5 Games That Are a Hit With Our Students

Tim Balow
October 31st, 2018

Games have the potential to create a culture of fun in youth ministry. A culture that can build relational trust among the students and leaders. Laughter, competitiveness, and silliness help students loosen from their preconceived notions of others and help them enjoy youth ministry. Although youth group games impact the fellowship among students, it does become a problem if fun and games become all that the youth ministry is about. However, that should not stop youth workers from intentionally creating a culture of fun in our youth ministries. Below are 5 games or activities that our students have enjoyed!

Nailed It or Failed It Cat Edition by Download Youth Ministry (DYM) – DYM has a variety of games that are very practical, fun and easy to use from the stage during youth ministry services.  I recently used this game during one of my talks. It kept the students engaged and acted as a fun competition during my message. If you have not used DYM, then you are missing out. Their games are cheap, easy to use, and will save you lots of time.

Nine Square in the Air – Many youth workers have heard of 9 Square, but wouldn’t be surprised if there were many who have not. When I started as a youth pastor, a couple years ago, barely any of the students I worked with  had heard of this game. However,  I found that it revolutionized our youth group. Students love this game as it provides a mix between four square and volleyball. Both athletic and non-athletic students can play!  This helps because it serve as a great tool to get students interacting with each other before and after youth group. It is a great alternative to having students sitting in their seats and looking at their phones before the service starts.

Relay Charades – Charades is a popular game that has been played for years.  Students act out certain words they pick from a pile of options and other students try to guess what they are trying to communicate. Adding a relay component where students must run to the other side of the room, possibly through a maze, to get the card that they have to act out creates an extra level of excitement and competition! You could also turn Pictionary into Relay Pictionary.

Coloring – Yes. I know that coloring is not a game, but I have found that students love to color. Coloring creates moments in which students can sit around a table and simply talk and relax. It has surprised me how so many students, both guys and girls, engage in coloring either before or after regular youth group times and even special events. I will not be surprised if the simplicity of coloring becomes more popular as students become increasingly more overwhelmed by technology.  

Uno Tournament using Giant Uno Cards – Many of our students grew up playing Uno. I recently hosted a game night were we had an Uno tournament with more than thirty students. We divided the students into 5 regular games and then took the top two students from each game into a championship round. We added some additional fun by using giant Uno cards in the championship round. Students enjoyed the tournament and it was fun watching the students handle giant cards in the championship round.

Many youth workers put great effort into the games the play each week at youth group so that a culture of engagement can be created with and among students.

What are some of your favorite, culture engaging, youth group games?  Share your best games in the comment section

Tim Balow

Youth Specialties exists to elevate the role of youth ministry and the youth worker to grow the faith of the next generation.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.