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PROVIDE

We seek to PROVIDE needed opportunities and resources.

Our goal is to work with youth workers (full-time, part-time, paid, and/or volunteer), churches, and presbyteries toward the visions, goals, and programs God has given them to accomplish by providing support, opportunities, and resources in response to expressed youth ministry needs.

Use these quick links to navigate to the appropriate section:

YOUTH MEMBERSHIP CURRICULUM

This resource is the meat and bones of what we in the EPC deem as the essentials to understanding the broad scope of salvation from a Reformed perspective. The curriculum was drafted in response to a rising demand from youth leaders and pastors across the denomination, and was approved by the 25th General Assembly for use in all EPC churches. Each of the 10 lessons is based upon the key Confession Statements of the Westminster Confession of Faith and includes discussion questions:

Lesson 1: The Word of God.
Lesson 2: Who is God?
Lesson 3: Jesus Christ.
Lesson 4: Holy Spirit and the Trinity.
Lesson 5: Salvation (Part 1).
Lesson 6: Salvation (Part 2).
Lesson 7: The Sacraments.
Lesson 8: The Church.
Lesson 9: Spiritual Gifts.
Lesson 10: Membership/Church Life.

Church leaders who guide their middle and high school students through this Curriculum should do their fair share of prior study and teaching preparation. Supplemental materials and information should be provided by each church using the Curriculum.

This 44-page, 5.5″ x 8.5″ booklet is available at epcresources.org.

RECOMMENDED MISSION TRIPS

EPC Student Ministries no longer runs its own mission trips; however, many of the trips the EPC-SM started are now run by local ministry leaders or groups. These mission trips, along with other EPC (or EPC-friendly) ministries offer missions opportunities that have good EPC participation and are inviting new EPC churches to hop on board! Since each trip has its own unique personality, please feel free to contact the individuals listed below or EPC Student Ministries at to help you decide which one is the best fit for you and your students.

Adventures in Missions (AIM)

North America and International

Adventures in Missions is an interdenominational missions organization that focuses on discipleship, as well as emphasizing prayer and relationships in their work among the poor. AIM provides a wide variety of mission trips for middle and high school students, college students, and adults. Several EPC churches participate in AIM-sponsored mission trips each year.

Appalachian Impact

Menifee County, Kentucky

Ministry in this Eastern Kentucky region is primarily work-project oriented, including renovation of homes for the elderly and needy, with additional opportunities for children’s VBS and community outreach activities such as literacy programs. Accommodations are at the Four Seasons Campground. Contact Teresa Nolan-Manning at 859-274-2015, 606-768-2775, or billlane@mrtc.com.

Border Transitions Ministry

Laredo, Texas / Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

Led by EPC Home Missionaries John and Diane Davis, Border Transitions Ministry serves the spiritually, physically, and financially poor in the Southern Texas/Northern Mexico border region through food ministry, construction projects, VBS, sports camps, adult education, medical care, and more. Contact John or Diane at 956-763-4051, 956-285-6176, or btmlaredo.com@hotmail.com.

Caribbean Youth Network

Long Island, Bahamas

The EPC’s Gabe and Jan Swing serve in the southern Bahamas and can handle groups of 15-25. They handle such mission trip details as lodging, meals, work projects, ministry projects, sports outreaches, devotions, preparation, debriefing, and more. Contact Gabe and Jan at 242-472-3829, 704-237-3702, 704-582-9429, or  gabeswing@gmail.com.

New and Small EPC Churches

Nationwide

Many new and smaller EPC churches are open to EPC youth groups helping them in such outreach efforts as VBS, community service projects, and more. If your church wants to hep an EPC church carve out its identity for Kingdom purposes, contact Zenaida Bermudez at the EPC Office of the General Assembly.

Project 52

Chattanooga, Tennessee

P52 ministers to socioeconomically challenged homeowners, churches, and non-profit organizations in the Chattanooga area, and can create a custom project for your group or church. Contact P52 with your mission parameters and they will provide a unique experience for you at a reasonable cost. Contact Chris Robinson at 423-598-0915, or crobp52@gmail.com.

Trinity Community Center

New Orleans, Louisiana

EPC missionaries Kevin and Sandy Brown offer week-long experiences for high school and college students that include construction, VBS-type youth programs, prayer walks, evangelistic outreaches, drama, sports, and more in New Orleans’ impoverished Hollygrove community. Contact Sandy Brown at 504-482-7822 or sandy@tccno.org.

