Every year as a New Years EveÕs event, we host a Youth Awards Night for the youth group. Starting in November the kids nominate each other for awards ranging from “student of the year” to “biggest jokester.” Think of superlatives from high school to get you started. (Evangelist of the year, Chief Servant, Most Improved, Least Likely to Commit Heresy, etc)
Then in December, narrow down each award into about 3 students each (using a panel of trusted, unbiased adult leaders) and create a ballot. Host the vote on a specified night that has had lots of publicity.
Then on New YearÕs Eve plan a big event with food, games, dramas, skits, a slideshow of pictures from the past year, and the voting tallies. Make sure you have great prizes for the students that have worked hard all year long!
NOTE: If your youth ministry is comprised of 6th grade through 12th grade, you may want to offer the awards separately. (That way, a middle school kid is not competing against a high school student for the same award.) Just offer the same awards in two categories, junior and senior high.
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; 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.