top of page

cherishing your youth

I once led a youth group where the guys in the group decided to show how much they cared for the girls. They hand wrote scrolls, tying them up with ribbon, inviting the girls to a smart dress code dinner. They decorated the hall, cooked a three-course meal, served the girls dressed in black and white waiters' outfits, cleared the tables and washed up.

As the girls sat chatting and the washing up was finished, one of the girls asked the boys to sit down. They said no, because they were there to serve the girls that night.

Life can often be hard for young people. Like those boys did, seek out ways to practically care for the young people whom you serve.

speed chatting

I've talked to a few leaders who have said that the Covid pandemic has meant that young people have lost some of their social skills. Structuring relationship building might be a good thing.

We've been experimenting with speed chatting. Looks a bit like speed dating! We set up small tables in a circle with two chairs at each, opposite each other. If you can, go for table cloths, candles and flowers, but two chairs facing each other will work. Then we ask the young people to sit down on any chair, and we put up on a screen three questions to ask the person opposite them. We always start with, 'What's your name?' Then an interesting question like, 'If you have an hour free at home, what will you do?' Then a deeper question like, 'Who do you trust?' Fusion's DMC decks are great if you can't think of questions.

They stay with that partner for about 100 seconds, then one of the pair rotate round the circle. Repeat so that people talk to five to 10 people.

When we've run this, we've found that young people, even newcomers, loved it. Scott Rushby, Youth Pastor at Testwood Baptist Church, who did speed chatting with his young people, said his young people commented afterwards:


  • they spoke to someone new

  • they learnt a new name

  • they learnt something new about an already established friend

  • they surprised themselves with how much they enjoyed it

  • they learnt some questions to ask to enable them to have good conversations with people they don’t know

You can download the PowerPoint of Scott's questions here:

Speed chatting
Names of God Card.png

'thinking of you' cards

Maybe you haven't seen a young person for a while, perhaps they've lost interest, they're ill or are feeling rubbish.

Why not send a card to them to encourage them to remember God's faithfulness?

Simply download the card, print it on A4 card and send it.

Drawn by Jack Percey.

Thinking of you cards

care packages

If you have the finances to do it, why not send out parcels to members of the group with some sweets or chocolate? Write a letter, making it personal if you can. Make it a card and they can stand it up in their room and look at it again and again. Put in some Bible verses (try ones on anxiety like Phil. 4.6-7, 1 Peter 5.7, Prov. 12.25, Ps. 94.19). Send them some fun treats, like a sachet of hot chocolate and small packet of marshmallows.


Put in things that remind them of the group. Include a programme for the term. Could you put in an activity book, Bible study notes or ideas for quiet times?

These will encourage people and remind them you are thinking of them, even if you are not seeing them as often. And it's personal which is vitally important. Think too, if you can afford it, of allowing two siblings to get a parcel each, not to share one. It shows, you're cherishing them as individuals.

You can buy boxes which are 'large letter' size. Be creative in filling these, but go for flat lollies rather than round ones! If you are posting them, this is one time that you can say to concerned parents, 'I'm really sorry. I couldn't give them fruit,' although boxes of raisins, might just make it!!

You can save your budget (if you have one!) by hand-delivering them.

WhatsApp Image 2020-12-11 at
WhatsApp Image 2020-12-11 at
Care packages
Cover - New.jpg

There's a whole chapter called 'Cherish' with great ideas for caring for your youth in my book: RAISING THE BAR.

“Comprehensive, practical and soundly theological. My go-to resource for all of my questions... This book is a must-have for any newbies especially and I still dip into it often.”

Becky Hepworth, Youth Worker


Raising the Bar Escape Room Round the Wo


Among Us IRL_edited.jpg


Raising the Bar prayer and Bible reading




bottom of page