Category | Creative Teaching Ideas

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With the New Year we typically evaluate the past year and set new priorities for the upcoming year. Sometimes we call these new priorities or renewed priorities New Year's Resolutions. New Year's Resolutions may be focused around family, personal goals, money, jobs, and many other things. While these things are not necessarily wrong, when they take precedence over our relationship with God they become a problem.

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Watermelons are almost synonymous with summer - cool, refreshing, and great on a hot summer day. Watermelons can also be used for a variety of fun, and sometimes messy games, though the cost could be a bit prohibitive for some youth groups. Here are a variety of games using watermelons as well as some ideas for spiritual lessons using this popular summer treat.

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Decks of cards are easy to find. And everyone knows a card game or two. With this icebreaker, cards are used to sort people into different groups as well as discover a little about each other! They can also be used to explore integrity, doubts, honesty, and personal character.

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Everyone loves soap bubbles - Preschoolers, Children, Youth and Adults. They gleam and sparkle in all the colors of the rainbow. They float along and drift in delightful and unexpected ways. They come in all sizes and shapes, and can be caught or set free, alone or connected. But one thing is true of all bubbles. There will come a time when each bursts and is forever lost. Bubbles do not last forever. They remind us to focus on this things that last forever.

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We often use the term "spoon fed" to refer to babies. It is also used for people who have been given so much by others that they never learn how to think for themselves or take care of themselves. Scripture uses a similar term to describe some Christians. Like a spoon fed baby, some Christians have never grown up in their faith.

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This lesson uses ping pong balls to remind us that as Christians we can be easily tossed around, unstable, blown off course if we lack faith. But through prayer and belief we can be strong enough to face and stand strong in any difficulties and circumstances we might face as Christians.

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This object lesson for youth uses eggs to make the Easter message of the empty tomb memorable and fun while re-creating, the emotions felt by Christ’s disciples upon finding the empty tomb on Easter morning.

CLICK HERE TO SHARE THIS YOUTH OBJECT LESSON ON FACEBOOK

Games using Easter Eggs

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This idea centers around toilet paper. All you need to do is show a few rolls to youth and the giggles will start. But sin is no laughing matter. While at first it seems innocent and not a threat, it quickly binds us and hinders us, preventing us from doing and being all that God has planned for us.

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This lesson centers around the drinking straw. The main lesson reminds youth that what sometimes what we see as impossible is not always as impossible as it seems.

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There are lots of games that can be played using only newspapers, but a few have been selected to illustrate the idea of unity and working together. In most of these games the players are designated as penguins and the newspaper is an iceberg.

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Candy Conversation Hearts, commonly available near to Valentine’s Day, have been around for close to 150 years. In this youth idea, you'll get several games to play using the candy hearts as well as ideas to use the messages written on the hearts to tell about God's Love.

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Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, see what God hath done. And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. Not once a year, but every day, we need to count the blessings God has sent us.

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How do we deal with fear? If you think about it, the Bible has quite a few scary stories suitable for any fright night. In this one, God takes Ezekiel to a valley filled with hundreds, maybe even thousands of dry human bones, they grow flesh and skin and then come back to life as a vast army. Zombie Apocalypse or an all powerful God who has power over life and death?

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One of the key issues that everyone faces in life is the "fear of failure". We all face this fear when we are forced to step out from what is familiar to us and try something new. This creative Bible Study lesson for youth begins with a taste test and then looks at the very real example of Moses when God called him to serve him in Egypt.

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We are obsessed with competition. We want to be the best, the fastest, the richest, the strongest, the greatest. But what does it really mean to be the greatest? As Christians aren't we supposed to strive for perfection? How does God define greatness?

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You've heard the hymn: My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ, my righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand. It's a familiar Hymn, but what does it mean for Christ to be My Rock?

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Father May I?

This is a paternal variation of the classic children’s game: Mother, May I?  Use it for Father’s Day or simply to talk about our relationship with the Heavenly Father.

