Prayer For Youth Groups In Our Churches
3 Things Our Church Plant’s Youth Ministry Does Well
After celebrating two years in our church plant, we finally have seven teenagers in our youth group.
Our church was started by 30 millennials who wanted to create a new faith community in our town for folks them—people who didn’t feel safe in a traditional church setting but who desperately wanted to connect with a body of believers on a weekly basis.
Even though the majority of our congregants are still millennials (65%), the few families that do have teenagers have jumped on board to help create a youth ministry that fits our non-traditional approach to church.
Here’s a look at a few things that make our situation unique:
We’re a mobile church
We’ve met in a movie theater, an inter-faith chapel, and we’re currently meeting in a local art gallery. Being a mobile church means we don’t have any form of a youth space—or any space—so we have to get creative about when and where we meet up with our students outside of Sunday mornings.
We integrate all ages into our worship services
As more families start to come, we’re carefully designing and rethinking our worship space to include entire families. We love hearing the babies, the giggles of the young kids, and the occasional interruption from some of our teens.
It also creates some incredible opportunities to plug our youth into volunteer roles in front of the entire congregation.
The whole approach is a little messy, but we think the imperfection is worth it if our kids grow up feeling they belong and have a place to serve in the church.
We’re starting from scratch
There’s no full-time youth director on our church staff, and we’ve never had programming for teenagers, so we’re really starting from scratch. It’s a tricky spot to be in, but we have room to experiment and to try out new ideas for youth ministry.
In the process, our volunteers, our students, and our parents have realized that they need to be hands-on and personally invested in the youth ministry for any part of it to happen.
It’s another messy aspect of our church, but it creates a unique sense of ownership in everyone.As a church with no building, an intergenerational worship service, and zero youth ministry structure, it would be easy for us to feel overwhelmed by the limitations of our ministry.
Instead, we’ve decided to focus on the resources that we do have, which has helped us realize that it is possible for us to build a strong youth ministry in our unique situation.
So we’ve narrowed our priorities down to three things that we can do really well:
1) We’re building a relational youth ministry
Our relational youth ministry structure is built on a foundation of mentorships. Every student has an adult who serves alongside them on Sundays. That means, when we need a game, there’s always an adult and a student leading the game together.
Discussion groups have adult and student group leaders. The coffee and donuts are set out by adults and students. Our Sunday morning worship team is a mix of adults and students.
Every aspect of Sunday morning involves our youth ministry, even if it’s not a youth only gathering.
By integrating students into all areas of leadership, students have 1-2 adults who intentionally use Sunday mornings as an opportunity to get to know them, to encourage them, and then have the chance to build a mentor relationship with them that goes beyond just Sunday mornings.
Our Sunday morning worship team is a mix of adults and students. Every aspect of Sunday morning involves our youth ministry, even if it’s not a youth only gathering.
By integrating students into all areas of leadership, students have one to two adults who intentionally use Sunday mornings as an opportunity to get to know them, to encourage them, and then have the chance to build a mentor relationship with them that goes beyond just Sunday mornings.
This type of relational youth ministry works really well in our setting, and it’s a scalable ministry model. As our church grows, there will be more places to serve and more people to help fill these roles.As these students get older, they’ll be given opportunities to lead alongside and train even younger kids.
The mentorships we’re building between our adults and students today will be the framework that those students will use as they start to mentor younger kids in the upcoming years.
2) We make the most Sunday mornings
Even with only seven teenagers in our church, it is incredibly difficult to plan anything around their family schedules. So rather than fighting for another night of the week, we’re focusing our youth group time on Sunday mornings before our worship service. We get together twice a month from 9 to 9:45 a.m.
to hangout, play some games, and have a youth-only discussion time before we head into our church worship service at 10 a.m. By meeting for 45 minutes twice a month, it doesn’t strain our volunteers and it’s easy for parents since they’re already planning on coming to church.
Also, if a student comes to church twice a month—which is average for us—they can have one Sunday to serve and one Sunday to be a part of our youth group time.
3) We take the youth group to our students during the week
The people in our church are doing lots of amazing things for the gospel in our community.
