Looking for Youth Group Activities?

activities for youth group

Every youth pastor wants to have fun, memorable activities for their students, like:

  • Games
  • Team building activities
  • Teaching
  • Local outreach and mission trips

You’re probably thinking, “Well yeah, every youth worker needs good activity ideas! So what can I do to break the ice with this group?”

The Real Purpose for Youth Group Activities and Lessons

Fun youth activities and team building are great things. The real purpose behind these youth activities is to segue way into your teaching or devotional time. It may not always be possible to tie the activities for youth into the lesson, but the game or activity for the youth will serve to break down barriers the kids have established and give you an open opportunity to teach. Sometimes it’s good to just have some fun. The fun had by the group will help them bond together and build trusting relationships.

You may feel that kids only come to youth group to enjoy youth activities, for free food, and to hang out with friends. According to youth, the top 5 reasons they are involved with a group are:

  • Acceptance
  • Fun
  • Real teaching
  • Friends
  • Truth

They want to listen to someone who understands what they’re going through, including the process of figuring out who they are and where they belong. And like all human beings, they want their lives to have purpose, to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Jesus can use you to impact these kids, and while fun activities for youth are good, they can really be the avenue to gain the trust of your group and point them toward the purpose for their lives.

Most Popular Youth Group Activity Resources

Check out these resources for ideas on youth activities for some fun and to get your foot in the door:

youth ministry resources, games, ideas and articles

I’ve been spending time lately meeting with a youth pastor that works not to far from where I live. We’ve been talking about purpose and aligning all the “stuff” of youth ministry around a guiding purpose.

Last week she told me about a youth group activity she came up with to help reinforce the lesson from their Bible study. It was a simple idea, but I thought it was the best activity ever!

Discovering the Character of God through Proverbs

Pose the group the question of what they think it means to be 'wise'. Let it generate discussion as we share our answers...

Letter to Yourself

You’re a student, you’re facing the pressures of school, home, friends and dating. Some of you are struggling, wrestling with parents fighting, divorce, temptation from friends, feelings of failure, self-image issues, and the list goes on. And the midst of all this you’re even stressing about where to go to college or what to do with you life. You’re not sure about your future and what it would look like in terms of success as the world sees it. Some days you don’t even want to think about what’s ahead.

student ministry entertainment

I mean, I have been bored with my own program and I’m the one leading it. Anyone feeling me out there?


Sometimes a student will reveal something monumental in their lives that we’ll need to help them through. Conversations I’ve had or other leaders have told me about include such topics as drug use, gender identity, sexual impurity, abuse, thoughts of suicide, among others. These can catch any youth worker off guard. However, it’s always an honor to be trusted enough by a student for them to reveal such big issues. When we know how to help them share, we can make experience easier for them.

When words aren't enough in student ministry

“What would our world look like if every Christian lost their voice?”.

That thought became a serious question which led me down a path of what that question was really asking....


God doesn’t want his children holding grudges. Yet it is so easy to hold a grudge. Wrongs done, even among those or between those in the Body of Christ, easily submerge to become awful, dividing barriers.

student ministry and sin

Tonight I finished a series with my small group students. My goal has been to make their faith a central part of their home lives, even if their parents weren’t doing it themselves.

The method of choice for of our final lesson was to put their sin side-by-side with their praise so they could see the need for God in every part of their lives.

They cannot hope to make Christ central in their home life if they don’t allow Him into every aspect of their lives.

Leadership, Lessons
youth ministry on the streets

The most obvious answer is Jesus. But I also want it to be...

What do I mean?

Well, maybe it is time to face up to the fact that I don’t always do what Jesus wants or asks and my attitude to life sometimes stinks. Jesus doesn’t always get a look in. But He should do. Having made me who I am, He is not walking away right now. He knows my desires, my heart and my calling. He knows my family and my friends.


Why don’t we start with asking why before we create another ineffective program? I used to think that if I told kids what we did (events, fun, concerts, etc.) and how we did it ( with energy, lots of give aways, food, big crowds) they would be sold, come to the event, and then stick around for a while. Had I stuck to that premise only, I would have left youth ministry a long time ago. The what and the how no longer excite me, but the why is still what has kept me going.



Paul’s words in Philippians 2:12-13 capture my attention:

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good pleasure.

These two short verses provide what I see as the best description of the mysterious tension that exists in our lives between God’s power and our effort.



What do you think, are youth pastors true missionaries? Should youth pastors move to being independent contractors (ala Young Life and YFC) and we just tell churches, we’ll work in your community but don’t tell us how to do our job? If only 3% of the teenagers in our country were Christians would the roles of youth pastors change?  How?

tough questions in youth ministry

In my daily Bible reading, I recently read through Jesus’ interaction with a wealthy young man and the ensuing parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 19:16-20:16). It should be difficult for Americans to read these two episodes in the gospels because they directly challenge us personally and culturally.