Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 / Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:1

Introduction: We as Youth Leaders get the awesome privilege to plan and produce activities for our teens. Think about it, part of your job description as a youth leader is to plan things that are fun and exciting, how awesome is that! I chose Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 as our text because of the common phrase “A Time to…” I like verse 1 “To every things there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” I don’t believe God ever intended for our Christian life to be boring. I don’t believe God is against you and I having fun. We would be foolish to think that. Since that would be foolish to think God does not want us to have any fun, then we should try our best to have the time of our life down here on earth serving Him. I don’t know about you, but I love having fun! I love spending time with my teenagers cutting up, and having good clean Christian fun. You can have a blast with your teenagers and still bring honor and glory to God! One thing I have learned about planning activities is if it is well planned, well scheduled, and priced affordable, your teens will come and have the time of their life!

This lesson is going to be very practical, I want to give you some planning tips and then I would like to give you a list of awesome activities we have done with our teenagers:

I. Arrange the Activities

· Create a yearly calendar for your teenagers with special dates to remember each month. Give this out at the beginning of the year so they can have plenty of time to ask off of work, school, etc.

· It is not imperative to stick with the yearly calendar, but it does give you something to start with.

· I normally start planning our yearly teen calendar in the month of October, and have it ready to give the teenagers at our church’s vision night the first Sunday night of the year.

· I have found, I have far more teens show up to my activities that are scheduled well in advance and plenty of notice has been given. Last minute activities happen sometimes (for example: sledding) but the majority of your activities should be planned ahead of time if you want the majority to come.

· Start announcing the activity via, church announcements, social media, etc. 6 weeks before the scheduled activity.

II. Affordable Activities

· Consider activities where you get the best bang for your buck. Not all of your activities have to be super expensive for your teenagers to have a blast.

· For activities that are more costly than say a “normal” priced activity announce the activity earlier and ask for a non refundable $10 deposit. That does two things, first it breaks up the cost a little for them, second it almost guarantees they will follow through and go!

· When planning activities, always ask for discounts for groups. Almost every time you take a group anywhere they will give you group pricing that will save you a lot of money. Also ask for tax exempt, free bus driver, etc.

· Have plenty of chaperones on your activities, and always pay for your chaperones to attend the activity. (I normally try to include a few extra bucks on the activity cost for each person to cover chaperones cost)

· Throw in a few activities throughout the year that are free to the teens, that helps you to be able to do more costly activities down the road and the parents appreciate the break in price too.

III. Attention to Detail

· Your teens will know if you threw this activity together in a rush. It is vitally important for you as the youth leader to pay close attention to detail and not leave anything out!

· Weeks before the activity, live the activity in your mind the way you think it should go, then take notes and make sure you put all of the things in place for it to go smoothly.

· From the simplest activity to the most complex, the more attention you give to the small details the more enjoyable the activity will be.

IV. Accommodate

· Be careful not to only plan activities that you and the boys enjoy. Find activities that everyone can enjoy and participate in.

V. Available

· Make sure you and your wife participate in the activities with your teenagers. Your teenagers want to spend time with you. They want to play you in basketball, they want to shoot you with the paint ball gun, they want to get you out in kick ball. Be available and participate!

VI. Always end with making it Spiritual

· Chances are, there will be teens that will come to one of your activities that may not make it for Sunday School the next Sunday. Although we want them to, sometimes that happens. Since that is the case I always end my activities my making it Spiritual.

· That could be something as simple as a word of prayer, a short devotion, a testimony time, or all of the
above. By doing this, it reinforces the reason were able to come together for an activity in the first place, and that is because of Jesus and what He did in each one of our lives!

Awesome Activities we have done at First Baptist Church:

Destination Unknown: Handout

· DU is a point program we started at our church several years ago. It goes from September- May. The teens earn points for different things throughout the year and if they earn the minimum number of points they get to go on an all expense paid trip to a destination unknown.

· We’ve been to Branson, Mo, Eureka Springs, AR, Cincinnati, OH, Chicago, IL…

· We fund-raise throughout the year to pay for our trips.

· Spaghetti Dinner
· Dessert Auction
· Krispy Kreme Donuts
· Car Wash

Yearly Calendars: Handout
· Monthly Activities

Conclusion: Have fun doing what God has called you to do! Make your activities awesome!

Johnathan Roberson

YP | First Baptist Church

Clinton, Illinois