They serving as volunteers in local shelters, they lead community groups that offer safe places for the most vulnerable in our city, they are light and life in their schools, on their sports teams, and in their neighborhoods.
So our church has been experimenting with our priorities, programs, and events to make sure they offer the support and encouragement our congregants need to continue to engage in the work God has called them to.
Adding another weekly church event that pulled them away from the good work they were doing—even for something youth group—seemed to be more of a burden for our families and not necessarily the best kind of support for them. As we were thinking through possible solutions, we had the idea to create a culture that celebrates all the gifts and talents our students express outside of
As we were thinking through possible solutions, we had the idea to create a culture that celebrates all the gifts and talents our students express outside of church. They are crazy talented, athletic, musical, artistic, and have so many other gifts that we just don’t have the time to celebrate on Sunday mornings.
So our mid-week youth group activities are focused on the ballgames, the musicals, and recitals that each of our students participate in. We work with the parents to sync up a schedule that includes all of these activities for our students and we make one of them a youth group activity for each week.
It’s pretty awesome to know our students are looking out into the stands or into the audience and seeing a group of people from our church cheering them on.Creating a relational youth ministry, experimenting to fully utilize Sunday mornings, and celebrating all the amazing things our students do outside of church, are three of the ways that we’re experimenting with youth ministry in our church plant. It’s certainly not perfect, but our people own it, students are stepping up as leaders, families are supported, and there’s plenty of room for everyone to grow.
5 Prayers to Open Meetings and Events
“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18 NLT
Instead of back-building worry and anxiety as we attempt to forecast an unknown future, Paul begs us to “Pray about everything in every way you know how!” (Ephesians 6:18 VOICE).
Stop to consider what the situations of our daily lives might look if we paused to pray into them and about them more feverishly.
Whether you are starting a business meeting, church service, or family event you can use these prayers to join together to ask God for guidance and blessing.
Prayer can change our situation. It can move the heart of God. And I believe sometimes prayer allows us to understand our situations, rather than affect the outcome. Our hearts change as we seek God’s wisdom and Truth.
King David, living in OT times, did not experience prayer the way we do today. Yet, even He knew that true peace came only from God.
In Psalm 3, as he faces yet another terrifying and humiliating season of his life, he chooses to focus on God’s character and faithfulness.
“O Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’ But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.” Psalm 3:1-3 NIV
Here are five powerful opening prayers to help focus our efforts on striving for the peace that transcends all understanding. Use them to begin asking God to bless and guide your time together!
1. An Opening Prayer for a Meeting
Thank You for every seat that has been filled here, today. For each mind and heart that fills the presence of this room, we thank You. Only You truly know what we are setting out to accomplish today.
We have an idea, a vision, hints, and daily instructions. We have talents, abilities, and time to work. However, only You can see in perfect detail the end of every beginning. Every project, every season, every life.
Nothing is ever in vain, for even mistakes and missteps are used for good.
Your righteousness transcends all our efforts and understanding. Forgive us for our pride. The pride that puffs us up and the pride that threatens to unqualify us. Strengthen our confidence in who You have made us to be. Set us free from comparison in order to work together efficiently.Bless this meeting today, all those present, as well as the lives of those we will encounter afterward. Ready us to make every moment count.
In Jesus’ Name,
2. A Prayer to Open an Event
Praise You for this event, and Your purpose for it. We know that when we gather together, You always have a divine agenda. We love You for that, Father. That even when we have done what You have asked, the results are so much greater than we ever could have imagined. Even in failed attempts, You blow us away with Your faithfulness to provide what we need.
Our prayer today is that Your will be done through this event. Take what we have prepared and multiply our efforts as only You can. Steer our intentions to align with Your righteous will. Remind us of Your faithful provision when our efforts fail us or fall short.
May all glory go up to You when we reach the finish line and climb over benchmarks. Blanket us with Your peace today, Father. Keep us physically safe and guard our hearts and minds from pride and selfishness.
Keep love at the forefront of our minds today, and the guiding light for all we set out to accomplish and celebrate.
