Youth Mission Day: Program Plan and Ideas

Youth Mission Day: Program Plan and Ideas

Here is a sample game plan for a Youth Mission Day. You may use any part of it as you plan your own youth mission day.

Highlights: a visiting missionary family, group-building games, creating a plan of action for mission.

1. Opening

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Review Goals
    1) to get to know each other better
    2) build bridges and network for future activities
    3) start a process to do something good for humanity-beyond bringing canned food to a food drive
    4) realize that teens can make a difference in the world
    5) be reminded that as Christians we are called to do good

2. Worship

Scriptures – read in at least two languages and use youth as readers

  • Luke 14:18
  • Galations 6:9
  • Ephesians 2:19
  • Prayer to open-bless gathering

3. Team Building Activities

   1) creative thinking
   2) making do with what you?ve got
   3) working as a team; pooling ideas

A. Game One

  • Set-up: put long line of masking tape on floor (if you’re on a carpet, use string)
  • Goal: line up alphabetically by first name, always keeping one foot touching the tape.


   1) everyone stand with toes on tape-line
   2) tell everyone the goal
   3) let everyone try to move so they’re in alphabetical order
   4) every time someone falls off the line, everyone has to return to their original position and start over
   5) after starting over 3 or 4 times, call everyone into a huddle to discuss feelings, then suggest “strategy”
   6) return to line and try again
   7) when in alphabetical order, call out loudly first letter of first name down the line
   8) give yourselves a hand!

B. Create Groups of 5

This is a fun way to get kids into small groups, rather than counting off. Ask random questions to create sub-groups. Move them around until you have groups of five. Use these questions to create sub-groups:

   1) those whose address ends in odd number go to one side
   2) those whose address ends in even number go to other side
   3) Group #1 divide by telephone # that starts with a) even # and b) odd #
   4) Group #2 divide by odd/even first number of phone #
   5) divide and move to another group – who has a dog? cat? no pet?
   6) keep asking questions to divide and move groups until you have established groups of 5. Questions might be about sports played, languages studied, etc.

C. Game Two

In groups of 5

   1) Preparation: mark 2 foot square area on floor with masking tape
   2) give each group 10 nylon stockings/socks and a tennis ball
   3) place a road-work cone 10 feet from each square of tape
   4) place stockings and ball in square of tape
   5) goal: use stockings to move ball to top of cone without touching the ball.
   6) everyone must be involved and help carry the ball.
   7) in large group, each group shares their method.
   8) This can take a lot of time and involves lots of trial and error. Be encouraging. If one group just can’t do it, get help from another group that has.

D. Game Three

In groups of 5

  • Goal: Make a self-standing tower as tall as you can using only a ream of typing paper and a roll of masking tape.


   1) 5 minutes to plan before building
   2) stand up in circle-ready, go!
   3) 15 minutes to build
   4) measure towers
   5) gather in large group to share strategy

E. Game Four

In groups of 5

  • Supplies for 5 dozen cookies divided into 5 bags

   1) 1 bag contains all bowls, spoons, measuring cups
   2) 1 bag contains all but one ingredient for one dozen cookies
   3) remaining 3 bags contain remaining ingredients divided up, e.g. one group has flour for 4 dozen cookies, another has sugar.

Goal: Make an edible desert for lunch

   1) barter items (no loans or gifts)
   2) all group members need to be present when a trade is made


   1) each group goes to a work table and is given one bag    2) open bag and review items in your bag    3) in silence, send all but one member of your group to “see” what other groups have    4) strategize as small group how to proceed    5) let them loose for 15 minutes    6) gather as large group – share ideas on how to strategize    7) back to work for 15 minutes    8) finish and clean up    9) gather in circle, share feelings and ideas for next time.

  • talk about team building, planning
  • ask how this relates to the global picture
  • some people don’t have what they need
  • the need to share
  • the need to plan and strategize


4. World Resources Simulation

Click here for the directions and game plan.

5. Missionary Presentation

If possible have a missionary family come and share.  Click here for a list of missionary visits and contact information to plan a visit.

Look at a world map to celebrate all the places the UCC and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have missionaries living and working. Remind everyone that your church supports these missionaries financially through Disciples Mission Fund and Week of Compassion (Disciples) and Our Church’s Wider Mission and One Great Hour of Sharing (UCC).

  • Learn a bit about the area where the missionaries live and work. You may even want to use a trivia game.
  • Presentation about missionary work and life. Have missionary show slides and/or photos.
  • Questions and Answers-if there are missionary kids present, have them do this section.  

Remind the youth that they do mission where they live! They are missionaries, too. Brainstorm-What do we do already for mission?  For example, Child Sponsorship, Heifer Project, Habitat trip, community garden for local hunger center, book collections for schools.

6. Video – Connecting Threads:  Partners in Mission

Share this 7-minute video to get an overview of Global Ministries mission work around the world.  You will see how threads of sharing and service connect and sense deep needs and ways the church is responding to make a difference in people’s lives. 

7. Small Group Discussion

  • What struck you the most about the video?
  • What work did you see with people around the world?
  • What problesm do people face in other countries, especially children?
  • Which problems do you feel strongly about?
  • How can you and your church respond?
  • Brainstorm ideas of responses we can make.

8. Plenary

  • Reminder: Our goal is not to go home depressed, but to identify a way we can act to make a difference.
  • Share about above questions
    Leaders: Remember, at this point, energy is low
  • Introduce existing programs that can help us respond to the problems, e.g. Global Ministries Child Sponsorship program, Africa AIDS programs, work trips
  • Break into groups by for practical planning-What will we do?
  • Share plans

9. Closing Worship

  • Gather in a circle around a worship table.
  • Rice message-click here
  • Hand out One Great Hour of Sharing/Week of Compassion collection boxes
  • Have everyone take a grain of rice from a common bowl and place it in their offering box. Put box down by their feet.
  • Hold hands
  • One word-prayer (Each person says one word in prayer, e.g. love, peace, Africa)
  • Lord’s prayer
  • Friendship squeeze (pass it around the circle)