Search Results For "games"

Refresh Old Games

 —  July 17, 2014 — 2 Comments

refresh your gamesThere are certain classic games that your group loves to do. Chances are some of your favorites have been worn out because you over used them. Want to bring them back? Put a new twist on them. It’s not that hard. Just take the basic object of your favorite game and play it in a new way. Think of it as your favorite game on steroids. [don’t actually use steroids]

How does this work? Let me give you an example:
Rock, Papers, Scissors (Ro Sham Bo)
You know the rules, but change what the action is. There is a good chance you have played another version of this. Like Ladies, Hunters, Bears. Participants pair up and stand back to back. On 3 they turn around and pose as a lady (hand on hip and other hand on head saying “heeeyy” in a high pitched voice) or hunter (pretending to hold a giant gun under their arm and saying “BOOM”) or bear (both arms in the air yelling “Roooaaaaarrrr”).
Ladies beat hunters.
Hunters beat bears.
Bears beat ladies.
Loser sits down and the winner finds another partner until you are down to your final 2.

If it’s a tie they are both out. (this helps the game go by quicker).

Take Ultimate Frisbee as another example.

Just find another random object (one that won’t hurt) and use that instead. A few ideas: Ultimate Cow Tongue, Ultimate Octopus, Ultimate Pillow, Ultimate Flip Flop, etc.

Want to go really big? Play Monopoly, BUT use an entire room as the set up. Lay down cardboard or butcher paper and make a huge board. Then take a couple of square boxes and make large dice. Use cardboard sheets for your chance cards, etc. Find full size objects to be your game pieces.
Playing the Game of LIFE? Use Tricycles or little kid cars.

You can make the most boring game turn into something exciting by giving it a twist that your students aren’t expecting. Don’t limit yourself. Look around in your game closet and see what you can put together.

What game have you refreshed that worked well?

PAS01If you use games for youth ministry then here is a free, easy-to-play game you can download today. Pick Sides is simply a game where you…

  • Flash up a slide
  • Each slide displays 2 options
  • Students vote which option they like by moving to a side of the room

Download the slides here. Hopefully they are a little funny, a little awkward, and a little thought provoking.


PRO TIP: This is an easy game to play to if you want to tie in your lesson. Just grab this background and pepper in a few “would you rather “question that have to do with your message.

Brandon
@uthguy9

 

cellphonedrawSLIDE2

Here’s another free game you can use in your ministry setting.  Cell Phone Draw is pretty simple…

  • Show the graphic
  • Explain that the 5th caller (or any number caller you choose) wins a prize (make sure you have a prize)
  • Show the slide with your cell number and let the ringing begin
  • Answer your phone…make a Big Deal!!!
  • Give Prize
  • Done

We have 2 graphics here (Click Here To Download); a TITLE slide and a BLANK slide. The title slide is to show as-is announcing the game and the blank slide is for you to add your cell phone number to (if you do not have photo editing software try http://pixlr.com/editor/ and just do it online). To download the font I used, click this link or go to dafont.com and search “western.”

If you do not want to make your cell phone number public, consider getting a free number from Google Voice or paying for a disposable number with an iPhone app like “Burner.”

Have fun!

Brandon

@uthguy9

flip-it-Title

This week we played Flip It! This is a super simple game of heads or tails…but better.

Rules:

  • Ask the crowd to choose either heads or tails publically by either grabbing their head… or tail.
  • Then the game host flips a coin. If the coin is heads, all those who choose heads are still in… same with tails.

That is all you need.

Coin-Flip

Now…Here are a couple ways to make this a little more techie.

  1. The graphic above is free, click here and download the 720p version. Now you have a slide to introduce your game.
  2. Instead of a coin I used the app “FlipANickel.” It has a free version and a $.99 version.  I mirrored the app from my iPhone to our video screens using AirServer.  Everyone was able to see the coin flip and know if it was heads or tails on the big screen.

Using the app was great, it was visible and built good anticipation.  I looked at about 15 coin flipping apps, and this was the best (if you know if a better one please add it in the comments). The free version is good, but I am not a fan of ads in my apps… especially when I am screen mirroring to an audience so I dropped the 99 cents like a boss!

