15 Youth Ministry Games For All

Youth ministry games are quite popular among the faithful. Church youth group is commonplace for pre-teens and teens to come together and grow through shared experiences. Building a strong bond among the group members will enable them to view the space as a safe haven.

Team building games and activities can help facilitate the feeling of belonging in the group. Following are some fun activities that build team spirit as well as instill faith in Christ.

Planning a game night or integrating one activity at every meeting is a good way of introducing members of the group to the activities.

The activities listed below can be played among small and large groups alike. Variations can be made to the activity to tailor fit the space and number of members.

General Rules of Youth Ministry Games

Before jumping into the activities, ensure that all members present are aware of acceptable behavior during the session of any youth ministry games. Violation of these rules could lead to reprimand. The rules are as follows:

1) Discouraging and negative things cannot be said to other members. The aim of youth ministry games is to build team spirit and each other, not tear each other down.

Learning to live in harmony and with faith in Jesus Christ is of more importance than winning the activity – this must be ingrained into the members before proceeding with the activities.

Having multiple rewards to compliment all participants are an effective way to prevent negative attitudes and behaviors during the activities.

2) Establish a signal to regroup that members are familiar with. The signal can be a cheer, a slogan, a whistle pattern, a clapping pattern, or anything else that the teens are familiar with. This signal is a cue to stop the activity, regroup, and discuss a few things.

If any teen exhibits behavior that calls for a regroup or the activity is taken a different route, the signal can be used to call for a quick discussion.

Make sure to practice the signal and their response to the signal before starting the activity so they are completely familiar with the signal. Practice the signal until all the responses you receive are satisfactory.

3) Inform all members of the group that they will be pulled aside if they continue to repeat unpleasant behavior even after the regroup. They will be warned about the behavior and urged to do better.

4) If the teen continues with the problematic behavior even after being pulled out and warned, they will be pulled from the youth ministry game. When the teen assures the organizers of the activities that they will not behave in the same manner for the rest of the game, they are allowed to participate again.

5) Everyone must be reminded of the purpose of the activity so they do not lose focus. Team building is the goal, not victory.

6) Have a discussion at the end of the activities. Teens must share their experiences and learn from the activity. Speaking about their Learnings will help retain them for a longer period of time.

More Games for Kids: Whacky Trampoline Games

Three Word Charades

Three Word Charades
Three Word Charades

Things we need

Three-word charade is one of the most popular youth ministry games game is easy to execute and doesn’t require many materials. Paper, pencils, a bowl are all the items required.

How to play?

All members are given 3-4 pieces of paper. They must write a phrase of three words on the paper. The phrases must be relevant to the Bible trivia or Christian practices.

The pieces of paper are folded into chits and put into the bowl. The group is now divided into teams, each consisting of 4 members. Three members from each team must come forward and pick a single chit from the bowl.

They must then act out one word each. The fourth member of their team must try to guess all three words correctly. One point is awarded to each word guessed correctly. If the member is not able to guess all three words in one minute, it is passed to the next team.

If the question is passed and all three words are guessed successfully by any team, 1 point is awarded. If all three are not guessed, they do not get any points.

Learnings

This exercise helps build non-verbal communication skills. It also works as a team-building activity as members must cooperate with each other and understand each other to guess all three words perfectly.

Further, they are made to recall the Bible while making chits. This will help further their faith in Christ.

More Games for Kids: Fun Games to Play at Home

The Walk Of Faith

Things we need

The game is fairly easy to set up. An eye mask or an opaque cloth that will serve as a blindfold is required. The furniture in the room can be used to make the obstacle course. Extra chairs and cushions can be brought to increase the number of obstacles.

Keep a stopwatch to let the members know how much time they took to complete the course with the help and alone.

How to play?

Members are divided into teams of three. One of the members is blindfolded. The other two flank the blindfolded person in the front and in the back. They must direct the blindfolded person across the obstacle course set up by the organizers.

Once it has been completed, the blindfolded person must try to retrace the course and get through it successfully without the help of the other team members. Being successful is not the aim of the exercise, the aim is to understand that believing that you have faith increases one’s performance.

After the blindfolded person comes back, another member of the team must be blindfolded. The course must be changed before the second person starts their course.

Learnings

This exercise teaches teens to put their faith in Christ as they have in the members of their team. He is present to help them at all times. Friends and family are the conduits through which he guides and helps mold lives.

The game also helps better communication skills among the team. Precise direction and understanding are required for the blindfolded person to get through the course the first time.

Fruit ER

Things we need

Fruit is the focus of this exercise – a variety of fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas will be needed. Items like floss, needles, toothpicks and tape will serve as the instruments of the ER.

How to play?

Divide the group into teams of 2-3 members. Each team gets fruit. They are instructed to cut up the fruit into medium-sized pieces. At this point, do not disclose to them what they must do with the fruit later. After they cut up the fruits, instruct them to put the fruit back together.

Provide them with the other instruments to put together the fruit. The aim of the activity is to help the participants realize how difficult it is to put together something that is broken.

