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.

Attack of the Tacky Birds!

Imagine waking up one Saturday morning, grabbing your Pop Tart and settling down on the couch for some TV. Just as your favorite show comes on, you happen to glance out the window and see … pink!

When the youth group from Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waterloo, Iowa, was looking for a way to raise money, they decided to try something a little different. They got themselves four dozen plastic pink flamingos, and the Pink Wave was born.

Late at night, a small team of youth group members, along with an adult leader, plant the flamingos in the yard of an unsuspecting church member. Before leaving, they hang a sign on the door, letting the homeowners know they've been hit by the Pink Wave. To get the flamingos out of the yard, the church members are asked to make a donation to the youth group. If they want to make sure they don't get hit again, a $10 donation buys 'em an insurance policy. The group then returns and gathers up the flock.

The event has been a major success. The group originally planned to do the Wave for a month, but it was so popular, they kept it up. In a little less than five months, the group raised more than $6,000. The flamingos have also become available for special requests. For $15, they'll show up at birthday parties, graduation parties—they've even been featured on a float in a local parade.

One of the fringe benefits of the Pink Wave is the way it's brought generations together in the church. On Sunday mornings, you can find senior citizens talking to people in the youth group, laughing about who got hit by the Wave over the weekend. And the "Pink Wave Hall of Fame," a poster in the church narthex detailing who's been hit, is the center of Sunday morning activity.

Maybe it's because the "victims" get to choose who gets hit next. Maybe it's the group's willingness to accept any size donation. Maybe it's that those flamingos are just so silly. Whatever the reason, this fundraiser has been one of the most talked-about events to hit town in years. And everyone in town knows that Zion is a church with a lively sense of humor.

Wanna win 100 bucks for your youth group?

We want to know what you and your youth group or Christian club are up to. So we're holding the first-ever "Salt & Light Idea-a-Thon." Tell us about an event that was such a big hit, you're still talking about it. It can be an event that really helped your group reach out to the community, one that you used to tell others about Christ, one that helped you raise money, or one that was just plain fun.

Once we get all the ideas, we'll pick the top six to feature in upcoming "Salt & Light" columns—complete with a great picture of you and members of your group (like the one at left). The six winners will receive $100 to use for a group celebration, plus one bulk order of Campus Life. (That's 10 free copies!)

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