Truth be told, I really dislike thinking about and planning youth group games. I think it’s due to a slight revulsion to the “mostly games” flavor of youth ministry. They can also take up a lot of time planning and playing the game, not to mention $$$$. But, I completely see the value in building team unity, breaking the ice, developing friendships, and just being generally awesome. I personally long for a “Game Master”, who could take my lesson for the night, and make wonderful experiential games to drive home the point. If that’s you, hit me up!
I’m a fan of super simple, addicting games. Our ministries personal favorite at the moment is Smash Face:
The object of the game is to get the people around the circle into the center and smash the volleyball at them. The center is where loser’s must sit until someone in the middle catches it or one person is left standing. There are three types of players the Smashers wait for the opportune moment and then smash the volleyball into the middle with all of their might, and Saviors who will sacrifice there body for others to stay in the game. There are also the assassins who attempt to take out the players around them. With a mixture of all three playing the game can become possibly the funnest sport of all time. Players on the outside serve the ball and hit it back and forth, until it has been hit at least three times, then the ball is “smashable”. Assassins are optional.
Before that, it was Poison and Dodgeball. Jon Acuff had a recent post that I thought was worth sharing where he asked for people to share there favorite youth group game. There’s currently over 400 comments, so take some time to read through them if you looking for some new ideas. This one sounds awesome, but I’m always a little apprehensive about turning off all the lights with hormone enraged adolescents:
Death in the Sanctuary. Always played at night. One person in pulpit holds a flashlight, everyone else army crawls under pews or otherwise tries to get to the front of the sanctuary without being caught. If the person with the flashlight catches you, you have to go back to the back of the sanctuary. First one to touch the communion table is the next one in the pulpit. Many rug burned elbows and knees followed, so I started bringing knee pads to overnights.
Oh wait, here is the reason why I don’t like these games:
We played a game called Joust. Guys would use a panty-hose to hold an egg in place on their forehead. Girls would ride on their shoulders and using rolled up newspaper, try to break everyone else’s eggs by beating them in the head. (That was a 911 call waiting to happen.)
We played this game at youth group but instead of a rolled up newspaper we used dead fish…. it was awesomely yucky.
I like a short time for games at the end of our time together, rather than allowing games to dominate our time. We also do “Nights of Nothing”, where we just spend time building relationships, and doing whatever sounds fun!