As we’ve mentioned before, coming up with youth retreat themes can be one of the hardest parts of planning a youth retreat. To make your life easier, we’re providing ideas for different youth retreat themes – this week, it’s a Fruits Of The Spirit theme.
As you might be able to tell, this is aimed at Christian youth retreats. However, even if your work with youth isn’t faith-based, there are still a number of principles and activities that you might find helpful.
Fruits Of The Spirit Activities
Depending on how many young people you have on your youth retreat, split them up into smaller groups or by themselves. Give each group a sheet of flipchart paper and a marker pen.
On the paper, have each group write out a different fruit of the spirit in the center. They should then brainstorm ideas on what the fruits might look like in real life. This could either be written down or drawn out on each sheet. Once they’ve come up with loads of ideas, have each group present their thoughts back to everyone else.
If there are only a few groups, consider only splitting the youth into three groups – that way, you can give each group three of the fruits to work on.
Fruits Of The Spirit Skit
Now that your youth have thought through the different ways the fruits might manifest themselves, it’s time for them to get even more creative. Have each group put together a series of short dramas/skits based on what the fruits look like in real life.
Alternatively, suggest that they do some skits of opposites – a skit on what a fruit doesn’t look like and a skit on what a fruit does look like.
Encourage them to be funny and silly with their fruits of the spirit skits, while still making a serious point.
Fruits Of The Spirit Games
A great youth retreat game when learning about the fruits of the spirit would be Fruit Salad. In this game, you set up a circle of chairs, with enough chairs for every person playing minus one. Everyone takes a seat, except for one person who starts in the middle.
Have a leader go round tapping each young person on the head, allocating a fruit to them – you don’t use many though as you need multiple youth with the same fruit being allocated to them. With Fruit Salad, you’d normally use actual fruit names, but for a fruits of the spirit game, you could use fruits like love, joy and peace.
To play, the person in the middle calls out a fruit. All the young people who are that fruit have to get up and change which chair they’re sitting in – the person in the middle has to also try and find a chair. Whoever’s left standing has to call out another fruit – all those youth have to swap chairs, etc.
If they want, the person in the middle can call “Fruit Salad”. When this is called, everyone has to get up and change where they’re sitting.
Another fruit-related youth retreat game you could play is the Banana Sprite Challenge.
Fruits Of The Spirit Meetings
The 9 fruits of the spirit should give you plenty to talk about in the youth retreat meetings. However, there are plenty of other fruit-related references in the Bible that you could use in your teaching times to link in to the fruits of the spirit:
- Jesus being the true vine
- Recognizing people by their fruit
- Eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge
n.b. I’d avoid using any references to fruit in Song Of Songs
Fruits Of The Spirit Food
Needless to say, a fruits of the spirit youth retreat theme lends itself perfectly to eating various fruit-related foods. One of my favorite foods is fruit salsa with sweet tortilla chips. Here’s how to make it:
Finely chop up loads of different fruits – bananas, apples, strawberries, pineapples, kiwi fruit – and mix altogether.
Sweet Tortilla Chips
Pre-heat an oven to 375°F. Spread butter or margarine on to flour tortilla wraps (just one side). In a bowl, mix 1 part ground cinnamon with 3 parts white sugar, then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the tortillas.
Slice the tortillas into triangles – this can be done most easily using a pizza slicer. Arrange the triangles in a single layer on baking trays, then bake for 8-10 minutes – they’ll be crispy and slightly browned (but not burnt) when done properly. You’ll probably need to make the chips in batches as there probably won’t be enough space in the oven to do it all in one go.
To eat, just add the fruit salsa to the sweet tortilla chips in the same way you’d normally eat chips & salsa.
If you’re planning a youth retreat, you may find our book helpful as it gives a step-by-step guide on how to plan a youth retreat.
Question: What other activities would you do for a fruits of the spirit youth retreat theme? We’d really love to hear your great ideas in the comments below.
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