Human Knot: from a youth leader in Missouri ... youth form a knot and escape ... easier said than done, we suspect. 

Ha Ha: Lot's of fun - an icebreaker we used with Spanish speaking young people in El Salvador, as well as with our own youth group. It has always been a great success. 

                                                         More activities below

Christian Youth, Alex, Making a Difference in Another World

Matthew 19:26 (Jesus shared with his disciples)  "With men this seems impossible but with God nothing is impossible"   Why then cannot God provide access of  faithful youth to a different world of faithful youth?

 On April 12th Alex, an seventeen year old senior and high school basketball star, served a soup kitchen in New York City. Later that evening he walked outside and sat down to rest, feeling suddenly tired. He fell asleep and woke up in an unrecognizable place. He reported first standing at a fork in a path in the woods. One fork to the left was wide and well travelled. The one on the right was long and narrow. He took a step or two down the path and was immediately transported by a force, which he describes as a beam of light, to a door. He opened the door and found himself in a most different place but with people that he knew.

Below is Alex's story as it has been reported to us.

Alex led his team to the championship game and the recap of the game can be found at See entry dated April 7th

May 5th

Every time I look at the night sky I have wondered ... where are you, people of earth? Alex is staying overnight in my home for a few days and last night we walked away from town. The sky was so black and, as we looked up, I got a feeling that earth is around a particularly bright star in the southern sky. How far away is it? Neither Alex nor I knew. We made some guesses with Alex’ being a larger distance away than I thought it would be. Then Alex paused and said that it was impossible to see earth and its sun. I asked, “Why?” and he replied that we live in a different universe. He began to explain that they had learned about the universe in a youth meeting. It was so interesting that I told him to wait and share it with all our Caperston youth, Valley and Mountain youth at our next meeting. Alex agreed to do so.

Let me tell you the bad news from Caperston. I was asked to go with Pav-ed to the Mountain village and we asked Jonas to join us. Alex was to visit with Michaeling and her family for dinner that day. What we observed as we approached the village was at first disheartening but then became painful.

Dustin was approached by two Mountain Youth as he was speaking with several others. Jonas ran ahead as the confrontation began and Pav-ed who was older and I were behind. Soon he was close enough to not only see but clearly hear what was being said. He heard the approaching youth ask the crowd that was gathered, "Who do you have faith in - the unseen, unknown God of this coward (pointing to Dustin) or those of us with the courage to fight?"

All the youth cried out, "we have faith in no God, but ourselves; we must fight!"

Another leader among the Mountain Youth called out, "Then we will banish this traitor from our Mountain home. Go, traitor," and he gave him a shove. "Go live with your wretched Valley People". He gave him a second shove and Dustin fell. Then he kicked him on his side. Suddenly other Mountain Youth ran towards Dustin. They kicked him and he attempted to get up. For an instance he did then knelt down

  in prayer, calling out, "God, protect Caperston and its people and forgive my mountain brothers. They do not understand the actions they are taking."

Pav-ed and I had now arrived and in the distance they could see Dustin's sister running towards the crowd. A husky Mountain Youth then picked up a large boulder and approached Dustin from behind as he was kneeling in prayer. He dropped the boulder on his head, crushing it and Dustin lay, still on the ground. His sister Angeling arrived and was soon joined by Marcus' sister Dawnling and a short time later, Marcus. Angeling collapsed in tears holding her brother in her arms. Dawnling cried out, "How could you do this to my and your dear friend Dustin. Don't you remember how you were all fed because he shared his lunch with you at the meeting with Chihaysu?"


The two leaders and the youth that hurled the boulder quietly left and the other Mountain youth became remorseful. They cried out, "We did not know what we were doing and now more blood of Mountain Youth has been shed." Jonas and Pav-ed were amazed at the influence Dawnling had over the Mountain Youth as their anger turned to repentance. When Jonas reported to Pav-ed what happened earlier, Pav-ed stated that he hopes there is a way to work with Dawnling and even Chihaysu to bring about peace. He has a meeting scheduled with Chihaysu regarding Chihaysu's mother's desire to be buried in the House of the Dead. He asked me to be present for the meeting.

Alex returned to our house after dinner and we told him what had happened. He was very upset. He stated that his basketball training led him to becoming a fast runner and he could have stopped the Mountain Youth with the boulder. I had to tell him it certainly was not his fault that he wasn't there but he still feels very bad.

