Don’t Hate the Player…

When I started serving my present church, I was confronted with a question that has become a large part of youth ministry. The question is: How large of a part of our ministry should games play(no pun intended)? First, some back story. Several years ago, two adults shared the part-time position of youth minister. They…

Piggy Bank Pile Up

Looking for a fun relay game? All you need is a couple dollars’ worth of pennies and some buckets. It takes minimal set up and is a great team-building, trust building activity. You can do this as a set of pairs, or large groups. One member of the team has to transport a dollar’s worth…

Speed Interviews

One of my favorite retreat ice breakers is called Speed Interviews. They cram a whole lotta meeting in a short amount of time, needs little or no prep, and can be a ton of fun. Partner your group off with people they don’t know, if there is an odd number, you participate. The pairs then…

Line ‘Em Up

I like to break up pairs when I do most of my games, ice breakers or activities. It helps to keep cliques from forming, develops new interactions and sometimes, it’s just good to shake things up. In order to pair them up deliberately, it’s easier to have them in a random order. To do this,…

Up & Down

What this game lacks in a good name, it makes up for in a 10 on the delightfulness meter. It’s a fun ice breaker and gets people out of their heads. You will need an odd number of people, so if there are an even number, you play too. Have your group circle up and…

Amazon Smile Program

  I buy a ridiculous amount of stuff on Amazon.  A. LOT.  Sometimes it’s for the church, sometimes it’s for personal, sometimes it’s because I have a problem with impulse buying and my Amazon account is set up with one-click purchasing.  Recently, I found out that if you buy the purchases through Smile.Amazon.com, Amazon will…

Giant Dodgeball

Dodgeball is fun, but sometimes my teens throw too hard or too aggressively. I think it’s the Wheaties. Dodgeball is no fun if someone gets hurt, so if we want to play, we need some adjustments. One of the adjustments we use often is we play with yoga exercise balls. It adds a whole new…

Water Balloons 2.0

As promised in my Pirate Toss entry, here’s my post on non-water filled water balloons! I host a huge annual event on our Kick-Off weekend called Mess Fest, an event that is outrageous, messy (obviously), and a great draw for new youth and friends.  One of the things I use for several games at Mess…

Shoe Roulette

A quick, no-prep icebreaker I like to use is having everyone in the group remove their shoes and toss them into a large pile. Then, everyone grabs 2 non-matching, non-their-own shoes, one left and one right. Then, they have to put the shoes “on”, and I know not everyone wears the same size, so do…

Circle of Death

This is an activity that I have used for larger retreats with ABSURDLY great results. There is a little prep, but there are no supplies needed, other than a piece of paper ripped into strips, as many strips as there are people in the group. As I said, I like using this activity with larger…