Fun Stuff Archives

So it’s already time to throw your teenagers a group Christmas party and you don’t know how you’re going to top last year’s gathering. You’ve already exhausted the white elephant game and you can only handle watching Elf so many times. What’s a person to do? Well, there’s always Holiday Charades and the traditional Christmas trivia, but how can you spice it up…as in, keep your teenagers awake and participating? Well, we’d like to think we’ve assembled a pretty great list of Christmas party game ideas here…feel free to read through them and add your own ideas at the bottom. Also, don’t forget to take a look at our first post about planning a Christmas party from last year.

Christmas Carol Karaoke

Grab a karaoke machine and start playing your favorite holiday tunes. Whether it’s a solo competition, group style or lip synching, judge each performance on a scale of  one to five, with one being a “lump of cole,” two being a  “fruit cake,” three being an “ugly Christmas sweater,” four being a “cup of hot chocolate” and five being a “new iPad under your Christmas tree.” Well, you get the point. Just make it fun.

Holiday Costume Party

Remember that candy-induced holiday just a few weeks back? What was the name of that again? Oh yeah, Halloween. Here’s a thought…why only dress up for Halloween? Why don’t you host a holiday costume party and tell everyone to come dressed as their favorite holiday character. The possibilities are endless. From Santa and the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, to the Grinch and Scrooge, the possibilities are endless. And it’s just one more way to spice up your Christmas party.

Human Christmas Tree

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but if you need further elaboration, here it goes. Pick a few teens to “decorate” as human Christmas trees. Divide a group of kids into teams of five and hand them a strand of Christmas lights, tinsel, garland, ornaments and popcorn strands to decorate their “trees.” Put two minutes on the clock and have them light up their trees at the end. Take a vote on the best trees and hand out awards.

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Teens love games that seem cutting edge and professional. If you have a computer or laptop in your youth room, you can play these games and have a blast. We’ve put together a list of (we’d say impressive) youth group Power Point games and screen games that don’t require Power Point for you to use at your next youth service.

Summer Themed Youth Group Game – Race This

Available as part of the Race This Volume 2 from Simply Youth Ministry, SYM is offering one game free of charge for download from their website. These games are just like the ones you see at sporting events on the jumbo screens, where one color, drink or other item races another and the crowd yells out which one will win. Each race is randomly selected and the winner changes each time. These are great for use during down time or before service and are compatible with both Mac and PC. To get your free download, click here. Or, if you can get the  full set of Race This Vol. 2 – Download.

Downloadable Game Show Games for Groups

You can download free game show games for your group, such as “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader” and “The Family Feud.” The games are fun and interactive and available at Download-Free-Games.com. However, unless you are just really set on using your big screen to play a game show game with your group, we suggest mimicking the games on the popular show, “Minute to Win It.” They are absolutely hilarious and performed with things you already have around the house.

Customizable Wheel Spin Game for Groups – Spin that Wheel

This one is a new one and very professional looking. In fact, you could play this over and over, customizing it however you wish and using it either as the sole game or to enhance a game you are already playing. It works by imputing your prizes onto the wheel and letting your kids spin for prizes such as t-shirts, gift cards, or a bag of chips. The possibilities are limitless. Alternatively, you could use the wheel to determine something the players have to do in the game. For example, lose a turn, get a free spin, lose all your points, or you could imput actions, such as eat 15 marshmallows in 45 seconds or some other ridiculous task. Your a youth pastor – you can come up with something, we just know it. To check out the game and view a demonstration, click Spin That Wheel – Download.
Spin That Wheel - Download

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Planning a youth group Christmas party is a tedious process, and doing so during the holiday season is even more difficult. Take some tips from the pros for planning your next youth group Christmas celebration soiree.

Looking for a detailed list of youth group Christmas games, printable party-planning worksheets, ideas and activities? Check out our favorite collection of Christmas youth ideas to the left. It’s available for immediate download to your computer, and includes over 360 pages of ideas, as well as a search index. Many games and ideas are also appropriate for children and adults.

In it, you’ll get immediate access to:

  • 112 Christmas games
  • 24 Christmas icebreakers
  • Many devotions, teaching illustrations, jokes, funny stories and more.

Plan your Christmas party for twice the number of teens you normally have at a given youth group service. Depending on when you hold your party, it is likely to become one of your most popular youth nights. Form a budget and a party committee, and get to planning.

Food

Anyone who’s been in youth ministry for more than 2 seconds knows that the way to a teen’s attention is through pizza. If you feel pizza is too tired for your group, opt for a dessert night or a church-sponsored pot luck. Better yet, contact a local restaurant to donate food trays for the party as a tax write-off, but be sure to supply them with a receipt for the food’s total value. Some youth groups get by with serving holiday drinks like hot cocoa, apple cider and egg nog, along with homemade cookies and other baked goods.

