Why do we do games in our youth ministries?
* Community building
* Breaking the ice
* For fun
* To make a point
* To kill time
* To drain the student’s energy
* The students love them
If we are going to facilitate a game, what should be the point?
I think the best youth ministry games are the games that simulate a situation that challenge the students to think and act. I am a big fan of experiential type of games.
I love in Luke 4 where the Holy Spirit literally drives Jesus into the wilderness, which is where the devil tries to tempt Him. In this situation, Satan in his crafty ways tests Jesus. Satan really wants to see if Jesus is the person He is saying He is. Jesus is put into a situation where His character and words are tried.
I enjoy the pencil trick scene in the Dark Knight where the Joker is trying to sell the idea to kill the batman. The Joker directly points out that he knows how to pin point the “squealers”. When times get hard, the squealers will bail and fail.
My point: Create games that force the students to be who they are in real life. Facilitate activities that define who the leaders and followers are. You will be amazed as you sit back and watch and observe the activity. The activity will show the students true colors and it is so easy to tie it back to how they actually live their life. It is my assumption that how they think, talk, act, and behave in the “game” will directly show you as their youth pastor how they think, talk, act, and behave in their every day life. Do games that give you a preview into your student’s psychology. It will blow your mind how in a matter of minutes you will immediately determine what students are: lazy, motivated, passionate, sarcastic, go getters, thoughtful, analytical, cynical, argumentative, compassionate, and optimistic.
Simulate experiences, games, activities that test your students character code that they daily live by.
John Losey’s book: Experiential Youth Ministry Handbook