Ideas for Gathering Youth Online

We have gathered ideas for gathering youth online!

Gathering Youth Online

As a youth group leader, you may be wondering about how to continue to gather your youth group when we must stay physically separated. There are a lot of creative and wonderful ideas that youth leaders are sharing online. Here are just a few ideas from YMI:

Keep your regular weekly meeting time via Google Hangout, Zoom or similar. Sample format follows:
A. Opening Prayer
B. Check-in with everyone
C. Activity (following are some ideas)

  • Trivia
  • Pictionary
  • Show and Tell (have everyone find something that means a lot (or the most unusual thing in their house) and show it off and talk about it. Wrap up with gratitude for the things that make us happy.
  • Everyone shares a photo of their pet(s) and talk about how they are caring for them now.
  • Tiny campfire (everyone needs a candle and a snack; leader tells a story; sing some favorite youth group songs)
  • Hold an “At Home Olympics” (come up with fun activities to compete – create a craft, fold origami, burpees, jumping jacks, etc). The leader keeps score and then can send the winner a prize.
  • Have everyone write a note to another member of the group (assign before the event) and have them write what they like/appreciate most about that person.
  • Send everyone an image to color and then send a picture to the leader. The images should all compile together to create a “whole” image. We are only complete together.
  • Watch a movie or an episode of a show together and comment in real time.
    Have everyone create a “stay at home” playlist and share with the group

D. Based on the activity, have a framing question/thought for the week and have some discussion.
E. Ask a different group member to close in prayer each week

Other Ways to Gather and Share Fellowship:

  • Send out a daily devotion to your kids – this can be a short video with a piece of inspirational scripture or quote for the day.
  • Create a group text for daily check ins and updates.
  • Let people know when it is someone’s birthday in the group. Create videos/posts to send to the youth group member. Schedule a group Zoom (or other platform) gathering and have everyone sing happy birthday. Take some time to celebrate the youth member who may be struggling with feeling isolated on their birthday.
  • A bit further down the road, but we know that graduation/commencement is in doubt for our high school (and college) seniors – Throw a virtual party, have other members of the group send graduation cards or a gift, picture collages, etc.
  • Create interactive Taize services/meditation exercises using Zoom, Google Hangout, etc.
  • Create an interactive, participatory worship experience for youth. YMI contributor Angela Gorrell offers suggestions on how to create a collaborative worship service here.

Service Oriented Ideas:

  • Have kids care for others by having them pick up groceries for elderly neighbors (and/or as it gets nicer, yard clean up)
  • Have kids make a card and drop it off to neighbors or a nursing facility (facilities can quarantine the cards, etc. for a few days and then hand out)
  • Have kids drop off much needed items at food pantries and share photos/videos with the group
  • Provide the phone number of an older church member to each youth group member. Have them call the person and check in, see how they are doing on a weekly basis. When you gather weekly, talk about how this has gone and how they have connected to others in the church.

A good online resource for additional ideas is

Yale Youth Ministry Institute