Theme Logos

Sermon Series Theme Logos... Just some of the theme graphics we used this last year.
*I do not take credit for all these images as some of them came from other places.  My team likes to borrow awesome ideas from other people.   

Leadership Tools 14- Games and Ice Breakers

Games are simply one of the best things about youth ministry. I love playing games of all sorts...board, video, outdoor, indoor, running, sitting still, action, fast, slow... The list could go on and on.  I get excited when someone mentions games.  Games aren't just fun, which they totally are, but they have the capacity to break down walls, to help students get to know one another, feel comfortable, and to build community.

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the game."- Randy Pausch

I remember growing up in the church and for the longest time thinking the church is dumb and boring.  All we do at church is listen to people talk about things I could care less about.  My interest in church peaked around High School when our new youth pastor had us play the wackiest games.  We ran through an obstacle course, stuffed food in our mouth, and then ran back to the start line to tag another teammate. We called it food Olympics. The first team to finish their food won the game.  It was hilarious, a little awkward, and yes I felt ill to my chills afterward, but it was also one of the first moments I thought wow church is actually cool.  I don't remember the lesson but I do remember laughing uncontrollably through the whole night as each of us acted like complete fools in order to win a silly game.  Did it matter who won?!? Not really, that wasn't the point.

"Been in this game one-hundred years, but I see new ways to lose 'em I never knew existed before." -Casey Stengel

I loved the fact that the games at youth group weren't about skill or intense competition but just about fun.  I played select soccer, competitive hockey, and did other activities where my skillset was constantly being challenged and so these silly games for me, this was a release.  Many of the teens I interact with complain about the same things: constant test taking, the pressure to get into college, the level of play coaches are asking of them, their intense schedules, and how everything has become a competition.

Or to quote Daft Punk, 

Games and Icebreakers at youth group should be a break from everything else.  They should be fun and full of laughter.  I remember as we played the silly game Food Olympics we bonded with one another in a very unique way.  Months later we, those who were there that night, were still talking about it.  I remember telling my friends about it at school the next day and watching them have this look of disbelief but also intrigue. Loved that it sparked their interest and yes some of them did come to church just to experience it for themselves.  One of my favorite memories was when my friend, who happened to be an exchange student from Australia, came to youth group for his first time.  My youth pastor had frozen a spoon and tied a long string to it.  You stand in a line and the first person sticks the spoon down their shirt, down their pants (over their underwear), then passes it to the next person.  When the spoon gets to the end you reverse it.  First team to get the frozen spoon to the end and back wins.  My friend was wearing a skin tight shirt and pants.  Needless to say our team lost, but it was painfully funny to watch him try to wiggle the spoon down.  

"A day without laughter is a day wasted."
- Charlie Chaplin

There are so many good things about games and my hope is that you see them as more than just a game, but something more.  I post a few games from time to time... you can see the link at the top of the page.  Below are some tips on leading games, my favorite ice breakers, and conversation starters. 

"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face." -Victor Hugo

Hope you have a great day.  Don't forget to smile.  

WORD- Tips for Leading a Game

PDF- Tips for Leading a Game

WORD- IceBreakers

PDF- IceBreakers

WORD- Conversation Starters

PDF- Conversation Starters