Salt & Light

great ideas from youth groups like yours
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Is your youth group looking for some new ideas? Well, we've heard about some great stuff going on in church youth groups and Christian clubs all over the world. Check out these awesome ideas for challenging your faith, reaching out to your community, and just having a good time with your Christian friends.

Espresso Yourself

You can't walk down a city street without finding some place that's serving up lattes, mochas and cappuccinos. And there are good reasons coffee houses are so popular these days. The coffee drinks are great, the atmosphere's laid back, and you can spend hours just talking with your friends. Add some cool music, yummy treats and a few board games, and you've got a great place to hang out.

That's why the youth group at Mission Hills Church in Littleton, Colorado, decided to set up Cafe Yahweh. They wanted to create a place where area high school students could spend an evening talking, having fun, and, yes, sipping coffee, without spending a lot of money.

So once a month, the students move couches, funky lamps, tables and chairs into the church's student center, set up an open mike, and fire up the espresso machine. Most of the furniture was donated or purchased at second-hand stores. The group bought its own espresso machine, flavored syrups, and other coffee-making goodies at a discount through a local coffee shop. They also offer lots of treats—cheesecake, and homemade muffins and cookies. The food and drinks cost $1.50 each and the money they make on one coffee house is used to buy supplies for the next one.

So how's business? Well, during one recent coffee house, more than 60 students showed up. Some came to grab something to eat before catching a movie, and others popped in after a school dance. Still others just came to spend time with friends in a cozy, relaxed atmosphere. In fact, people enjoyed themselves so much that the coffee house stayed open way past "closing time"!

Cafe Yahweh is completely student-run. Student organizer Brooke Veith has a part-time job at a popular coffee shop in the area, so she knew a coffee house would be a big hit with other students. Brooke says, "We started the cafe because we wanted some kind of outreach that would be a comfortable way to invite non-Christians to the church. Sometimes people can be really intimidated by a strong 'God message.' So the coffee house is a way they can get introduced to the church a little at a time. If they feel comfortable here, they might want to come back for our Tuesday night youth meetings and learn more about God."

For fun and fellowship, Cafe Yahweh sounds like just the right blend.

Fuzzy Wuzzy Was an Aussie, Was He?

Need a warm fuzzy? That's what the youth group from Evangelical Church in Melbourne, Australia, passed out at their annual Youth Camp.

Each person had a brown paper bag, called a Fuzzy Bag, that hung in the camp's dining hall. During the camp, group members wrote notes of encouragement to everyone else in the group. Says group member Camy Wong, "It was like each person having their own temporary letter box. It was great fun and a wonderful way to communicate with new and old friends alike."

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