In Jesus’ Name,
3. An Opening Prayer for Group Humility and Peace
As we gather together, we praise You for this day and Your purpose for it. Reset our agendas, as we sit in Your presence. For You assure us that where two or more gather in Your name You are here.
Recalibrate our intentions and refocus our hearts. Your will for our lives does not always reflect our plans. Change them to reflect Your will.
Help us to understand that we don’t need full clarity to walk into the unique purpose You’ve inlaid in our lives.Lift our eyes to seek You first today, and always, surrendering our need to achieve, understand, and be known. Shift our perspective to seek Your peace above all else.
In every situation we ponder in our daily lives, let the Holy Spirit translate Your commands. Give us renewed strength and godly courage to obey You without questioning.
Forgive us for striving beyond our means, worrying, and forcing results.
Only You know what lies ahead. You are our good Father, just and righteous. Though our circumstances will be unfair from time to time in this life, You are always our unwavering protector and shield (Psalm 3:3).
Keep the words of King David fresh in our minds, and renew our hearts to the tune of Your truth.“I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
” Psalm 3:5 NIV Let Your peace rain down on us today, as we seek You more than anything else.
In Jesus’ Name,
4. A Prayer for Group Peace and Understanding
As the events of the day continue to unfold, we seek Your clarity and Your peace. We know You are with us and for us as we gather together to seek Your counsel. Scripture reminds us the more we seek You the more we will find You. Lead our surrendered hearts to the path of Your peace today.
Come fully into our situation, both as a group and individually. And sort out the muddled feelings and distorted thoughts that plague us. Cover us with a blanket of honesty and patience that is not of this world.
Holy Spirit, translate our desires and pleadings, and may we understand the faithful response of our great Father. Jesus walked the earth to explain so much to us, and to save us from eternal suffering. Yet, on this earth He promised us that we would encounter much pain.
Struggling for solutions amidst differing personalities can seem impossible. Thankfully, we are not expected to be perfect. Thankfully, we’re told in the Bible that we will all fall short.
So, as we sit here today, let us release the bind of blame in exchange for accord. Help us to endure disagreement and strife with godly courage and love.
Grant us peace in knowing we are pursuing Your purpose for our lives.
In Jesus’ Name,
5. A Prayer to Glorify God after Group Success
We are here today to celebrate great success! In a world full of chaos and calamity, we are embracing a moment of triumph in Your name and for Your glory. Once again, we have experienced the miracle of Your sustenance, as King David so appropriately penned in Psalm 4:7: “You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.”
Father, our hearts, the very center of our humanity and our souls, are filled by You. In extreme emotion, this indescribable feeling is even more pronounced.
We are aware that we could not see this great success come to fruition without the individual purpose You have put in each person here today.Thank You for bringing us together to accomplish this great feat for Your glory, though the odds were stacked against us as they often are.
Guard our hearts from pride and selfish gain as we celebrate today. Let it fuel our faith in You as our provider and our sustainer. Filler of our hearts. May all glory for our achievements go up to You today and always.
In Jesus’ Name,
Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ on her blog, https://sunnyand80.org. She is a stay-at-home mom, freelance writer, blogger, and preparing to release her first book, “Friends with Everyone.” She resides in Northern Ohio with her husband of eleven years, two daughters, and their Golden-doodle.
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times.
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Youth With A Mission – Praying for Partner Churches
Join YWAM staff and students around the globe in praying and hearing from God. He is inviting you!
God has commissioned the local church to go into all the nations and preach the gospel. As YWAMers, we could not do what we do without our partner churches.
These partnering churches send us, pray for us, support us and alongside us for training, church planting, mercy ministry and other gospel-related activities.
The relationship between the church and those who are sent is a beautiful partnership, one that God has chosen to change the entire world!
So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.
Acts 16:5 (NKJV)
Please join with YWAM’s global prayer day, called The Invitation, this month to pray for our partner churches on November 9.
We ask you to celebrate this partnership on a local level by praying for your partner churches, and if you sense God’s leading, by taking action to strengthen those relationships.
If you have only a few minutes to pray this month, please pray for the health of your partner churches and that God would bring blessings to them. If you are praying with a group or if you have more time to pray, please see below for the complete list of prayer suggestions.
