Youth night events are an important part of the youth ministry. They give the church an opportunity to reach teens that would not normally attend a regular church service. They provide a fun and exciting program that welcomes new people and introduces them to the Gospel. The core youth group that has been well instructed on witnessing will be able to put their knowledge to use in a less intimidating environment than school.
Afterglows give teens a time just to hang out and have fun. They are held after Sunday or Wednesday evening youth services. Activities at afterglows are pretty simple; things like playing youth oriented board games, card games, video games or watch teen oriented movies. Of course there has to be plenty of food. The afterglow is intended to give youth an opportunity to invite their friends to church so that they can stay for the youth night activity afterward.
This events is, you guessed it, an all-nighter. Schedule several things to do through the night. It will take some planning and contacting some facility operators, but it will be worth it; teens love all-nighters. Bowling alleys, go-carts, putt-putt and laser tag are a few ideas for stops on an all-night event for the youth group. Pizza at midnight and snacks throughout the night are a must. Work with other churches youth leaders to make this a joint event. The more youths that you can guarantee, the better prices you can negotiate with facilities.
Friday Night Lights
Schedule events that take place after Friday night high school games are over. Youth leaders can go to different school games each week with different people in their youth department and use the time to build relationships and invite new people to the events after the game. At the event, have a youth worship band play, do some crazy games, have a short message and eat some pizza.
Take the youth group to a sporting event in the area. If there are no major or minor league teams in your area, a high school game would be fine. After the game have a short youth devotional then go to a teen hangout spot to eat. Some sports teams have youth nights where they provide a concert or speaker after the event; speak with a team representative to find out what they offer. If they don't offer a youth night, they may work with you to arrange one. Consider working with other youth groups in your denomination to accomplish this.
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Nick Johnson has been writing professionally since 2000. His creative works have been published in collaborative books, as well as various online publications such as Kids Ministry Resources, a children's ministry website.