Six games to play at your school Christian group
Great ideas for having fun and learning more about the gospel at the same time.
I have recently started as the new scripture teacher at a local High School. This gives me an amazing opportunity to share the gospel with students and encourage them in their faith. And one of the ways I want to do that is through interactive learning in the classroom. As part of that, I incorporate games into the lesson to help them learn in a fun and inclusive fashion. These ideas would work for anyone who is involved in running a Christian group at school, or even at youth group.
Spotlight is a great game that students love because it gives them a relaxed opportunity to share something about themselves. Here's how it works:
- I ask all the students to stand up.
- I say a statement such as, “Sit down if your parents drive a white car”, “sit down if you are the youngest in your family”, or “sit down if you live in a house numbered between 10 and 25”.
- The game continues until there is one student remaining.
- The last student standing comes out the front into the “spotlight” and gets asked some normal (and some not so normal) questions.
As a teacher, it is a great way for me to learn about the students and show them I’m interested in getting to know them. All students that I teach, from Years 7-9 enjoy this game. Its purpose? To build relationships and engage with the students in my class.
2. O's and X's
O’s and X’s is played on the whiteboard, but can also be played on chairs (see the book Youth Games with Purpose). It will most often be boys against girls. It is surprising how much students can recall from the previous lesson when there is a bit of competition involved! Here's the basics:
- A question is asked to one of the teams. I always use questions about the study from the previous lesson, as well as some general bible questions.
- If they get the answer correct, they can put a X or O on the board.
- If they guess incorrectly, the same question goes to the other team.
- If no team can answer, it is a good opportunity to take time to explain the answer.
The purpose of O’s and X’s is to revise what the students have learned about Jesus. But maybe you'd like to include a game that directly relates to the study this week? Here are some good ones, based on actual Bible passages.
3. Charades / Paralysed Man (Luke 5)
- Divide the whole class into two teams for a big game of charades.
- Students try to get their message across with speaking.
- At the end of the game, talk to students about how it must feel living without one of their usual abilities (e.g. our ability to speak), and discuss how the paralysed man would have felt living without his ability to walk.
- Open the Bible and read the story in Luke 5.
4. Miracles (John 6)
- Get four students seated out the front.
- Each one closes their eyes and gets a stuffed toy to hold.
- They must guess what it is without looking.
- One toy must be a fish (make it the last one).
- Once students have guessed correctly, they return to their seats.
- Give an introduction about Jesus’ miracles, asking if students know any miracles that involved fish.
- Open the Bible and read the story in John 6.
5. Blind Man (John 9)
- This game involves pinning an eye on the 'blind man'.
- It works exactly the same as the classic 'pin the tail on the donkey'.
- Ask for four volunteers and see who can get the eye on the X (where the eye should be) of the face.
- Open the Bible and read the story in John 9. Discuss what it would be like to see for the first time as an adult.
6. Rich Young Man (Luke 18)
- Have five items on a table out the front. A pencil, a lolly/candy, a cup of water, a hair elastic and finally a scrunched up piece of newspaper with a $1 coin or note hidden in it (these items can vary, except for the last).
- Don't tell the students what is inside the newspaper.
- Choose a student to come up the front and choose an item, without touching it. They can keep any item they choose.
- Ask them why they chose that item. Let them take it and then show the class the scrunched up newspaper with the money inside.
- Open the Bible and read the story in Luke 18.
- Talk about how people usually want immediate riches that they can see and touch, instead of what is unseen (eternal life). But which is more valuable?
Games don’t have to be loud and disruptive. They can be quiet, thoughtful and reflective. As long as you think about the aim of the game, how it helps share the gospel and are purposeful in your choices, games can be a great tool for helping people reflect on God's word!
Looking for more games like this? Then grab a copy of Youth Games With Purpose today!