At Dare 2 Share, we believe in the power of the Gospel and the potential of teens. Teens want to be part of something big—a movement, a cause to fight for. And what better cause to invite them into than the Cause of Christ?
To help bring this Gospel Advancing, cause-centric culture into your youth group, we’ve got eight fall outreach ideas to get teens serving others and sharing their faith. The true impact of these events comes from focusing on the Gospel. Without training your students to engage in Gospel conversations with their friends who attend, these events are just fun activities without any eternal impact.
8 Fall Youth Outreach Ideas
1. Host a fall festival.
Get students on the front lines of reaching your neighborhood by hosting a fall festival at your church. This can be a church-wide event or hosted by just your youth group. Either way, the intention is to invite your community to a fun event where they are seen and loved by people who love Jesus.
You don’t need to break the bank for this. There are a lot of inexpensive activities and games you can do. Here are some activity ideas for a fall festival:
- Face painting
- Ring toss onto a pumpkin
- Pumpkin painting
- Relay races
- A hayride
With an event like this, it’s crucial to involve students in the planning and prep work. It’s one thing for them to volunteer at a church event, but it’s another entirely for them to feel ownership and urgency for the impact of this fall festival.
Pray with your youth group regularly in the weeks leading up to the event. Train them to share the Gospel, practice Gospel conversations, and position the entire event as a night to share God’s love with your neighbors.
2. Plan a hot chocolate social.
Ice cream social season might be over, but sweet treats and quality time with your students are still within reach. As it gets colder, host a “hot chocolate social” at your church or even one of your leaders’ homes. Here’s how you can host this event:
Step 1: Schedule the event and make flyers, social media graphics, etc., that students can use to invite their friends.
Step 2: Remind students that this is an outreach event to share the Gospel. If you haven’t already, train them on the G.O.S.P.E.L. acrostic (what we call Life in 6 Words), which lays out a simple, clear message of salvation they can share with their friends. Make sure they all download the Life in 6 Words app to keep track of their conversations, too.
Step 3: Buy hot chocolate bar supplies. They make all kinds of hot chocolate flavors these days, and you can include marshmallows, whipped cream, syrups, sprinkles—the works.
Step 4: Have a great night with your students, and share the Gospel message! While you have the attention of your students and their friends, give a brief talk on what the point of this gathering is: to learn about God’s love for them and grow in friendship with each other.
3. Schedule a fall picnic.
For a successful fall picnic, you just need a good space for teens to gather and lots of fall-themed food. This is like the fall festival but on a smaller scale. The intention is for students to invite their unsaved friends so they can talk with them about Jesus in a low-pressure environment.
To get Gospel conversations rolling, you or even a student could give a brief talk and Gospel message. Try posing deeper questions for students to discuss in small groups after the talk. You and other leaders could join some of the groups and help guide conversations. Either way, this is incredible practice for students to articulate their faith and a great time for new teens to get to know God.
4. Collect canned goods.
Most of us gain a few pounds from all the food we eatat Thanksgiving and Christmas, but 1 in 8 Americans have been food insecure in recent years. Food is one of the most immediate and easiest needs your youth group can help meet this fall. And when people’s needs are met, their hearts are more open to hearing about the God, who is the ultimate provider.
Thankfully, there are food banks throughout the country you can partner with for this. To execute this event, choose a day to go door-to-door in a local neighborhood, where students can kindly ask for canned goods and share the Gospel.
This can feel a little uncomfortable for even the boldest students, so here’s a script for teens to follow when someone opens the door:
“Hello! We’re your neighbors from [Church Name], and we’re doing a canned food drive for the holidays. Do you by any chance have any food you’d be willing to donate?” *If they say no, follow up with: “No problem! Is there anything we could pray about for you right now before we leave?” *If they say yes, wait for them to return with the food and then ask the same question about prayer.
Train students beforehand to pivot conversations toward the Gospel, but it’s OK if not every interaction goes there. This event is building students’ boldness, their trust in God, and their heart for the lost and those in need within your community.
5. Volunteer your group at a homeless shelter or community center.
If you want to give students an opportunity to directly interact with people in need, organize a time to volunteer at a homeless shelter, community center, or other local organization where students can serve others.
This is actually a great event for the cooler weather, because many of these organizations need help indoors. Again, students should be prepared to have Gospel conversations with those they meet, but it’s also important to respect the guidelines of the organization you’re working with.
6. Worship around a bonfire.
Bonfires are an ideal opportunity for quality time with your youth group! Host a bonfire worship night for your group to bond over praising God, having intentional conversations, and just having fun. Bring some snacks, blankets, and hot chocolate, and tell your teens to bring their friends.
7. Rake leaves for people in need.
Fall is beautiful—until all the leaves fall 😑. Chances are, there are people in your community, even your own church, who could use the help of some able-bodied teens to clean up their yards.
Remind your teens that this isn’t just any community service project—it’s a chance to tangibly love others and open the door for Gospel conversations (if the people are unsaved). For this fall outreach, start with a list of people in your church who could use some help, pick a Saturday to do it, and then take your students to the homes to bless those who live there.
8. Sign up for Dare 2 Share LIVE.
Last but not least, Dare 2 Share LIVE is a powerful outreach event that students can participate in alongside thousands of other teens across the globe.
One of the main portions of Dare 2 Share LIVE is local outreach. After being trained on the G.O.S.P.E.L. in the morning, every group does an activity of some sort that enables them to start conversations about Jesus. Dare 2 Share LIVE is inspiring, empowering, equipping, and fun for teenagers all across the world, and it’s completely free to join!
Dare 2 Share LIVE 2023 is practically here, so if you’re looking for a last-minute but powerful outreach event for your youth group, make sure to register today!