Learnings

Mindful actions and behavior will result in preventing damage to relationships with God and earthly companions. Relationships are dependant on trust and companionship, once it is broken it is extremely hard to piece back to exactly the way it was. Preserving it is the lesson that the activity teaches.

Choose Ye This Day

Choose Ye This Day
Choose Ye This Day

Things we need

40-50 balloons of various balloons are the focus of this activity. Permanent markers are required to write on the balloons. Make sure to write on the balloon well in advance so that the ink has sufficient time to dry. This way it doesn’t get on the skin and clothes of the players.

How to play?

Blow up all the balloons. On one-half of the balloons, put down behaviors and actions that bring one closer to God. The other half will have behaviors that push God away from one’s life. Make sure to spread both good and bad behaviors across all colors of balloons.

Next, divide the room into two equal halves. Keep a garbage bag filled with the labeled balloons on both sides of the room. Ensure that both sides have an equal number of balloons with good and bad behaviors.

When the youth come in, divide them into two teams. The aim of each team is to try and eliminate as many bad behaviors as they can and keep the most amount of good behaviors with them. As they take the balloons out of the garbage bag, they must read what’s written on the balloon.

If they decide the behavior written would drive them further away from God, they must throw it to the other side of the room. If the behavior draws them closer to God, they must keep it with them.

After all the balloons are out of the garbage bag, let the game go on for 5-10 minutes to toss the balloons around. Signal the end of the game after the time has elapsed.

At the end of the game, leaders will check the balloons they have. The team gets a point for each positive behavior that the players hold in their hands.

One point is deducted for each negative behavior on the player’s body and on the team’s side of the court.

Learnings

This activity helps reinforce learnings about living a good life with one’s faith resting in God. It also promotes teamwork and strategic thinking. Different team members can be in different positions to defend their good balloons and eliminate their bad balloons.

Detective Sherlock

Detective Sherlock
Detective Sherlock

Things we need

The game is simple and doesn’t need many materials to be carried out. Keep small clothing items and accessories to aid players during the game.

How to play?

Divide all the members of the youth group into two teams. One of the teams is chosen to be Sherlock for the first round. Both the teams stand face to face for two minutes so that the detective team can observe them thoroughly.

After two minutes, the detective team leaves the group. The team inside the room rearranges themselves and adds on accessories or exchanges clothing items. Five minutes are allotted for the team inside the room to make a total of ten changes in their physical appearance.

The change can be in the order they are standing, the clothes they are wearing, added accessories, etc. After five minutes, the detective team comes back in and tries to guess all ten changes. The team gets one point for each change guessed right. In the next round, the roles are reversed.  

Learnings

The activity teaches one to be more attentive and mindful in things that they do. They must be mindful while reading the Bible and careful in its interpretation.

Trust Ladder

Things we need

Depending on the number of people, a number of wooden dowels are needed to execute this activity. Ideally, the number of dowels must be half the number of people. The activity is best executed in a grassy, outdoor space.

How to play?

One person is chosen to walk the trust ladder. Start with lighter members of the group so that everyone gets familiarised with the idea of the activity. The participants stand in two lines facing each other. The people facing each other hold a dowel in their hands.

Make sure all members are taught well how to grip the dowel. It must be gripped with both hands and the fingers must be interlocked tight. The grip must be firm. They must hold the dowel around 4 inches above their navel so that the person walking has a uniform ladder to walk on.

All members must stand shoulder to shoulder in a tight line. This is so they can lean on each other and share the weight of the person that is walking the ladder.

The person walking must step on each dowel and make it across the ladder. The person walking must start and end on a chair. This is so that extra pressure is not put on the members holding the dowel.

As the person steps on a dowel, the two people holding the dowel must push it upwards to support the weight of the person walking. They must lean on each other to give a more solid base to the person walking.

Learnings

This exercise is a good trust-building exercise. It also helps participants realize the role of friends and family in their life. Their support is of utmost importance and makes it easier to go through the hardships of life.

Serpent and Saint

How to play?          

All members of the youth group stand in a circle facing each other. They close their eyes and wait. The leaders tap once on the back of a member – they are now the serpent. The member that gets two taps is the saint. The serpent’s aim is to kill the members of the circle.

To kill a member, the serpent must show them their tongue. The action must be discreet and quick. The member killed must dramatically fall to the ground and pronounce that they’re dead.

The aim of the saint is to catch the serpent. They must be on the lookout for the person who’s sticking out their tongue at people.

Learnings

The activity is a good way to revisit Bible stories of the Devil and the Saints. It also helps members sharpen their observation skills.

More Games for Kids: Mad Libs Game

I Got Your Back!

How to play?

Two members from the group must sit with their backs to each other. Their arms hooked, feet flat on the floor, and knees up to their chest.

They must now try to get up without using their arms on the floor. Once the pair succeeds, another member is added to the circle. This repeats till all members are part of the circle.

