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!




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


  • 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.


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,




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Had a little contest last week introducing a new backyard/beach game to many of you – one of our very favorite youth groups games ever is SPIKEBALL. Congrats to Robby Roate for scoring a full set compliments of the SPIKEBALL team. And remember, you can check out their website to see how the game works and use promo code DIVE35 to get 10% off if you want to get one of your own, too!




The makers of the backyard game of Spikeball are giving away a combo pack of the incredibly epic game to one lucky MTDB reader! It is honestly one of our favorite summertime games in our high school ministry! To get in on the action, leave a comment on this blog post and you’re in the running to get a full set. Never heard of the game? Check out their website to check out how it works and use promo code DIVE35 to get 10% off if you want to get one of your own, too!


This weekend we played another incredible game in our high school ministry – it was inspired by Facebook Hack (which if you haven’t ever seen, check it out here) from this past year and tied into the Instalife series perfectly: INSTA-HACK!

The game is simple – someone turns over control of their Instagram account to the host of the show, who is then given permission to do whatever they want in exchange for prizes. In this case we used the Wheel of Destiny to let it randomly choose what would happen. Some of the options included:

  • deleting 10 random friends
  • trolling someone’s profile (aka liking all of one person’s pictures)
  • posting a picture of another girl in the room and tagging it #newgirlfriend
  • $5 to Starbucks
  • become Instafamous – everyone in the room takes out their phone to follow them
  • Week-long hack – the phone stays logged in and randomly in the week we hack them again
  • … and many more!

We had previously hooked up an iPhone to our main screen using an Apple TV so the whole experience was sick and flawless technically, too. Oh and also painful … and hilarious. The students who played along were good sports and hosts were loving but ruthless. Another epic game we’ll for sure use in the future, too!


A few years ago, NBC introduced a show that has really revolutionized the games we play in youth ministry, A Minute to Win It. I love these games, they are simple to set up, have a predetermined amount of time, and the students love playing them. I think the best part about these games is there is no shame. If a student can’t beat a game, they don’t have to walk back to their seat feeling like a loser, because the games are easy enough that anyone can do them and at the same time hard enough that no one can really do them.

Previous to this, there was another game show that many Youth Ministries borrowed ideas from, and its about to start airing new episodes again. I strongly urge you to think before you use any games from this show, and that show is Fear Factor. Now, I’m not against Fear Factor. When the show used to be on, I used to love watching it. So don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Youth Pastors shouldn’t watch the show. This isn’t a blog post against Fear Factor at all.

The title of this post isn’t aimed at the show Fear Factor. No, I believe one of the greatest threats to youth ministry is what many call the “Disgusting” games.

I remember when I was in 7th grade, we played a game in Youth Group where there were 4 teams on one side of the room, and on the other, there were four grocery bags, and the idea was that one at a time, one person from each team would run over to the bag, and without looking, reach in, pull something out, and eat whatever they pulled out. They would be a variety of things, like maybe a snickers bar, maybe a can of coke, or maybe a jar of baby food and a jar of pickled pigs feet. Then the student had to run back across the room.

Or even the games where a student has to eat as many Twinkies as they can in a minute, but one of the twinkies they are given is full of mayonnaise instead of the cream filling. I’ve heard of more disgusting games, and am sure you have. But what I have also seen, specifically in middle school, is a real threat to ministry to specific students.

I had planned on writing a post about this at some point for the last few weeks, but my greatest encouragement came last night after Middle School when one of our girls came up to me afterwords and said “I really just want to thank you for not making us play any gross games. I never came to Middle School Mayhem because the first day I went in 6th grade, I had to bob for pigs feet. I don’t feel embarrassed playing your games though.”

I already was committed to never playing a gross game in our youth group, now I’m committed to trying to wake up others to think the same thing. Because here is the deal. This post is called “One of the greatest threats to youth ministry” because I honestly believe these kinds of games are extremely damaging to our ministry to students.

The First way they are damaging is because of the very nature of the game. When we play these games, and we ask for a volunteer, we really are asking for someone to come on stage and be laughed at while they get very uncomfortable. There’s no community building happening in this game, except for a community of students laughing at the contestant. Specifically for already shy kids, this can be an extremely painful experience, and like my student expressed last night, one that makes them not even want to come to youth group.

The second way they are damaging is they perpetuate the myth that Youth ministry is just a bunch of silly games. We have a lot of students in our church who don’t come to our youth ministry. I’m working at getting them involved, but I also know one of the things that has kept them out is the image of “just fun and games” that many youth ministries have adopted. If I was a parent, and I sent my student to youth group and they came home and said “I don’t feel well, we played dodgeball with fish tonight,” I’m not sure I’m ever letting my student go back there.

Call me crazy, but I just don’t see any benefit to playing disgusting games. I’d love to hear one if you have one, but for me, these kind of gross games serve as nothing but a threat to real ministry, and we will never do them.

What’s the grossest game you have ever heard of our played yourself?

If you use Gross games, why have you chosen to use them in your ministry?

If you don’t use gross games, why have you chosen not to?

Ben Read is the Student Ministries Director of Trinity Evangelical Church in North Reading, MA.

This year we’ve trying a fun new idea that we’ve been cooking for small groups – we’ve just launched HSM’s Life Group Leagues!

From time to time throughout the small group year we’re going to host a few casual sports nights here at the church where groups can participate in some fun activities like volleyball, ping pong or basketball. The games are all for fun, not highly competitive and simply give small groups a chance to take a break from the pace of the year and have some fun together.

I’ve always liked the idea of intramural sports in college and wondered if it would translate to high school ministry. We’re off to a great start so far – thought the idea might be a good one to share here, too!


Last year youth groups all over started to use games from NBC’s Minute to Win It game show. They’ve uploaded a ton of new games to the official site – if you’re looking for a fun summer camp program element or service icebreaker, this might be an easy place to find one. Hit it up here!