Most years, the most successful youth group event was the night when we visited shut-ins in our congregation. It might not have been the most popular youth event going in to the activity, but it was always the best as the night ended. If you haven’t done this, you gotta give it a try.
We always had a lot of shut-ins within our congregation. That meant there were plenty of people to visit, so we split up into small groups of youth and gave each group 2-3 individuals to visit. We would all sign cards and make sure we had treats to bring as well. We even got ultra-organized after a while and would post a list of shut-ins and invite all members of the congregation to give us Christmas cards to bring on our visits.
One might assume that youth group students have nothing in common with shut-ins, and therefore, would feel awkward or uncomfortable in the visits. That was just not the case. The students would comment that they wished that they had more time to visit. In many situations, the students struck up friendships and returned to visit the shut-ins throughout the year.
There were just so many positives from this experience. The shut-ins receive visitors and attention. The students get to know these saints that they might otherwise never meet. The students realize that this is a service project and that they can be a blessing as they visit and talk with the elderly congregants. And every time we did this, the shut-ins were a blessing to the students.
Give this a try if you’ve never done it before. If you've already done this, how was the experience?