Our Community nights are our big, fun & memorable events that focus on building belonging in our youth group. They are active, culture building nights. To help make it easier to plan our community nights, here is information to get you going.
Our 5 Keys for Community nights
These Five Keys order our priorities for our decisions and our conduct. Here is what this means for running our events:
Safety First: a trustworthy community puts everybody’s safety first.
- Our events must be safe. This means the program has to be risk assessed (example risk assessment here) and passed by the Youth Pastor/Coordinator. Which of course means we have to be organised ahead of time.
- Not that this means what we do should be boring. No boring allowed at youth! To quote the scouts, “We want to provide EXCITEMENT but not DANGER; ADVENTURE but not HAZARD.”
People Matter: We treat every person as unique and loved by God.
- What we do and how we do it must communicate that everyone matters. Structure the night to build COMMUNITY before COMPETITION. Competition is great, but get people to know who their tribe is first.
- This impacts the games we choose or who gets to be a winner. If only sporty people win all night, how will the non-sporty feel? If the night suits girls, how might the blokes go?
- Make sure you think about new people. Make sure they are welcomed, celebrated, looked after. Pretend each night that everyone is new, so explain what is expected, what will happen. Here is a primer on how to lead youth group from the front. Not just for extroverts!
- Please, no Yelling to get people’s attention. You will lose your voice, it makes people anxious, and looks like you are out of control. You can use a whistle, clap your hands. Then wait (or request) the other leaders to help get everyone’s attention and manage the group within.
Generous Service: We serve generously so others are better off
- Run events so everyone feels like real care was put in to make for a great night.
- As leaders no doubt you will serve generously.
- We are also serving with our young people. How can you have young people help on the night? Especially our year 10-12’s. People should move from consumers to contributors. When they are contributors, then it is truly their group. That is our goal for our young people. Our Youth Group, is their youth group
Always Growing: We give our best and grow to be even better.
- Make sure you write down the program you put together. Type it up in a word document. Why waste all that good work you did. We will probably run it again. Use the principle of “plan it once, use often”.
- When the night is done, take some time with the Team and co/organiser to reflect on what we could have done better. Write it down.
Keep things simple: We keep things simple, so we focus our efforts on serving well
- Big, fun, memorable events don’t have to be complicated, or expensive.
- Think through the resources and effort it might take to run the night. How can you do this as lean as possible, but still have a great night. It is like this. The team is a scarce resource. If we get worn out, lose moral, then we don’t have a team. Bad outcome.
- Usually “keeping things simple” means being organised. Disorganised means no one knows what they should do, apart from you. Which means you do a lot of work and everyone else stands around watching. We reckon having the organising done a week before is a good plan. Which means you started earlier than that.
- Make sure the program has had the Youth Pastor look at it in time.
- Make sure the team knows what the night involves, what their roles are.
- Then it will be a simpler night.
- Oh, and if you spend money on the night, make sure you keep receipts so the church can reimburse.
What to do
- Get a great idea/theme
- Meet with your co-organiser, go crazy, brainstorm, plan.
- Let the Team know what you are planning, invite more great ideas.
- Finalise the plan and write it down ((template Document here).
- Run through the final COMMUNITY Safety form to double-check safety is covered
- Pass the program (if not done so already) by the Youth Pastor for approval. (The Youth Pastor will also finish the risk assessment for the event.)
- Send the final program to the team, share the jobs around!
- Run the night
- Celebrate together the awesome night.
- Debrief for any improvements. Write it up and send the doc to the Youth Pastor for future use.
Click here to see what Events we have already in our folder (get the password from office)