Keep up the good work,

Brandon

@uthguy9

 

 

bball

You open the package and begin to look at the new curriculum you purchased.   You have read the questions and changed some of the wording and questions. You are ready to start when you look at the games, or the intro video. Bleck. It won’t work.  You know your students won’t respond well. Perhaps, it’s a complicated game that you can’t pull off. Maybe you don’t have the working technology to show a video.

What do you do?
Video:

Let’s say the video included shows a guy holding an inflated and deflated basketball, and telling a story to explain the book of James.  I watch it.  I decide I can’t use the video for whatever reason.  However, I would then break it down like this, making it into an object lesson:

Materials Needed:  An inflated basket ball and a deflated basket ball.  (You can use the video as a reference to guide you in this.)

Show the students the deflated flat basketball.

Explain:  This is a basketball right?

Ask:  Is it useful right now?  I mean could you play a game of basketball with it right now?

Ask:  So is it useless for playing a game of basketball? What would make it useful?

Show them the basketball filled with air.

Explain:   This basketball can do what  it supposed to do right?  Can we use this one for a game of basketball?

Then I would explain the point this way:

Just like a basketball filled with air is able to play the game, the way it is supposed to, as a Follower of Christ we are supposed to do those things that Christ followers do. The world around us should know clearly who we are and what we are made for.  James is a book of the Bible that is all about letting us know that we should not just be about “believing in God,”  but we need to show the world through our actions, that we are living for him. That is why this book also talks so much about sin.  It really is a big deal.  Sin is actually the thing that keeps us from really living for Christ.  But if we are really a follower of Christ, ignoring our sin,  not doing anything about it,  is not an option.  Those who want to really follow Christ,  deal with their sin.  Just like a basketball is made to be filled to play the game,  we need to do those things that Christ followers do.

The point?  Never be afraid to look at the deeper meaning of the game or illustration and re-work it in a manner that relates to YOUR group of students.

 Games:

I admit it. I am not a game person. Therefore, anytime I try to play a game for “silliness” it doesn’t work for me.  I am never going to be the “coolest” youth person in the room.  However,  if there is an opening game, I would try to tie the meaning of the lesson to come into the story.  I make it relational, and I prepare my students for the game.

Taking the same concept from above I might watch the video and then decide we are going to have a game that passes out deflated beach balls (small ones).

Create two teams.

Each team must pick a captain and a timer.

When you say “GO.”  The captain must inflate the beach ball.

Once inflated, the timer starts their job, and the rest of the team must form a circle and keep the ball in the air without letting it hit the ground for 2 full minutes.

Any time the ball hits the ground they must start the time over.

Wrapping up, I would explain the same from above, but then also talk about how other people’s mistakes affect us.

Curriculum doesn’t have to be complicated.  We just need to be willing to take the time separate it out and make it all our own.

 How do you change games and videos to fit your needs?

Tomorrow is our final installment: How to tell the story!

Thanks for all you do,

Leneita

@leneitafix

talking

I once remember a friend of mine asking, “If you set up your youth group that way, what will make students have a desire to invite their friends?”  He was speaking of the fact that the focus on our ministry was to be “relationally driven.”  Sure we all talk about “discipleship” and “relationships,” however,  I started to see I did just that.  I talked about them, but I didn’t really have them. I played games for the sake of fun.  I sang worship songs because that’s  “what you do.”  The trouble was I’m not musical, and I didn’t have any students or volunteers who were either. I followed all the unwritten rules of the youth group formula.  They weren’t working for me or my students.

I stepped back and looked at Christ’s model.  He preached to the crowds, touched and healed a few, but the majority of His time was spent pouring into 12 guys, with 3 getting special attention.  If Jesus was focused on eating, sleeping and teaching mainly 12 with a focus on 3,  then that was the model I would follow.

Here’s what I did:

1.  Listened

I started with brainstorming with my students about what they were looking for in “youth group.”  Some of them liked to sing, others hated it.  What they wanted was a place to seek truth, with authentic people who would become a second family to them.