The concept behind the Chest of Visions came as our youth group communicated with a young lady on a mission quest around the world for 11 months. Getting monthly and sometimes bi-monthly letters was exciting for our young people as the letters were posted on our website. Then her mission quest ended.

How could it be continued? By writing a story of a new mission quest, full of questions, adventures, answers, hopes, fears and dreams, which all ended in a vision that changed the world of Caperston.

There will be great similarities in this story to events on earth as Caperston is in a parallel universe. In essence, it is our twin. However, for every similarity there is a challenging difference.

So come read the adventures of youth from Caperston and youth from Earth filled with wonderful drawings.  The beginning of this story is found in "The Chest of Visions: Secrets of Caperston". Lee Ashford of Readers' Favorite writes ... "The Chest of Visions is a well-reasoned, well-written, and intelligently conceived allegory for use as a Christian Youth Group Study Guide. It is bound to be considered quite "awesome" by the Youth Groups which use it.


It is crafted as a totally new concept for involving today's youth in Bible study. Borrowing from the contemporary popularity of Science Fiction and Fantasy fiction novels, the author has devised a correspondence across parallel universes between several teen-aged individuals on two different planets in two different universes.


If read in its entirety, and considered prayerfully, "Chest of Visions" should be acknowledged as a significant step forward in Youth Group Study Guides."

For more reviews of The Chest of Visions, and purchase information click …


Activity Ideas from Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meetings

and from Christian Youth Leaders Around the World.

Thank you to all contributors

Human machine:   Remind your machines that each body part can only provide its function. 

To you ... I am a Story:    Christian youth activity celebrating the resurrection

Time Machine:  visit your past!

President's Day Lesson for Christian Youth: We look at the qualities God would look for in a leader.
Lent and Love :  As we look at things, we would give up for lent, we find lent is fulfilled by love. 

Banana Lesson:  After attempting this impossible task, we stop to discuss how hard it is to redo errors that we make. 
More from South Africa: "The most memorable event we have each year is a beauty contest we call Miss Inner Beauty".

Christmas Around the World:   the studio audience, will hear the testimony of our esteemed guests and you will get to vote on the proposal to be made. 

Football Bible Trivia:    If they get the question correct, they get to flick the football with one finger towards their goal line. 

Trust and Prayer:    Activity that encourages spoken prayer amidst youth and has been successful on several occasions with different youth programs. 

International Bible Treasure Hunt:    Think of a cross between a Bible Trivia Contest and an episode of Indiana Jones searching for some missing archaeological treasure from the past. 

Two Truths and a Lie:    Instruct each player to think of three statements about themselves. Two must be true statements, and one must be false. 

Movie Review:    Pray: As a Christian "thriller" type film, this movie would serve as a great film for junior high/high school youth groups. 

The Lifeboat Game:    Youth pick who will survive a lifeboat sinking. A time to reflect on making decisions and the value given to life. 

Three Pens Game:    How looking at the whole picture makes the difference. 

Finding Truth:    Four road signs depict a traveler's journey and the self doubts he/she have to overcome. 

Christian Teen Movie Review:    The Other Side of Heaven: "For three years I've lived with people who possess nothing yet they possess everything." These were the words of John Groberg ... 

Activity from Malaysia: "I STRONGLY suggest you try to get this movies and watch it as they were really beautiful and faith-lifting and encouraging." 

The Fruits of the Spirit: Note that some of the more difficult fruits,in the eyes of youth, are probably patience and self control. Determine which fruits are most common and why. 

The Rich Young Ruler: Activity that asks the question how to react to the command of Jesus to give everything that you own to the poor, then follow we are ready to follow Him.

Faith by Dennis: from a youth leader in New York ... it tells you that even a little bit of faith is stronger than the strongest mountain 


Two activities from South Africa: The objective of this game is to build co-operation and confidence in the young people, while at the same time they discover their gifts and callings. 

Food Scavenger Hunt: This card will explain who we are and what our mission is... We will thankfully accept all donations. 

Christian Teens Candles of Prayer: One more verse of candles, then a repeat of the original first verse and the usually serene Presbyterians were clapping their hands and swaying back and forth. 

Activities for Fun


Jose Carlos, Christian Artist of Mexico City shares with us: An award winning Christian cartoon. 

Cross the Line: An icebreaker that gets young people sharing their experiences. 

Bombs Away: A game that tests our ability to trust. 

