In my first year of youth ministry I would feel immense pressure creating the ultimate game. Games are fun, fun means teens are having a good time and a teen having a good time is going to come back, right? Some nights I hit it out the park other days I flopped.
While your youth ministry does not need a game every single week they are an important part of what you do. God wants you and your teens to have fun and games are a perfect way of doing it. The problem is that you over think it, stress out and over pay for materials. If you want to create epic games you need to follow these rules:
- RULE #1 – Keep It Simple: One of the best games out there is the impossible shot. You simply throw an object at another object. If you hit it, you win a prize. Simplicity means less headaches in the planning stage and less things to go wrong when playing the game. If the details get to be too much, take a step back.
- RULE #2 – Get Everyone Involved: You can get everyone involved without having everyone participate. A good game means that everyone is engaged. To make this happen build in hype, over blow the benefits to winning. Create theme music and give the game an intriguing name. Get leaders involved by having them stir up the crowd. When teens see you are having fun, they’ll want to join in too.
- RULE #3 – Delegate Responsibilities: When you are a one person show your games will lack enthusiasm and efficiency. Bringing people on board to set-up, emcee, clean up and plan. It will give you the ability to keep a game simple and get everyone involved. By tapping into other people you allow for more creativity and new ideas emerge.
- RULE #4 – Be Clear: Nothing ruins a game like poorly given instructions. Write them out and run them by someone who is not involved in the planning. Make sure they are clear for an outsider and simple to follow. When instructing the crowd make sure they are engaged and focused on the task at hand. When everyone is on the same page, the game is more likely to succeed.
- RULE #5 – Do Not Fear Failure: Not every game you plan will be epic; however, that should not stop you from going big. Sometimes the biggest fails are the best memories. If a game doesn’t go according to plan see it as a growth moment. Learn from the mistakes and don’t be ashamed to say, “Well, we tried.” Your teens will appreciate the humility.
Epic games are the ones where everyone feels engaged and involved. Do not be afraid to go off topic and just have fun. When teens are laughing you break the tension from their week. When they are relaxed they’ll be more open to hearing God’s word.
What other rules would you add?