Tunica Community Ministries

Tunica, Mississippi

TCM ministers to low-income families and children through VBS, construction projects, sports evangelism, orphanage and prison witnessing, and community service projects. Designed for high school and college students. Tunica is an agricultural community with a history of segregation and is now a large casino region. Contact Paul Husband at 662-357-3837 or paulhusband@bellsouth.net.

The Wade Center

Bluefield, West Virginia

Founded by an EPC Pastor, the Wade Center is a year-round outreach ministry to at-risk children and youth. Summer camp ministry weeks include construction, home renovation, summer camp, tutoring, mentoring, VBS, and sports outreach. Early spring dates and winter ski weekends are also available. Contact Kathryn Vicars at 304-323-3777, ext. 229, or kathryn.vicars@wadecenter.com.

Youth Conference Ministries

Son Servants

Son Servants is the missions arm of Youth Conference Ministries (YCM). They offer multiple 5-day domestic and international mission experiences for middle school and high school students. Several EPC youth groups participate in Son Servant trips each year.

RECOMMENDED CONFERENCES

EPC Student Ministries Committee no longer runs its own summer youth conferences; however we endorse several conference options that are evangelical, reformed, and fun as all get out! These conferences have a good EPC participation across the board and are inviting new EPC churches to hop on board! Since each conference has its own unique personality, please feel free to contact EPC Student Ministries to help you decide which one is the best fit for you and your students.

Fun in the Son

July 8-13 and 9-13, 2018

Youth Conference Ministries has been providing the oceanfront Fun in the Son conferences for many years. The July 2018 locations are Hilton Head, South Carolina, and South Padre Island, Texas.

The Great Escape

Multiple Locations and Dates

High-energy summer conferences for middle school students have long been a staple of Youth Conference Ministries. There are seven locations around the country scheduled for various dates in 2018.

Reformed Youth Ministries

Multiple Locations and Dates

RYM conferences minister to many EPC churches through its combination of Reformed teaching and outrageous fun. Tradionally held in Florida, Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest.

The Edge

June 18-22 and 23-27, 2018

The Edge is a junior high student conference that is centered around relationship building with solid Reformed theology. The conference is held on the campus of Covenant College just outside Chattanooga, Tennessee.

RECOMMENDED SPEAKERS

Each of the following speakers has, at one time, been approved by the Student Ministries Committee and/or the EPC’s Committee on Administration. While not all hold to the specified theological leanings of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, we believe their faith commitments are consistent with the spirit of Reformed theology and true to the heart of evangelicalism. We also recognize their faithful youth ministry legacies and their distinctive gifting’s to communicate the truth and love of the gospel to young people in retreat, camp, seminar, or conference contexts.

Steven Argue

Pasadena, California

Applied Research Strategist at the Fuller Youth Institute and a faculty member at Fuller Seminary where he teaches in the Youth, Family, and Culture program. Contact: www.stevenargue.com/contact/.

Chapman "Chap" Clark

Pasadena, California

Professor of the Youth, Family, and Culture Department in the School of Theology; Chair of the Christian Discipleship Department; and Director of the Student Leadership Project at Fuller Theological Seminary. Contact: cclark@fuller.edu or 626-584-5524.

Mark DeVries

Nashville, Tennessee

Founder of church consulting firm Ministry Architects and former Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville. Contact: colyer@ymarchitects.com or 877-462-5718.

Ben Freudenburg

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Director of the Concordia Center for the Family, Division Chair of the Family Life Program, and Professor in Family Life Studies at Concordia University in Ann Arbor. Contact: Ben.Freudenburg@cuaa.edu or 734-995-7348.

Russ Gabel

Grand Haven, Michigan

Certified Sonlife trainer and youth ministry consultant, and founder of the outdoor ministry Freewater Experience in Grand Haven. Contact: r_gabel@hotmail.com or 616-402-0564.

Rich Grassel

Conway, Pennsylvania

Pastor of Conway Alliance Church and former Assistant Professor of Student Ministry at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Contact: LubicSherry@gmail.com or 724-869-4500.

Brett Ray

Holly, Michigan

Founder and President of Right Choice Communications. Contact: 248-634-8293.

Duffy Robbins

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Professor of Youth Ministry at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. Contact: drobbins@eastern.edu or 610-341-5959.

Laurie Polich Short

Santa Barbara, California

Author, Storyteller, and Pastor of Small Groups and Discipleship at Ocean Hills Covenant Church in Santa Barbara. Contact: info@laurieshort.com or 805-886-3903.

