On October 31st we chartered an Argosy ship to take us out on Puget Sound. It was amazing! The city lights lit up the sky, the Great Seattle Ferris Wheel beamed with color, and around 175 HS students danced the night away.
When we put on one of our friend nights we always host it on our normal youth night. My logic behind this is if they are free to come on that night for this event, then perhaps they might always be free on this night. Having the event on a Friday, drawing a big crowd, and then having them not be able to attend our regular night would defeat our purpose. Of course, we would encourage these new students to attend anywhere they feel comfortable, but if they already have friends where we are, then why not come along? On friend nights we also try to keep some similarity to our normal weekly program. We don't pull a bait and switch. This means we always have a bit of worship and a message. We use social media to promote our events, as well as bringvitations. Here is a list of some of the types of friend nights we have done. We realize everyone has different kinds of budget restrictions, so any of our ideas could be modified to fit your needs. If you want more details of the night, send me an email at email@example.com and we would be glad to send you what we have.
Red Carpet: Rented a limo that drove students around Greenlake. When they got out of the limo, we had about a dozen leaders with cameras taking pictures. They then walked down our actual red carpet into the church. There they were greeted by servers carrying Hors d'oeuvres. Students then spent time getting their pictures taken, dancing on our dance floor, playing N64, walking down our Seattle Stars walk and just hanging out together. We also rented one of those large outdoor spot lights. It was really cool, and drew attention to our event.
Battle of the Sexes: This night we pitted the guys vs girls in all types of crazy "fear factor" type games. It was also a competition of who brought the most students and a consequence went to the losers' side.
Snowball Fight Night: Rent a Uhaul truck, get a couple of interns or volunteers, and send them up to the mountains in late February or early March. Have them load the truck with snow...a lot of snow. It works like a refrigerator as they drive it back to the church. You can leave it in the truck until about an hour or so before your event. Then once all the students come, divide them into two teams and go all-out with your snowball fight. To throw a little twist into the night we grill burgers, have milk shakes, do an indoor slip-n-slide, and have all the students come in their swim gear!
I will post a few others in the next couple days.