What to do

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James tells us God’s Word is like a mirror (James 1:22-25). Mirrors allow us to see ourselves and to make changes based upon what we see. Unfortunately, many youth not only have a hard time seeing themselves in Scripture, but they also see themselves in a lot of other mirrors which may distort the image they see when they are

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We must never underestimate the role that our mothers play in teaching us about God, about His Word, and about salvation. From a very early age, a mother is preparing us for life. Teaching us about our Creator and Redeemer is part of God's purpose for mothers, and we must appreciate the godly mothers and honor them for taking up the challenge of preparing us for life.

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Reporters often get to meet the most amazing people in their line of work, interacting with celebrities, political leaders, inspirational figures, people facing tragic circumstances, heroes, athletes, the wealthy and the poorest of the poor. We get to read about their experiences and hopefully, learn something and grow. Our Bibles are full of newsworthy stories and this activity will help your youth appreciate its depth by looking at it from a different point of view.

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There really isn’t a “best” way to describe the church. Even the writers of the New Testament found it difficult to describe and used a ton of metaphors to help relate the place of the church in its community and the world. We hope this activity helps your youth not only identify with the mission and purpose of the church,

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Youth will have a quiz for which the losing team will receive punishment, but one of the youth leaders will step in and take the punishment on their behalf. The activity is a metaphor for the exchange that took place when Christ took our place and died for our sins on the cross.

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We all make plans for big events and the next big one coming up is Easter. We often find that things rarely go according to how we intend and we tend to get caught off guard. The Easter account is full of surprises. Like the plot twist at the end of a suspense novel, all the characters get the surprise of their lives and their lives are never the same again. Here's a fun game you can play that expresses the surprising Easter story!

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God often uses the metaphor of a Shepherd and a sheep in both the Old and New Testament Scriptures. It was something that the people were familiar with. We might not be as familiar with shepherds and sheep today, but the metaphor is still a powerful illustration of leadership as well as our common behaviors in the church. Ezekiel 34 is full of lessons on leadership and how we treat each other. It's all full of promises. While these promises were initially given to the children of Israel, they also hold important truths for us today as God's Children.

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This learning game is a great way to introduce the concept of obedience to God. It can also be used for famous Biblical personalities that practiced hearing God and obedience to Him.

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Here's a game we thought up to allow your youth one more chance to celebrate as they start the school year. You can invite visitors and give a small party gag gift to everyone and generate a few laughs at the same time.

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In general, each new day is like the one before. There really is no reason why New Year's Day should be any different than the rest of the days of the year. There is no difference between December 31 and January 1. Nothing special occurs at midnight on December 31. But for many, the New Year is a day to reflect on the past and look to the future. In fact the name of the first month of the year, January, is derived from Janus, a two faced Roman deity that looked both backwards and forward at the same time. January 1st is a time of new beginnings, of getting a fresh start, of letting go of the things from the past that might hold us back and pressing forward. If that sounds familiar, you might recognise it as a concept, not unique to the Romans but a Biblical concept as well.

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The TV show Jeopardy, is a great game for the review of Biblical lessons. It’s also great to see how much people really know about stories that they hear all the time. In this Christmas Jeopardy game, the focus is on Mary.

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The story of the priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth is an integral part of the Christmas story as found in Luke 1:5-25; 57-66. Mary, pregnant with Jesus, visits Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John the Baptist. In the presence of Christ in Mary’s Womb, John the Baptist jumps in Elizabeth’s womb. But this story is not only about John

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As the streets get lit up, the sidewalks, shop windows, everything gets decorated with scenes of the nativity, we see it all around us, and these symbols carry deep meaning for us. But something we don’t realize is how insignificant they were at the very first Christmas.

INSIGNIFICANT CHRISTMAS?

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We were recently very blessed in church when we got the opportunity to meet and worship with the writer of the praise song "Jesus Shall Take the Highest Honor." It really opened our eyes and hearts to the magnificence of God and we saw a glimpse of what a big and indescribable God He truly is. When we think about God, it really blows our minds. There's so many things to say about Him, many things about His character that we still don't understand. This activity helps youth at least gain some perspective on the personhood of God and relate to Him in ways they can describe and (at least try to) identify with.