Pam Stenzil

Parker, Colorado

Founder of Enlighten Communications and former Director of Alpha Women’s Center, a crisis pregnancy center in Prior Lake, Minnesota. Contact: info@enlightencom.com or 303-888-6876.

Rich Van Pelt

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Director of Ministry Relationships with Compassion International and EPC-ordained Teaching Elder. Contact: https://forms.compassion.com/requestspeaker/?speaker=Rich+Van+Pelt.

Luther Whitfield

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Founder and Senior Pastor of New Covenant Worship Center, and former National City Life Director for Youth For Christ USA. Contact:.

SUGGESTED BOOKS

The following recommendations for youth workers, volunteers, and/or parents cover a variety of topics, including youth ministry activities, crisis, culture, ministry, missions, parents/family, Reformed theology, sex and dating, small groups, teaching, volunteers, and more.

You can support the ministries of the EPC by purchasing books through the links on each of the images below at Amazon.com. When you login to your Amazon account (or set up a new account), use smile.amazon.com and select "Evangelical Presbyterian Church" as your preferred charitable organization. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the EPC.

A New Kind of Youth Ministry

Chris Folmsbee and Brian McLaren

El Cajon, California:
Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2007

Best-Ever Games for Youth Ministry

Les Christie

Loveland, Colorado:
Group Publishing, 2005

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know

Wayne Grudem and Elliot Grudem

Grand Rapids, Michigan:
Zondervan, 2005

Deep Ministry in a Shallow World

Chap Clark and Kara Powell

El Cajon, California:
Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2006

Eyes Wide Open: Looking for God in Popular Culture

William D. Romanowski

Grand Rapids, Michigan:
Brazos Press, 2007

F.A.I.T.H. Unfolded: A Fresh Look at the Reformed Faith

Jim Osterhouse

Grand Rapids, Michigan:
Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2011

Four Views of Youth Ministry and the Church

Mark Senter III, Wesley Black, Chap Clark, Malan Nel

El Cajon, California:
Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2001

Help! I'm a Small Church Youth Worker!

Rich Grassel

El Cajon, California:
Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2002

Help! I'm a Volunteer Youth Worker

Doug Fields

El Cajon, California:
Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 1992

Hurt: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers

Chap Clark

Grand Rapids, Michigan:
Baker Books, 2004

Partnering with Parents in Youth Ministry

Jim Burns and Mike DeVries

Colorado Springs, Colorado:
Gospel Light, 2003

Plugging in Parents

Group Publishing

Loveland, Colorado:
Group Publishing, 2005

Serving with Eyes Wide Open

David Livermore

Grand Rapids, Michigan:
Baker Books, 2006

Simply Strategic Volunteers: Empowering People for Ministry

Tony Morgan and Tim Stevens

Loveland, Colorado:
Group Publishing, 2005

Small Group Strategies

Lorie Polich and Charley Scandlyn

El Cajon, California:
Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2005

Speaking to Teenagers: How to Think About, Create, and Deliver Effective Messages

Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins

El Cajon, California:
Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2007

The Family Friendly Church

Ben Freudenburg and Rick Lawrence

Loveland, Colorado:
Group Publishing, 1998

The Youth Worker’s Guide to Helping Teenagers in Crisis

Jim Hancock and Rich Van Pelt

El Cajon, California:
Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2005

The Westminster Shorter Catechism: For Study Classes

G.I. Williamson

Phillipsburg, New Jersey:
P&R Publishing, 2003

Why True Love Waits

Josh McDowell

Carol Stream, Illinois:
Tyndale House Publishers, 2002

Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry

Doug Fields

El Cajon, California:
Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2002

Youth Culture 101

Walt Mueller

El Cajon, California:
Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2007

Youth Membership Curriculum

EPC Resources

Orlando, Florida:
Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 2005.

Youth Ministry 3.0: A Manifesto

Mark Oestreicher

El Cajon, California:
Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2008

SUGGESTED IDEAS

This section is an intersection of ideas designed for EPC youth workers to share and glean activities that have a proven track record in such ministry topics as worship, evangelism, retreats, fund-raising, games, speakers, books, conferences, discipleship, student leader training, missions, recruiting volunteers, counseling, object lessons, small groups, and more.

FUNDRAISING: SPAGHETTI DINNER

A very successful fundraiser I did with my youth group was having a spaghetti dinner on Sunday night. I bought all the ingredients and a lady who does catering at our church prepared the spaghetti (parents of youth could help in preparation) I also bought French toast and bags of salad and my wife made brownies. The youth then served the church by setting up tables, setting place settings, bringing out the food, getting people drinks, helping clean up, etc. We took donations and raised about a $1,000. God was very gracious. It was a great opportunity for the youth to serve the church and be a part of the body of Christ.

