This is not so much a game as it is a powerful way to bring down walls in your youth group. Divide your group in half and have each of the two groups line up single-file and shoulder-to-shoulder, facing each other so that everyone has a partner. For instance, if you have 20 people, divide them into group 1 and group 2 like this:
Each person in group 1 holds hands with his/her partner in group 2, and must stare deep into the other person’s eyes without saying a word — this may be hard to achieve at first but it is absolutely essential. Play some mellow Christian music in the background. Every ten seconds or so, pause the music briefly (one second or so) to signal that the entire group is to shift clockwise so that everyone changes partners. Continue this until everyone has been a partner with everyone else.
The point? Many youth stay in their own cliques and avoid contact with others. This activity forces ten seconds of total concentration on another person’s soul — “the eyes are the window to the soul.” You may be amazed at the results. Everyone gets the same measure of respect from everyone else for a change. This might lead to an excellent discussion on any number of topics. You could instruct the ten seconds to be spent in prayer for the other person, or have everyone forgive each other for any hurts, etc.
Earlier this summer, my youth leader and I came up with the idea for a newsletter for the youth group…yet it’s so much more than a newsletter. He named it The Fire Escape, and I went right to work on it. In one section, we write about issues that we as teens face in our everyday lives. In another we list events the youth group will be participating in and/or attending (such as this year’s Acquire the Fire tour). We have a “Salvation Corner,” where I leave a short salvation message for those readers who may not have accepted Jesus, and we have a prayer list. My email address and phone number are always included so the other kids can let me know if they have any prayer requests or suggestions for the next issue. For fun, we schemed up a character we call “The Snipe.” What The Snipe does is good things for people, to reflect the love of Christ….but what The Snipe REALLY loves to do is pull practical jokes on people.
***Just this past Friday the thirteenth, a woman who works with the youth group named Darlene and a friend of mine named Taryn and I went out after midnight to the house of a couple from church (whom we KNEW had a good sense of humor) and COVERED their mailbox with silly-string. We then left a big cardboard sign that read “The Snipe.” For the next week, The Snipe was the talk of the youth group!! lol***
NOTE: In order to keep from getting in trouble, The Snipe ONLY pulls pranks on people within the church, and ONLY on people who have good senses of humor.
We also include a page (or two, if needed) of pictures of things the youth group has done within the month – I find that the pictures are a hit with the youth group.
Recently I wrote an article that was too big to fit the format for the Fire Escape, so I’ve included it as a letter instead. It’s called “The Challenge,” and it’s pretty much just that- a challenge to Christian teens to become bolder in our faith, to speak out for Jesus, to not be afraid to reflect Jesus in everything that we say and do.
If you’d like a copy of “The Challenge,” email me at the address provided above.
This activity is for the BOLD. “The Takeover” is a simulation skit. As we near the FINAL DAYS,on this earth, there’s the threat that one day the UN may decide to stop allowing worship all together! That’s what this simulation is all about! My Youth dressed in full camoflage carried weapons and we took the congregation hostage. We took the preacher hostage, threw the Bible on the ground, also we took all the musicians to a holding cell. Our Senior Youth came in as the leader of this takeover, and gave a speech containing the following statements:there’s to be no more worship of Jesus Christ, no more praises to GOD, the very mention of the name of Jesus will NOT BE TOLERATED! As the congregation tried to continuing to worship, when the name of JESUS was mentioned, sang, or any other form of worship took place, these were arrested and taken to a holding cell. Our holding cells were down in the basement, and after the entire congregation was put in prison, we had a real moving service. Our service contained praises, testimonies (mainly from the congregation), devotions; all based on our priviledes that we have and take for granted.
[Ed. Note: I think this will have to be greatly modified before use, but I think their intentions are in the right place – just be cautious how you use it, you never know who is in your meetings and congregations. I.E. war veterans, refugees, children, etc.]
This is a great game that 3 of our youth came up with on their own. We were on the way to Winterfest 03 at Liberty University and we had a 4 hour drive ahead of us. One of our youth is in the back seat and he starts waving at all the cars that drive by. Much to his surprise, people began waving back! Out of this came: “The Wave Game”.
This game works best when you are in a car and have 4 people in there. The driver and person behind are one team and the passenger and person behind him are the another team.
