For the past few years, we’ve had a wild ride in the form of social gatherings, haven’t we? Getting together is an important part of the church, especially for the youth groups.
What used to be frequent gatherings to learn, discuss new teachings, hold fun activities and build good relationships with each other was placed on hold.
I’m not here to debate one side vs the other. The fact is, I’ve worked with a lot of churches and heard from other Christian retreat centers how not being able to meet in person has severely impacted them.
And guess what? It doesn’t even have to be due to sickness or a global event which we’re probably all thinking of at this point in the article.
It could be a number of things that temporarily stop meeting with our fellow Christians in-person such as
- severe weather,
- a building fire or renovation,
- or simply offered as an extension to your in-person camp/retreat.
Nowadays, virtual gatherings have become normal, more accepted, and even preferred by some.
Virtual Youth Group Activities – yeah it may sound boring and unexciting but they can be fun too! You just have to prepare activities in advance that will keep everyone excited and hooked to the event. To help you and other youth pastors we’ve rounded up a few virtual youth group activities for small and big groups.
Importance of virtual youth group activities during times of separation
Connection – staying indoors and the lack of interaction with other people can take a huge toll on one’s emotional health that’s why holding group activities can rebuild/continue the connection.
Boost morale – playing games and staying connected with a group of people can boost the morale of the youth. This can be achieved through interactive activities that you can host virtually.
Encourage creativity – everyone felt lost and uninspired to move during times in their lives, but through virtual activities and ideas, you’ll discover your creative side that may bring comfort and excitement to everyone.
Fights loneliness – while some may be quarantined with their family, other people have could be left with no choice but to stay alone at home. Virtually joining youth activities in the church can make you feel like you’re not alone plus be entertaining too!
10 Must-try Virtual Youth Group Activities
Nothing beats the classic scavenger hunt and for a virtual activity, this one is easy to do but the excitement is over the top. Simply prepare a list of items and ask your attendees to find them. The first one to return will earn the point and the person with the most points will win the game. Yeah, it’s that easy!
- Prepare a list of products that are usually found in a home before starting the game to ensure that the hunt will run smoothly.
- Make the game challenging by using specifics like – color, size, brand, and number of pieces. Example: red shirt, smallest pencil, 5 pieces of cereal, 1 piece of cake, black socks, and so on.
- Use a timer for an extra challenge
Test the memory of your church youth by holding a virtual Bible Quiz. Inform them ahead of time together with the details such as category, prizes, and the materials that they should prepare.
- Players can type in answers on the chat box of the video call platform that you’re using but you can also ask them to prepare a whiteboard or paper and pen for a better quiz experience.
- Ready a timer and a bell or horn to signal your players when it’s time to write their answers and show them to everyone.
- If you don’t have an assistant to watch the players virtually, you can assign a small group of players at a time or if you’re up for a more challenging Bible Quiz then players can play individually.
- Categories to try: Fathers of the Bible, Miracles of Jesus, Parables, and Bible Verses.
- You can even use this app to help!
Guess and Draw
Let your church youth play with their imaginations with this fun virtual game. You’ll describe a person, event, or product and the players will draw it. This game is simple but can be challenging because they have to draw under pressure. Plus, there’s no assurance that what they’re drawing is correct or not.
- Prepare a whiteboard or pad paper and pen.
- Categories to try: Famous symbols of the Bible, People of the Bible, Animals, Church Essentials, People of the Church, and Foods in the Bible
Nothing can stop the oozing talents and skills of every youth in the church – even distance! Virtually, you can still hold a talent show that will celebrate the hidden talents of everyone or the new skill that they discover during the quarantine period.
- Hold a meeting at least a week before the talent show to know who will perform. You can also ask everyone to prepare a talent so that everyone will perform.
- The show can one for the youth group only or you can invite other church members to watch and join in on the fun.
- There’s no need for extravagant preparation, simply ask each performer to use basic items from their home as props, costumes, instruments, or tools.
- No need to spend a lot for the virtual talent show, you can design a certificate that you’ll send to your performers after the event as a reminder of their performance.
- Don’t forget to take a group picture before ending the video call.
Discover the artsy side of everyone in the group by holding an art activity. Since it’s hard to leave home, choose an activity that they can do using the basic items at home. You can also invite someone who’s experienced in the arts to talk and introduce the activity or if they have time, to hold a short tutorial.
Holding an arts & crafts activity can promote self-expression as well as help everyone to manage their feelings, especially in today’s times. This activity can also boost the confidence and self-esteem of everyone by adding a quick story portion of the art that they made during the session.
- Painting – paper, watercolor
- Drawing – paper, pen, pencil
- Flower mosaic art – paper, colored magazines, scissors, glue
- DIY bracelet – bead, buttons, yarn
Bible Trivia Night
The fun thing about Zoom, Messenger, group FaceTime, or other online meeting platforms, you can face a good number of people without the need of a lot of space.
You can even hold a trivia night and have fun with your fellow youths. With this game, you can boost the competitiveness of everyone and you can add a fun twist by assigning special sound effects per player.
- Have them prepare a paper and pen for answers
- Assign sounds per player as their call sign. Some can use a bell, a spoon for tapping shakers, and even weird sounds that one can make using their mouth.
- Prepare a simple prize for the winning team such as a virtual certificate, gift check, or sweets that they can pick up from the store.
Ready some popcorn, your favorite snack, and drinks for a fun movie night with the youth group of your church. Plan ahead of time and advise your attendees to prepare for a comfy sit because of the movie night that you’re preparing.
- You can download a movie that you can telecast using the online meeting platform that you’re using.
- Check on a Screen Watch Party which allows simultaneous streaming with friends
- If the group is in for more fun, you can host a movie marathon rather than watching just one film. For the next Movie Night, someone else from the group can choose the next film to watch or you can ready a jar of movie titles for random picking.
- You can organize a quick question and answer portion after the movie to discuss the lessons that everyone learned in the movie that you watched with them.
One beauty of the digital age that you must take advantage of are the number of tours that you can take just by facing the screen. There are many historical places and tourist spots that you can visit virtually and to make it more exciting, why not bring the rest of the youths from the church? Below are some of the places that you can tour virtually:
- The Holy Land, Jerusalem
- Take A Google Street View Of 6 Biblical Sites
- Canterbury Cathedral, England
- Sacred places, cathedrals, and churches
Nothing beats the excitement that the classic BINGO game can bring. This game of chance can excite every player especially because of the variation of patterns that the players should form.
What’s nice about this game as virtual activity is that you can organize and prepare without spending a dollar. There are free resources that you can find online to start this exciting activity. Inform the group of the following items to prepare:
- Free printable BINGO card
- Marker or beads
- Assign the virtual BINGO master who will draw the balls through this app
Stay fit and healthy with stretching and a session of exercise with the rest of the youth in your church. This activity can promote good physical health and even meditation that can boost one’s mindfulness and calmness after a week of school or work.
You don’t need an exercise room, but ask your attendees to choose a space in your home with a flat area and ample space for easy movement. Remind them to ready a bottle of water because this activity can also cause them to sweat while having fun
- Prepare soothing or upbeat background music depending on the exercise plan.
- Set the lights so everyone can easily see the instructor.
- Activewear or sportswear is advised but not required.
Wrapping Virtual Youth Group Activities Up
However challenging life can be, there are still tons of virtual youth group ideas that can help you have fun and learn with your church youth group.
Holding virtual activities may seem boring and different from face-to-face gatherings that you used to experience before, but it is way better than not seeing everyone at all!