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Reaching the Hearts of Christian Youth

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The Chest of Visions: "captures the essence of the Gospel"

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       Activity of the Month : First Meeting Startup: The Three Pens Game

In this game the leader sits behind a table which is bare except for three pens. The pens are randomly set in a design by the youth leader. The youth leader rests one or two hands on the table along side the three arranged pens. While doing this one or more fingers are pointed on the table. The group is asked to determine what number is represented on the table.

It usually takes several attempts for at least one or two youth to discover the solution to the puzzle which is determined by the number of fingers pointing on the table and not by the arrangement of the pens. Of course one should take time before each guess to rearrange the pens carefully to leave the impression that you are diligently trying to get the formation of pens just right. The leader should alternate displays of fingers, using one or two hands with varied numbers of fingers pointing, after each rearrangement of the pens. The longer it takes for everyone to guess how to solve the riddle (count the revealed fingers), the more fun it is especially for the youth who have already figured out the answer and who usually cannot contain their disbelief that everyone does not get it. Make sure everyone 'gets it' sometime,even if you have to pound two hands with five extended fingers on the table and call out "TEN" for those who continue to struggle

As simple as this game appears it has a very important message for the youth group year. Remind youth that the correct answer is obtained when they look at the entire table, the 'whole picture', not just the obvious (the pens). Similarly when we study things of faith, we need to look at them from various segments of scripture. Paul's views of faith and those of James are different yet the understanding of each gives us a more complete knowledge of how our faith helps us move forward in all the tasks of our lives.

Here is a second activity: Temptations - Not an Easy Topic

For ministers and Bible students there are many references to temptation in the Bible. It all starts with Adam and Eve and their fall to temptation. One of the last references is in Revelation 3:10 where the writer, speaking to the church of Philadelphia, states, that God will keep them "from the hour of temptation" due to their faithfulness. In between these Biblical passages are many references from Paul and other writers.

For young people we suggest the following. Have them read Matthew 4:1-11. Discuss the three temptations Christ faced. If Jesus can be tempted certainly any of us can. Temptation is part of being human. Break down Christ’s three temptations:

  • Change a stone to bread: what would this be like for a youth? For Christ, it was taking an easy way out - just use his powers to abate his hunger. What easy ways out do young people take? Having a friend write a school paper for them? Borrowing money with no intention of repaying?
  • Jump off a rooftop – the angels will catch you and everyone will know how great you are. Christ replies: "Thou shall not tempt the Lord, thy God". This can lead to an interesting discussion. When do youth tempt others to do something wrong that appears advantageous?
  • Satan says to Jesus: worship me and I will give you everything - the world. This is like the gangs existent amongst some teenagers. The gangs promise - join and follow us and you will have friends and everything you could ever want. So tempting. Christ’s response to Satan is: "Leave me Satan" ... I will no longer discuss any matters with you.

  • Click: Temptation Activity and then scroll down to the letters dated February 4th, 5th and 10th . How are the temptations of Chihaysu similar to those brought to Jesus? One easy answer is: both Jesus and Chihaysu are in a desert wilderness praying and meditating alone. Now ask: how are they different? The temptations of Chihaysu – are they temptations or is this simply human nature? Chihaysu, like Christ, has three temptations. Do our youth have similar thoughts and challenges?

    Let us know by writing to: about your experiences discussing temptation with your young people.

    The book entitled: The Chest of Visions: Pathway Cross Broken Highways is filled with passages that resemble Biblical events. Each month a new such passage will be highlighted on this website with discussion ideas. Temptations - Not an East Topic is the first of such discussions.

    Testimonial Received - July 5, 2015

    Just became chair of our Christian Ed. Committee was browsing for ideas for our youth group - all children are young grade 5 and younger. Like some of the ideas I saw on this site. God bless you as you share ideas for others to use in spreading the word of Jesus Chist to our youth in such a troubled time.

    J. Walker

    Editor: thank you and glad we are helping.

    Continued for free! Per Readers Favorite Professionals ... " a significant step forward in Youth Group Study Guides"

                 "New Pathways Across Broken Highways"

           Read the Christian Comics then the story that is the "significant step forward" in Youth Group Study

    To read the full comic, then the story, please click... Caperston in Conflict

                        Bible stories seen through Caperston eyes

    Please teach our youth to pray ... testimony from England

    We did Trust and Prayer as suggested on your website

    When I asked the kids if they had someone they could talk to and trust with a difficult situation, they all said they did. When I asked "If it was something very private and they didn't want anyone else to know, except that friend," their response was, "No they didn't have a friend like that..."

