We recently sent a survey to all of our parents asking about reopening and the COVID-19 season.

While we did get some really great feedback, there were a couple complaints that every youth pastor has heard at least once.

In this blog series, I’m going to break them down one by one explaining why we do what we do, and then give one tip for interacting with “that” parent in the future.

The first complaint was that we play too many games. In the summer, there is some credibility to that. We actually change our program to be more activity-oriented because people are traveling or busy with summer activities. There is still solid biblical teaching time going on weekly, but it would be easy for a parent to look at our social media and think, “all they do is play games!”

But there is still a method to our madness!

1. Fellowship is a biblical thing!

As Christians, we are supposed to spend time with other believers! In student ministry, that means we sometimes spend time with other believers while also throwing hotdogs at targets on the other side of the room or stacking Oreos on our foreheads.
Spending time together is important! Just because we structure it to look a little crazy, doesn’t mean we have no purpose in it.

2. Games break down walls

Students who laugh are more likely to let down their walls. If they keep their guard up the entire time they’re at youth group when it comes time to share the Gospel, that same wall is going to be right where it is always been. Sometimes we play ridiculous games in order to help students feel more at ease and relaxed. We are setting ourselves up for a win when it comes to sharing the Gospel!

3. Students learn differently

Not everyone learns the best from having somebody lecture at them. I don’t learn when somebody lectures at me!
Teachers and educators have said for decades that we need to teach using different methods.
So when we relate a part of our lesson back to playing four corners, it’s going to hit students differently. And that’s the way we planned it!

4. Even adults don’t fill their time-slot with just Bible study

The most serious and Bible-based small group in your church still has a time where they drink coffee or eat snacks and just talk.
We have an hour with the students! We’re going to plan some fun. Just because when the adults do it it looks mature and more subdued, it doesn’t mean we can’t get a little crazy with how we fill our time!

Parent Tip:
Ask them to come and serve! Usually, parents don’t get a chance to see the inner workings of the ministry. Ask them to come to hang out with a week for a week or two so they can get an insider scoop. Usually, that lets them see why you play games or what makes your ministry run like it does.

If they don’t take you up on your offer, then you know there’s probably something else going on that’s causing the complaint. There’s probably something else going on behind the scenes. Ask them to come to serve!

Games help students learn, fellowship, and prepare them to receive the truth we teach.
Do you play games with your students? Why do YOU play games? Let us know in the comments!