Every day is, or should be, Thanksgiving, but for teens it’s sometimes hard to be thankful during tough circumstances. So, what can you do to remind them of why they should be thankful? It starts with getting them out self-pity and getting their minds on others instead of themselves. Here are some ideas/projects/crafts that will get their hearts and minds on others.
Let them hear who’s thankful for them
Make a video of several people from the congregation, including your pastor, sharing why they are thankful for teenagers in the church.
Send out thank you videos to people in your church
Let teens make a thank you video for specific people in the church like widows or people in the hospital and the next time you visit show them the video or text it one of their relatives. You can also make for older people in the congregation, and allow students to share why they’re thankful for their generation. The video could be aimed at specific individual who possibly have a connection to your youth ministry or a general video to the congregation.
Bonus: Make it funny by inserting clips of kids trying to figure out a piece of technology or object that only the older generation would understand. Here’s an example
Giant thank you cards
Grab some poster board and makers and make a giant thank you card with everyone’s signature. This can for individuals to other ministries in your church.
Baking and Making Day
Designate a Saturday or whole meeting to baking good and making crafts for teen to give to their parents or for other people in the church.
Thank you to your community
Use some of the ideas above to focus on those in your community who deserve thanks such as first responders or neighborhood businesses. This is a great way to reach out and let them know God loves them and so do you.
Random Thank You
Make some business cards that say Thanks For Being You and encourage teens to pay for someone’s coffee or taco the next time they’re out and about. The can have your church or youth groups name on the back with an encouraging verse.
Cup/Bottle of Thanks
Hand out free cups of coffee, hot chocolate or bottles of water at a busy intersection or outside a store.
Thank you art
Have students create miniature works of art centered on the words THANK YOU that they can hand out to family members on Thanksgiving. You can use small pieces of canvas to paint on or draw on.
Thank You Signs
Make a one giant Thank You sign for someone or make a bunch of lawn signs you can stick someone’s lawn that says “Thankful for You”. P.S. This could be a good fundraiser people would pay for.
Use some of the ideas above to invade a neighborhood where some of your students live or a nw neighborhood that has a lot of teens you want to reach. You can also encourage teens to reach their own neighbors us some of these projects.
This is for you, the Youth Pastor. Use the ideas above to reach out to those who make your youth ministry happen.
Thank your parents
Thank your students
Thank your leaders
Finally, use some of the ideas above as way for students to share their thankfulness with God.
Example: Using the art idea, have students create a piece of art using the words THANK YOU and have them write/draw/paint single words of things they are thankful for, parents, forgiveness, grace, etc. This can be an individual project or a group project. Hand the piece(s) of art in your youth room when you are done.
If you don’t want teens to make something physical, have them make digital pieces of art using an app on their phone.