20 NON-VIDEO Ideas for Small Groups

For the love of God (literally!), don’t show them videos week after week, year after year! I know that sounds crazy coming from people who produce videos for small groups. Videos make an excellent tool. A jumping off point, a time to refocus the group, a tool to help empower the leaders to spend their time focusing on relationships instead of writing curriculum. But they are only a tool, not a perfect solution. Screen fatigue is a real thing. Your teens will get bored and check out if all you do is watch videos.

We recommend after finishing a YDisciple video series, for example, that you take a break from videos for at least one session. Here’s some ideas to get you started:

  1. Go out to dinner
  2. MAKE and eat dinner together
  3. Go bowling (We’d be a bad youth ministry blog if we didn’t mention bowling!)
  4. Play ultimate frisbee or touch football or any sport together
  5. Go to adoration
  6. Help an elderly parishioner with some housework
  7. Meet up for daily Mass (those little old ladies will plotz to see all those youngins at daily mass!)
  8. Go out for coffee and just share highs and lows from the week
  9. Go to one of your group members’ events, like a game, choir concert, play etc.
  10. Spend a whole session just doing lectio divina together
  11. Share lifelines
  12. Build something
  13. Make fleece blankets for a local homeless shelter or crisis pregnancy center
  14. Make dinner for a family in the parish who has recently experienced a birth, illness, or death in the family
  15. Color
  16. Have a board game night
  17. Allow them to make a list of their burning questions about faith and life – then come back to them over the next several weeks, one at a time
  18. Have your priest come to hear confessions
  19. Go to a grocery story and help people carry their groceries to their cars
  20. Have a musically inclined group? Have a jam session. Or a praise and worship session

Just be human together.  Resist the temptation to push “play” on anything.

These are just a few simple ideas. Want more? Check out SmallGroupIdeas.com, a whole website dedicated to – you guessed it – small group ideas. Brought to you by friend of YDisciple, Eric Gallagher.

Also check out our library of YD Activities.

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