The Middle Years Ministry

THE MIDDLE YEARS MINISTRY is a Site Dedicated to Providing Resources, Ideas, and Help to Next Generation Pastors, Leader, Directors, Teachers, Mentors. Our goal is to MEET YOU in the MIDDLE in the Middle Years
, the Pivotal 5th-9th Grade Years. The middle ground between children’s ministry and high school ministry. The age where 85% of people make their final life-long faith decisions.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Six Tips for Planning Your Youth Group Night (Todd Jones)

Ready or not here it comes. Youth group is going to happen weekly no matter what, and it is your job to have something awesome planned and ready to go! 

But let’s be honest, that can be the hardest part! Planning can be extremely difficult: coming up with new games each week, making sure your message is ready, adding some new excitement, planning things that will engage different types of students, it’s not easy! But we know the importance of a plan, if we don’t plan it then it will flop and the students will more than likely not enjoy themselves, not learn, and not want to come back.

Here are 6 tips for planning youth group night…

1. Get help

We just talked about how hard it can be, and if it is your responsibility you know how hard it can be. So, don’t do it by yourself! Get help. But you are the only one on staff…that’s fine, get input from your adult volunteer leaders. Well, I don’t have adult leaders I am a one person show…that’s fine too, get input from your student leaders. But I don’t have those either…that’s fine, get input from your students.
You get it, the point is that there IS someone that can help you plan and shoulder some of the burden of the week in and week out planning of youth group. You do not have to do it all on your own. Delegate.

2. Use the resources available

We are youth workers, we are innovative, we are awesome we want to try and reinvent the wheel every week!! But that is completely unnecessary, there are resources to help you when it comes to planning your weekly youth group games, discussions, lessons, activities and more. Here are a few of those resources…

DYM  Download Youth Ministry. Literally, you can just download to your computer TONS of games, lessons, activities, time fillers, videos, and more. No, I don’t work for DYM, but YES I am a member of their site because it is totally worth it and will help you immensely in your planning of youth group.

3. Be creative

Think outside the box. Yes, your students may love dodgeball but don’t play it every single week. Change it up, come up with new ideas, try things that you have never done before. Stretch yourself and your ministry by dreaming big and being creative in your planning.

4. Keep your mission and vision in mind

Plan according to your mission and vision. If you do not know how what you just planned fits into your mission and vision then don’t do it. Be intentional about what you plan, because in the grand scheme of things you do not have time to waste with things that do not fulfill your mission and vision for the ministry.

5. Communicate

Let your leaders know what is going to happen that week at youth group. Communication is often the most over looked piece of the weekly planning for youth group. Part of your planning and preparation needs to be communicating to your leaders what they can expect that week and how they can help make it happen.
Also, let your students know a piece of what is going to happen. Not all of it, because you still want it to be exciting but tell them something to perk their interest. Give them a teaser on social media to promote what is going on that night. Communicate.

6. Be prepared

Planning ahead is great but now the leg work of preparation needs to be done for the plans that you have made. It doesn’t matter how far in advance and how awesome the game you planned is if you didn’t do the work to get the supplies necessary to complete the game. We have all done it before, we improvise on the supplies needed and yes, the game gets completed but it is no where near as awesome as it could have been if you would have put in the work before hand to be prepared. Plan for the time to prep to make your plan a success.


Todd Jones has been in youth ministry for over a decade and has a passion for reaching lost students and training youth workers to do the same. He is the founder of  Stoked On Youth Ministry, a speaker, author, and pastor. When Todd is not writing or speaking he enjoys surfing, baseball and most importantly hanging out with his awesome wife and three beautiful daughters. You can connect with Todd on Twitter @TheTodd_Jones, Instagram @Todd_Jones or for speaking inquiries visit

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