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Free Activity of the Month

The Look of Love

Thaddeus: It was a very long day and an even longer night, Peter.

Peter: I've had two sleepless nights . . . I . . . just can't get over it.

Thaddeus: Get over what?

Peter: The look . . . the look in his eyes, Thaddeus.

Thaddeus: What look?

Peter: As he was carrying the cross . . . yesterday . . . to Golgotha.

Thaddeus: You saw him?

Peter: Yes, I did . . . I just had to see him . . . after I had failed him so miserably.

Thaddeus: What do you mean? You failed him?

Peter: The night he was arrested, I followed him and his accusers. It was the worst night of my life.

[Mary Magdalene and John approach.]

John: We couldn't help but overhear. The night of his arrest was terrible. But last night after they took him down from the cross . . . I couldn't get that painful sight out of my mind.

Mary: I was with his mother and John [puts hand briefly on John's shoulder]. Mary was so strong at the cross. She was there for him, her son. It was only later that she let her pain show.

Peter: I saw him on the way to Golgotha. Thank God someone stepped in to help him with the cross. After I caught his eye, I couldn't bear to follow.

Thaddeus: Peter, you said that the night of his arrest was the worst night of your life. Why?

Peter: Because I denied him.

John: No . . . Peter. You were always the strongest of us all.

Peter: But John, I denied him. Not once, but three times. He even told me earlier that I would do so. I felt so ashamed. I had to see him again. I knew he was aware of what I did. When the Romans brought him out and started marching Jesus and the others with their crosses, I ran ahead. I had to get somewhere where I could see him . . . face to face.

Mary: Were you successful, Peter?

Peter: Yes, I was . . . I had to run a long way, but there . . . up there around the bend . . . the crowd was sparse. He was so tired and struggled so.

Thaddeus: When he approached, what did you say? Or was it he who spoke?

Peter: Neither of us spoke with words, but we did speak. I spoke with shame, with tears . . . barely able to look at him except for some fleeting glances.

John: And Jesus?

Peter: Jesus' eyes never left me as he approached. I expected to see a look of condemnation, but I got a look of reassurance and eyes filled with love.

The eyes of love

Mary: Why didn't you say something, Peter? It sounds like you needed to tell him how sorry you were.

Peter: I tried. My mouth opened, but my tongue wouldn't move. Before I knew it, he had passed by me.

Mary: Please don't be hard on yourself. We are all human. We are all afraid. What will we do without him?

Pete: He may be dead, but that reassuring glance, that look of love remains with me. When I saw it, I knew I had seen it before but I couldn't remember when. Then, late last night, I remembered. Do you recall the day Jesus called me to walk upon the water?

John: How could we forget?

Thaddeus: I couldn't believe how brave you were.

Peter: Oh, I was brave. I took four steps, looked to the water, lost my faith and sank. Just like when I said I'd always stand up for him, then denied him. That day, when I started sinking, I called out "Lord, save me"ť. And he looked at me with those reassuring, loving eyes. I'll never forget those eyes . . . that look of love he gave me two years ago on the sea and yesterday on the way to his death.

John: You know, I think I know that look. Yesterday, Mary and his mother and I followed him to the cross. He was truly in pain. As he was dying, he made several utterances, but two stood out in my mind. Do you remember, Mary?

Mary: Absolutely. I couldn't believe he asked God to forgive everyone who did this to him. Just after he said that he glanced at the three of us and we saw that look . . . the look of love that only Jesus had. I'll not forget it . . . even in his death.

Thaddeus: John, you said there were two things Jesus said that stood out in your mind.

John: Yes, there were. After asking God to forgive everyone who did this, he looked at me, then at his mother with those reassuring eyes. He said to his mother, "Woman, look at your son,"ť and to me, "Son, look after your mother."ť His mother and I now know we are to be like a family, and I will take her to my home. I know exactly what you mean, Peter . . . even as he was dying, he displayed a look of love.

Thaddeus: So where do we go now?

Peter: We all should go home and rest. Tomorrow is a new day. [Leaves.]

Mary: Tomorrow is the day we say goodbye to him. A few of us will get up early in the morning to anoint his body . . . then . . . I just don't know.

