Editor’s Note: We asked some of our Write Group members — the youth leaders who write the Bible studies and articles for our Resource Books — to share some of their favorite Thanksgiving ministry ideas. And we want to hear your ideas! Share them in the comments.
We do an all-youth Thanksgiving worship time on a Wednesday night before the holiday, bringing together all youth, 6th-12th grade. We meet in the front part of our sanctuary mixing in a lot of worship music led by our youth band, scripture readings, Thanksgiving video clips, quick devotional by one of the leaders, communion and add what we call “stool time.” We set a stool up front, give youth the opportunity to come up, sit on the stool and tell about something for which they are thankful.
— Doug Ranck
Pancake Breakfast: I know it sounds strange, but we used to cook pancakes and sausage that morning. Our students cooked and served the breakfast. It was always a huge success because people don’t want to cook 2 meals that day.
Turkey Bowl: The day after Thanksgiving we have a flag-football game. We order 3 color shirts — Red, Blue and Black (for refs) — and do a school yard pick ’em then pass out the “jerseys”. We serve hot cocoa and pizza after the game. We also have a camera man and repeater doing pre-game and post game interviews. The video is then edited (interviews and highlights) and then show the following day.
— Todd Pearage
I’ve always had a Staff vs. Students football game after church on the Sunday afternoon of Thanksgiving weekend.
I’ve also used the week of Thanksgiving, which many of our kids have off of school, to take teams of kids to the local Salvation Army facility to help prepare, serve, and clean up dinner for the homeless folks that depend on the SA. I take one team of 7 or 8 kids per evening on Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.
— Ken McCoy
Ours was a Turkey Bowl football game on Thanksgiving morning: Old Guys (29 and up) vs Young Guys (13-29). Old guys won of course 🙂
— Paul Turner
Serve Thanksgiving Dinner for the homeless.
Take boxed dinners to parks, downtown, and other areas where homeless people are.
— Cindy Engøy