110 Youth Ministry Ideas

Youth ministry is the ministry done in the name of Christ by youth. The LYO Board suggests these ways that youth can minister, and be ministered to:


Teach the Faith

1 Offer Creative Bible Studies (like “Faith Lens”)
2 Attend an event or go to the worship service of another faith then discuss the differences
3 Sponsor special seminars: death & dying, human sexuality, teenage alcoholics, family relationship, the occult, war & peace
4 Recall Reformation Day….find someone to portray Martin and/or Katie Luther and go at it
5 Invite clergy from other denominations to explain the differences
6 Bible trivia challenge
7 Take youth out of school (or hold at school) for a lunch and Bible study
8 Encourage male youth to start a Lutheran Men in Mission Bible study
9 k Perform the musical “To The Castle” by Jay Beech”



10 Develop youth leadership in weekly worship services, including lecturing, ushering, greeting, special music, communion assistants, sacristan, etc.
11 Invite confirmed youth to serve as those who distribute Communion to shut-ins
12 Bonfire communion service
13 Put together a youth-led contemporary music group; use it in worship, and/or Wednesday night events or Sunday night concerts
14 Hire a praise band and have a Christian music sing-a-long
15 Develop a clowning ministry or a puppet ministry (dig out “Peli”). Such a group could be used for children’s sermons, Sunday school openings, VBS, nursing homes or travel to neighboring congregations
16 On Good Friday, have a procession of youth through the streets carrying a large wooden cross
17 On Good Friday, have youth perform Christ’s life for little kids. Move to different parts of the church for the different parts of Christ’s life (or just the passion story) — little kids love it! Be sure to have cookies and juice afterward for fellowship time
18 Create a banner to present to the church
19 Hold a 24 hour prayer vigil
20 Organize a prayer chain
21 Establish a Christian music library so youth can sample praise music
22 Have a short worship and breakfast before school
23 Invite youth to create a “how to & how not to” acolyte video
24 k Volunteer to have your group be a baptismal co-sponsor for a student Baptized at Bremwood



25 k If you’re a rural church, host youth from a city church for a weekend; if you’re a city church, host a rural church youth group for a weekend
26 Have Youth host a “Family Game Night” for families with younger children
27 Host a Conference youth event like a lock-in
28 Have a “Hike (or similar event) Against World Hunger”
29 Organize a picnic and invite the whole community
30 Sponsor an overseas Lutheran World Relief project
31 Learn about “Stand With Africa”
32 Create a Bible mural for your church
33 Do trust exercises
34 Role Playing
35 Have youth lead arts and crafts projects night for younger children
36 Hold a birthday party for the residents of a nursing home
37 Hold an Easter Sunrise Service and breakfast for the congregation
38 Have a pastor or youth sponsor a “roast”
39 Raise money to help build or repair a school in a developing nation
40 Visit the people who work at night, bring them some token of appreciation for their work: a police station, fire department, newspaper, hospital emergency room, bakery, all-night restaurant, end with breakfast
41 Car wash
42 Attend a servant event
43 Attend Synod LYO events
44 A “lock-in” (use students from the colleges or campus ministries of the church)
45 Plan a worship service centered on the early persecuted Christians
46 Kidnap your pastor; as ransom collect items for the needy
47 Bring in guest speakers
48 Pen-pals or key pals with other churches around the country or world to share ideas
49 Make contact with a missionary
50 Visit the sick and shut-ins with a mini youth service
51 Start a youth group sports team; challenge other churches
52 Hold a Bible story haunted house
53 Rural churches can hold a petting zoo for children in town churches
54 Go door-to-door with door hangers in your community or at a mission site
55  Hold a “trick or treat” alternative All Saints Eve Party
56 Adopt a family for Christmas
57 Connect with a local charity all year long. Visit, raise money, and volunteer one time every month
58 Adopt a grandparent
59 Perform light chores and home maintenance for elderly






60 k Write an article for your church paper and local newspaper on what your group is doing. Designate an individual(s) in charge of public relations
61 Create a youth ministry web page for your congregation or conference
62 Create a youth ministry service group list
63 Publish an article in your church newsletter each month highlighting a youth so that the congregation can learn about the activities and interests of the youth each month
64 Publish a youth newsletter in your church and community
65 Create a youth group symbol, silk screen it onto T-shirts for all your members, and wear them at youth gatherings
66 Make a youth scrapbook and photo album
67 Write a song/motto/rap for your group, share it


Encourage Leadership

68 Nominate a youth candidate for church council or another committee
69 Send a youth as a voting member to the Synod Assembly
70 Sponsor a youth leadership training event such as peer ministry or child in our hands
71 Give a Spiritual Gifts Assessment and discuss the results
72 Start a youth resources library
73 Offer to serve on the board of the synod LYO
74 Hold a “vocations” night
75 Ropes Course
76 k Do a series of Bible studies on leadership


Intergenerational Involvement

77 k Challenge the adults to a baseball, basketball or volleyball game
78 Offer to lead an adult Sunday School class on the topic of youth
79 Youth group reunion: Invite all former youth group members
80 Have a youth/adult combined mini-retreat for an afternoon focus on communication


Fellowship is a Ministry, Too

81 k Hold an old-fashioned ice cream social
82 Hayrack ride
83 Put together a talent show
84 Canoe trips
85 Back-packing
86 Have a Frisbee tournament or go to a Frisbee golf course
87 Roller-skating, sledding, and skiing
88 Have an Olympics or “Anything Goes” Night
89 Sponsor an Oktoberfest – a field day; plan games for participation of youth and adults; provide refreshments
90 Taffy pull, popcorn party
91 Road rallies
92 Scavenger hunt
93 Progressive dinner
94 Play Sardines
95 Parties (toga, or other themes)
96 Have a “comfy chair game” night
97 Hold a marathon (dance, monopoly)
98 Hold a Film Festival
99 Church scavenger hunt. With multiple churches, hold a scavenger hunt. Begin at one church (who is in charge of opening activities) and go from church to church with a camera needing to find certain things. At each church, stop for an activity planned by that church.
100 Walk-a-thon, Bike-a-thon, Swim-a-thon
101 Go on a camping retreat
102 Have a bake-off, guys vs. the girls
103 Hold a “Create a Junk Sculpture” festival
104 Go Rock Climbing


Connect to the Larger Church

105 k Visit a church-related college, campus ministry or seminary
106 Attend the ELCA National Youth Gathering
107 Attend the Synod LYO Assembly
108 Visit or ask for a visit from Bremwood of Lutheran Services in Iowa
109 Visit the Synod office
110 Visit the churchwide offices in Chicago