Activities

Try organizing several mini-games or Christmas-related competitions to keep students busy throughout the course of your Christmas party. This may mean creating a group gingerbread house making contest or organizing a gift exchange. Whatever your choose, keep in mind that not all students will want to participate in activities. Try to have a movie playing in the background for those students. We usually prefer Elf or A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Give-Aways

Teens love free stuff almost as much as they love pizza. Try to contact some local business for small donation giveaways. Chick Fil A is known to give away free chicken sandwiches when asked, and bigger corporations such as Walmart have also been known to offer product donations. You could also use the giveaways as a slick way to promote your upcoming year. Offer gift certificates toward youth camp or your next retreat. Other ideas include youth group t-shirts, CD’s and gift cards.

Do you have a Christmas party idea you want to share? Leave a comment below to help other youth pastors out.

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If you frequent this website, I’ll go out on a limb with a wild guess that you are interested in the spiritual lives of teenagers. Assuming such, I’ve decided to share a few statistics with you that you can pick apart, analyze and even use in some of your services if you want. No matter what you decide to do with this information, remember these statistics are relevant to the day in which we live and the teenage lives that we influence each week.

Teenage Christianity

According to a poll by the Barna Group, teenagers rank as the most spiritually active demographic in America. That may or may not be surprising to you. Whether or not they show it in youth group, they are hungry for truth during these formidable years.

Teenagers are more likely than their parents to attend church, but less likely to pray or read their Bibles. This is not surprising considering that one third of teens said their biggest reason for attending church is spending time with friends. When asked, only 45% of church-going teens said that making a spiritual connection with God at church was very important to them.

A majority (3 to 1) of teenagers prefer churches with teachings relevant to their daily lives rather than those that teach the background of their faith.

The College Years

Whether you like it or not, those loyal youth group attending kids of yours will turn into college kids one day. The Christian statistics for college students and twenty-somethings is not pretty. We need to figure out what happens (or doesn’t happen) in the church between age 13 and 29 that results in a lack of interest in young adults.

60% of twenty-somethings say that they were involved in church as a teenager but no longer are.

Only 20% of kids maintain the same level of spiritual activity during their twenties that they did during their teenage years.

It is most often not until they have kids that twenty-somethings return to church – driven by an interest in providing spiritual guidance to their children.

Most young adults’ spiritual activity occurs outside of a church body. People in their twenties are less likely to feel committed to a congregation.

Despite these numbers, a whopping 78% of young adults claim to be Christians.

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The Newsboys are offering a great deal on their upcoming album, Born Again. For all you youth pastors, parents, and leaders that appreciate the work of this Christian group, this is a chance to get your hands on some of their music before the release of their album this summer.

The song “Born Again” is available for free download, and if you pre-buy the album for a mere $6.99, you’ll get 4 bonus tracks for FREE now. The album drops June 8th and seems to have a pretty clean sound. The Newsboys are to be commended for their recent attempts to encourage teenagers, families and churches to get involved in world missions. They have been working with Global Expeditions to get the word out about available missions opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. Check out the music video from their title track below.

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Teenagers text. A lot. It is no wonder that parents and youth pastors are left in the dark on what teens are talking about today. Here’s a quick guide to texting get you started. I like to call this teen lingo “teen speak.” Some are easy to decipher such as “OvR8d” and the overly used “LOL.” But others are nearly impossible to figure out.

THX – Thanks
TTYL – Talk To You Later
IMO – In My Opinion
BRB – Be Right Back
POS – Parent Over Shoulder
BTW – By The Way
IDK – I Don’t know
ROTFL – Rolling On The Floor Laughing
BFF – Best Friend Forever
LYLAS – Love You Like a Sister
OMG – Oh My Gosh
TXT – Text
4COL – For Crying Out Loud
Peeps – friends, people
2G2BT – Too Good To Be True
<3 – Heart/Love
🙂 – Smiley
SRSLY – Seriously
BFFN – Best Friends For Now
BBFN – Bye Bye for Now

That’s just off the top of my head. I assume that if you’re reading this, you probably have some experience with texting and teens. Do you know an abbreviation that isn’t listed here? Please share it in a comment so we can all be more enlightened! 🙂 BBFN peeps!

Need more resources? Check out my post on Low Budget Youth Ministry

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  1. Assure parents that you will be around for a long time because you heard it’s hard to get fired at this church.
  2. Plan a missions trip to Las Vegas
  3. Take up a special offering for your sick dog
  4. Dress like a space cadet and tell people it is your plan to be “In this world but not of it.”
  5. Hide behind the baptismal and dump dry ice into it when the pastor starts preaching about hell
  6. Before you are voted in by the eldership, hand the pastor a check and tell him it’s “Hush Money”
  7. Make your first youth hang out night a no-limits poker tournament to “promote unity.” Forget to tithe your winnings.
  8. Ask to use your Xbox avatar as your image for the church website
  9. When you preach your first sermon, call attention to the tip jar on top of the pulpit and tell people “You’ll be here all night long.”
  10. Tell the senior pastor you can’t make it to prayer meeting because you have a clan meeting on World of Warcraft.

Have your own ideas or suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment!

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