From Shane Whelan while serving at Rivermont EPC in Lynchburg, Virginia

FUNDRAISING: SUNDAY MORNING CAR WASH

Do a church car wash on Sunday Morning. While the adults are in service, have the kids walk around the parking lot and wash cars. You will need a really long hose or multiple hoses, water, soap, sponges, etc. After the service have a booth at the exits for donations.

From James Sinsel while serving at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Florence, South Carolina.

FUNDRAISING: GIFT WRAPPING

During Christmas, ask the managers at Wal-Mart if you can do gift wrapping in front of their store.

From James Sinsel while at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Florence, South Carolina.

FUNDRAISING: WAL-MART CAR WASH

Do a car wash at Walmart. Often Walmart will match the amount of money you raise (up to $1,000).

From Mike Gorr while at Grace Chapel in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

GAMES: SWEDISH BASEBALL

This variation of baseball is most effective with 25 or more participants. Teams are divided equally with one team in the field and the other at bat. No bats or balls are used. All you need is a Frisbee.

The batter comes to the plate and throws the Frisbee into the field. The fielding team chases down the Frisbee and tries to return it to a garbage can that is next to home plate. The Frisbee must be tossed in rather than simply dropped in. Meanwhile, the batter runs about 10 feet to the first base, then to the second base about eight feet away and begins to circle them. Every lap is one point for the batting team, and the runner continues until the Frisbee is in the can. All the players on the batting team get to be up each inning. There are no outs.

After two or three innings, the score can get quite high. You’ll need a scorekeeper who can keep track of all the points.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: IRONGUT

If you have some daring kids in your group, try this contest. Prepare a concoction using 15 to 25 ingredients. List all the ingredients used. At your meeting, call for some volunteers to be the Irongut. If teams are already formed, choose one or two from each team. Those who are brave enough to accept the challenge take turns tasting the potion, which is usually thick and a yucky brown color. The winner is the person who can write down the most correctly identified ingredients. Some suggested ingredients are catsup, mustard, horseradish, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, milk, salad dressing, pickle juice, onion salt, vinegar, orange juice, tartar sauce, paprika, oregano, soda, pepper, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and salt.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: FUN WITH POTATOES

Tator Contest: Have a tator-tasting contest using several different brands of potato chips. Put the chips in numbered bowls and have each teen fill out an evaluation form, judging the taste. They should keep their answers to themselves. Afterward tally the evaluations and then disclose the brand names from best to worst.

Mr. Potato Head Race: Everyone is put on a team, with the number of teams being equivalent to the number of Mr. Potato Head games you have available. The object of the game is for each team to put together their Mr. Potato Head successfully. They line up single file about 20 feet away from Mr. Potato Head, and each person on the team runs to it blindfolded and adds one more part. the first team to finish, or whichever team has the best Mr. Potato Head at the end of the time limit, is the winner.

Potato Push: Have the kids push a potato along the ground in a figure eight course using only their heads (or noses, chins, foreheads). Rather than doing it as a relay, give each person a potato and have them do it all at once in a line.

Tator King: See who can build the tallest freestanding tower using potatoes and toothpicks. This can be amazing!

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: SCATTERBALL

This game is a fast-moving variation of dodgeball. There are no teams. To begin the game, stand everyone in the center of a kid-proof room or gymnasium and throw a four-square ball off one of the walls. At this point everyone scatters.The ball is up for grabs for the rest of the game. Anyone may handle and throw the ball after a bounce off the floor, ceiling, or wall but may not take more than two steps before throwing it at one of the many human targets (who are free to run as they please). A target is out if hit by a direct throw of the ball without catching it. A thrower is out if the ball is caught in the air or if anyone is hit in the head.

The Scatterball twist is that players who are out sit on the floor right where they are tagged; they must stay seated and may not move across the floor. They can still get throwers out by catching a ball in the air or by hitting a runner with the ball, and they may pass the ball to other sitting participants. Their presence increases the risk to running players, especially as the game progresses when more and more of them dot the floor. A thrower may collaborate with seated players by rolling or bouncing the ball to one of them. The last person left standing is the winner and starts the next game.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: SPAGHETTI SLOBFEST

For this meal, you’ll need the help of a few volunteer waiters (preferably not group members). Tell the kids to be seated for a spaghetti dinner. Have nothing on the tables except their glasses filled with whatever drink you choose. The waiters then place in front of each person a paper plate with a plastic disposable bib and a pair of thin plastic gloves. make sure none of the servers talk or respond to any questions while they set the tables. Then have them begin bringing out the noodles, sauces, and meatballs, all without serving utensils.

