Have you ever wanted to, just for one week, change up the Bible teaching in your youth group? Well here are some ways in which you can do that.
Drama is a tool used in schools all over the world to enhance teaching, and today I’m going to show you some games that will help you enhance your Bible teaching.
Some of these games (if you can call of these games) are best suited to small groups, and some of them are suited to larger groups. Whatever the situation, pretty much all of these games require a large amount of explanation, and for younger kids, scafolding. By this I mean that you need to be really explicit with both your instructions and explantions. And more often then not it is very very good to have an example of these ready so that your youth group guys know what to do.
Drama is scary at times for High School teens, but it can also be really really fun and a great learning experience. The difference is in the environment. If you think that you can make your youth group a good environment for dramatic games then go ahead! If you think that your youth group may struggle, then maybe just use these as ideas for other creative possibilties.
Remember that with games that require people to take on a character, this character could be a real person (such as Judas or Paul), or it could be a fictional character that represents a group from the Bible (Joan the hungry woman in the crowd or Steve the Corinthian).
Below is a list of the games, read below the break for a detailed description of each game.
- Conscience Ally
- Hot seating
- Role Playing
- Role Walk
- Dramatic Bible Reading
- Silent Bible Story
- Film a Bible Story
- Make Your Own Puppet Show
1. Conscience Ally (10+ people)
This game involves one person taking on a persona of a character. This one person is given a decision that they need to make, and everyone body else is going to act as their conscience. The rest of the people line up in two lines (like making an ally). One side of the ally is the “good conscience”, and one side of the ally is the “bad conscience”. As the person walks down the ally, the good conscience side tries to convince them to do the good thing (one at a time), and the bad conscience side tries to convince them to do the bad thing (one at a time). When they get to the end, they need to make their “decision”.
This game can be good for getting your youth group to think about and understand reasons behind why people made decisions. A great game for empathy.
2. Hot seating (Small group, <10 people)
Hot seating requires 1 person to take on a character. This person then sits in the “hot seat”. As soon as this person sits in the “hot seat”, they become the character. The rest of the group then asks the character questions and the character then answers those questions as if they were that character. You can encourage your group to even make up accents to get them into the game.
Hot seating is again a great game for empathy and allows your group to think about what that character would have thought.
3. Role Playing (2+ people)
Instead of just one person taking on a character, in this game, everyone becomes someone else! In this game they have to try and create their own character within a boundry that you will set. For example, you could create the boundary that they have to be someone who was listening to Jesus preach at the sermon on the mount. They then have to pretend that they were someone there.
Once everyone has a character, they then need to find a partner. You can then give them a question such as “what did you think when Jesus said…?”, they then have to answer this question with their partner. You can repeat this as you wish.
This game is a fun way of thinking about and discussing a topic of your choosing.
4. Role Walk (5+ people)
This game is very similar to Role Playing, except that instead of just standing with one partner, they walk around and and find different partners each time. This also can work as a get to know you game (for older Christians). This game also introduces the possibility of asking questions such as “Who was the last person you spoke to and what did they say?”.
Another fun way of discussing a topic.
5. Monologuing (1+ people)
This game is only suitable for older youth groups, and probably only for those dramatically inclined. In order to monologue, get someone to take on the role of a character and give a speech based on a situation that this character has been in. It would be good to give people time to prepare (weeks), and as I said, this game is only for the strong of heart.
6. Dramatic Bible Reading (1+ people)
This game is quite easy to do. The only resource required is a Bible, and the title pretty much explains itself. All your youth group needs to do is pick a passage, and then read the passage out loud. And by read I don’t mean boringly read, I mean read with inflection, and pretend that you’re in the space where the story is, and make up voices for characters, and speed up when it gets exciting, and slow down when there’s something meaningful. You get the picture.
For extra spice get your youth group to memorise the passage that they are dramatically reading.
If you need an example of this, then check out the Backyard Bard, these guys are awesome.
7. Silent Bible Story (1+ people)
I think this game is the opposite of a dramatic Bible reading. If you’re a fan of mime then you’ll like this, and this game can work for everyone!
In order to do this, you need to get your youth group to act out without sound a passage from the Bible. This will be interesting… But give it a go. It will work best if you do it as a group activity, as then your guys and gals will communicate with each other and go deep into what the meaning of the passage is, and how best to communicate it. Seriously, give it a go!
8. Film a Bible Story
This is quite self explanatory, except for one thing, film a Bible Story using either claymation, aluminium figures or lego stopmotion. You youth group will find any of these techniques super fun to try out, and what better way to get them to understand a story from the Bible then to retell the story themselves.
This is also great as it allows your group to show these videos at a later date, or put them up online for their friends to see (especially if they’re good).
9. Make Your Own Puppet Show
Very similar to filming a Bible story, but this time perform it using puppets! These could be home make puppets, or youth group made puppets, or sock puppets, or any other puppets you can find. But really, just retelling the story will once again be great for retention of facts, and will help them to understand the point behind the passage.
So there you have it. 9 youth group “games” to help your Bible teaching. These games will be great to give a go, at least to change up the way that your group is learning about the Bible, and to get your group to think “Wow, we haven’t done this before.” I’ve tried some of these games and they’ve been a great change up for teaching, and some of them I’ve heard of other people trying. So I’d love to hear your stories of using these games in your youth groups.