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6 Amazing Group Events For Students To Invite Friends

Bryant Westbrook
September 5th, 2019

Below you will find the latest and greatest events I’ve done at my church. They’ve worked to help me reach out to new students and getting all of my students involved in some way. No matter what style of event, establishing the why behind the event will help make the schedule clearer. In my ministry, our recent events have been about outreach. These events may require a little bit of creativity on your end, but they are worth it and super effective! I’ve broken them into categories, Free and Cost. The “cost” events have a “$” next to the game title.

Nerf War

We’ve love our Nerf wars. This activity has become a favorite and will be played for a long time! 

There are several games that we play to keep the Nerf War interesting for everyone. The two games that seem to gain the most traction are “Capture the Flag” and “Protect the Queen.”

For “Capture the Flag” you split into two teams and let the teams try and cross the half court line to get the other teams flag. If you get shot, you are out. I set out two different color shirts or cloths to separate teams. The teams have to be creative to win. ‘Protect the Queen” is where each team has one or two female students designated as the queen(s) and they have to protect them from incoming darts from the other team. When the queen(s) get shot, the game is over.

Students like to bring their own Nerf supplies. Oh, using safety glasses isn’t a bad idea either.

Game Nights

Game nights happen once a semester, like on time change weekend, because many of our local schools don’t have school the following Monday. This makes for a great opportunity to host an outreach event. Below is the flow of our most recent game.

  • 6:30 – Dinner and community time
  • 7:15 – Team Scavenger hunt (Typically random things on the church property)
  • 8:00 – Human pinball
  • 9:00 – Gargoyles (Grog)
  • 10:00 – Snack time, free time and community time
  • 10:30 – 11:30 Gargoyles (Grog)

Human Pinball

The only thing you need for this game is a dodgeball. Everyone picks a spot to stand around the room. One person if holding the dodgeball. The one holding the dodgeball can take only three steps until they have to throw it to get someone out or roll pass it to someone else. Once players are out they must sit down where they got hit. Players can get back in the game by tagging someone’s shoe when they go by them. While the game is going the leader can randomly call students to get back up and play. for example: If you are wearing blue, you can stand back up (Think dodgeball just spread out).

Gargoyles (Grog)

Most people refer to this game as “Grog.” Somehow, the name Gargoyles was thrown out and it stuck. So to us, the game is Gargoyles. All you need is a flashlight to take part in this game. Hide the “pieces” of the flashlight in different places throughout the building and choose two students to be the “gargoyles.” Students walk throughout the building, with minimal lighting, trying to find the flashlight pieces. Once the flashlight is assembled, they shine it on the gargoyles and the game is over.

Snow Cone Night ($)

Simple. Find a local snow cone vendor and pay them to set up shop at your church. I could name at least five students that are regulars in our youth group now because they came on snow cone night. I negotiated a rate so it was cheap for our group to get snow cones. If you have a local ice cream truck, snow cone truck or food truck invite them to come to church one night either for a hangout night or on a regular service night. remember, negotiating a price with them beforehand is the best way to go to keep the event reasonable. Encourage your students to be super intentional about looking for friends to invite. 

Arcade Night ($)

Our town has an old school arcade with eighties games like Pac-man, Galaga and Pinball. A volunteer in our youth ministry had the idea to rent the arcade out one night. I called and talked with them and were able to get a price that was reasonable on our part. We advertised it as “Arcade Night.” Instead of having a regular service on a Wednesday, we loaded up the church van and took the group to the arcade for free! It was amazing. The students had so much fun and like snow cone night, they invited their friends, who might not be regulars at a youth group, to come along. If you don’t have an arcade close by, a skating rink, movie theater, bowling alley or go carts raceway outing would work as well. I never thought it was a good idea to leave the “church,” until we actually did it. It was amazing!

Bryant Westbrook

Bryant Westbrook is the youth director at First United Methodist Church is Valley Center, KS. Bryant has served as a missionary in Alaska, program staff for YouthWorks, treatment counselor for teens and has a passion for student leadership. Bryant's contact is bryant@fumcvc.com and he blogs at bryantwestbrook.wordpress.com.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.

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