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Running for the GoldWe’ve come to the end of the Olympic games. Seen the joy on the faces of the athletes at the closing ceremony and seen the flag passed on to Rio, the next hosts of the Olympics. For many of these athletes, this would mark the end of their career. Their last time competing on the world’s stage. As we recognize

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Summary

Sometimes the summer months can be lonely for youth. Things slow down. Since they are not at school, contact with other youth is reduced. There is a lot of time to think. And when you spend more time alone, it’s also common to think that you are alone in your struggles. Use this activity as an icebreaker or simply

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Description
As we celebrate Father’s Day we are reminded that God created us through fathers and that fathers are all around us in creation. Father’s are special, and we often have special names for fathers such as dad, daddy, etc. In the animal kingdom some father’s also have special names. Do you know the special name for each father in

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The Olympic Games was a significant competitive sporting event in the life and times of Jesus, carrying right on through the life of the early church and the ministry of the apostles. It’s no surprise then that the writers in the New Testamant make so many athletic references to “running races”, “training”, “prizes”, “crowns”, all of which were part of

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Description
Use this simple Bible Teaching Activity for Children and Youth to introduce help them to better understand the idea that Jesus is the Light of the World, ways he brings light into our daily lives, and what that means to living the Christian Life.

Resources

  • Modeling Clay

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Description
Teams of youth must move different colored balloons from the front of the room to the back, then back to the front again. Balloons can be holiday colors or contain messages inside.


Resources Needed


  • Rubber Balloons in various colors. You’ll need one of each color for every

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February 5th is American Football's Superbowl weekend! The Patriots and Giants will tee off for the NFL's Super Bowl XLVI.

We've got a great idea for you to try out with your youth group, it's sports-themed and perfect for tying in what's going on in American Football on the 5th with a spiritual application. I am putting it up one

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Christmas Activity Description

The first Christmas tree ornaments were fruits, nuts, sweets, marzipan cookies and even communion wafers cut into various shapes. Decorations made of gold foil and paper were also added. The tree itself, an evergreen, was a reminder of everlasting life. A star or angel at the top reminded people of the Christmas story. Lights symbolised that the

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Description

You don’t need to have an expensive budget to create costumes for the Christmas Play. With a few simple pieces of cloth and some imagination you can easily create costumes for shepherds, angels, wisemen, Mary and Joseph.

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Letters from kids to Santa:


Dear Santa,

Please when you come to my house would you bring me a doll that eats and cries, and my little pony and video games. I don’t want you to bring me another brother, but my mom says that you are going to be bringing one around Christmas, but I already have one and

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Game Description
Gifts are a big part of Christmas. The greatest gift was God sending his Son. The wisemen brought gifts. In this game, youth go through the alphabet thanking God for the gifts he has given us either on a personal or corporate level. You could use this for a youth group, or for family activity.

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Objective
This activity is a variation of the normal group prayer that provides youth both an element of personal attention while at the same time keeping the entire group actively engaged.

Resources
None needed

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balloon_bunch.jpgIntroduction
Rub a balloon against your hair and it builds up a charge that will allow it to attract small bits of paper or even stick to a wall. Our thoughts are often like the balloons. We attract what we focus upon. Change your thoughts and you change not only the attractions, but you will find new habits and new

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If anything could happen for you,
before the end of the day,
What do you wish would happen?

If Jesus were to answer the same question about your life,
what would he say?

Use this video to start an interesting discussion with your youth.

 

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Scriptures

“I thought to myself, “Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.” – Ecclesiastes

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Description
Use this information in a Children’s sermon or for a youth acitivity for St. Patrick’s day. The significance of St Patrick’s day is not in the traditions associated with it today, but in its remembrance of forgiving teenager who was sold into slavery and escaped only to return to the country where he had been a slave, in order

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Do you have any idea how easy it is to make Christmas snowflakes? There are several ways to make paper snowflakes for Christmas decorations, and there a ton of wonderful things that you can do with them. So let’s learn how to make your basic snowflake and learn some simple techniques to make the most beautiful decorations for Christmas. Once

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Description
In I Cor. 9:24-27, Paul compares the Christian life to a race. Any runner will tell you that the most important piece of equipment for the runner is his shoes. Shoes are very personal things. You can’t run the race in someone else’s shoes. In the same way, in the body of Christ we each must run the race.

