It happened the other day—the dreaded moment that always causes my stomach to drop: I saw my first back-to-school commercial of the season! OK, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but for this summer-loving girl, it causes a bit of panic. I can already hear my friends chanting: “But what about the pumpkin spice lattes, the colorful leaves, sweater weather, and football?!” Yes, but there’s also the busyness that always seems to accompany autumn.
Although autumn doesn’t officially start until the third week of September, you’re likely already feeling the pressure mounting for your fall calendar. Here are five unique ideas to help you not just fill event slots but also continue to grow in becoming a Gospel Advancing leader.
1. Make a Gospel Advancing goal for yourself.
I heard Craig Groeschel say recently: “I was a full-time pastor and a part-time follower of Christ.” If we’re honest, it’s easy to get so caught up in planning our ministry schedules that we forget to steward our own discipleship. What adult friends (who don’t yet know Jesus) has God put in your life to pray for, care for, and share the Gospel with? Consider setting a goal for how you’d like to reach out to them over the next few months.
2. Plan an outreach “field trip” with nature and bonfire testimonies.
If your area has a pumpkin patch, corn maze, apple orchard, or some other cool outdoorsy place to go, add a fun outreach event there. In your planning, ask a couple student leaders to share their testimonies and one to give a clear Gospel invitation to the whole group. If possible, do this at the location and include a bonfire, acoustic worship music, and s’mores!
3. Organize a block party element to Dare 2 Share LIVE.
Make plans to not only join in the powerful event Dare 2 Shave LIVE, but also to add a hype-worthy outreach party at the end. Tell your students a week before LIVE that their “cost of admission” is bringing an unreached friend to just this part of the day. Recruit volunteers to help set up big, rented inflatable games; put up welcome signs; play upbeat music; make cotton candy; etc. After the game and food time, hand out discussion cards to small groups of students with questions about spiritual beliefs. Designate a student in each group to lead the discussion (but still participate themselves). Close with a student giving the Gospel to the whole group and inviting everyone back to the youth group.
4. Challenge students to do a leaf-raking “serve and share” in their neighborhood.
Help small groups of students get together to rake leaves in a neighborhood (their own or one near the church). Equip them with garbage bags, rakes, water, gloves, and encouragement to pray for and with the people they’re serving. Also, make sure to tell your students to explain the reason for their service as: “We give free because Jesus gives free,” as a segue to a Gospel conversation.
5. Make a Gospel Advancing goal for your ministry.
What next challenge could you give your group to focus on this semester? We hear about youth leaders aiming for a percentage of their students who are sharing the Gospel, the number of Gospel conversations the group is having collectively, or the number of students putting their trust in Jesus as new believers. Pray and ask God what goal He wants your group to shoot for in the next few months.
Ready for even more Fall ideas? Check out these fall youth group activities.