I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve been having severe youth director guilt. “Oh no! I’m not checking in with every single kid every single day this week! Oh no- I’m not doing livestreams and I feel like every youth director in my town is!! Am I failing?!!” etc.
Our job is not to be their parent, activities coordinator, or teacher. Our job is to be their youth leader. So what are some easy ways to provide our youth with something engaging to do that can help them connect?
We just started having a weekly activity that kids can participate in by using social media (mostly Instagram, but I’m sure you could adapt any of these to other platforms). That being said, for any kids not on social media, I just sent them the info individually so that they could participate. Here are a few ideas we’ve done and a few that are next on the agenda!
- Scavenger Hunts- You’ve heard this idea before! Make a list for an indoor scavenger hunt with everything from your favorite board game to an old church bulletin! Kids send in what they found and for ours, I sent the winner a $10 gift card to a local ice cream place that still has their drive-thru open!
- Two Truths and a Lie- Yup, another game you already know! Have teens send you two true things about themselves and one lie. If your church has a youth Instagram page, post the truths and lies on an Instagram story and use the quiz feature, so that other kids can pick which answer they think is the lie! No Instagram? Send out the choices individually so that kids can still vote!
- “Would You Rather?”- This one works well for Instagram also. Post “Would You Rather” questions on an Instagram story and use the poll feature again to see what most people picked. If you don’t have Instagram, you could make a cool graphic of “Would You Rather” questions and text them out!
- True Facts- Have teens send you 3 little known facts about them. Send out the facts and have other teens guess who the facts are about!
I’ll be honest- at first I was a little worried about these activities. I kept thinking, “What if NO teens even participate? What if they hate all of these?!” I was actually surprised at how much of a positive reaction these really simple ideas got. I even had a few of my more fringe youth participate (probably because they’re bored out of their minds, but hey, I’ll take it!!).
The best though, was when a teen let me know the activities brought her normalcy and helped calm her anxiety. So, go ahead and take one of these activities for a spin! I’ll be counting down the days until we can meet in person with our youth again, but until then I’ll keep the weekly activities coming!