50+ Fun and Inspirational Church Youth Group Activities
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.
What's your favorite youth group activity?
Incorporate Faith in as Many Activities as Possible
Sometimes it's easy to set aside the faith part of a youth group meeting, especially when playing games, but try to incorporate it whenever you can.
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.
Get Church Members of All Ages Involved!
Some of the elder members of churches love to help out with youth. Have a signup sheet and get a different volunteer for each meeting.
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
Ditch the cellphones. Make a policy that cell phones are not allowed during meeting time unless there is a project that they are needed for.
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
Make the Meeting Space Fun & Comfortable
Let the youth group help decorate the meeting space. Many churches have a dedicated youth room. Make it comfortable & fun. If you need anything, ask the parishioners. Most folks are happy to donate something to help out.
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
Kids don't always want to sit around in the youth group room. In nice weather why not have the meeting outside.
Outside of Regular Meetings
Meet With Other Youth Groups
Almost every church has a youth group. Why not mix it up a little bit and have an activity with a neighboring church. Chances are the youth will know each other and have a good time.
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