One of the most popular events I’ve done in the past 3 years has been a regressive dinner. Progressive dinners (which I’ve never done) have been a staple in many youth ministries for years. Typically, the group goes to someone’s house for an appetizer, then to another home for the entree, then to another home for dessert.
Regressive means you start with dessert and end with appetizers. I’ve found that changing it up creates excitement and wonder. That break away from the norm helps to get more students involved in the event. I’ve also never done homes for this event. I keep it at a variety of restaurants. It saves on a lot of logistical issues. It also helps with the theme of regressing. We go from a nice restaurant to a less nice one.
This past one we started with the Melting Pot for dessert. It was nice to start at a unique, nice restaurant that teens were sorta familiar with. They have a deal there for groups just wanting dessert which helps to keep the price low. We had chocolate fondue and some amazing things to dip.
We then went to an Atlanta tradition – The Varsity. The Varsity sells vouchers which works great. This was a lot of fun for everyone.
We finished at a volunteer’s home for appetizers. Apps are easier to do than the other courses so it made sense to do this at a home. Most people were already full from the other 2 courses, but you would be surprised how many folks ate anyway.
This is a fun event that helps to build relationships. Students – especially girls – will naturally invite unchurched people to this event. People will remember this event for years and always ask to do it again.