Here you'll find our top picks for pracitcal tools/ideas for youth work.   awakenyourcreativity Awaken Your Creativity - Les Christie
This isn’t so much a book of event ideas as a book of how to figure out your own amazing ideas. Tricky. It’s about turning around the ole creative flow and learning to see problems as opportunities. Brand new, and should be a good one.

trythis The Best of 'Try This One' Group Magazine
200 practical, proven activities, games, object lessons, and tip from the youth ministry trenches. These are the best of the best ideas to grace the pages of Group magazine, submitted by real-world youth leaders like you.  

 

bestgamesThe Best of 'Try This One' Les Christie
200 great games that are easy to pull off and field-tested with teens in many settings. Filled to the brim with tips, ways to get people participating etc.  

 

5youthministry The $5 Youth Ministry - Kurt Johnston
Low on budget, big on ideas? This is probably the book for you. The $5 Youth Ministry has heaps of ideas for every possible youth programme need, and Johnston totally understands that programme ideas are about building relationships, not just putting on a whizz-bang event.  

throwtell Throw & Tell Balls
Great way to get people involved and talking - balls with discussion, prayer or ice-breaker prompts. Heaps of types to choose from.  

 

gettingstudentstoshowGetting Students to Show Up - Jonathan McKee
This is your basic guide to planning outreach events – it helps you understand the crowd you’re dealing with, and gives you the tools to plan your own events. McKee adds his experience and know-how to your passion, so it’s gonna be good.

bestplayit The Best of Play It - Wayne Rice & Mike Yaconelli
This is a compilation of the best 150 ideas from the “Play It” series. There’s a range of games provided which you can then adapt to the age or ability level of your youth. There’s rules and diagrams for each game, which is helpful when you actually want to know what you’re on about.  

noprep gamesOn the Spot: No-prep Games For Youth Ministry - Group Publishing
With all the demands of youth ministry, you are certain to encounter times when you need a fun game but don't have a lot of time to prepare. With this book you will always be ready. Simple and interactive.


 50faithFaith Metaphors: 50 Interactive Object Lessons for Youth Ministry - Group Publishing
Fifty fresh, interactive, object lessons for youth ministry.Remember Jesus with the fish and loaves... the mustard seed... and the point he made with each object? Make powerful points like these in every lesson you lead with Faith Metaphors.  

 

DEVOTIONS/TALKS 10mm 10mm Devotionals - Various
There's a series of these books - all packed with different short, 10 minute-max devotionals which are perfect for the end of a youth gorup etc. Topics include, God, Jesus, 'Smart Stuff' and 'Plugged In'. Super helpful. 

spotdevotionalsOn the Spot: No-Prep Devotions for Youth MinistryVarious
Inside you will find 20 devotions on topics like faith and science, cheating, heaven, drugs & alcohol, truth and media choices. Each 15-minute devotion is easy to use and rarely requires any special supplies.

 

SOME IDEAS FROM AROUND ABOUT...
Learn from the best. And never be afraid to poach someone else’s idea. If you’ve got one to contribute, even better.

-  www.thesource4ym.com - so much good stuff. From games, to ice-breakers, to whole night activities, to devotionals - plenty of ideas and resources here. - http://www.youthspecialties.com/shop/index.php?cPath=2_46_102_127 – everything from camp and mission ideas to icebreakers and dramas.

TSA Australia Southern have whole night youth group run-throughs - including games etc. right here: http://corpscadets.salvationarmy.org.au/leaderslounge/old-school-youth-group/

Quiz Night
This makes for a great Corps night, depending on how big your youth group is. All you need is a large room, a data projector, some trivia geniuses to write questions, a couple of emcees and some tasty snacks, and you’ve got a fun night ahead of you. If you want to make it even more fun, advertise well beforehand and make it dress-up or themed – Letterman or Hairspray have been trialled with success. You’ll need quite a few people to be helping behind the scenes, so you’ll need to be counting on your youth and quite a few other Corps members to turn up. Get’cha thinking cap on.

- Creativity Night
This is uber-easy to organise, and gives people a chance to be themselves. Have as many or as few art supplies as you like available, and let people bring their guitars, ukeleles, kazoos, writing supplies, sewing, anything! (painting youth t-shirts has proved a winner in the past). Food is a must at every youth event, so add some snacks to the mix and you’re away.

- Cookathon
As long as you’ve filled out your risk assessment forms and you’re willing to spend a while cleaning up someone’s kitchen, this is great for building community. Split youth into teams, and provide each with the same basic ingredients, from which they have to produce an entrée, main and dessert. Dishes will be marked on taste, creativity, and presentation. Your Corps Officers will love judging this one! The real fun is, of course, in the eating.

- Roller Disco
There’s been a rash of these popping up around the territory lately, and they’re super-good retro fun. If you can hire out a venue, most will provide skates, and if you advertise well so youth bring their friends, you can cover costs with a small entry fee. Lights and music can be as basic or as radical as you like. Costumes are a must, with spot prizes as an extra goodie. And, of course, food.

- 24/7 prayer
This is one of the few chances you’ll get to base an entire event around spirituality, so make it count. For the past few years we’ve taken one 24/7 night of prayer slots and slept over at the hall, taking it in turns to cover the prayer room. Of course, girls and boys need separate rooms, and you probably want some kind of curfew. Don’t do night before church unless you want to clean up a whole lotta mess very fast! We’ve also used the evening to prayer walk around the brothels and massage parlours downtown (18+) while the younger group pray at Parliament or around the church building.

- Make a deal of birthdays.
This will a) make people feel really valued, b) keep people involved with each other’s lives, and c) make for some fun celebrations as a group. Go crazy. - Suppers. Oh Yeah.
These are really classic, but are a great way to integrate with older generations of the Corps. You can make a monthly schedule for these at the beginning of the year, and just basically let them run. The idea is that an older couple from the Corps host the youth for a social get-together, we had Sunday night suppers. Everyone brings a plate, so it’s not too much stress on the hosts, and try to incorporate a fun game together – Mafia or Psychiatrist can be fun.

- More Resources - TSA More have a whole list of tried and tested ice breakers and games here: http://salvos.org.au/more/leaders/games-and-icebreakers/

- Call up your DYS and pick their brains

- The best ideas come from teams. Get a team around you, dream together, and see what they come up with. You’ll be surprised at how much creativity God will pack into one small group, and where it’ll take you. This also means that at least your whole team will automatically be enthusiastic about the event!