Youth Group Gone Wild

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Happy Monday! I haven't been to school since Tuesday, so this day is going to be brutal. I'm going to have to introduce myself to my students again. And I had just learned their names…. That's all out the window.  To simplify, I might just assign them numbers. Seems more time-efficient.  Or call them all “hey you.” It worked when I was five.

Anyone watch the Grammy's? What is up with all the mens wearing such tight pants? I don't mean just a little snug. I'm talking pants that should come with a medical warning. How can you dance in those things? It's gotta be dangerous. Gentlemen, coming from someone who's tried to shake her groove thing in Spanx, which is like slipping into one of those Chinese water torture sleeves, it's not worth it.

So I'm speaking at an event in Rogers, Arkansas called Beautiful Girls. It's not about tween/teen girls looking their almighty hottest, but about how we're all beautiful in Christ. (Just wanted to make that clear lest someone think it was a Beauty Queen convention. Or a weekend for Bruno Mars fans.)  If you're in the area, we'd love to have you. You can learn more HERE.I'm speaking Saturday and totally excited. But I need some help.

Before I got into the serious stuff with my girls Saturday, I wanted to talk about some funnier aspects of church life for a teen. Here's where you come in. What are some things that stand out as just part of church youth life? Lock-ins? T-shirts for events? Church camp? Bad food at church camp?  Snacks on Wednesday  nights? Texting during the pastor's message? There were about five of us in my high school youth group, so I don't really have much experience with this. Let's hear your ideas of what youth group was/is! Thanks, guys! Big help.

Oh. And happy Valentine's Day. Or happy Holy Day of Candy Reverence.

 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 14 comments
Jerica - February 14, 2011

My youth group is a 20-some herd of teens that cram into the livingroom of our amazing husband-and-wife-team youth leaders. It’s really more like a family than anything else. We always sit in a circle and everyone is welcome to give input, share testimonies, or offer up our prayers. It a really warm enviornment, and anyone is welcome. We have serious descusions and days where the laughter never stops, but either way, I would never give up my youth group for the world!

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Erin McFarland - February 14, 2011

I grew up in a BIG youth group. To entertain the masses, they did ice-breakers like “Chubby Bunny” but with atomic fireball candies (remember those??) and who could chug down a can of Coke the fastest strained through their sock (like the one they had been wearing all day). I also remember the “backrub chains” at summer camp…like 20 students in a line rubbing the shoulders of the person in front of them…somehow it always ended up being boy/girl/boy/girl…probably just an excuse to touch a person of the opposite sex. Most importantly for me though, it was at a youth camp in jr. high that I met Christ PERSONALLY…that I “got it”…that I finally saw my sin for what it is and Christ’s grace and mercy on me for the gift it IS. PS…Please shake Mrs. Duggar’s hand for me and tell her she is a SAINT! Have fun at the retreat!!

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Abbigail - February 14, 2011

At my youth group, there’s about 200 middle schoolers and 100 high schoolers that attend weekly. The middle schoolers go to “service” while the high schoolers “hang out”, and then we switch. I’m in eighth grade, so I don’t know exactly what happens with the HS, but in MS, there’s always the kids who don’t pay any attention during the sermon (you know, the ones that just come because their friend/bf/gf comes). The “schedule” for MS is this:
…..
* What someone before me called “Icebreakers” like a stupid-gross-almost-irrelevant-to-the-sermon video or a game like how-much-longer-can-you-keep-five-balloons-up-in-air-than-your-opponent.
* Worship, where they appreciate it if you leave your seat and go up front to get squashed by a bunch of sweaty kids while getting your eardrums busted out from the way to loud band (the words are fine…the volume is not).
* Sermon, where one of the youth pastors continuously has to stop in the middle of his sermon in order to threaten the yabber-gabbing kids (“if you don’t stop talking and/or texting right now, I will make you stay for the second service!” …so spiritual, right?).
* Hang time; where you have the option to stay inside with all the annoying kids who are trying to hide from the adults, or go outside and get your head smashed in by a basket/volley ball (or maybe get run over by a skate board…).
* If you’re inside, you get kicked outside to wait for your parents/older sibling to pick you up (unless you’re a HS and drive yourself home).
…..
That’s it. I hope you can follow… Anything else you need, Jenny? 😀
-Abbigail

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Lana Packer - February 14, 2011

Hi Jenny!

Youth group was at least ten years ago for me, but what was most memorable was our Prom Alternative. I won’t bore you with the story of how I went with my boyfriend (who broke up with me the week earlier) and we were crowned Prom Alternative King and Queen…that story would just bore you to tears. =) But it was a staple that my youth group did each year. And other than the fact that I had to endure the awkwardness of sitting next to my high school sweetheart who no longer wanted my affection, it was a blast! (God brought along the right man…and I am now happily married!)

I was also a youth leader at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO and we put on a radical summer camp each year complete with the best food fight known to man! Bags of flour, chocolate syrup, ketchup, mustard, whip cream, jelly, peanut butter, and any other condiment we could think of, was placed in the middle of the field. At the whistle blow, we ran like mad for the condiments and covered each other until every student and staff member was unrecognizable.

So. Much. Fun.

It took about a week to get pasted flour out of the crevices of my body.

Hope that gives you a bit more!
Have a great time speaking!

