooked!
Risk Management Plan for Youth Group Outings (PDF, 37KB)
Risk Management... See more
A handy checklist to use when planning your next youth group outing, whether you’re just heading out for the night, or away for a camp.
Pre Activity Check List
Offsite venue visited
Permission Slips returned
RAMS form completed
Medical records checked
Licensed &... See more
10 Tips on starting a youth group. These are not hard and fast rules, but this is the approach that the Diocese of Christchurch found worked well when they started 11 youth groups.
1. Have your “five loaves and two fish”
Just as Jesus needed “five loaves and two fish” to... See more
It’s always good to take a moment after youth group to debrief how effectively the message was delivered. Use this checklist to run through the key aspects of speaking up front to help you and your youth leaders develop your communication skills.
Speaking Up Front Checklist (PDF,... See more
An easy-to-use template which you can use to create a job description for a youth minister – whether you’re looking for a full-time or part-time position.
Sample Job Description (PDF, 43KB)
Sample Job Description (DOC, 94KB)
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... See more
Questions you can use in a mentoring relationship, where the focus is on discipleship.
Developing a Personal Faith
What do you love about God?
What is your faith?
What are your core beliefs about God?
Tell me about your prayer... See more
We’ve done most of the work for you! View a Sample Employment Agreement here or download the editable version, fill in the blanks, and you’re good to go.
Sample Employment Agreement (PDF, 52KB)
Sample Employment Agreement (DOC, 118KB)
For more information, see our guide to... See more
A guide to writing an Employment Agreement for Youth Ministry Staff, with legal requirements and other considerations.
Writing Employment Agreements.pdf (24KB)
See also: Sample Employment Agreement
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 will... See more
A banana themed social event aimed at junior youth, ie 11-13 year olds. Timings given are approximate.
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:
How do you catch King... See more
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... See more
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... See more
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... See more
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... See more
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
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
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... See more
Share a time when you were really down or depressed (the goal is to show how common and normal depression is.)
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
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)
Write a personal column advert for the “perfect human being” (50 words or less)
In Matthew 5:48 Jesus... See more
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.
Who created sexuality?
The Big Picture
What are the two other important ingredients to... See more
Find words that start with each of the letters in the word “Relationships” to describe the qualities of a good friendship.
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
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.
Think about the guys in your... See more
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
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? Explain.
Finish this... See more
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
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 discover that... See more
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 describe Jesus?... See more
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.... See more
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
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
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... See more
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... See more
Every youth group faces it at times – disruptive or distracting behaviour, inattentive young people, or failure to follow basic safety principles. Below are some tips on how to get the best behaviour out of your young people and how to deal with them when things start going awry.
Firstly, a... See more