The kids will realize soon enough that there will be no silverware for the meal, and that they must use their hands. To complete the menu, add a dessert like pudding or Jell-O. It’s a meal they’ll never forget!

As a variation you can set the tables with the weirdest utensils you can find. For example, one person may have to eat out of a vase with a large wooden spoon. Another person eats out of a coffee creamer with an ice-cream scoop. Someone else gets a fruit jar and chopsticks. Each place setting should be as crazy as possible.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: M&M CANDY FUN

For contests as delicious as they are fun, break out the M&M’s and let the festivities begin! Here are just a few of the games you can play with those multipurpose candy-coated milk chocolate pellets.

M&M Relay: Team members run to a table where a package of M&M’s are poured out for them. They must eat the whole package without using their hands.

M&M Blowing Contest: Each team must blow a pile of M&M’s from one point to another-ten feet away is plenty.

Find the M&M’s: Have the teams each hide a package of M&M’s around rooms of their own. When all the hiding is done, teams switch rooms and find as many of the candies as they can within a given time limit. Make some colors worth more points than others.

M&M Push: Have kids push M&M’s along a course with their noses, relay style.

M&M Trading: Give each kid a few random M&M’s and have them trade among themselves for the colors they like best. After the trading, announce which colors are worth the most points.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: WET ‘N’ WILD BASEBALL

Play this game with whatever baseball rules you like. Make the competition unique by using 30 gallon kiddie pools or garbage cans filled with water for bases and a Slip’n’Slide to get to home plate. This game will work best if kids are dressed in swimsuits or shorts and T-shirts. You will also need a garden hose and access to a water faucet.

Use a large plastic bat and rubber ball. After hitting the ball, players place both legs in the water-filled garbage cans as they go around. To score they must run down the third-base line and slide into home using the Slip’n’Slide. Teams may have multiple runners on a base. It’s lively when several people try to slide home together.

Variation: Use a water sprinkler for first base or for all bases.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: BY THE SEAT OF YOUR PANTS VOLLEYBALL

Divide the group into two teams. Set up a volleyball net in the room so the top of the net is approximately five feet above the floor. Each player is instructed to sit down on his team’s side of the net so that his legs are crossed in front of him. From this position a regular game of volleyball is played with the following changes:

1. Use a beach ball-type ball or a large Nerf ball.
2. Use hands and head only (no feet).
3. All serves must be overhand from the center of the group.
4. Because of limited mobility, a large number of participants is suggested.
5. All other rules of volleyball apply.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: MR. PICKLE

You may be surprised at the fun you can have with a jar of pickles and a group of kids. Here are just a few suggestions:

Pickle-oids: Make little pickle-men with different kinds of pickles.

Pickle Makeover: One person from each team becomes the model, another the makeup artist. Pickles and pickle relish are the makeup. That’s right-they put pickles on their faces!

Pickle: Remember the baseball player caught in a rundown between two bases? Players in this game must run from one base to the other without being tagged. Use a pickle for a baseball.

Pickle Shoot: A shooting gallery. Shoot paper clips from rubber-band guns to knock down pickles.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: ELEPHANT PANTOMIME

Have a leader pantomime washing an elephant. She does this while Volunteer One is carefully observing and Volunteers Two and Three are out of the room. Only the audience, not the volunteers, knows in advance what the pantomime is about. When the leader is finished, Volunteer One performs the same pantomime from memory for Volunteer Two, even if Volunteer One doesn’t yet know what the pantomime is about. Then Volunteer Two performs it for Volunteer Three. Enjoy the laughs; then let the volunteers try to guess what they just acted out. The pantomime may have changed drastically by the time Volunteer Three performs it.