For His Glory,
Lana

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Darria - February 14, 2011

Youth group is family. Its watching clips of a senior choir sing ‘Dontcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me.’ It listening to Dan Smith sing ‘Baby got book.’ (this is where Dan replaces ‘I like Big Butts’ with ‘I like big Bibles.’) Its bringing breakfast to Sunday school. Its steering completely off the message and discussing how God can be everywhere at one time. Its playing basketball. Its a ton of hugs. Its laughing till you know you have a six pack coming at any minute. Its blending a happy meal together and watching people drink it. Its singing ‘Days of Elijah’ as loud as you can with epic motions. Its millions of inside jokes. Its where you can break out into prayer over your best friends arm and watching her say ‘Oh wow, it doesnt hurt anymore.’ Its like a shelter where you feel completely safe. Its where I can feel God. Its a group of people centered around God and having a good time doing it. 🙂 that’s my veiw of youth group. 🙂 Hope it helps!

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Keren - February 14, 2011

For me, YP (Youth group) is a time to get to know more about the crowds you see at church. You can discover what people think of things, you can get good teaching from the adults or the older leaders. It’s nice to relate to people, to feel close to them–to enjoy the ‘in-house’ jokes and teasings, the play fights(!). We usually start off by singing–sometimed things like “Father Abraham”, but we do a hymn now and then; it always begins with the proverbial battle of the leaders to get the silent and shy people to make a choice, and finally choosing for them–something that no one likes. Then games: sword in sheath, actionary with Bible characters or books (this one’s really great and the competition among the leaders is hilarious) etc. After a five minute break, in which people are bidden to talk to someone new and cliques are forbidden to go near each other, none of which works, unless the leaders pair everyone up according to their fancy (which they do, sometimes). After the break is the talk. Sometimes this is done by an ‘uncle’, often by a member of the young adults, and occasionally one of the usual leaders. Topics range from cults and sects to friendship to culture & habits etc. It’s good Biblical worldview and sound teaching, for which we are very grateful.

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Kristen - February 14, 2011

I love youth group more than any other thing I do! At my church, most people get there early before it starts and we all sit and hang out and talk and stuff. Then we go in, and have an icebreaker game, like some of the people before mentioned. Most the time they’re really hilarious things like taking apart and Oreo, sticking it to your face, then trying to wiggle it down your face into your mouth, or digging gummy worms out of jello using only your face. Then we have a share-prayer time, where people go up and say prayer requests (usually with a fun little game). Then we have announcements, which always crack everyone up, while also letting us know what’s going on. Then worship time with praise band (I play keyboard) and after that the sermon. Then in the last thirty or so minutes, we have “tribe time” (small groups) which is kind of like youre own little family, inside the huge family. It’s a time to let your hair down and just tell everyone what’s been going on in your life. After that we’re dismissed, but most of us stay longer because every one of us loves being at church and around all our friends. 🙂

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Jenny B Jones - February 14, 2011

Great job, guys. Keep ’em coming! Is there anything eye roll worthy (in a good way) or funny that comes up a lot? (Like in the elementary years it’s watery Kool-Aid and off-brand Oreos.)

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Allie Smith - February 14, 2011

oh youth group…so many things come to mind when i see those two words.youth group is so many things rolled into one.its where you spend so much time lookin at the youth pastor like he’s crazy,then when you finally get this thing called Christianity,you realize he’s an intelligent man that’s been there and knows what he’s talkin about.its where you have first crushes and first boyfriends and you automatically assume they’re not gonna break your heart bcuz,hey,they’re Christians.its where you hafta spend time with your ex bcuz we’re all on the same team.its where you go on your first missions trip and realize that,ya,our world needs Christ.and its where you realize that though your teenage years are gonna make you wanna throw yourself off a cliff sometimes,God is there,and there’s a room full of teens goin through the same stuff.its where your not alone.

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Bethany Ellis - February 14, 2011

2 things about youth in my church:

1, the girl who read “stiff-necked” as “stiff-neck-ed” during Sunday school. I was 12, she was 13.

2, I was the only teenager from 2003-2010, except for a few months here and there. So… yeah. 🙂

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Abbigail - February 14, 2011

Eye roll worthy? Hmm..that might be the vidoes with the totally predictable endings. And it’s not just because I’m on the team that makes them…
Or maybe the icebreaker games where the’re obviously gonna fail, like, epically fail…
Or perhaps the fact that they keep on putting the drummer who can’t even keep the beat up there behind the drum set…

Does that help anymore?
-Abbigail

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Em S. - February 14, 2011

Sitting through discussions on dating……
That would be the most funniest things about youth groups 🙂

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Kristin - February 14, 2011

I remember lock-ins, which I used to love. A bunch of us staying up all night, eating M&Ms and chugging down a lot of soda. And then that ill, hateful feeling I always had for the next day or two. Yeah. I outgrew the love of lock-ins years ago, when I decided that I love my sleep.

Once we had a brownie making competition: girls vs. boys. We had to guess at ingredient measurements. Since we girls were supposed to be more handy in the kitchen, the boys at least got a list of ingredients, but we didn’t get anything. The boys’ brownies were not edible. The girls’ brownies had the texture of rubber. I remember sitting on the staircase to the basement, dropping brownies and watching them bounce down the stairs.

~Kristin

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Mattie - February 17, 2011

My youth group had a thing called slimey Sunday. It’s where we did all these crazy games to get as messy as we could before we went home. It was the best 🙂

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