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Activities and Lessons for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Object Lesson – Ten Lepers – Use this Thanksgiving Children’s sermon / Thanksgiving Object lesson to create a situation in the Sunday school classroom or Worship service to illustrate the story in Luke 17 of the healing of ten lepers and the ONE that return to Jesus and thanked him for what he had

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Youth Olympics Sports Logos Freeze Frames!
Can you imitate the people in the logos and be the first to complete all the Youth Olympics Sports images?

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Description
Participants will try to copy the poses of athletes in the various Youth Olympic Sports as shown in the Logos for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

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Description
This is a great learning activity for youth to introduce the fruits of the Spirit and discuss the ongoing development of spiritual fruit in youth as they grow in Christ.

Materials

  • A collection of fruits: Apples, Bananas, Custard Apples, Coconuts, Dragonfruit, Durians, Grapefruits, Grapes, Lemons, Limes, Oranges,

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Introduction

  • Can you pin the cotton tail on the Easter Bunny?

 

Description

  • In this Easter variation of “Pin the tail on the Donkey”, youth will need to pin a cotton ball tail on to an Easter bunny. Only there is a surprise twist!

 

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The song by Steve Nelson & Jack Rollins, focuses on the Easter Bunny, also known as Peter Cottontail. In essence they have turned the Easter Story into a Spring Santa Claus, who goes gives gifts to children. For somebody, he’s got jellybeans, while for others; he is carrying a basket full of Easter joy.

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Description
An Easter sunrise service for a family or youth group is a great way to do something a little different this Easter.

Resources

  • Bible
  • Blanket to sit on

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Description
Do something special with your family or with your youth group this year by having an Easter Communion with them.

Resources

  • An easy to understand Bible
  • One loaf of unleavened Bread
  • One cup filled with Grape Juice

 

What to do 

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In the comic strip “Cathy”, Cathy loves candy. In one story line, Cathy is trying to avoid the temptation of eating candy :

  • Cathy goes for a drive to get her mind off the temptation of eating candy.
  • She thinks, “I’ll go for a drive, but I won’t

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In Gethsemane Jesus Prayed, “Not my will, but thine.” He was determined to do the Father’s will.

  • God’s will and the witness of your life – Matthew 5:1-16
  • God’s will and the garden of your life – Matthew 13:1-23
  • God’s will and your talents – Matthew 25:14-30

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Introduction
Announce that today we are going today we are going to have some grasshopper Olympics.
Whoever wins will be crowned King of the Grasshoppers!

Materials
Masking tape and a few jump ropes.

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Description
The Bible doesn’t explicitly cover every possible situation in life. How do we deal with those situations and choices the Bible does not mention. Here are some guidelines.

What to do 

  1. Divide the youth into groups

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Description
A life-size version of the classic memory card game (Also known in some places as “Concentration”) where you attempt to remove all the cards from the game by flipping over two matching cards.

Key Truths
When we confess our sin, God chooses to remember them no more. At the same time he always knows and remembers our needs.

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Based on 1 Corinthians 13, How does you love measure up?

LOVE IS PATIENT: I am slow to become angry or irritated. I never yell or lose my temper.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Materials

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Permanent marker that can mark on foil
  • Paper and pencil for each youth

 

What to do
Stage 1

  1. Give each youth a large piece of foil.
  2. Have each youth find a partner

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Materials
A remote control. If you don’t have one. Make one from a small rectangular box. Cover it with paper and draw the following buttons: rewind, fast forward, play, Pause, and stop.

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Description
This can be used as an icebreaker referring to simple facts about the participants and then can move the group toward discussion of issues and opinions.

Setup
This game can be organized while sitting in a circle, or standing.

What to Do

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Creative Teaching Idea Description
Kids will be encouraged to “travel” to various destinations as they look at missions.

Central Truth
God called and used the disciples, Paul, and other Christians in the early church to bring the Gospel to the lost.

