Dating game youth ministry

Occasionally, the intentional youth pastor may even choose a game his or her students may struggle to achieve in, for the purpose of teaching humility and finding a place within the body.

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It is stunning to me how many camps or conferences I’ve attended where the speaker quotes 1 Corinthians (about God choosing the foolish things of the world to shame the wise) or Joel (out of context), only to then do a schoolyard “pick ‘em” with athletic team captains…

followed by said captains whipping dodgeballs at the weaker students.

The title of this article may have sent a theological shiver down your spine…games.

As a surface-level reaction, that’s completely understandable.

Consider the benefits of an intentional, well-executed game time: Make no mistake, the way in which you structure and conduct your non-teaching times may have as much or more of an impact than your teaching times if they’re consistently underwhelming, or thoughtlessly rigged to either highlight or breakdown certain styles of student.

So yes, even though games are far from gospel-central, they are anything but unimportant. Here are a few from the three categories our youth group regularly enjoys (click on the name of the game to see directions on how to play): Athletic: John Gardner has served as the Youth Director for Chapel Presbyterian Church in Brighton Township, Pennsylvania for 6 years.

He and his wife Jackie both serve high school and middle school students as a full time calling, with Jackie teaching math at Beaver County Christian School.

John graduated with a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2009, and spends most of his spare time reading, writing, and explaining the actual meanings of song lyrics to youth group students.

But they can be a valuable tool in building a kingdom culture in our youth ministries. The differences between a youth ministry which simply tags on games out of necessity, and a youth ministry which builds a culture of discipleship through games, are threefold. If you aren’t familiar with this type of person, please know that not only do they exist, but they are more common than you suppose.

Others are tired of their school’s preferential treatment of certain types of athletes, so their desire for a place of rest from their everyday competitive culture can be quickly obliterated if you opt to play football or soccer every week.

Here are a few key ways to identify whether or not your ministry leaders are buying in: It may take occasional reminders and clear boundary-setting in leader training, but building buy-in with your volunteers during these times will make a colossal difference in building a culture that intentionally extends beyond sermons and Bible studies.

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