Thaddeus Then I shall see you all soon. [Mary and John leave.] And that is what I recall happened that day after his death. Jesus was gone. We didn't know what to do. We remembered his teachings, but they didn't seem important that day. We remembered his miracles, but wondered why he didn't save himself. But we couldn't and I still can't forget those reassuring eyes,”that look of love that was always a part of him. I left Peter, John, and Mary that day and returned to a friend's home outside of the city. I was not around for the excitement of the next morning, so I cannot tell you firsthand. I had to wait to hear later in the day. Now I am an old man. Over thirty years have passed since Jesus was with us, but he is once again alive . . . in this book written by the physician Luke. [Shows a scroll.] I just received it a short time ago, and I'd like to let Luke finish the story. Let's see . . . Luke writes . . . "On the first day of the week, early in the morning, they came to the tomb bringing prepared spices with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. And they entered in and did not find the body of Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were perplexed, that two men in shining clothes stood by them. And they became afraid and bowed their faces to the ground. The men said, 'Why do you search for the living among the dead? He is not here; he is risen. Remember what he said to you when he was in Galilee . . .'ť And they remembered his words. And they returned from the tomb and told most of us disciples. It was Mary Magdalene, the one who was with Peter, John and me the day before, and two others who first went to the tomb. [Holds rolled up scroll.] This wonderful book by Luke tells the story of Jesus so perfectly. I have read it once and will soon read it again. If any of you are interested, let me know and I'll make it available. Oh, if only . . . if only Luke's story could be read by everyone around the world, then everyone would know of Jesus' teachings, his miracles, his death for each of us and his resurrection. What a different world it could be? Luke's story is wonderful but he was not with Jesus. He can tell you things Jesus taught and things he did, but he cannot tell you of his eyes, his reassuring, loving eyes. Only those who were with him can do so, and there are only a few of us left. Read this book and as you read it, imagine the love that a glance from Jesus shared with each of us, the look of god-sent love.

We would love to hear if this activity was useful to your group. Please share your experience by writing to: TimFerguson@christianyouthgroup.org.

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Welcome to our activities page, with contributions from Christian youth leaders from around the world. This website will share free games for Christian youth groups

as well as lessons to assist in your youth programs.

Would you join us and share an activity from your youth program? If so, please e-mail us at Timferguson@christianyouthgroup.org.

If you wish to receive recognition for your contribution, please state your name, church and the location of your church.Thank you for your interest.


                                                   Activities for Fun

Football Trivia: Question correct, then move towards goal line.
Ha Ha: Lot's of fun - an icebreaker we used with Spanish speaking young people in El Salvador, as well as with our own youth group. It has always been a great success.
Cross the Line: An icebreaker that gets young people sharing their experiences.
Bombs Away: A game that tests our ability to trust.

Sozo Game from Kenya via South Africa

Sozo is a Bible based board game that encourages scripture memorization, prayer and fun while reading the bible. It is played by two to twelve people and age group is open however children under seven years require adult supervision.

Check out Sozo Game and www.facebook.com/Sozothegame for more information



New Activity:Dominoes Barriers/Bridges

A game presented by the youth leaders at West Islip Presbyterian Church in New York: Take a set of dominoes and lay them on the table. Have youth and adult leaders pick up a domino and place it in a straight line after identifying a world that represent barriers that separate people from one another. For example the following words/phrases come to mind: misunderstanding, does not listen, bullying, anger, prejudice and mistrust. The take the same line of dominoes and take them off one at a time identifying a word or phrase that builds bridges. Examples would be: love, faith, working together, making a difference, helping the poor, 30 Hour Famine, and commitment to a cause.P>

When our two youth groups jointly did this we came up with over 30 barriers that separate us one from another. When we began the second part of the exercise, we did not think there was a chance to find that many bridge building words/ phrases but we did and then some!!P>


                                                   Activities That Teach
Christian youth ideas from Houston Texas : We separated our kids into groups of 4 and gave them the word CHRISTIAN.
Human machine:Remind your machines that each body part can only provide its function.
Faith by Dennis: from a youth leader in New York ... it tells you that even a little bit of faith is stronger than the strongest mountain
Finding Truth: Four road signs depict a traveler's journey and the self doubts he/she have to overcome.
The Rich Young Ruler: Activity that asks the question how to react to the command of Jesus to give everything that you own to the poor, then follow we are ready to follow Him.
The Fruits of the Spirit: Note that some of the more difficult fruits,in the eyes of youth, are probably patience and self control. Determine which fruits are most common and why.

Trust and Prayer: Activity that encourages spoken prayer amidst youth and has been successful on several occasions with different youth programs.
Loving Your Brothers and Sisters: Before we started, we had a bunch of old garage stuff. Once we all joined hands, we could make something of it.

Activity from Malaysia: I STRONGLY suggest you try these movies ... really beautiful, faith-lifting and encouraging.
Food Scavenger Hunt: This card will explain who we are and what our mission is... We will thankfully accept all donations.


Christian youth lesson is the Word!!




One word to reflect upon our faith journey... The Apostle Paul wrote "there is faith, hope love, these three but the greatest of these is love." Yes, all of these are important but there is a more essential word to our journey.

Our faith is a faith of contemplation but, more so, a faith of action. Jesus visited the docks of the Sea of Galilee as the fisherman returned from a day's work .He called them to "follow me and I will make you fishers of men".

Imagine this happening today. Jesus appears as you exit you workplace and states, "Put in your resignation, follow me and I will make you a wandering preacher". How many of us would respond? Andrew and Peter responded as did James and John with a resounding, "yes".

We all say "yes" to God in many ways, sometimes semi-consciously. How many times do we, while singing "Here I am Lord" and find the word "yes" in our minds?

        Here I am Lord

        Yes,is it I Lord ... I have heard you calling in the night

        Yes, I will go Lord ... if you lead me

        Yes, I will hold your people in my heart

"Yes" is the opposite of negative thinking.

