Youth Leadership Pathway

MD303 – Games Mastery



Games for youth group are often an afterthought, but what if we recognised them as a significant aspect of our ministry? Learn how to be a Games Master, and discern which kind of game to use, when.


You’re a God who loves joy! Help me to put aside any inhibitions and self-consciousness, so I can enter into joy more fully. Amen


Have you ever thought about the different kinds of games there are, or how different games can have a range of effects? Being a ‘games master’ is just as much of an important ministry than any other kind!

Games can be split into (at least) these broad catagories:


Icebreakers are often the brief, light-hearted games when a group a people come together either for the first time, or at the beginning of the event. The idea is that it’s a low-pressure way of intentionally engaging people – ‘breaking the ice’.


Bible games are games with a hidden deeper meaning – following the example of Jesus in how He often taught people. He would often tell stories that made sense to people, then reveal what the metaphor was about. The same can be done with games! The usual format would be firstly completing the game/activity, then revealing how it teaches us about a faith-theme.


High energy games are exactly what they sound like – get ready for a work out! High energy games are perfect for several things…burning excess energy, building excitement and engagement and providing a whole lot of joy. Often young people perceive Jesus or youth group as ‘boring’, so it’s great to show the joy of the Lord through fun games!


Sometimes what you really need is a team building exercise to help build a supportive environment. These can be slower games, like the ‘human knot’ where groups link arms and then try to get untangled without losing their grip of each others hands, or high energy games where some healthy competition comes out in relay races!

Some things to consider when chosing games:

  • Health & Safety – is anyone likely to get hurt? Is the environment set up safely?
  • Ability – is everyone capable of playing? Do you need to make any adjustments to cater for all levels of ability?
  • Age-appropriate – will younger youth understand the rules? Do your senior youth want to engage in a high energy game after a long day at school?
  • Safeguarding – does the game involve over-18 year olds physically engaging with under 18 year olds? Is there a way to limit any potentially personal physical engagement between youths and adults?
  • Resources – do you need any resources for the game? Have them prepared beforehand.
  • Appropriate – is the game culturally sensitive? Does it use any words or themes that might be sensitive?


Put aside any distractions, such as music or your phone, and give your full attention to the short tutorial.

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