An unexpected youth activity taught a group of young men and women the power of positive words and is now reaching out beyond the small group to thousands.

A unexpected youth activity taught a group of young men and women the power of positive words and is now reaching beyond the small group to thousands. Tim Johnson, art director at his local television station, found himself in charge of the activity for his church's youth group just days before the event. Most weeks the boys meet separately from the girls, but this week the activity was scheduled to be combined. Johnson, a self-proclaimed "video geek," said the idea to do a music video based on a Christian song came to him "clear as a bell." "It just turned into something a lot bigger, larger than life," he said. "I've never had a video project in 23 years fall into place as well as this did. To me it was just like, man, there's something a lot bigger ... that's helping this thing pull together." Johnson and the boys in the youth group organized an activity based around the song "Words" from Christian rock band Hawk Nelson. The lyrics read, "Words can build us up. Words can break us down. Start a fire in our hearts or put it out." Inspired by this message, the boys wrote words and phrases about each girl while the girls were in another room. They then had each girl come into the room to be surprised with the positive words from the boys. Their reactions were more enthusiastic than Johnson or the boys had anticipated. "From that very first reaction we thought, 'Oh boy this is, that was pretty cool,'" Johnson said. "I don't necessarily know what we were expecting per se, but it was different. There was something just in the air that you could feel that said, 'Yeah, this is what can happen when you treat people the way that they need to be treated.'" The girls enjoyed their experience so much, they all stayed in the room to watch as the rest of the girls came in and read the kind words written about them. "By and large, it was amazing," Johnson said. "And at the end ... a couple of girls said - and this isn't about me by any stretch - that was the best combined activity that we've been to. And it has nothing to do with me, and it has everything to do with, 'Wow, I didn't know my peers looked at me like that.'" Johnson shared the girls' reactions through a YouTube video posted March 21, which now has thousands of views. Johnson said that while the youths learned a lesson, the leaders and parents did too. He said one message viewers could take away from the video is to address everything in a way that builds others up instead of tearing them down. "To group it all into one, just don't be afraid to compliment someone," he said.%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//