Claudia has been creating content one post at a time for more than seven years and writes about a variety of subjects.
Church youth groups are a time-honored tradition for teens all around the world. They are an event where teens get together, usually once a week, to talk about almost anything. While almost all church youth groups are primarily focused on faith-based activities, those activities can vary widely from location to location.
Sometimes it's difficult to come up with things for the kids to do. They get bored doing the same thing and, as anyone with teens knows, they can have fickle tastes.
Below is a comprehensive list of activities that any youth group of any size can do. Hopefully, the list will be helpful to group leaders, parents, and participants.
Games are an essential part of any youth group. If games aren't played, participation and attendance will quickly decline. Make games a part of almost every meeting. The students will appreciate it and you'll have a lot of fun too.
"Would You Rather" Game
Participants gather together and the 1st person picks a questions and the other people have to answer.
"Roll the Dice...Break the Ice" Game
There are 12 questions and kids go around the room rolling the dice and answering the question next to the number they roll.
M & M's Game
Get a couple bags of M&M's and participants go around the room and pick one out. They have to answer a question based on the color of candy they choose.
"This or That" Game
Go around the room and have people take turns asking "this or that" questions.
Form chairs in 2 circles, with one ring inside the other and facing each other. Have kids choose seats and give them a topic to discuss for a certain amount of time. Then have the kids shift chairs and ask another question. Play for a while.
Make a pit in the church multipurpose room. Our church stands the foldable tables on their sides. The kids are in the pit and when the ball is thrown in anyone can hit it. If it hits a player below the knee, they are out. If the ball is caught in the air, the player who threw it is out. Play ends when there is one player left.
Sleeping Bag Worm Races
Have 2 sleeping bags ready. Have kids pull a name out of a hat and that will be their opponent. Have them get into the bag and crawl down the hall like a worm. Winners go on to race other winners until there is one champion.
Human Tic Tac Toe
Set up 9 chairs and divide kids into 2 groups of Xs and Os. Start playing.
Don't Break the Streamers!
Tape crepe streamers crossing a hallway. Tape them low and high and some on a diagonal. Participants have to make their way down the hall without tearing any down.
Ready, Aim, Starburst!
A bag of Starburst candy is needed as well as tape or, if playing outside, sidewalk chalk. Make a target on the floor with a few rings, almost like a bow and arrow target. Have kids pair up and each person gets 10 pieces of candy. They get 10 chances to hit the target and get the points that the candy lands in. The winner gets a prize or moves on to play other winners.
Design a layout on a chalkboard or the wall like the Jeopardy tv show. The answers should be biblical references.
Bible 20 Questions
The leader has a biblical figure or episode in mind and the group asks questions. If they can guess the answer in 5 questions they get 20 points, between 6 - 10 questions - 15 points, 11- 15 questions - 10 points and 16 - 20 questions - 5 points.
Bible Super Bowl
Group is divided into 2 and there is a football field drawn on a piece of paper. The first team is asked a biblical question and if they answer correctly they get 10 yards. Keep playing just like football rules and decide when the game is over. Set a timer for answering questions.
Bible Scavenger Hunt
Design a scavenger hunt around church using biblical references.
Blind Faith Toss
Get a bag of mini marshmallows, some plastic cups and bandanas for blindfolding. Have teams of 2 with one person laying on the floor with a plastic up on their forehead. The other teammate is standing with a blindfold on trying to get marshmallows in the cup. The players get 2 minutes and then see who wins.
Leader has trivia questions and participants get a point when they answer correctly. Winner is the one with the most points at the end of the game.
Mission and service projects are another integral part of any youth group. So many important lessons can be learned when the students participate in mission work.
Their faith grows as they help others and it's a very powerful lesson for them.
"Operation Christmas" Boxes
Letters to the Troops
Visiting Women's Shelters
Care packages for church members who are in college
Church Clean Up
Visiting Homeless Shelters
Visiting Senior Centers
Food Bank Collection
No-Sew Blankets for Children in Hospitals
Helping Out Shut-Ins
Crafts are probably something that shouldn't be done every meeting. Youth groups are made up of teens and many of them aren't interested in crafts, but sometimes a craft project hits the spot. Here are a few good ideas for this age.
Cross Shaped String Art
Melted Crayon Pictures
Painted Bible Verses
Other Youth Group Activities
Youth groups can't do mission work or games all of the time, but the members need to be busy or they are going to get bored. Here some other ideas to keep meetings fun and meaningful.