The Scoring system:
1 point – each person that waves back at you (you can get more than one per car)
1 point for the other team – for each person that just smiles but doesn’t wave at you
5 points – for getting a semi-truck to honk at you
10 points – for getting a police officer to wave back at you
Double points – if the vehicle is red. (example: a honk and a wave from a semi-truck with a red cab is worth 14 points)
(or a red van with 3 people that wave at you is worth 6 pts.)
Just some thoughts: This game works best on a 2 lane road. It’s up the driver who gets points when. If you stay in the left lane then only the people on the right side of the car can get points and vice versa. This is great because the driver can keep the game close. If you are playing to 100 pts. to win and one team is up by 40 points than just stay in the left lane for a long time and give the people on the right a chance to catch up. Some things to consider as well are that most of the semi-trucks on major roads are in the right lane. Eventually your youth will realize this as well and start to complain about the right side car team getting more points because of this. You can kindly explain to them that if you drive in the right lane app. 10 times more cars will pass you on the left so it ends up being fair.
We hope you are blessed by this game as we were and don’t be afraid to make your own variations of the scoring system.
To God be the Glory!
A Campus Life Club event and now Youth Group event I have run here in Gisborne, New Zealand, about 3 times now over the past 15 years, is “The Wedding”.
We run a full mock Wedding with the ceremony, photos, a simplified wedding supper and a dance to finish. Students play all the roles of Bride, Groom, Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, the Parents etc. We interview the participants in their role as we progress and they may throw out some of their secret thoughts of what they think of this marriage, which will later make for some interesting discussion points later. eg Mother of the Bride says “I cant wait for the little grandchildren to come along”. Or the groom might say “If it doen’t work out there is always divorce, isn’t there?”.
The young people love it and during the informal Wedding Breakfast we run a discussion on marriage and what the young people think of it. I follow it up with a programme that will look further at issues of relationships and seeking to stay pure before marriage, issues involved in living together and what God has to say about it all.
It’s an event that will get the kids parents interested and involved in the programme in little ways too, eg. driving the bridal party to the church, supper preparations, etc.
Trust this may spark some further creative thoughts on this theme.
Great for lighting night time events. Cut out the front of a #10 tin can; nail the can to the top of an 8-foot pole. Place a roll of toilet paper in the can and soak it with kerosene. The lighted torch will burn for about 15-20 minutes.
We had fun with this as a “get to know you better” activity on a van trip. Materials needed are bananas for every passenger and pens that will write on unpeeled bananas (felt or plastic tips work best). Each passenger (note the driver HAS to do this in advance) writes his/her name and three things about him/herself no one else knows on an unpeeled banana. Two of the statements are true, one is false. Object is to make the statements obscure enough that it is hard to discern what is truth and what is lie. Bananas are collected and redistributed to different passengers. In turn, each holder of a banana reads the author’s name, the three statements, and then guesses which is the lie. Winner (author if lie is not guessed, reader if it is) gets to decide whether to eat the banana, or make the other person eat the banana. Bring a trash bags — don’t leave banana peels on the bus! This would probably work as a crowd-breaker in almost any setting. No one is at risk of having to eat more than two bananas, and everybody gets a dose of potassium!
Gather several old trophies from a storage room at your church. Take them apart and create a super huge trophy. The trophy can be used in several ways and can be reused and rebuilt for different events.
In my Sunday School class I did this with middle school age kids and they had a lot of fun. We covered a wall in paper and painted vines all over it, using brown, green, and purple paint and some inexpensive foam stamps of leaves and grapes. They just painted brown lines all over for the vine and branches and then added leaf and grape stamps everywhere. Then we took pictures of all of the kids in the church and glued their photos on all the branches.
After your kids read John 15, select a broad, blank wall. Have the kids paint the wall with a high quality background paint. After this dries, sketch a vine, as they think it should look, across a portion of the wall. Leave room for the vine to lengthen, and room for verse 5 to explain to viewers what is being attempted. Have your young people paint the vine in colors appropriate for vines, writing verse 5 in large letters, and leaving space around the vine for the names of all your kids, both now and in the future. Have your young people write their names in charcoal, attached to the Vine where the students think is best. Go over the letters in high quality black paint. You will have a visual representation of the relationship youth groups are trying to build.