Games We Played Last Month

Spring_Watercolors_01It’s a new month so that means it’s time to look back at the games we played last month in our student ministry. As you will see, many of our games come from Download Youth Ministry so do yourself a favor and save some time by using the awesome games on their site. Be sure to click the game titles to download the game content or graphic.

Puking Rainbows or Not
How it Works: Students love the feature on Snapchat that allows them to take pictures of themselves (or their friends) puking rainbows. You can also puke other things on Snapchat as well. In this game, a picture will be shown and your students (you can play it as a stage game with a few contestants or as a crowd game where everyone plays) must if the next picture will have them puking rainbows or something else.
Supplies: Game content from DYM (click game title to download)

Whip and Fish
How it Works: This is a simple game that is fun for the contestants playing on stage as well as the crowd that is watching. Each contestant gets a plate full of Whip Cream. Buried in that Whip Cream is ten Swedish Fish that the contestants must get out without using their hands. They can only use their mouths. First contestant to get all ten Swedish Fish out wins.
Supplies: Whip Cream and Swedish Fish

Poop Deck
How it Works: This is a classic game that is always a hit. Divide the room up into three parts: low deck, mid deck, and poop deck. Everyone starts in one of the decks and must run to whatever deck the game leader calls out. Last person into that deck is out. You continue until there is one person left. You can also throw in “man overboard,” which means everyone must go touch a wall and “hit the deck,” which means everyone must drop to the floor and lay on their stomachs.
Supplies: Something to divide the room into three decks. We just tape down lines on the floor.

Lady, Knights, and Horse
How it Works: Students split up into groups of two. They each start on separate sides of the room and when the game leader calls out one of the three positions they must get in that position with their partner. “Lady” means one must jump into the arms of the other. “Knights” means one must get on one knee while the other sits on their knee. “Horses” means one must get on both hands and knees while the other sits on their back. Last group to get into position is out and the game continues until there is one group left.
Supplies: None!

What’re Those?
How it Works: One of the most popular viral videos among students is the “What’re Those?” video. It all started with one simple vine. Go here to see it if you haven’t. In this game students will see a zoomed in picture of a shoe and they must guess what brand of shoe it is.
Supplies: Game content from DYM

Plunger Push
How it Works: If you’re looking for a fun relay style game to try with your students you should try this one. Students must sit on a skateboard and then push themselves across the room using a plunger. We did this with two teams going head to head in a relay. You can do whatever variation you think works best with your group.
Supplies: Skateboards and plungers

The Last Time the Cleveland Browns Won It All
How it Works: If you’re a youth worker in northeast Ohio or have football fans in your group than give this game a shot. It’s pretty comical and will make you realize just how bad the Browns are. It’s a trivia style game where students must guess things that have happened since the last time the Browns won a championship (which was before the Super Bowl era).
Supplies: Game content from DYM

Scatterball
How It Works: Basically dodgeball but their are no sides and you can only take 3 steps with the ball. If you get hit you’re out. If you catch the ball the person who threw it is out. Once it gets down to a few people you can take the limited number steps away and let them run as much as they want. Can also throw in extra balls to speed the game up a bit.
Supplies: Dodgeballs (I suggest using Rhino Skin balls).

What to do After a Big Event

Most student ministries have a few big events they do throughout the year. It may be a missions trip, camp, or a weekend long event. Whatever it may be, student pastors know that feeling we get after that huge event is over. We are pumped that God did great things in the hearts and lives of our students, but we are exhausted, worn out, and ready for a month-long vacation.

I am currently having that feeling. Our student ministry just finished up a weeklong event called Week 180. It was a six-night event packed with worship, Biblical teaching, food, and crazy water games! In a nutshell, it was like doing a week of camp just for our students. It was a great week and God blew me away with what He did with our students, but the past few days I have been exhausted. I have done big student ministry events before, but nothing that big. I am still learning, but here are a few things we need to do after a big student ministry event:

1. Take a day off. This one will not be hard to do, but you need to take a day off. The big event probably took you away from your family and caused you to put in more hours than normal so don’t feel bad about taking a day or two off. This will allow you to spend time with your family as well as recharge from the event. You’re probably spiritually exhausted as well, so take a day to spend time in God’s Word and set your mind on Him. Whatever you do, take a day off; you earned it!

2. Take notes. This is very important. My friend, Mitch Miller encouraged me last week to do this. You may want to start doing this during the big event, but you will want to take some notes. Write down what worked and did not work. Write down what you want to change next year or what things you want to leave the same. If you just keep this stuff in your head, you will probably forget it next week. After a big event, it’s good to take some time to just sit and thing about the event. After you have thought about it, write down some things that will help you prepare for the next time you do this event. Also, talk to the students about the event. Get their feedback about what they liked and didn’t like. This will be huge in your preparation for next time!

3. Reward your volunteers. No big student ministry happens without a great group of volunteers. After the big event, give them a break. Also, reward them in somehow. Publicly thank them for their hard work and tell them privately how thankful you are for their work to make this big event happen. Remember they are exhausted as well and give them time to recharge.

4. Keep your student ministry calendar light. Some may disagree with me about this point, but let me explain. A lot of times in student ministry when we do a huge event we fill like we have to have something big right around the corner. If you think and plan this way, you will be completely exhausted, your leaders will be exhausted as well, and you will probably not have any money left in your youth budget. After a big event, don’t pack your student ministry calendar with more huge events. For example, our student ministry is only doing one event outside of our weekly gathering for the next month and a half. In student ministry, I don’t believe we should just fill up the calendar with activities “just to have something to do.” I want to schedule things that have importance and carry a purpose. So for the next month and a half, we are focusing primarily on our weekly gathering and making those the best they can be for the rest of the summer.

These are just a few of the many things you can do to help you recharge after your big student ministry event. Big events are fun and I love doing them in our ministry, but they take a lot out of our volunteers and us, as student pastors. Make sure you recover well and thank God for the work He did in your big event!

If I Had a Summer Camp…

For my Ministry of Christian Camping class I am taking this semester at Piedmont International University, we had to design a layout of a camp facility. This project was very simple, but fun to do. Below is a design of a camp if I ever built or designed one.