    Pastor Todd Hartsock

    Trust and Prayer is one of many free activity ideas presented in our second website. Read more of Pastor Hartsock's comments and the activity of which he speaks, which is described at: Faith: Christian teen advice How to Pray Activity : a youth group activity that encourages spoken prayer among Christian youth and has been successful on several occasions with different youth ministry programs.

    Resources that Reach the Hearts of Youth

    Christian youth work: running a youth group Not the Same Old Done-it-before Youth Meetings: "A God-send" for you!

    Laura Cooley of St. Paul's Church, Patchogue, NY writes...

    "Your book is a God-send!! You have laid out in an organized and easy-to-read fashion so many wonderful ideas and activity plans that we will never again feel uncomfortable when getting ready for our next Christian Youth Group meeting. I am new to the role of Youth Group leader and your book gives me confidence that we can indeed succeed with God's help".

    "Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meetings" now available for immediate download on Kindle.

    See more information about Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meetings. click: Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meeting (the book)

      The Good News of the Gospel: clear and understandable

                                         Artistically displayed

                                         Thought provoking

    Review by Melissa Jagel: "Engaging, exciting, entertaining, and easy-to-read! Ferguson's super-cool little book, "The Chest of Visions," brilliantly captures the essence of the Gospel message …" Christian youth entertainment

    Elizabeth Marie review: "In this book we meet youth from two different worlds...Once I opened this book, I couldn't set it down ... I love this book! I think it's perfect for a youth group read and study."

    Lee Ashford from Readers' Favorite writes:

    "The Chest of Visions: Secrets of Caperston¯ is a well-reasoned, well-written, and intelligently conceived allegory ... a new concept for involving today's youth in Bible study... a correspondence across parallel universes between several teen-aged individuals on two different planets in two different universes.

    If read in its entirety, and considered prayerfully, "The Chest of Visions" should be acknowledged as a significant step forward in Youth Group Study Guides."

    Click for reviews and purchase: ... Reviews of The Chest of Visions

    For youth workers: start the year with ten lessons at the end of the story to use in your youth ministry.

                     Third Activity for September/October: from Louis Faithful of Nigeria

    BibleTrivia Game

    Split the group into two and have each individual write three Bible trivia questions, for which they know the answer, on three separate pieces of paper. Each person should place their name on the question. Place them in a basket or some other container.

    Take turns with a member of one team pulling a question from the basket. If they answer the question correctly their team gets two points. If the question is answered incorrectly the other team gets a chance to answer the question. If they are successful, they get two points.

    If the question is still not answered, the team that the initial person is on, gets a chance to answer the question. If they are correct their team gets one point.

  • The person who wrote down the question does not get an opportunity to answer the question.
  • If the person drawing the question, pulls out their own question, they are to return it to the basket and try a different question.
  • The leader of the group should listen carefully to questions and answers. Particularly if the group does not answer the question accurately, this may present an opportunity for discussion.

    Thank you, Louis

                          Books of Christian Youth Activities:


    Our youth group is based in Kisumu town in the western part of Kenya. Our community is a fishing town along the shores of Lake Victoria... Our youth enjoy engaging in talent shows where they can showcase their talents. Our talent shows are filled with youth singing, doing comedy, acting in skits, and much more.

    John's Testimony and hopes for his youth group

    John Ogutu of Kenya (see below article) recently wrote to ...

    "The events in Caperston are an interesting read for a young Christian. Not only is it interesting, it is also quite engaging for a young Christian mind seeking answers to questions and participating in the story as well. I am encouraged by the way it relates to the Christian environment in relation to our world. I recommend this to all Christian youth groups as an engaging continuous activity. I have purposed to share this with my youth group and encourage them to participate in writing to Huchfee of Caperston and/or to Alex of New York".

    To read the story... click March 2015 Letters

    "I totally had to get this book"

    Jo writes regarding Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meetings ... "I think this book is really good and helpful. I first read the online version of the book because I did not want to pay for it. But after reading a couple of program ideas and having a very very successful youth program I totally HAD to get this book. It is well worth the money."

    Read more reviews like this one by Jo by clicking ... Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meeting (the book)

    Try a Christian bookstore from Swiss Valley BooksRace

    and their other special websites:The Missing Link, Inc. The Missing Link and Children's Chapel

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    Jesus calls Christian youth to "Go into the world to preach the gospel" and gives the promise,"I am always with you to the end of the age". Please share with us where you live so that the global community of Christian teens and their youth leaders can become more evident. Are you active in a Christian youth group? Do you have Christian youth activities or entertainment ideas to share. Your shared ideas for youth ministry programs will be featured on our activities page. Help make our Christian youth website truly international!Just click on the Guestmap Icon and let us know who you are and if you have ideas to share. We will get back to you..

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