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

 

There always seems to be a cycle to “coolness.”  Something becomes a big hit, everyone gets into it…and then it is “over-played” or eventually loses it’s novelty and then becomes cheesy if you continue doing it.

Screen shot 2014-01-08 at 8.40.17 AMThink about how some of these things used to be the center of coolness:

  1. Planking
  2. Chubby Bunny
  3. Photo Bombs
  4. Furby Hungwy
  5. POGS
  6. Nerdery
  7. Or, how about the lazer background in school pictures..?

Well, guess which one of these is coming back into the center of Pop Culture….

YOUGeneration is a hit television show in the UK, and they have been doing Chubby Bunny contests (seeing who could eat the most marshmallows while still being able to say, “Chubby Bunny”) with some of the biggest young stars of today. They’ve done it with One Direction, Cher Lloyd, Kimberly Wyatt….on and on.

Maybe things that would be considered “cheesy youth group games” to us are, well, cool again?



Christmas Song TriviaIf you’re looking for a last minute addition to your weekend programming, try this game created by our student ministry team.

Merry Christmas!

 

Christmas Song Trivia QUESTIONS

Christmas Song Trivia ANSWERS

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

Josh Griffin —  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.

minutetowinitA few years ago youth ministries were blessed with NBC’s Minute To Win It. It was a fun show but more than that it gave youth ministry nearly one hundred fresh game ideas! I have used several of these games the past 2 or so years but have wanted it to be easier to to grab a game. This week I stumbled upon a PDF file with a tone of Minute To Win It Games. Click, download, and pass on to who ever leads your game time!



Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 10.04.33 PM

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!

JG

 

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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!

JG