Bible Text
The life of Paul – Various passages from Acts

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Using Ephesians 6:13-18 give youth a few minutes to list the “six” pieces of spiritual equipment and then rewrite the analogy from a new perspective as below:

Getting Started

  1. List the six pieces of equipment in the passage
  2. Write a short one sentence description for the purpose or

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Race

  • 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
  • Acts 20:24
  • 2 Timothy 4:7
  • Hebrews 12:1-3
  • Philippians 3:12-14
  • Galatians 5:7

 

Sports related Traits

  • Endurance – Galatians 6:9
  • Perseverance – James 1:2-4, Romans 5:3-5, Hebrews 10:36
  • Training – Ephesians 6:4
  • Pursuit of the Goal – Philippians 3:14

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Many proverbs are “variations on a theme.” What major themes have you noticed in the book of proverbs?
Possible answers are : wisdom / fool; righteous / wicked; tongue/ speech; diligence / sluggard; honesty / dishonesty; Justice; pride / humility.

Proverbs has several ways it gets across a message:

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Description
Jesus ends the book of Mark with the disciples going out and doing the things he did…In this ACTIVITY youth will do mirror-image movements to demonstrate discipleship

Materials

  • a Bible

What to do

  1. Form pairs and have partners sit facing each other.

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Description
Use this activity to involve students in discussion.

Materials

  • Small Balloons
  • Permanent Marker
  • List of discussion questions.

 

Preparation

  • Inflate the balloons.
  • Write one discussion question on each balloon.

 

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Description
Use this creative teaching idea to lead youth in a discussion on priorities and fulfilling the purpose in life for which God placed us in this world.

Materials

  • Large sheets of paper or newsprint
  • Whiteboard markers (that will not bleed through the paper)

 

Preparation

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Listen, my child, to what your father teaches you. Don’t neglect your mother’s teaching. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and clothe you with honor.
~~ Proverbs 1:8-9 (New Living Translation)

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Game Description
This Easter egg toss can be used as a creative teaching idea to stimulate youth to discuss the empty tomb on Easter morning.

Game Materials

  • Hard boiled eggs – Ideally you should have at least 1 hard boiled egg for every two youth.

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Introduction
The Focus of Luke 15 is God’s love for the lost and the extend that he will go to get them back into his loving care!

Game Description
You can use a variety of scavenger hunt types of games to serve as an introduction to the three stories in Luke: Parable of the Lost Sheep, Parable of the Lost

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This object lesson works well with Placing Lights

Description
A lit candle is easily missed in a bright room. But when the lights go out it is impossible to miss it! Use this creative object lesson to illustrate the importance of being lights in the world, especially in those places where people are living in darkness.

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Introduction
Relationships often have tense moments. Use this youth object lesson / creative teaching idea to discuss the topic of relationships.

Description
Rubber bands will be used as an object lesson for youth on relationships, stress in relationships, closeness in relationships and the hurt we can experience in broken relationships.

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There is an ancient Chinese proverb that states, “Tell me and I will forget, Show me and I may remember, Involve me and I will understand.” Too often our lessons with youth focus on “Show and Tell” and not necessarily in that order. Unfortunately, far too many youth lessons focus on just “Tell.” Get youth physically involved or you risk

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Description of Christmas Teaching Idea
Youth will search famous Christian hymns for clues to the real meaning of Christmas!

Resources

  • Hymn books or the words to famous Christmas Hymns
  • Large sheet of paper for each group. (classifieds from the newspaper are a cheap alternative) (Group size can be

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The phrase “Give Thanks to the Lord” is found throughout the scriptures.

In Psalms the phrase “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever” is found in numerous verses…. (see Psalm 106:1,7; 107:1; 118:1,29; 136:1; 1 Chronicles 16:34)

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Sometimes you need a teaching Idea for a quick Thanksgiving lesson, for a Thanksgiving Children’s Sermons, or for an attention getting Thanksgiving Object Lesson. Here are a couple of ideas you can try this Thanksgiving from the “Creative Youth Ideas” archives.