To ensure that the leader performs a good pantomime, suggest that she do the following: Pull the elephant in on a rope. Tie the rope to a stake. Dip a rag in a pail and wash the side of the elephant, jumping high to reach the top. Crawl underneath; wash his belly and legs. Go to the front and wash his trunk, inside and out, and wash the elephant’s ears as well. While washing under his tail, hold her nose, and generally try to be as creative as possible.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: EGG WALK

Lay eggs all over the floor. Then blindfold a volunteer who must walk across the room without breaking any eggs. However, before the blindfolded player begins, have helpers silently replace all the eggs with unshelled peanuts. Then watch the fun.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: SUBMARINE RIDE

A volunteer lays flat on a table with a person standing at each arm and leg. The legs are the left and right rudders. The arms are Torpedo One and Torpedo Two. A jacket is put over the volunteer’s head with one sleeve directly on his or her nose. This is the periscope. The captain (a leader) yells. “Left rudder!” (Person at left leg raises leg.) “Right rudder!” (Raise right leg.) “Torpedo One!” “Torpedo Two!” (Raise arms.) “Up periscope!” (Sleeve is lifted straight up.) “Dive! Dive!” (Leader pours water down sleeve and into the volunteer’s face.)

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: SCRAMBLED LEGS

Divide your campers into teams of six or seven; each group forms a circle, facing out. Then everyone’s ankles are tied to their partners’ on either side of them. The object of the game is then to shuffle around the room as a ring and collect strips of cloth or other material that were previously hung from the ceiling, walls, etc. Have a different color of strip for each team. The first team to collect all strips of its color and deposit them in a centrally located bucket wins.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: PING-PONG FLOUR BLOW

Have two teens compete to see who can be the first to blow a Ping-Pong ball out of a round bowl. After the winner is declared, blindfold the same players and let them try again. Have the loser go first. But just before the original winner takes a turn, dump a cup of flour in the bowl.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: BEDLAM

This game requires four teams of equal size. Each team takes one corner of the room or playing field. The play area can be either square or rectangular. At a signal, each team attempts to move as quickly as possible to the corner diagonal from their corner. The first team to get all its members into its new corner wins that particular round.

Now for the fun. For the first round, announce simple running as the way for teams to travel to their corners. But after that you can use any number of possibilities: rolling somersaults, hopping on one foot, skipping, crab-walking, etc. There will be mass bedlam in the center as all four teams crisscross.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: CHOCOLATE DOUGHNUT FEED

Tie a doughnut onto several rubber bands so that the whole thing is about a yard long. Dip it into chocolate and while one kid is lying on her back, have another kid try to feed the doughnut to her. The doughnut usually bounces around like it’s drunk, getting chocolate all over the person lying down.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: WEIGHT-GUESSING CONTEST

Brag that you have an uncanny ability to guess people’s weight within two pounds merely by picking them up. Select three volunteers, two of whom you secretly weighed earlier. Have all the volunteers sit on the floor and tuck their arms under their drawn-up knees. First, pick up the volunteers who are in on the joke (one hand under their knees and one hand on their backs to support them). Guess their weights correctly. When you pick up the third volunteer, have an assistant secretly slip a cream pie on the floor underneath the victim. Then drop him onto the pie.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: SNOOT SHOOT

The idea of this game is to see how far players can propel a Kix, Cheerio, or other bit of breakfast cereal across the room-using the air from their noses! To play, mark out a line behind which each player must stand. Players must then place the Kix in one nostril of their choice. When you say, “Fire!” they should hold the other nostril shut and exhale through their noses with as much force as possible. Furthest distance wins.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: MAD MAD MATTRESS

For this game divide your group into several teams. Each team needs a mattress. If the mattresses are small, then give each team two mattresses that are placed side by side; or tailor the events to fit the size of the mattress. The team stands around the outside of the mattress. The leader then gives an instruction, and each team must perform that task on the mattress. The first team to correctly complete the task receives points for that round. Each task must be completed entirely on the mattress. Some sample tasks:

1. Build a six (or 10) person pyramid.
2. Get 12 people sitting in a circle with their feet together in the middle.
3. Get four people to stand on their heads in each four corners of the mattress.
4. Get the whole team on the mattress. (Works well if you have large groups.)
5. Get four girls up on four guys’ shoulders.
6. Get 15 people laying flat on their stomachs, side by side.

You can make up more tasks of your own. It’s a good idea to have a referee at each mattress to determine when the task has been completed successfully.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: WEIGH GAME

Gather as much weight as possible….the most wins. Can have people hold each other on their backs or whatever…only rule is only one person on the scale holding all of the weight. By the way, you will break the scale. If you borrow one, plan on replacing it!

