A few months back we held our third annual “Mystery Bash.” There really isn’t anything significant about the name “Mystery Bash” other than when we started it we didn’t know what to call it. One of our high school students at the time decided to name it for us and it stuck!

In the past we’ve gotten bounce houses and prepared a bunch of high activity games. We’ve made it a lot of fun since this is one of our “draw” or outreach events. “Draw,” by the way, is the first of the three words that describe our 3-D youth philosophy. This year we decided to mix it up a little. We actually had a mystery to solve at our “Mystery Bash!”

Our mystery was whether or not grandma got run over by a reindeer. This is a great resource I picked up somewhere several years ago. I’m not sure who to give credit to but it was a lot of fun! Several of our youth staff and volunteers dressed up as different characters and played out their roles. At each stop the youth were given clues that led them to what happened with grandma. Here are a few pictures of our characters:

In addition to solving our mystery we made our own taco’s, played some blindfolded gift-wrapping games (in which the girls rocked!!!), had a short message, and did a white elephant gift exchange.

In general, it was really a fun night! I just wish more of our youth had been there to be a part of it. I feel like a lot of our older SH youth have dropped the leadership ball as of late. I wish I knew what to do. As of late they seem to be lacking biblical purpose. Our JH turned out in mass and even invited friends that came. They seemed to have a really good time.

After each event I always ask “where do we go from here?” Is this event worth keeping? What needs to be changed? What went well? What didn’t go well? Did it stay true to our purpose (in this case, outreach)? What follow-up needs to be made? These are questions that need to be asked constantly because group dynamics change all the time.

What do you think? What challenges do you encounter? What successes have you had? Please feel free to share. And, please, pray for us. It is not about us, looking good, or even having a good time. It is about Jesus Christ and the lives of young men and women.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12, ESV).”