Youth ministry games are fun. They are an opportunity to set the mood, break the ice and grow community amongst your teenagers. Some games are epic and then some are total fails. While sometimes the outcome of a game is totally out of your control there are 4 rules that you should follow to prevent epic failure:
RULE #1: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
There might be a game that you enjoyed when you were a teenager, but that could have been decades ago. Try not to relive your teenage years with an activity that could miss with your audience.
Know your audience by getting to know:
- What’s trending in their lives.
- Where they spend their money and time.
You can find the answer to these two areas by pulling together of teens in your ministry or connecting with local youth workers to find out what works in their ministry. Bottom Line: Make sure what you do is something that can engage your audience and not alienate them.
RULE #2: TEST IT AND TRY IT
Whether it’s a powerpoint game or a good old traditional messy one make sure you do the research before going live. There are things you need to consider like:
- Making sure you have a backup if something like the technology fails.
- Understanding if there are any safety risks (i.e. allergies, sickness, etc.)
- Knowing if the materials you’ve purchased will actually work.
Again, you cannot control every outcome but you can narrow the chances of failure by making sure you’ve prepared.
RULE #3: HAVE A TEAM
Doesn’t matter if your ministry is big or small. Doesn’t matter if you use teenagers or adults. Make sure you have people who are assisting you with the :
- Purchase of materials.
- Selection of the participants.
- Distribution of any resources or prizes.
- Engagement and enthusiasm of the audience.
With a team you’ll have people filling gaps and tying up any loose ends. You’ll have the margin to not only make sure the game is set but focus on other aspects of your ministry.
RULE #4: REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN
In the end it’s a game and the point is to have fun. If something fails or doesn’t go according to plan the worst thing you can do is show disappointment and frustration. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself and enjoy the moment. Years later you’ll be able to look back and smile. Plus, your teens will feel more comfortable remembering that everyone makes mistakes.
Follow these 4 rules and your next game should be a hit. Enjoy the memories you are building through these games. And, remember it’s through games where we are reminding the next generation that church can be fun.