Meet Hallary, Knute, John and Joe: and find out how youth can "Make a Difference" 

rwanda-Jean victor-teach

Do you have an Activity Idea to share? Join Christian Youth Leaders Around the World by writing to

Thank you to all contributors

 Join the conversation on our Blog
Christians Making a Difference

May 3, 2019

Imagine if there was a day and an hour set aside for all people to pray. Pray to whichever God you believe in. If atheist or agnostic, take the same hour to meditate. Just take an hour, a half hour or five minutes off during that hour of prayer to be quiet and ask for...

May 2, 2019

We live in a time that conflict is everywhere. Some are focused on the present. Other's on the world's future needs and some trying to do both. What do YOU think is the most significant change needed in the world? We have our suggestion but let's hear yours first.


January 16, 2019

We are all trying to share our experiences by writing and we live in a world where Christian values need to be shared. You have past memories, experiences or ideas to share and your future is to write a book.

I have published two books through Xulon Press. They did a go...

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Tim Ferguson

30 Fairlawn Drive,

Deer Park, NY 11729

Not the Same Old Done-it-before Christian Youth Meetings is a site which shares Christian youth ministry lessons that are both fun and faith-based. 


© 2017  Not The Same Old .. Created  by BlueFlame Media ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



My name is Tim Ferguson and my Christian Youth Ministry began as a high school student at a Baptist Church in Port Jefferson, N.Y. Our adult leader often looked to me for ideas and even let me run a few meetings.

After returning from college in 1969 two local churches, one Presbyterian and one Methodist, joined together in a local coffeehouse ministry. Before I knew it, I was left in charge. It was a volatile time. The group had its share of Vietnam Veterans as well as protestors of that war. Everyone, it seemed, played acoustic guitar. People liked to philosophize about faith but involvement in the actual church was lessoning. In the midst of this, events like "Olympics", and "flashlight sing" evolved. These events were still used forty years later.

In 1973 it became apparent that it was time for me to move on. It was difficult. Though I had a job at a local insurance company, my work at the coffeehouse was my real mission in life. It took a good friend's heart to heart conversation with me to solidify my conviction that there truly was a new life ahead. I prayed about it and decided to leave it in God's hands - I would take the first affordable apartment anywhere within an hour's drive of my place of business.

In May 1973 that "anywhere" became an unknown town in central Long Island, N.Y. by the name of North Babylon. Bordering to its north was the village of Deer Park. To my amazement the very first Sunday I attended the Deer Park Presbyterian Church a church elder announced that he wanted the church to support a new local coffeehouse. God had called me to leave one coffeehouse ministry behind and immediately gave me a new one in my new home. To this day I still marvel at how God calls us to our missions.

The Deer Park Coffeehouse was, in actuality, a post high school youth gathering and ran weekly for eleven event-filled years. In many ways a mission project, the group became a family of friends that still exists to this day. Several individuals from the group were introduced to our church through the coffeehouse. During these years I became a parent, started teaching a seventh grade Sunday school class and was elected to the church board of elders. Soon after the Cub Scouts of America called and seven years of den leadership became my new calling.

However, God was not yet through with me in terms of this church's youth work. The church asked for a new senior/junior high leader and I, at the time with fifth and eight grade sons, stepped forward on Easter Sunday 1994. As blessed as the previous programs were, this one was especially blessed


We were blessed by youth who cared and who wanted to make a difference. Many have made testimonials under the "Youth Speak Out" page on this website. They made a name for themselves by serving seventy-five homeless people on the lower east side of N.Y. City outdoors during a blizzard in January 2005. They embraced the Thirty Hour Famine for seventeen years and for several years brought other Christian youth groups into this program by inviting them to join us. I am particularly blessed that several of the children of the original Deer Park coffeehouse members attended our youth group even though the families were active in other local churches.. It was so much fun to see Steven E. do well at Olympic events at which his father Joe E. excelled in the late 1970's


In the Fall of 2014 the youth group ended as there were no longer Junior and Senior High School students active in the church. It was a good twenty year run and I have been pleased to continue my Christian youth work via this website. People from around the world continue to share how they use the many activities available through various pages on the website.

I have been blessed by the support of my wife, LInda, during these years of youth work. I also thank the efforts of Coffeehouse members from the past who, as adults, have lended their assistance to the youth program.

I received the honor of a television interview with a New York television station on August 19, 2017, an opportunity to share the challenges youth ministry has brought to me.

Tim Ferguson,30 Fairlawn Drive, 
Deer Park, New York 11729
Phone - 631-242-2582 
Email -

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