2.  Restructured

Before I programmed ANYTHING I asked,  “How will this build relationships?”  So just to move to a small group model for the sake of having them wasn’t going to work. Instead of getting through a series of questions or pushing through a curriculum, the goal was to include every student in every conversation.  What were the students able to take away with them? Could they apply at least one point the moment they walked out the door? Our opening time became much shorter.  If we did play a game, or have an object lesson, it was all about building relationships with each other or for the purpose of making a point that would be discussed in small groups.

3.  Training

Many volunteers would ask me, “What do I have in common with this age?”  So I started training my team in first steps to conversations,  how to engage, how to not talk “at students” but with them, and how to deal with disruptions. These trainings are ongoing. I gave clear expectations of where we were headed, and what they needed to do to keep up with students. There were checklists for calling, texting and spending time with students not just during “youth group.”

4. Included

One of the key elements was including volunteers and teens in our new model.  We decided that an opening time of welcoming was needed. We allowed teens (with guidance) to plan and execute this time. In a practical sense this means that this time changes year to year as we have different students and adults in the mix.  There have been dramas, worship, and video clips in that time to bring the message. The students are allowed to make this time theirs.

So I lied we do play games, but not every week. Students always shock me when they do use the word “fun” to describe our time together.  I guess it’s because we laugh, and talk and go deep, but it’s not usually silly programming.  Our method draws out the introverts and lets everyone engage.  Yes, we even eat pizza together, take trips, and have outreach events however, all of this is done with that simple question, “If we do this , how will it build relationships?” AND THEY DO INVITE THEIR FRIENDS,,,

What about you?  What are YOU doing to build relationships with your students?

 

 

3 Go To Games

 —  May 31, 2013 — Leave a comment

article.2013.05.29_2Crisis! You’ve got 10 minutes to come up with a great youth ministry game for your students. What do you do? Chances are, you reach into your back pocket and pull out an old standby game that works time and time again. Here are a few classics that can be ready in an instant.

Cell Phone Shootout
The game host has a cell phone and the first person to call the number on the screen and get connected wins a prize. It works best when everyone in the crowd has access to a cell phone and you’re okay with them breaking them out during this part of the service. If you want to spice it up, have the first person to text in a specific message on the screen to the host win.

Sit Down If…
Another instant classic you can make up as you go. Have everyone in the crowd stand up. The winner is the last person standing. Begin to call out things that, if they are true about that person, they need to sit down. Here are some examples:

  • Sit down if … you are wearing jeans.
  • Sit down if … you didn’t brush your teeth today.
  • Sit down if … you are wearing a hat.
  • Sit down if … you can’t roll your tongue.
  • Sit down if … you have ever been to a Justin Bieber concert.

You can spice it up and even throw in some “Stand back ups,” which always get a laugh as well. Keep going until there is just one left and give him or her a prize!

Roshambo
The classic rock-paper-scissors game that can be played at the crowd level. Everyone picks a partner and on the count of 3 uses their hands to display rock, paper, or scissors. Rock beats scissors; paper beats rock; scissors beats paper. If the two people both pick the same item, they are BOTH out! Repeat with everyone until you’re down to the final two for an ultimate showdown up front. Play 2 out of 3, and in the final round the same item is a redo. Epicness from such a simple, classic, and instantly ready game.

This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.

Kurt had a great post yesterday about some basic speaking tips and helps for youth workers running games. Thought there was some good stuff here, head there for the full piece:

LEAVE THEM WANTING MORE: A short lesson is almost always better than a long one! Nobody ever complained that the lesson was too short. Plus, a short lesson leaves your junior highers actually wanting to hear more. Short games are almost always better than long ones, too. Playing their favorite game too often ends up making it a game they are tired of and no longer get excited to play.

THE PAYOFF NEEDS TO EQUAL THE SET UP: The longer it takes to tell a story in your lesson, the better the punchline or application needs to be. When you start by saying, I’ve got the most hilarious story in the world to share it better be a pretty stinkin hilarious story. If you say, Today’s lesson could be the most important one I’ve ever taught it better be really important! A game that takes 10 minutes to explain and 35 seconds to play is a fail the payoff didn’t equal the set-up. When you send out a text claiming, tonight in JH ministry we will play a game of epic proportions  only to have the game be a rousing game of musical chairs, you lose.

JG