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:
- Go out to dinner
- MAKE and eat dinner together
- Go bowling (We’d be a bad youth ministry blog if we didn’t mention bowling!)
- Play ultimate frisbee or touch football or any sport together
- Go to adoration
- Help an elderly parishioner with some housework
- Meet up for daily Mass (those little old ladies will plotz to see all those youngins at daily mass!)
- Go out for coffee and just share highs and lows from the week
- Go to one of your group members’ events, like a game, choir concert, play etc.
- Spend a whole session just doing lectio divina together
- Share lifelines
- Build something
- Make fleece blankets for a local homeless shelter or crisis pregnancy center
- Make dinner for a family in the parish who has recently experienced a birth, illness, or death in the family
- Have a board game night
- 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
- Have your priest come to hear confessions
- Go to a grocery story and help people carry their groceries to their cars
- 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.