Outreach Agendas, Topical Curriculum

Future Plans

Main Point:
Help students make the necessary decisions that will allow them to have the future God intends for them.

Leader’s Notes:
For this agenda, you will need the following:

  • Any supplies for the up front game/challenge (if you choose to do one)

  • “Where I Want to Be in the Future” sheets for every student

  • Pencils/pens for everyone

  • Copies of the Discussion Questions for every adult leader

Students Arrive:
Make sure you schedule into your program a block of time (15-30 minutes) that simply allows students to “hang out.” This hang time gives them the opportunity to simply be with their friends, which is teenagers’ favorite pastime. Plus, it affords you and your adult leaders the opportunity to get to know them better!

Also make all students feel welcome, especially the new kids. During this time, learn their names and interests. Ensure that each new person receives a Basic Info Card (available by Clicking Here.) Tell them that you are sincerely glad they chose to come, and that you want to talk with them after the program is over.

Bring it Together:
At some point, you’re going to need to bring everyone together. Simple tricks for bringing students into one area of the room include flashing the lights, playing some really cool music over the sound system, using a mic to call students together, or all of the above.

If technology affords you the opportunity, you might say, “Hurry up and grab a seat where you can see the video screen. We have a hilarious video clip we want to show you, starting in 10 seconds!” If you do not have the latest and greatest technology, just do something that brings the students’ attention to the group leader (tell a joke, do a card trick, offer a live animal sacrifice… whatever!)

After you have gained their focus, welcome them to the night. “Hey, glad to see you all here. Welcome to INSERT NAME OF YOUTH GROUP!” This moment provides a perfect opportunity to:

  1. Make important announcements. Events or opportunities that affect the life of the whole group (summer camp, mission project, fundraiser, etc.) should be highlighted. For your sake, invest a few moments of creative energy into how you present this important info. No matter how great your summer camp is going to be, if you do not pitch it well, no one will even hear the announcement. A powerful addition to a mere announcement is a flyer prepared ahead of time that contains all the info you will share during this time that can be handed to students on their way out the door at the end of the night.
  2. Do a giveaway. Let’s face it; EVERYBODY likes to get something for free! Even the tightest youth ministry budget can afford a package of Skittles or Starbursts. Cooler gifts, that are a little more costly include a movie pass, a gift card to students’ favorite local restaurant, or a CD. You can simply toss them out into the crowd, disperse them through a drawing, or invent a challenge by which to distribute them (“The first person to give me a dime minted from the 1980’s will get this CD!”)
  3. Play a game. You can visit the “Games and Icebreakers” portion of the website (by clicking here) to choose a game. There are loads of great games that you can use to plug into your program, making it that much more experiential. If you want, you can choose a game that will tie in later to your lesson. However, we at The Source fully believe that it is completely permissible by God to play a game for the sake of having fun…and nothing else! Your call.

Discussion Starter:
Hand out “Where I Want to Be in The Future” sheets. (You can simply copy and paste this into a one page WORD document.) Ask students to fill one out and keep it to themselves.

Where I Want to Be In The Future

Where I Want to Be in 5 Years
Where you live(with parents, rent apt. with friends, own house, etc.):
Marital status:
My biggest accomplishment:
What will my life be like:

Where I Want to Be In 10 Years
Where you live(with parents, rent apt. with friends, own house, etc.):
Marital status:
My biggest accomplishment:
What will my life be like:

Where I Want to Be In 20 Years
Where you live(with parents, rent apt. with friends, own house, etc.):
Marital status:
My biggest accomplishment:
What will my life be like:

Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we begin, tell everyone your name, and whether or not you have seen one of the movies from the “Back to the Future” trilogy.

  2. ASK A FEW: Can you share where you want to be in 5 years, in 10 years, in 20 years?
  3. ASK A FEW: What was the hardest item for you to predict?
  4. ASK A FEW: Is the future getting better or worse? Why?
  5. ASK A FEW: Did any of the predictions you made about your future make you think about the decisions you make today? (leader – this is a key question! Perhaps they want to make an “A” at the end of this coming semester. That means they will have to study today.)
  6. Read the following passage:

      Psalm 37:35-40
      35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a green tree in its native soil, 36 but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found. 37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace. 38 But all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off. 39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. 40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

  7. ASK SOMEONE: Even though it sounds like “the wicked person” has everything he wants to begin with, what eventually happens to him?
  8. ASK SOMEONE: In verse 37, what does the Bible say are two qualities of a person who will have a peaceful future? ( blameless and upright)
  9. ASK A FEW: Do your decisions help you live a blameless and upright life, or not?
  10. ASK A FEW: Do you think your future will be better or worse than that of your parents? Why?

  11. ASK A FEW: What have you done this past year GOOD or BAD, BIG or SMALL, that affects who you are today?
  12. ASK A FEW: Which factors do you think influence your future the most?
  13. ASK A FEW: How do your decisions impact your future?
  14. ASK A FEW: What decisions will you have to make in order to have a better year this coming year?
  15. ASK A FEW: What is the biggest decision you need to make right now to have a great future?

Wrap Up:
Tonight we talked about our futures. Everyone seems to want a great future, filled with loads of wonderful things like love, happiness, family, friends, and more. No one wants a future that totally stinks. Sadly though, we know there are people who will have a terrible future in the years to come because of the decisions they make today.

Most of you shared which decisions you need to make in order to have a better future. Some of you decided, “I’m going to study more, so I will make better grades.” Some of you decided, “I will eat healthier, so I will feel better from now on.” Some of you even decided, “I am going to grow closer to God, so I will have a better future.”

The decisions you make about your relationship with God are the most important decisions you make in life! Not only do you need to make these decisions as soon as possible, you also need to make these decisions correctly. Maybe you are a Christian, but your decisions do not show it. You need to begin making the right decisions, and living accordingly, so your future will be blessed by God.

Maybe you aren’t a Christian but have decided you need to become one. That’s great! You can make that decision tonight! Let me tell you how what’s involved in becoming a Christian. (Click here for The Source's “How To” ideas for telling the Gospel Story.)

If you’re here tonight and want to make this decision, all you need to do is talk with one of our adults before you leave. They will be VERY happy to show you how to make the decision to become a Christian.

Closing Prayer


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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