YWAM Queenstown DTS team at a YWAM Bangkok partner church: Khlong Toey Church
Photo credit: YWAM – All Nations Bangkok
Prepare to Pray:
Take a moment to bring to mind the congregation of your partner church, whether at home or in your present location. And then consider the lead pastor of this congregation.
What are all the things the pastor of a congregation such as this would have to think about, take responsibility for, or take care of? As a group, use a whiteboard or large sheet of paper to brainstorm all the ideas that come to mind in response to this question. Make note of as many things as you can.
Next, take some time to reflect on how such a pastor might feel about all these responsibilities, concerns, and opportunities. Enter into those feelings as much as you can.Finally, as you hold before God these possible feelings and needs, ask Him how He might to love, encourage, and strengthen this church leader through you. What comes to mind as a response, whether in prayer or in action? Share these ideas with one another and make a note, so that you can follow through on Holy Spirit’s prompting.
YWAM goals are realized while churches go forward. A true win-win situation.
Pray for Our Partner Churches:
Serving Chai in Partnership with a Local Church Outreach
Photo Credit: YWAM Brisbane
- Praise God for successful partnerships that YWAM has had and is having around the world with local churches and sending churches.
- Praise God for your partner churches.
- Pray for the health of your partner churches and ask the Lord to bless them.
- Pray for unity and healthy and equitable partnerships between YWAM locations and partner churches.
- Pray for solid relationships between YWAMers and the people of the local church. Pray for YWAMers to make consistent commitments to the local church.
“The healthy cooperation of the local church and global mission is a major threat to the kingdom of darkness.”
Lynn Green, a YWAM leader
- YWAM provides opportunities for churches to engage in mission through outreaches for church youth groups, serving opportunities for adults through Mission Builders, mission awareness programs, seminars for families, and more. Pray for long-lasting results.
- Pray for the church to send more workers to the field where the needs are the greatest in less-saturated nations.
- Pray for YWAM locations to understand and minister to the needs of churches and the congregations they serve.
YWAM’s Dan Baumann teaching at partner church Oakland Baptist
Photo Credit: Oakland Baptist Church
- Pray for God to prepare churches in developed countries and in developing countries to send and support those called to Go.
- Identify all of the partner churches that are involved with your location. Display a map with each church marked. Pray regularly for these churches.
- Host a thank you event for your partner churches. Brainstorm on ways they can even partner with one another to build the church.
- Schedule meetings with local partner churches and their pastors/leaders to listen to their needs and dreams without focusing on the needs and dreams of YWAM.
The best way to maintain a relationship with local churches is to concentrate on how we can serve them.
- Invite partner churches to send a DTS student to the next DTS at your location.
- Identify local churches where there might partnership opportunities in the future but where none exist today.
- Encourage staff and students at your location to regularly attend and participate at a local church.
- Communicate partnering opportunities via YWAM channels, including, but not limited to:
- Schedule an outreach event with one or more of your partner churches.
- Offer to help one or more of your partner churches with a Mission Sunday type event to raise awareness within the church.
A partner church, Living Stones Christian Fellowship, praying over long term YWAM Richmond missionaries
Photo Credit: YWAM Richmond
How We Prayed
October 2017 – Prayer for the Hindu World
- There was a lively discussion on about praying for Hindus. One person noted that they regularly pray that Hindus will know Jesus with not only their mind, but also with their heart.
- YWAM Surabaya, Indonesia prayed for the Hindu world and asked for prayer for pupils to join their DTS starting January 2018 and for staff preparation.
- YWAM Vanuatu, Oceania also prayed and asked for prayer for teachers that have a DTS background in education to come and teach children alongside locals.
- December 14, 2017 Pyongyang
- 2018 Theme: YWAM Foundational Values (along with other topics)
Don’t Miss The Invitation:
- Sign up for prayer updates. Go to ywam.org, find the “Stay Connected” box on the home page, put in your email address and click “Sign Up.”
- Download prayer updates in a specific language. Go to ywam.org/theinvitation. (Currently available in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Indonesian, Korean or request other languages.)
