The Source for Youth Ministry
Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Tuesday, November 5, 2002

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THANKSGIVING or CHRISTMAS. EVENT IDEAS. Events You Can Do This November or December

by Jonathan McKee
November 5, 2002

Looking for a good November or December event? Nothing planned yet? How about one of these ideas:

Youth groups always love this event. Basically it's a night of eating and fellowship. It's like the age old "progressive dinner" where you go from location to location, usually large houses, eating different courses of a meal. The "progressive" dinner does each course in order: one house for appetizers, one house for salad, one house for the main course, one house for drinks, one house for dessert.

The "REGRESSIVE" dinner switches the order of the courses. You may start with dessert, then go to main course, then salad, then appetizers, etc.
If you have a group of up to about 30 or 40, you can get away with going to all these locations together. Each house needs to be able to fit this amount of people (we've emptied out living room furniture and brought in tables for the main course, etc.). If you have even larger groups, you can divide the group and go to different courses at different times and save the last course, maybe appetizers, for a big location where you can fit everyone.

Fun event of just "hanging out" and getting to know each other.

Now here's an event my dad did when he was a youth pastor in the 70's:

That's what you advertise it as . . . "Bring Your Own Utensil," and you don't tell them anything else. When you're pumping the event, give suggestions of utensils they can bring: wooden spoons, spatulas, serving forks, egg beaters . . . whatever you want.

Serve a spaghetti dinner for the event. The catch . . . no silverware. Everyone has to use their Utensil. Take pictures with a digital camera (if you have the capability, show a slide presentation at the end of the night). Give prizes afterward for the following:
  • Most Creative Utensil
  • Most Functional Utensil
  • Sloppiest Eater
  • Neatest Eater
  • Largest Portion Consumed
  • Smallest Portion Consumed

Or check out these events that people submitted recently:

Get your group together and tell them only that you are going to have a progressive dinner with the theme of Prayer and Fasting. Prepare them for the evening, letting them know that they will be fasting and praying until the end. At each stop on the way (appetizer, first course, second course, dessert, drinks, etc.) the host (different families) shows the group the part of the meal that they have prepared. The kicker is that instead of eating it, the group sacrifices this meal portion to the Lord and prays for needs in that church family's home as well as others in the group. At each stop a different verse is read and adults give examples of how God has worked in their life. Then at the end of the dinner you go back to the church for games and fun but when the group arrives the hosts have all backtracked and set up the meal at the church. The teens then get to eat together with the host families. It is an awesome time of sharing. This worked well to hammer the idea home of spiritual disciplines to our teens.
Added by John

Enlist the help of church members & get them to prepare some food at their homes . . . without telling you what it is. It could be drinks, desserts, snacks . . . anything they want. Start at one of the homes and progress around to each house to eat whatever has been prepared. At the final location have all the 'hosts' gather for an evening of fun. This got our youth group and our older folk together and it was great fun. We had soup, garlic bread, yorkshire puddings, gravy, banana chips, African punch, sausage rolls, and the last house had a fantastic array of desserts.
Added by Fiona Kelly

For More Great Event Ideas
Check Out Our Event Page:

Or, if you like these resources,
be sure to check out what people are
saying about Jonathan's new book
"The Top 12 Resources Youth Workers Want"


If you have any other youth ministry ideas you want to share, please email me at

God Bless!
Jonathan R. McKee

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Jonathan R. McKee
for Youth Ministry