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: GROUP STAND UP

Back-to-back, start in pairs. Go to 4s….go up to about 20.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: TWIN BASKETBALL

5-on-5 basketball (indoors is nice on the knees) but each person is attached to his defender back to back wearing a giant sized t-shirt (or underwear). Play with a playground ball or something lighter than normal. Need more oddities? Play with a not-to-easily-broken water balloon.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: GIANT BASKETBALL

2 or 4 giant teams (20 or more). Give each team a bunch of unique color balloons (each team has their own color). They want to blow up their balloons on one side of the court, pass them into play, pass them up the court (you cannot run with them but pass them in the air either to yourself of to others), and make them in the goal. At the same time you want to stop the other 3 teams from making baskets (2 teams go one direction, the other 2 go the other so there’s lots of collisions.

From Brian Land while at Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

GAMES: FINGER BLASTERS

A company called RecFX produces a Nerf-like product called Finger Blasters. They are rocket-like slingshots that you shoot with your index finger. A box of them will run you about $80-but well worth it. We turned off the lights and used Finger Blasters to play indoor Capture-The-Flag in our church for 5 _ hours one overnighter! Definitely worth the money. Plus RecFX gives you a list of games to play with them. Contact them at: (800) 486-7671.

From Mike Gorr while at Grace Chapel in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

JR. HIGH GIRLS: LETTER WRITING

One of the best things I have done with my girls in junior high was studying Psalm 139. Then I asked the girls to write a letter to me about why they were fearfully and wonderfully made. It was a good lesson in self-confidence and the uniqueness and intentionality with which God has made them. Some of the girls really struggled with coming up with things, but the feedback has been great. I have done it with my girls here at Trinity and my girls at 4th. Both times the girls were in 7th grade. Just a thought and an activity that has really worked for me. Hope it helps others!

From Jessica Gabel while at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, Maryland.

OUTREACH: MARCH MADNESS

Here is an outreach idea that we have done 5 years now with much success. We call it March Madness because we do it in March, but it can be done at any time. The idea is competition-based ministry.

We devote a whole month to this outreach (every Wednesday night of the month). We divide our group into 4 teams that will compete against each other for the month. Teams earn points for bringing friends (mucho points), wearing a team uniform (camouflage, Hawaiian shirts…), attendance, bringing their Bible, and for winning events (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams are awarded points).

At the end of the month, the team with the most points wins an all expenses paid night out (dinner and an event). We also invite guest speakers to come in every week to deliver the lesson. This year our theme was “My Middle School Years”. Also, to spice things up, we hold raffles at the end of the night. We give away, CD’s, cameras, GameBoy’s, Dicmans, Mp3 players, gift certificates to stores… We also gave away a GameCube on the last night.

We see a lot of new faces because of this event, and we get a good number of them interested in our group and we see them again. My goal wasn’t necessarily for everyone to get saved at the event, but to see them start coming to our group and our events. As they become a part of our group, our prayer is that they would invite Jesus to become Lord of their life.

From Rob Craig while at Grace Chapel in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

OUTREACH: FREE CAR WASH

Looking for an effective way to plant some gospel seeds in your community? Have a top-notch car wash…and charge absolutely nothing. Refuse to take any donation, no matter how small or large. People will go crazy occasionally get downright mad that you will not accept any donations.

We had one guy throw $10 out of his window and peel out of the lot! But we found it to be an appropriate situation in which to equivocate the gospel. If people’s pride won’t let them accept a free car wash, how will they ever accept a free “life wash”? As their cars are being washed, we hand them a sheet of paper that tells them the reason why the car wash is free-because it follows the example of Jesus’ free offer of eternal life.

In addition, we also have candy for the kids, coffee for the adults and people taking prayer requests. A good number of people were willing to let us pray for them and their needs right there on the spot. It has never failed to produce great kingdom fruit.

From Marc Santom while the EPC Student Ministries Director.

PRAYER: INTERCESSOR TEAM

We have developed an intercessor team made up of people across the congregation who pray for the youth and leaders. Each intercessor is given one specific youth to pray for throughout the year. We send out info cards with the youth pictures and information (address, phone, email, school, grade, birthday, etc.) in hopes that they will be in direct contact with “their” youth. The leaders keep the intercessors updated on what the youth are up to (trips, retreats, etc.) so they can know specific things to be praying for. We are continuing to develop this intercessor team.

From Chris Houston while at St. Giles Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

PRAYER: PRAYING PARENTS

Not all parents can come every week to help. But many parents can commit to one or two weeks a semester to come to your meeting “just” to pray. We have several parents meet each week in a separate room to pray for us during our meeting. They pray for the youth, the leaders, the schools, the families, special events, and any other specific needs that I put on their prayer sheet. It is incredible to know your ministry is being directly supported by prayer. “For unless the Lord builds the house, those who labor, labor in vain.” Recruit a prayer coordinator to set up the prayer schedule. Also I have recruited some shut-ins to pray for us during our ministry times. In this way little old ladies, who can’t be directly involved, can have a tremendous impact on our ministry through their prayers!