"Yes" overpowers complacency.

"Yes" overcomes procrastination.

As the Apostle Paul wrote there is, indeed, faith, hope and love. Let’s start with love. Without love we would live a lonely existence but what does love ask of us in its most compelling moment, when our beloved asks... will you marry me. Love calls us to say "yes"! And can we think of a better definition of faith than … faith is saying "yes" to the word of God. And hope. How can anyone have hope without being ready to call out "yes" when the hoped-for event occurs.

Our faith calls us to say "yes" to the special mission God has for us. Are each of us ready to say "yes", the most important word in our faith journey?


Ideas for youth to continue to learn Biblical truths... click: From the Mountaintop

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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 reviews of Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meetings.
click:Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meeting (the book)




The Chest of Visions

"I read this book with a thirteen year old girl and once we were finished I asked her how she felt about our experience. She said it definitely made her think about many things in her own life and in your walk with God."

Shirley Johnson, author/reviewer Sept. 19, 2012


What visions are in the chest?

"The Chest of Visions, Secrets of Caperston is a must read for everyone. I began reading it with my ten year old grandson one day. When I came back one week later he had finished the book on his own and said he cannot wait to read the sequel. This is one of a few books that I will enjoy rereading numerous times. "

Marie Haugh, October 14, 2012

Youth Ministry in a faraway land

"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. I'd love to put "The Chest of Visions" in the hands of every youth and young adult leader in the country!" Melissa Jagel, youth worker, January 2, 2013.

Read Melissa's entire review by clicking:

Click: The Chest of Visions



                                                   More Activities That Teach

Two activities from South Africa: The objective of this game is to build co-operation and confidence in the young people, while at the same time they discover their gifts and callings.
Christian Teens Candles of Prayer: One more verse of candles, then a repeat of the original first verse and the usually serene Presbyterians were clapping their hands and swaying back and forth.

Two Truths and a Lie: Instruct each player to think of three statements about themselves. Two must be true statements, and one must be false.
The Lifeboat Game: Youth pick who will survive a lifeboat sinking. A time to reflect on making decisions and the value given to life.
Christian Teen Movie Review: The Other Side of Heaven: "For three years I've lived with people who possess nothing yet they possess everything." These were the words of John Groberg ...


What will bring faith, fun and friends to Christian youth?


Page 13-14 of "Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meetings"

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 alongside the three arranged pens. When doing this, one or more fingers are clearly pointed on the table in sight of all observers. 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, which is determined by the number of fingers pointing on the table and not by the arrangement of the pens. The leader must take time before each guess to rearrange the pens carefully to leave the impression that he or she is diligently trying to get the formation of pens just right. The leader should alternate displays of fingers, using one or two hands with a varying number of fingers pointing after each rearrangement of the pens. The longer it takes for everyone to guess how to solve the riddle, 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" some time, 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.


See more reviews of Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meetings, 360 pages of activities like the Three Pens Game.
Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meeting (the book)



Free FAQ Database from Bravenet 

Listomania
Listomania: A word game that is a team event. Pick five members of each team to play a round of the game. Make several rounds so that all youth can play at least one round.

Line up five youth from each team in a row. The youth must remain in the established order which can be of their team captainÂ’s choosing. Once a youth has taken an action he/she must return to the back of the line. The adult leader presents a large piece of paper. (Half a sheet of oak tag paper for each round works well). Down the middle, horizontally, the leader lists the alphabet. The leader then declares the name of a category, say, the name of a state.

The team behind in the Olympics goes first. Its team member at the front of its line of five has ten seconds to enter a state on the paper. No assistance can be given from the team.

Upon writing his/her entry on the sheet, the marker is passed to the first person on the opposite side to do the same. No one can enter the same name twice so, if one team enters “Texas” as a state starting with a “t”, the other team would need to enter “Tennessee” or risk losing the “t” category. The attempts to fill the lists continue until the individual, due to enter a state, on both sides cannot write down an entry. At this moment the five person teams can confer and make one additional team entry per team. This time it is “first come, first served”. The following is an example of a listomania competition after each of five youth have gone twice.

Team 1                        Team 2

Arizona               A         Alabama
                            B
Connecticut        C           California
Delaware            D
                          E
                          F           Florida
                          G           Georgia
                          H           Hawaii
Indiana               I
                          J
                          K
                          L           Louisiana
Montana            M           Maine
New York         N           New Jersey
                          O
                          P
                          Q
Rhode Island      R
South Carolina   S
Texas                T           Tennessee
Utah                   U
                          V           Vermont
                          W
                          X
                          Y
                          Z

Score the round as follows. Winner gets the total states named plus five bonus points. The loser gets a point for each state named. Add up the scores of several rounds to declare a winner.




Jesus calls Christian teens and their Christian youth workers 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 club (group)? Do you have Christian youth activities, Christian youth entertainment ideas or Christian youth work charities to share. Group games for youth ministry programs and Bible lessons for teenagers will be featered on our activities page, if you will share them. Help make our Christian youth website truly international!Just click on the Guestmap Icon and let us know who you are.

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