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Game Description
In this relay, participants will try to replace the missing pieces that have been removed from their team’s pumpkin. It can be used as party game for your October 31st Halloween alternative, for a harvest festival, or a Halloween carnival.

Game Materials

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Description
Use this game about a mummy as part of Halloween Alternative or as an introduction to the story of Lazarus.

Game Materials
Several Rolls of Toilet Paper (One or more for each team)

Game Preparation

  1. Divide the youth into teams.

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Can you raed tihs?

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This game, based on the television show “Hollywood Squares” makes a great review activity after a lesson series has been taught! You can also use it with trivia questions and modern events as a fun activity for a game night or outreach activity! As an alternative to Halloween have a fall festival and have 9 Bible personalities dress up for

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If someone were to make a movie about my SPIRITUAL battles, it would be called:

  1. 300
  2. Blade Runner
  3. Braveheart
  4. Bruce Almighty
  5. Die Hard
  6. Dumb and Dumber
  7. Gladiator
  8. Gone with the Wind
  9. Greatest Story ever Told
  10. Groundhog Day
  11. Heaven can wait

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Description
Youth will look at a series of common situations, struggles, temptations, etc and determine which piece of spiritual armor would be most useful in the given situation.

Preparation
Make a list of activities/ situations:
Examples

  • A close family member just passed away
  • Someone has done something to

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How can you “break the ice” with a youth who is a total stranger and guide the discussion from an awkward silence into a meaningful conversation?

Jesus often got people talking with his first question and then was able to guide the discussion so that it developed into a meaningful conversation about a life-changing topic!

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Description
In this creative icebreaker, youth will make some important observations based upon footprints or photos of feet and relate these to our personal walk – our personal journey in life.

Resources
For this activity you will need a fairly accurate representation of each participant’s feet. There are a variety of ways you can achieve this.

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Introduction
Use this activity as an introduction to a study on taking care of your heart.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” – Proverbs 4:23

Activity

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Introduction
Next time you have a lesson on a difficult theological concept, distribute a list of words for which kids are unlikely to know the exact definitions:

Examples
atheism, atonement, beatitude, covenant, eschatology, Eucharist, predestination, gnosticism, grace, justification, meek, propitiation, repentance, sanctification, supplication, transfiguration, etc.

Activity

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The 7 last words of Jesus Christ from the cross are actually 7 short phrases that Jesus spoke while hanging on the cross. None of the writers of the four gospels record all 7 of these phrases, so you have to piece them together from the gospel accounts.

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To be most effective in your Bible study with youth:

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The New Year is a great time for reflecting on the Blessings and experiences of the past year and looking forward and planning for the new year. The Creative Youth website has a lot of materials to help you plan your New Year Event with your youth or with your family. There are some great games for New year Celebrations

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christmas_bells.jpgIntroduction
Biblically, God instructed the Israelites to put bells on the robe of the High Priest’s ephod before he entered the Holy of Holies. (Exodus 28:31-35; 39:26). Matthew Henry, interpreted the bells as an allegory that “typify the sound of the gospel of Christ in the world, giving notice of His entrance within the veil for us.”

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kernel.jpgIntroduction
The cornucopia, also known in English as the Horn of Plenty, is a symbol of prosperity and affluence, dating back to the 5th century BC. It was often filled with the fruits of the harvest which included corn, fruits, and other vegetables. Corn itself was one of the staple foods of the early settlers. Here are a variety of

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Game Description
Youth will take part in a learning simulation experiencing what it is like when gifts are not appropriately utilized as a blessing to all members of the body of Christ. Makes a great activity for a Halloween Alternative or for a creative Bible Study lesson.

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For a unique perspective on a Biblical story, provide this list of emotions to the youth and have them choose what the various Bible personalities might be feeling at different points in the story.

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Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
“Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Materials

  • Several pairs of scissors
  • newspapers and magazines
  • blank thank you notes
  • pens or pencils

 

Preparation

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Objective
Have a Jeopardy competition using some of the facts learned from the book of Joshua. As an example I have provided three categories with 5 questions each for a total of 15 questions… then one final jeopardy question.

Questions:

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