From Steven Jessen while at Myrtle Grove EPC in Wilmington, North Carolina.

TEACHING: MESSAGE ILLUSTRATIONS

One time I put up a tent in the youth room and spoke about cleaning out our tent (dwelling place for God).

Sermon on the mount, I took students outside and walked around the property sharing brief messages from Matthew. I was unable to feed all the students with 5 loaves and 2 fish, so plan to have enough food for students. If more show up than you planned for then let God work it out.

We have also held services outside for a change of pace.

From James Sinsel while at Trinity Presbyterian in Florence, South Carolina.

Do you have a cool ministry idea that has worked for you? Spread the wealth of your experience with other EPC youth leaders by getting your idea on this page! Email your idea to info@epc.org.

WEBSITES FOR YOUTH LEADERS

It has been said that getting information off the internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant. Here are just a few cupfuls of worthwhile websites for youth ministry workers.

Ministry Power

Activities and Games

www.ministrypower.com

Youth Worker's Idea Station

Activities and Games

bradzockoll.tripod.com/youthworker/id1.html

National Network of Youth Ministries

Community and Networking

www.youthworkers.net

Randy Glasbergen

Humor

www.glasbergen.com

Christian Law & Tax

Legal Issues

www.churchlawandtax.com

Plugged In

Media

www.pluggedin.com

Screen It

Media

www.screenit.com

EGAD! Ideas

Ministry Ideas

www.egadideas.com

Group Youth Ministry

Ministry Ideas

www.youthministry.com

Pastor2Youth

Ministry Ideas

www.pastor2youth.com

The Source for Youth Ministry

Ministry Ideas

www.thesource4ym.com

Youth Ministry Helper

Ministry Ideas

www.youthministryhelper.com

YouthPastor.com

Ministry Ideas

www.youthpastor.com

Youth Specialties

Ministry Ideas

www.youthspecialties.com

Christian Camp and Conference Association

Summer Trips

www.ccca.org

Short Term Missions

Summer Trips

www.shorttermmissions.com

Bible Gateway

Teaching

www.biblegateway.com

Desiring God

Teaching

www.desiringgod.org

WEBSITES FOR STUDENTS

It has been said that getting information off the internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant. Here are just a few cupfuls of worthwhile websites for students.

Bible Gateway

Bible / Discipleship

www.biblegateway.com

Crosswalk Devotionals

Bible / Discipleship

www.crosswalk.com/devotionals

Planet Wisdom

Bible / Discipleship

www.youthspecialties.com/planetwisdom

Christian College Guide

College

www.christiancollegeguide.net

College Transition Group

College

www.collegetransitiongroup.com

Teens in the Driver Seat

Driving

www.t-driver.com

Future Me

Future

www.futureme.org

The Tattoo

Global

www.youthjournalism.org/?page_id=14074

Urban Saints

Global

www.urbansaints.org

Every Student

Life and Faith

www.everystudent.com

Teen Health FX

Life / Issues

www.teenhealthfx.com

To Write Love On Her Arms

Life / Issues

www.twloha.com

Troubled With

Life / Issues

www.troubledwith.com

Animoto

Media

www.animoto.com

Sloppy Noodle

Media

www.sloppynoodle.com

PARENT RESOURCES

This section offers both web and printed resources for parents of students.

You can support the ministries of the EPC by purchasing books through the links on the books below at Amazon.com. When you login to your Amazon account (or set up a new account), use smile.amazon.com and select “Evangelical Presbyterian Church” as your preferred charitable organization. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the EPC.

Confident Parenting

Jim Burns

Minneapolis, Minnesota:
Bethany House Publishers, 2008

Understanding Your Teenager

Wayne Rice and David Veerman

Nashville, Tennessee:
Thomas Nelson, 1999

Christian College Guide

College

www.christiancollegeguide.net

Center for Parent and Youth Understanding

Communication

www.cpyu.org

Child and Family Web Guide

Communication

www.ase.tufts.edu/cfw

Connect with Kids Network

Communication

www.connectwithkids.com

National Center for Fathering

Dads

www.fathers.com

Moms in Prayer

Moms

www.momsinprayer.org

Plugged In

Media

www.pluggedin.com

Screen It

Media

www.screenit.com

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