Having good foyer vibes pre-youth is a super important element to your youth group program. On average, people decide what they think about a situation within the first five minutes of being there. This means they are deciding what they think about your youth ministry while they are hanging out in the foyer before the rest of the night starts. Good foyer hangtime can promote your culture and create a pumping atmosphere that’ll set up the rest of the night.
You might be stuck on ideas on how to do this so here’s a list of some easy activities you could implement to promote a sick foyer hangtime.
This is a very easy way to quickly engage teenagers, especially during summer. Any number of sports could be set up. Figure out what works for the demographic of your youth ministry. Maybe you can source a basketball ring, maybe you could set up cricket, maybe it’s as simple as getting a footy or a soccer ball out or even setting up 4-square. Sports act as a way to engage teens in a group, especially if they’re new.
- TABLE GAMES
Foosball/air hockey/table tennis/pool are all awesome ways to connect young people. You can find cheap second-hand tables on gumtree/ebay/facebook marketplace. The one problem with these is storing them. Find out if there’s a place you can store this during the week, and if there is then go for it! It’ll create great memories with teens. You could even have a tally board and put who the champions are and see each week if anyone can beat them (and if they do, they become the new champion).
- CHILL AREA
Some of your teenagers, (especially in the older year levels), would be happy to just sit and chat to their friends. However, they can’t do this if there’s nowhere to sit. Set up an area where teenagers can sit, chill and have a chat. Maybe this means just getting out some chairs but you could also achieve this by sourcing beanbags, or old couches. If you have the time/resources you could also make your own furniture.
- VIDEO GAMES AREA
Video games have been a big part of our societies culture for a while now, and with the introduction of Fortnite it has gone to a whole other level. So, one way to stay relevant is to set up a video games area. Maybe your youth group has the money to source a TV and a console (x-box/PS4/etc.), that’s great! But maybe you don’t; that’s okay too! See if your church has a TV that you could borrow, or source a cheap one on gumtree/ebay/facebook marketplace, (there’s heaps for under $100). As for a console, ask around your leadership team or even key young people and see if you could borrow their console each week. More often than not, there will be someone who would be happy to let you borrow their console. One thing to note here though is to make sure the games you are playing are appropriate.
- CARD/BOARD GAMES
A simple way to connect teens in is to set up a deck of cards or some other games (such as jenga or connect 4). This one works especially well during winter when it’s too cold to be outside! Games like this give a group of people who may or may not know each other well, an opportunity to connect.
- PHOTO WALL
Social media is huge in our society, especially Instagram. Because of this we’re all looking to get that perfect photo to post. Setting up a photo wall is super simple. One way to do it, is to print out your youth mins logo on A4 paper. On one page do a white background, black logo and on the other do the reverse. Then stick these up on a wall over a significant amount of space to create a sick background to take photos against.
- DANCE CIRCLE
Chuck on some great music on a speaker, get some people in a circle and start dancing. If you have good songs on (especially ones that are well known), then it’s hard to not dance. Dance circles can seem silly, but when teens start getting into it, they can go off and create a culture of unity
One of the key things to generating great pre-youth vibes is having leaders that are actively creating an atmosphere of fun and family. With all these different ideas they are only has good as the person creating the vibes. Card games can be lame and yet with a leader who creates some hype for it, you can have a game of Uno that is epic and people end up talking about it through the night. The more your leaders engage in creating the culture you want in your foyer the better it will be. It starts with ideas but it’s made amazing by your leaders.