Leadership | Programming
Kurt and Josh

Yesterday we made a case for thinking inside the box; basically looking at what has worked in the past season and measuring their effectiveness in repeating them again the following year. As we stated before, there’s plenty of room for that—but where do you come up with fresh ideas for your ministry?

Here are a few ways that help us in our efforts to think outside the box.

Troll the Internet.
A great game idea is probably just a click away! A fresh event idea was probably just blogged about the other day, waiting for you to discover! Develop a handful of Web sites you trust for resources, and blogs you believe in for ideas, and let them do some of the heavy lifting of thinking outside the box for you.

Global Mission Trips for anyone and leaving anytime!

Go to a creative place.
The church office is probably not the place where you’re going to come up with your most creative ideas. Get out! Find a niche coffee shop; spend time in the mall and do some people watching. Watch TV! Minute to Win It and random Japanese game shows are basically just doing youth group games that can spark some of your own creativity.

Tap creative people.
Who do you know who is an idea factory? Who on your volunteer team is a steady stream of information? Who has a job that was given to them based on their creativity? Get them in a room with you. One hour with a whiteboard and you’ll have game ideas until summer.

So what are we doing in our youth ministry that is outside the box this year? These 3 ideas might not be new to you, but they are definitely new to us!
Study Hall during finals week.
Usually our small groups just skip a week or two around finals and we stop all programming to give space for tests and schoolwork. But this year we are opening up our youth room, providing snacks etc. for the SOLE purpose of providing a place for teenagers to study.

Global missions trip during the school year.
This isn’t for everyone, but tomorrow I (Josh) leave with a group of students for Africa. They will miss a week of school, but it felt better than trying to cram such a massive trip into an already packed-out summer schedule. We’ll see!

Global Mission Trips for anyone and leaving anytime!

Grade groups during youth group.
During our junior high services, we divide up by grade for a few minutes near the start of the program to allow them to mingle with other students in their grade. This is where we give announcements, welcome visitors, set up the lesson, etc.

What fresh and new ideas are you experimenting in the season ahead?

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