This past Sunday evening, our High School Ministry gathered for our year end Christmas Party. We host our annual Christmas party on our last Sunday before going on Christmas break. It's relaxed, laid back, and fun! Our primary goal for the Christmas party is social and relational. We want our students to hang out with each other while our leaders mingle and build relationships with our students.
I try to not over program our Christmas party. In our church, December is a busy month with various activities and programed events that keep folks jumping. Outside of the church families, students, and our staff are very busy with school, jobs, Christmas shopping, sports, and seasonal concerts. So to counteract the busyness of the season, I purposely leave our Christmas party as something that is as un-programed as possible.
3 Big Daddy pizzas. These large rectangular pizzas offer a larger quantity of slices than regular round pizzas. To keep everyone happy, we ordered one plain cheese, one pepperoni, and one sausage.
Pizza, carbonated beverages and bottled water, along with chips and snacks, a cookie cake, and a few Christmas cookies, filled our table and the first 15 to 20 minutes of our time together. We set up round tables in our student space for the students to gather around while they ate and socialize.
T-SHIRTS FOR YOUTH WORKERS
After some pizza and drinks, it was time to get rolling with our party activities. Like I said, I don't program a lot of games or activities so for this years party I decided to use a downloadable resource from Download Youth Ministry. It was the perfect crowd breaker game to prime our students for the parties main event, The Great Gift Exchange!
your activity, purchase, download, then load it into your presentation software and you're ready to go! I've already downloaded and used four different games for the month of December, including Dollar Store Or So Much More? Christmas Edition, which we played as our ice breaker at the party. It was perfect! Be sure to check out tomorrows blog for a list of all the games we've played this month.
little surprised and amazed by the gifts that are opened and by what gifts become the hot items that are stolen over and over again. Bags of various candies are always a favorite. But the top gifts for our students include a grow-it yourself Bonsai Tree Kit, a box of Utz Chocolate Covered Pretzels, and a Christmas box full of candy.
Some gifts are "stolen" multiple times leaving the final winner a mystery until the end of the game.
It was a great night of relaxing fun, food, and friends. We laughed a lot. Got some great gifts. And we enjoyed time with our students. Now we're ready for a little break and some time with our families!
What do you do at your ministry Christmas party? Share your activities and program ideas in the comment section below!
God So Loved...
Listen to the Message...
Lead Me To The Cross, Part 1
God So Loved..., Jay Higham
Recorded on Sunday, April 09th, 2017
At Hickory United E.P. Church
Here are two books that are super helpful. They are available as a free download on Kindle.
Each is a short, easy to read book that helps explain the topic of being Born Again.
Can I Be Sure I'm Saved? & What Does It Mean to Be Born Again?
Both are by written by R.C. Sproul.
Simply click, download and start reading!
His Father the Carpenter
Then the news. Mary is pregnant.
It comes like an out of control ox cart and plows him over. His mind fills with thoughts. His heart explodes with emotion. How? How could she? What will people think? What will people say?
The embarrassment. The shame.
But then again, Joseph is a good man. Right? So he decides to divorce her, quietly, so not to make Mary out to be something she’s not.
Then comes the angel. More news. This time the news is from God.
How does a guy respond to something like that? This was huge. A baby. A son. Made possible by the Holy Spirit. And he would save his people from their sins… If I am Joseph, I think I would have a lot of question. But like Mary, we’re not told anything accept the choice to be obedient.
Joseph, like Mary, trusted God. He said say to what God was asking. Though it turned his world upside down, Joseph chose to be obedient. Matthew 1:24-25 say, “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”
Joseph, like Mary, trusted God.
Then it happens. Mary gives birth and now Joseph must become the father of this little life.
I love the scene the the movie, The Nativity Story, where Mary and Joseph, are in the stable and Jesus arrives. Joseph waits to receive this new life. Then it comes. He lifts it up, with a smile and laughter. For any other father this would be a moment of great pride.
Mary hands him something to wrap the baby with then hands him to her. They share glances and smiles. The camera bounces from Mary to Joseph, then both of them together. They look at each other, then we see Joseph. Emotion floods his face and he begins to cry.
It’s in that moment that the carpenter becomes a father.
Or maybe it’s because in God’s great plan of redemption, he chose someone as simple and as humble as a carpenter. A good man, who worked hard, who loved and cared for his wife, and was willing to trust God beyond what he could see.
Every thing about the Christmas story is filled with awe and wonder. We just need to look. God does something truly miraculous with ordinary, every day people. From the teenage virgin to a young carpenter, to you and me. And it does it all, because He loves us. He loves us!
Today, consider the awe and wonder of the simple things, the humble things. Reflect on Joseph and his willingness to trust God with something he has absolutely no say in. And ask yourself, would you, could you do the same?
Consider these questions today.
1. Remember back to the birth of your first child. Wives, do you remember your husbands reaction when your child was born? Husbands, do you remember you reaction when your child was born? Take a moment and be in that memory. Allow yourself to relive that time. It’s okay if you get emotional.
2. Joseph chose to trust God with something that he really had no part in. How has God asked you to trust him in a similar situation?
3. In what ways has God left you in awe and wonder as you chase after him with your life?
Did you miss the first three days?
Don't worry. Just click here and you can start at the beginning and catch up!
Jay Higham is a veteran youth worker of over 25 years; having worked with students in the local church and Christian camping settings. Jay is currently the Student Ministry Director at Hickory Church, located in Western PA. Jay has been married to Amy for 20 years. Together, they are raising 5 kids, (4 boys and 1 girl). Jay is an aspiring author, blogger, speaker, a YouTuber/vlogger, and social media junkie. He is passionate about student ministry, family ministry, and training youth workers to love and serve their students with passion and excellence.