Can I be honest? When it comes to my weekly youth meeting, I can nail the message, get my worship team organized and looking great, find serious and funny videos to show the students, and take care of all the administrative needs. However, the one thing I absolutely hate is coming up with games. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing them. I think having an element of fun is super necessary in ministry.
God made fun and we will have it in our worship service. However, when I construct my night, it is seriously the last thing I think of when it comes to planning my service.
So over the past couple years of doing ministry I have collected a number of bookmarks that I keep on my browser for my last minute game planning. Some of them I look ahead of time so I can grab gear for the game. Some of them I will literally open up within an hour of the service to find a quick powerpoint game to play with my students.
Some have hit…
Some have totally bombed…
One thing I have learned over the years is that a game’s success is contingent on a couple of things: The excitement and clarity of the person explaining the game and the personality of the students.
If you are leading the game, you need to be excited. Be goofy. Have fun. If the students see you acting goofy and excited, they will feed off of that. I try to act like a total goofball when I lead games. Even if the game is sorta lame, you can play it off as ironically funny and the kids will love it.
As for the personality of the students, you have to know what kind of games they might like. Are they more physical and want to run around a ton, or are they the type that do better with a fun 10-question powerpoint quiz? Also, if your group is more than 45, you probably should consider up front games where you bring a couple students to the front to face off.
Lastly, if you find your games nose-diving every night, consider getting donations or pulling some cash from the budget and get prizes. They don’t have to be nice. They could be silly stuff from the dollar store. If there is a prize, students will at least try. However, make sure you can maintain this. It will get really expensive really fast if you are not careful.
- YouthMin.org - A bunch of indoor and outdoor physical games are in the “games” category.
- Stuff You Can Use – As of this moment, there are four sweet games & game guides for free (including Giant Angry Birds).
- The Source For Youth Ministry – The site might look outdated, but the games on this site have been served up to youth groups across the country.
- Jubed – Again, don’t let the old looking layout stop you. Some of these games are relevant and still fun today!
- Youth Leader Stash – Some great games have been found on here, but don’t wait until the last minute. You’ll need to prep for some of these games. It will be worth it.
- YouthMinistry101 – A new site that has some sweet games.
- Pinterest – I know what you are thinking, “Why is this handsome bearded man on Pinterest?” Well, I am married and enjoy Nutella. Also, there are a ton of good game ideas to be found.
- EGADideas – Tons of games and ideas for your ministry.
- YouthPastor.com – The site might be from 1998, but the games are for today. Check them out.
- Pastor2Youth.com – Tons of games.
NOT FREE BUT AFFORDABLE
- YouthMinResources.com – A growing library of games and fun.
- Download Youth Ministry – I became a DYM member solely for this purpose. You get a free game every month and you can buy free games with the DYM credit they give you. Lots of fun ones here.
Did we miss your favorite site? What site do you find great games?