During Regular Meeting Times
Favorite Snack Night
Favorite Cereal Night
Bring a Friend Night
Outside of Regular Meetings
Projects don't just have to be a one-time event. There are lots of projects youth groups can do that are ongoing. Members look forward to these kinds of activities because they are like an incentive to come back week to week to see what sort of progress is made. Ongoing projects are also a good way to give the group a little continuity.
Verse of the Week
Random Act of Kindness Wall
Wall of Hands
The Best Youth Group Activity Ever
I really understood the importance of youth groups about 2 years ago when my daughter's group held a church-wide game night and invited everyone to come and bring their favorite games.
We had a decent turn out of people and started to play games. The table I sat at had 3 youth, 2 middle-aged people and one of senior members of the church, probably in his late eighties. We played "Mystery Date" and lo and behold, the senior at our table won the game!
Our entire table got such a kick out of that and we laughed a long time. The gentleman spoke about that for a long time after that and, has sadly passed away since then, but I'll always remember what fun he had.
It was such a simple concept, but that evening of inter-generational fun has stayed with me and what a wonderful lesson it was to the youth that were there that night.
I hope your youth group makes some happy memories with some of the ideas listed in this article.
© 2018 Claudia Mitchell
Amuzu Johnson Kwasi on August 20, 2020:
thanks so much for these great ideas
thanks a lot on August 09, 2020:
Thanks a lot for great ideas
Cherene Natalie Aird on August 05, 2020:
Thanks so much for these ideas.
Purity on July 30, 2020:
Brilliant ideas...Thank you so much:)
Beauty on July 20, 2020:
Nice and great ideas
Hanson Uduak on July 15, 2020:
I'm from Nigeria, and I sincerely appreciate these whole information for church youths. Thanks a million. I hope to see more post from you!
Lesley on March 11, 2020:
Thank you for the information. I look forward to using it.
Sean on March 10, 2020:
Awesome stuff mentioned. Will give it a try. I appreciate it tho.
Ms Tebogo on March 08, 2020:
Thank you, it was helpful and we will have fun
Michelle M on March 07, 2020:
PERFECT GREAT IDEAS TO INSPIRE AND KEEP OUR YOUTH MOTIVATED IN GODS HOUSE
Mirjana on March 03, 2020:
It looks great, i'll try it
Cathy on February 04, 2020:
Thank you, we’re just getting started with our youth group and you gave me a lot of great ideas.
Martha on January 28, 2020:
This is simple but great tips. Thank you very much. I have been thinking of how to go about the youths I've been working with.
Victoria Gaye on January 27, 2020:
Thanks you so much this was very helpful for me because am a new leader and I didn’t even know where to start from for my ministry
Lawrence on January 26, 2020:
Thank you so much. The information is so helpful
Roy siansulinga on January 16, 2020:
Thanks very much thi great ideas
Pam on January 12, 2020:
Thank you so much. This is so helpful. Taking over youth group this year and was looking for ways to switch things up. God bless you
Karen on January 05, 2020:
This is extremely helpful to me as I was running out of activities for our youths. We were getting bored of repetition. Thanks again. I have so much to choose from. So excited already. God bless
Tywauna on January 02, 2020:
This was very helpful. New Youth leader at my church and we are few in number, and I needed some ideas of different activities.
Thank you so much
Ednel Jean Baptiste on January 02, 2020:
wow... Thank you so much... .These ideas are great. I will try to apply some of them to my youth. Very helpful... wow.... You are awesome! I hope to return and share my experience with you.
star on December 20, 2019:
am from zimbabwe and this has been very helpful
lydia grace on November 08, 2019:
wow i bless God that i found this wonderful inspiring activities. i am the youth leader in my church. currently we are few but with this information i know we shall have fun. am all smiling at the fun and bonding therein. stay blessed and thanks alot. all from south sudan
Opara Sandra Chinonso on October 27, 2019:
I'm from Nigeria and this has really helped me in my research on how to improve our youth ministry. Thanks a lot.
Dianah on October 22, 2019:
I found this ideas helpful to me; I can apply them with any group.
Michelle on September 10, 2019:
I thought this was so very helpful to me, I am so excited to get started on this with my youth group, we are very small in numubers but I think they will enjoy it!!!!
Jonelle Wylie on September 07, 2019:
This article was so helpful! I cannot wait to dig in deeper with my group with activities from this post. THANK YOU!
Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 14, 2019:
Various activities are a good way to do it. Their input helps as well to get an idea of what they like to do. Good luck.
Sarah Amos on June 12, 2019:
I want to organise an activity in my church that will bring the teenagers closer.How do i go about it?
WilmaFlorOclaret on May 26, 2019:
I'm willing to be a youth fellowship leader in our small church in Philippines. I wanted to have more ideas and lesson plan to make the bonding fun and to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope this Web can help me. THANK YOU!
Kiran Manzoor on May 22, 2019:
Daniel on May 19, 2019:
A theme of tenager church program
Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 17, 2019:
Macson PresH on May 12, 2019:
loved all your posts...very helpful. Though who love a few more ideas for a children program am organizing...
Maggie Annie on May 11, 2019:
I want to draw a programm for inter church youths (from different churches) please i need your ideas
Humble K Buabeng on May 02, 2019:
am youth president and i want to draw a program want ideas from you
Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 21, 2019:
I think that would all depend on what day you were celebrating. There are all kinds of activities you can tailor to particular events.
Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 21, 2019:
Thank you. I'm glad you liked the article.
Ebube on April 18, 2019:
what activities can you set in a church for fun e.g cultural day, old school day and what again................
Gina on April 17, 2019:
This is absolutely amazing!! I'm starting up a Youth Impact Program in my community. Your resources will definitely impact the lives of many children & youth. Thank you!!!
Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 23, 2019:
Thank you for reading. I'm glad you found some ideas.
Kedema on March 21, 2019:
I am a young youth president and i learned alot from your ideas i will be keeping my youth night tomorrow and i am writing some ideas from from your topics Thank you very much you help me alot
Napoleon Hinneh on March 12, 2019:
Thanks so much
Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 10, 2019:
I am not familiar with that area, so I wouldn't be able to help you out.
Berelyn Ramos on March 09, 2019:
Hello. I have a 16 year old that need to be around other people her age. I like the activities posted. Is there a place she can go in pinellas area in Tarpon Springs or near it? Thank you.
Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 05, 2019:
Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the article.
Zolani Vusani on March 05, 2019:
This is so good thank you so much Claudia and the team.
Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 28, 2019:
Thank you. I hope your youth group enjoys the activities.
Eric on January 26, 2019:
Great ideas, Very helpful
Afolabi Jacob on January 26, 2019:
These are great idea! Many thanks for sharing - I will definitely try them out. God bless!
Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 23, 2019:
Thank you for your kind comments Michele.
Michele on January 23, 2019:
your ideas are great. I thank God for persons like you that make this type of information available for free. May God continue to guide each and every one of you.
solomon eboh on January 13, 2019:
these ideas are awesome. I'm grateful to God for people like you. God bless You.
Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 05, 2018:
Collen Mhlanga on December 04, 2018:
Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2018:
Lock-ins can be fun if you can get enough volunteers and kids to do it. They are a good money maker for missions too. Of course you have to get all the appropriate permissions to do something like that.
hannah smith on November 12, 2018:
these ideas sound helpful i am a asssitant youth leader and trying to find something for us to do for fun cause we dont have enough kids interested in it nd want something we can do in sunday school and was wondering if having a lockin one night sound like a good idea?
Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 10, 2018:
Hi Tasha - That sounds like a fun idea, but I would get permission from church leaders before doing something like that. Thanks for reading.
Tasha Robinson on November 09, 2018:
Thank you for the perfect ideas. I wanted to know is it a great idea to do a secret santa for the whole church for those who what to participate.
Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 25, 2018:
That sounds like a nice idea and something that I would imagine youth groups would find worthy.
Jasmine Nichols on September 24, 2018:
I had this idea, my dad is homeless and i can't do much but what i do he is very thankful for. What if your youth group had a chicken noodle night. Go to a place where homeless people go. Have a really big bucket and warm chicken noodle soup and give then a bowl. Just to do something nice.
Claudia Mitchell (author) on August 23, 2018:
Thank you Karen. Hope you have fun with your youth group.
Karen Tate Nc on August 22, 2018:
AWESOME IDEAS !! THANKS!!
Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 07, 2018:
Thank you Linda. I'm hoping lots of people find it useful. I know my daughter really enjoys attending youth groups.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 06, 2018:
This is an excellent article, Claudia. It contains lots of great ideas for church youth group activities. It would be a very useful article for anyone involved in organizing the activities.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 04, 2018:
I did attend church games before but I was poked fun at instead