Try This One
group magazine: March, 1992
From: March 1992 GROUP Magazine
Keywords: Attendance Bible Study Game Fund-Raiser
TRY THIS ONE
Is your youth group attendance in a springtime slump? If so, boost your attendance with this colorful idea.
Cut fluorescent-colored paper into 1X4-inch slips. On each slip write the name, grade level and phone number of an inactive group member. Fold the slips in half and place them in a colorful basket.
In another basket, place fluorescent-colored cloth loops used for making craft items such as potholders. (A package of 100 sells for less than $1 at some craft stores.) You'll need several loops for each active group member.
At your next meeting, gather kids around the baskets. Invite them each to draw one or more names of inactive kids to contact. Then have them choose an equal number of fluorescent cloth loops to wear around their wrists like bracelets as reminders of the contacts they are to make. Tell kids to phone their inactive people, introduce themselves and invite those people to the next youth group activity.
Our inactive kids responded well to this "peer-invitation" approach. The excitement was amazing!
Gather everyone in an open area, such as a gymnasium or outside on the grass. Then let the fun begin.
Form pairs. Blindfold one person in each pair and give him or her a wet sponge. The other partner is the guide. On "go," the blindfolded people throw sponges at others by following their sighted partner's verbal commands: "Right! Left! Duck! Run! Throw the sponge!" The sighted people can't touch their blindfolded partners. After sponges are thrown, sighted people verbally guide their blindfolded partners to any sponge on the ground and continue the action. If either partner gets hit by a sponge, both partners are out. The object is to be the last pair left. Have partners switch roles and play again.
Clean up the area then gather in a dry spot for a Bible study. Ask: How did you feel as you were blindfolded and had to trust your friend to lead you? How do these feelings compare to your feelings as you trust God to guide you-even though you can't see him? How did you feel as you led a blindfolded partner? How do you think these feelings are like or unlike God's feelings as he guides us?
Ask five volunteers to read aloud these scriptures: Psalm 40:4 and 56:10-11; Proverbs 3:5-6 and 16:20; and Micah 7:5-7. Ask group members what the Bible says about trusting God. Lead kids in discussing times in their lives when they did and didn't trust God. Ask if they feel able to trust God to guide all they do.
Close with a prayer asking God's help in trusting him. Eat and enjoy some spongecake for a snack!
Grand Ledge, Michigan
No Prop-No Prep
A SPY FOR A SPY
Help new group members meet the "regulars" with this sneaky crowdbreaker.
Before you begin, secretly choose three kids to be spies. Give them code names, such as "Pink Panther," "007" or "Maxwell Smart."
Instruct group members that their mission is to find the three spies. They'll have several minutes to mingle. Kids must each approach a person, shake hands and ask his or her name. Then, while still holding hands, they must ask the person if he or she is either the Pink Panther, 007 or Maxwell Smart. Kids may ask only one code name at a time. A "no" response is one squeeze of the hand; a "yes" response is two squeezes of the hand.
When kids catch a spy, they shouldn't reveal the spy's identity, but continue meeting others. When a person thinks he or she has discovered the true identity of all three spies, he or she must report to "headquarters" (the youth leader) and reveal the spies' names. The first person to learn all three spies' real names wins.
Reward the champion spy-catcher with an appropriate prize, such as a squirt gun, sunglasses or a magnifying glass.
Raleigh, North Carolina
A SCRUMPTIOUS ST. PATRICK'S DAY DINNER
Use this fund-raiser to bring out the Irish in your church members and bring in the money for your youth group.
Set a date for a St. Patrick's Day dinner. Sell tickets to church members prior to the event so you'll know how much food to prepare. (Many grocery stores will donate food and supplies if they know it's a church-sponsored fund-raiser.) Here's the menu:
salt-of-the-earth corned beef
lip-smackin' lime Jell-O (with a dab of whipped cream)
For each person attending, plan on approximately 1/4-1/2 pound of corned beef, one carrot, one potato, 1/4 onion and 1/4 cabbage. Follow the cooking instructions on the corned beef package. Combine all ingredients in a roaster. (You'll need several roasters, depending upon the number of people attending). If your church kitchen doesn't have a couple big ovens, ask volunteers to each bake a pot of the Irish meal at home and bring it to the church at the appointed time.
Decorate the dining area with green and white balloons, streamers, tablecloths and napkins. Make coasters in the shape of four-leaf clovers from green construction paper. Ask group members to wear green and be waiters and waitresses. Every five to 10 minutes ask a dinner-time discussion question, such as:
*Who is a saint in your life-a person you admire most for his or her faith? Why?
*What of God's green creation are you most thankful for? Why?
After the Irish meal and the refreshing Jell-O dessert, close with an appropriate song such as "Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In" or "Rise Up, O Men of God."
Cindy S. Hansen
PASS THE TIE THAT BINDS
When your group members need a break, try this crazy contortion game.
Form equal teams. Then have teams line up. Give a necktie to the first person in each line. Instruct teammates to pass their team's tie down the line, using their hands. Then make it more difficult-have them pass the ties back up the line using their elbows...then necks...then knees...then ankles! Vary the relay by shouting out body-part passing instructions after every two or three passes.
Have a camera handy to preserve the laughs and strange contortions for months to come.
East Flat Rock, North Carolina
We'll Pay You $25!
We're on the lookout for discussion-starters, crowdbreakers, group-builders, helpful hints, publicity ideas, special events, and especially fund-raisers, games and active Bible studies. If you've created a tried-and-true idea found in no other publication, send it in. We'll pay you $25 if we publish it.
Just send your idea, daytime phone number and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:
GROUP's Try This One
Loveland, CO 80539
Copyrightę 1992 Group Publishing, Inc. / GROUP Magazine