- Join the conversation about how God is leading in these prayer times. Comment on the page on the second Thursday at .com/youthwithamission or on @ywam, hashtag #praywithywam. You can also post a photo on Instagram and use the same hashtag, #praywithywam.
- You can now listen to The Invitation as a podcast. To sign up or listen to past episodes, go to: ywampodcast.net/prayer.
- If you sense God giving you a word or a direction for YWAM’s prayer, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
11 Good Fundraising Ideas for Church Youth Groups
Home » General » 11 Good Fundraising Ideas for Church Youth Groups
Fundraising is an integral part of belonging to a church youth group. While there are tried-and-true ways to raise money, being creative with your fundraising ideas will help get the community interested in your cause. Below are some unique fundraising ideas for church youth groups.
Selling refreshments and food is a great way to raise money for your youth group. You can sell boxed lunches after church or host a chili cook-off. Sell refreshments at your church’s socials or host a bake sale on Sunday morning. Food is something that everyone loves – and needs. Choose your time wisely and select appropriate foods for the occasion.
Candy sales are always a popular way to raise money and are most effective during the holidays – especially Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s Day.
Candy can be purchased in bulk from a club, such as Sam’s Club or Costco. You may also purchase candy from a vendor that specializes in fundraiser candy.
You can choose to sell the candy as-is, or you can create candy gifts. Candies can be sold after church or in town.
Sell Friendship/Love Notes
Sell friendship/love notes and deliver them to the recipient during retreats. This idea may not be a huge money maker, but it’s a simple idea that is easy to organize and can raise some extra money for your youth group.
Dances are another great way to raise money for your youth group. These are fun to organize, but will require a dedicated group of volunteers to make it a success. Some dance ideas include:
• A Valentine’s Day dance.• Barn or square dance.• 50’s dance.• 80’s dance.
• 20’s dance.
Decade-themed dances are really popular and so much fun. Encourage everyone to dress according to the decade of the dance, and sell tickets after church.
Pranks are a fun way to raise money, but how successful they are will depend on your church community’s sense of humor. Many youth groups have had success with the Flamingo Project.
Members of the group are paid to place a plastic flamingo in a person’s front yard. The group then has to be paid to have the flamingo removed.
Victims can also choose to purchase insurance that will prevent them from being “flamingo-ed” for 6 months.
Christmas Play with Dinner
Have your youth group put on a Christmas play during the holiday season and offer dinner with the show. Charge for each plate. To raise the most money, choose a meal that is inexpensive. Spaghetti dinners are a great option.
Weekly Bagel or Donut Sales
After Sunday church service, sell donuts and bagels. This idea can easily generate quite a bit of money for your youth group as church-goers often leave service feeling hungry. Use this to your advantage.
Make sure that you set up a table in a visible spot and charge a reasonable price for the bagels and donuts. You can also sell coffee, or throw in a cup for free if they purchase a bagel and a donut.
Reach out to local bakeries to see if they would be willing to give you a discounted rate on weekly purchases.
Dodge Ball Tournament
Charge $10 for each entry into the tournament. In addition to the entry fee, you can also sell some snacks and refreshments on the side. Offer a prize to the winner of the tournament. The prize doesn’t have to be extravagant. Look for something inexpensive, but useful.
Golf tournaments can easily raise a thousand dollars or more. Charge an entry fee into the tournament and sell concessions. Get in touch with a local golf course and ask if they would be willing to offer a discounted rate or donate time on the course. In addition, you can also host a silent auction. Ask the community for donations to make the silent auction a success.
Have the youth group members get others in the community to pledge a donation per car. Youth group members will wash cars for free. Each car that they wash will raise money from their sponsors.
If a person sponsors $1 for each car washed and the group member washes 50 cars, that sponsor will donate $50. This can easily raise quite a bit of money if each member can get multiple sponsors.
Hang envelopes on the wall with varying dollar amounts ranging from $1 all the way up to $100. Ask members of the church to take one of the envelopes on the wall and donate the amount written on the envelope.
Inside, they can include a prayer request or needs. The envelope can be returned to the youth minister. The person who donates will become a prayer partner with the youth group member.
This is a quick and simple way to raise a lot of money.