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, and a tool to help empower the leaders to spend their time focusing on relationships instead of writing a 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 that you take a break from videos for at least one session. Here are 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!

fun activities

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

quality time

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

volunteer opportunities

14. Make dinner for a family in the parish who has recently experienced a birth, illness, or a 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 store 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 a friend of YDisciple, Eric Gallagher.

Also, check out our library of YD Activities.

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