Are you a Starbucks fan? According to Starbucks, 60 million customers visit its nearly 30,000 Starbucks stores every year. The truth is, in blind taste tests, more people preferred McDonalds coffee over Starbucks–and McDonalds coffee is cheaper! So why do some many people go to Starbucks? It’s all about the experience. It is not just coffee; Starbucks is coffee with an experience. They could go to McDonalds or a gas station and get coffee, but customers want the atmosphere that Starbucks has to offer.
Your youth group should not just be another meeting, it should be an awesome weekly experience with its own atmosphere that makes students want to be there. Your students are drawn to fun and excitement, and a great game time adds that element. We want students to walk in saying, “I can’t wait to see what happens this week.” Your game is a great way to break the ice at the start of the meeting, help visitors connect, and add a little spice. Game time is a great way to prepare students to dial in once you get to teaching the Word of God.
Here are a few ideas to make sure your game time is the best it can be.
- Do your homework! – Make sure you prepare ahead of time. For most games to come off well, you will need to do some preparation. Show up early and make sure you have all the props ready and people to help.
- Have prizes! – Everyone loves to win a prize of any kind. It does not need to be expensive. Get a bag of candy bars and you are ready to go.
- Keep it simple! – The goal is to break the ice, be brief, and get as many students involved as possible. The more complex the game, the more challenging this will be–and the more time it will take. Also make sure you consider the size of your group when picking games. Some games will not work with large groups.
- Lead it with energy! – Make sure you pick someone to lead games who has energy. Pick the person on your leadership team who can sell the excitement of the game and encourage your students to be involved. Think camp program person!
John is the Director of Word of Life Youth Ministries. He and his wife Pam have served with Word of Life for over 33 years in several regions including Southern California and North East Pennsylvania. They currently live in upstate NY where John has been serving in his current role since November, 2014.