What in the world do you do with teens for 30 hours?



Katie Quesada

When talking with other youth leaders about the 30 Hour Famine, one of the first questions they ask me is “what in the world do you do with teens for 30 hours?!”  World Vision provides TONS of new resources, ideas and schedules every year. In addition, our ministry has kept certain programmatic elements the same each year because they’re of high value and importance, and then there are new things we’re dreaming up every year!

Below are some of the things we’ve repeated each year of doing the famine for 15 years and a few things that are new to us in recent years.

Three things we have been doing every year for 15 years:

  1. Devotionals + Worship: We create a booklet for the students with three devotionals. These are simple and usually justice focused, and we have the students go off all around campus alone and read, reflect and pray. We do this at 3 points of the famine – at the start of the event, Saturday morning after worship, and at the end called the “29th Hour Reflection.”
  2. 30 Days of Fundraising: We want to give students more time to process God’s heart for the poor and powerless than just the 30 hours at the famine. So we use the 30 days around the famine to focus on World Vision and create a month long experience with local service, teachings on justice and global prayer.
  3. A Yard Sale + Car Wash: These fundraisers happen simultaneously Saturday morning, and bring in double the money.  People shop in the yard sale while students wash their car! We also have baked goods and handmade bracelets for sale.

893271_505200136183398_1711635537_oThree new ideas we have used in the last three years:

  1. The 3 O’clock Experience: We realized as a ministry that around 3pm (after a long morning of service projects and a couple hours before the event ends) that our students hit a low. They want to nap, eat, and tend to be difficult to keep motivated. So we came up with an experience where we give each student $1 and a bus ticket. They ride the city bus (which is VERY rare for our student base) to a local ethnic food market where they work as a team to buy their tribe a feast to end the famine! This is a great way for them to interact with people in our city they wouldn’t usually rub shoulders with, as well as see how much money millions of people live off of a day!
  2. Home Projects: Members of our congregation sign-up to have students come help around their house for a donation. This is especially helpful to the older generation of our church and they love talking to the students while they garden, clean and help in any way needed.
  3. Benefit Concert: This has been a great use of our Friday nights. We have brought in local artists, a big name band, or a student led worship team and charged $10 for tickets. This is a great way for students to invite their friends who don’t feel up for the famine but want to take part!

While it may seems daunting to host an event like the 30 Hour Famine, I have seen teens lives changed more in 30 hours than in months of ministry.

Praying your students come up with some new fun ideas this year to help kids around the world.