The Five Things I've Learned About Youth Ministry, #2 Games

April 26, 2010

Five Things I Have Learned About Youth Ministry

In twenty-seven years as a Youth Pastor I have to think that I have accumulated some useful knowledge in regard to many aspects of youth ministry. Here is my Top Five list as pertaining to games, competitions and initiatives. I must also tell you that each of these examples are entirely true. Thankfully, most were imagined by friends of mine.

  1. Whenever a group begins to chant a name it is most often a bad form of encouragement. After all, if we are all so excited about “Mayhew” doing this, shouldn’t one of us be doing it without the coercion? This is how I came to jumping off a 60-foot cliff, taking a polar bear plunge into arctic waters, chugging a gallon of milk and playing chicken with a bear trap.

  2. Some game ideas sound great in a planning room but come to horrific results when played with middle schoolers. Things like playing 500 with food products (eggs, sausage, tomatoes etc…) being fired from a balloon launcher, sounds like a riot. You only need to see a 13-year-old boy take an egg to the head at 150 yards to squash the party. We do have video.

  3. People in the Midwest should not plan games during the grey months. It tends to dull their “I could lose my job for this” instincts. A noah’s ark simulation game night in the church basement, constructed out of two-by-fours, visqueen and commercial grade staples, may sound like the ticket out of the winter humdrum. It is in fact a ticket to the unemployment office.

  4. Any game, developed by thinking and rational professional youth workers must take into consideration, “The Idiot Factor”. This means that the people playing the Hippity Hop Gauntlet who are tagging riders with pillows, are inevitably going for the knockout. Specific instructions mush be given in order to avoid contestants using “Loaded Pillows”.

  5. All games must be tried in real time by forty year old youth leaders in order to insure playability. Our Tubing Hill target joust was a fantastic game on paper. It actually would have been very playable if we somehow would have taken into account the fact that target holders were standing on a heavily angled, icy slope. Escape form the oncoming lance was nearly impossible. (Video also available upon request).

  6. Bonus: Each ministry must have at least one kid on which to try out new possibilities. You can get them to try the unknown by chanting their name!

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StephanieApr. 26 2010, 5:07pm

Hehehe. Love this.


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