Learnings

The activity is almost impossible to execute alone. The activity is a way to remind teens to lean on each other when necessary.

Support from friends and family is important for one’s success. Keeping a positive attitude and working well in a team can work wonders.

Picture Taboo

Things we need

The game is a pen and paper game. We will need equally cut pieces of paper and markers to write on them.

How to play?

All members are given 2-3 pieces of paper. They must draw a recognizable item on the paper. They must also write down 3-4 words on the paper that are related to the item drawn. All the pieces of paper are folded into chits and put into a bowl.

Now, teams of two are made. One person from a team comes up and picks up a chit. They must try to describe the item drawn to their partner. They cannot use words written on the paper. If the partner successfully guesses the word, they get one point.

Learnings

Communication is key to building a relationship of any kind. Using better words and increasing vocabulary to make others understand you better will help in developing more effective communication strategies.

Share My Chair

Pic courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmaddison/67234056

Things we need

The game is similar to musical chairs. Two basic things are required to set this game up – a speaker and chairs. The number of chairs must be one less than the number of people playing the game.

How to play?

The game starts in the same way as musical chairs do. The chairs are placed facing alternate directions. As the music begins, players dance around the chairs. When the music stops, everyone must find a seat to sit on. Traditionally, in musical chairs, the person without a chair is eliminated.

However, in this version, the person must ask if anyone is willing to share a chair with them. Once they have also sat down, the next round starts. A chair is removed before the music plays.

In this way, the game goes on. With the number of chairs decreasing and the number of people staying the same. As the game proceeds, people will be sharing chairs and laps.

At the end of the game, there will be just one chair and all the members of the game. They must find a way to all fit in one chair.

Learnings

This game is a fun way of making everyone feel included and treasured. It inculcates the values of sharing, caring, and working as a team to find solutions.

Jammed Together

How to play?

Teams of 10-12 people are made. The people in the team must stand in a circle facing each other. The organizers give them two minutes to get themselves tangled up. They must make hold the hands of others in the team.

Two people standing next to each other cannot hold hands. After the two minutes have elapsed, the team may find themselves in a weird position.

Now, the team must try and untangle themselves. The team that comes back to a circle the fastest wins a reward.

Learnings

The activity teaches teens how important working as a team is. The most important thing for a team to work smoothly is open and clear communication.

Without this, the team would have struggled to untangle themselves. Further, the activity teaches that every problem has a solution.

Yarn of Knowledge

Yarn Of Knowledge

Things we need

The game is based mostly on interpersonal interactions. The only material required is a yarn of wool. Pre-written questions that can uncover the ideas and personality of the group can also be prepared.

How to play?

If the group has a large number, break down the group into teams of 10-15 members. The members of a team sit together in a circle facing each other. The person starting the game is given a ball of yarn. When the player is holding the yarn, other members in the circle can ask a question.

When satisfactorily answered, the ball of yarn is rolled to another person while holding onto the yarn. The person must be at least two people away from the first. The game goes on. The person holding the yarn answers the question and then rolls it to another.

This continues till all members of the circle are connected by the yarn. If the questions are getting dry, the pre-written questions can be used to get the game back on track.

Learnings

This activity facilitates for members of the group to get to know each other more intimately. Everyone’s ideas, thoughts, and beliefs are put on the table. A sense of belonging and understanding is fostered in the group through this activity.

More Games for Kids: Green Glass Door Game

A List of Books

A List of Books

How to play?

Have the group meet in the local library. Ask each member to ask a question that they want to be answered by the group. All members make a note of every question asked. They must answer the questions posed by finding a book with the aptest title. Members must go around the library and find the books and bring them back to the rendezvous spot.

Learnings

Understanding the other members of the group is facilitated by this exercise. It also pushes the members to explore the library, maybe they find a title that they resonate with and want to read. Seeking knowledge and information is also key learning of this exercise.

Statue

How to play?

A member of the group is chosen to be the night guard of the museum. All other members are considered prized items in the museum. They must be frozen in a pose and connected to the wall or the floor.

The aim of the players is to reach and tag the night guard when he is not looking. If the night guard catches any of the statues in the museum moving around, the game restarts. This time the person who was caught in the night guard.

Learnings

This is a fun activity to understand group dynamics. It enables members of the group to use their skills and sneak around to tag the night guard.

Team Bunny Hop

How to play?

Members of the group must be divided into equal teams. All members of the team stand in a single file with their hands on the front person’s shoulders. The game is a race.

The team to reach the finish line first is rewarded. However, the way to get there is tricky. The first person in the line must hop. Followed by the second, then the third, and so on.

The last person in line hops and then yells a team chant. After hearing the team chant, the first person hops forward again. In this way, the team must bunny hop their way to the finish line.

Learnings

The activity helps build positive team spirit and helps develop healthy lines of communication within the team.

Summary

The above games are ways in which leaders of youth groups can include introspective activities in their meetings. Make sure to have a discussion on the group’s learnings and experiences to enhance the experience.

Leave a Comment