Whether it’s a party at your house or a gathering of youths at the church, sometimes teens use games as icebreakers or as a way to spend time together doing something enjoyable. Indoor games keep teens together in a small space and discourage couples or small groups from wandering off. Games do not necessarily require a biblical theme, but should avoid sexual subjects or elements such as drugs, alcohol or the occult.
Bible trivia games are popular with many Christian teens. Your group can use a commercially produced version of the game, use questions from books and Internet sources (see References). You can produce your own trivia questions from recent lessons and favorite Bible stories. See how well your teens are listening with questions such as, “What illustration did the pastor use in his message last week?” or “How many class rules are posted on the wall of our Sunday school class?” Ask teens to contribute questions on slips of paper and mix up the questions in a bowl before you begin asking them.
Team games encourage teens to work together and can help new teens integrate into the group. Charade or charade-drawing games with a biblical theme could encourage your teens to use their knowledge of scripture and critical-thinking skills in an enjoyable arena. You can purchase commercial versions of Bible draw games or use idea lists posted on the Internet, such as the one on the International Justice Mission UK website (see References). Other team games can include a scavenger hunt using biblical clues such as “insect found in Psalm 118:12,” “vessel found in Jeremiah 25:28” or “items picked up in Deuteronomy 27:2” Teens need their Bibles for this type of game, so ensure that plenty are available.
Stump the Preacher/Teacher
This game isn’t competitive, but it will help teens connect and interact with leaders in an enjoyable and lighthearted manner. Have teens write their most difficult Bible trivia and trick questions down to ask your youth pastor or teen teachers. Teens could ask honest questions they really want answers to such as, “What is the penalty for sex outside of marriage?” Teens could also ask questions used to tease and trick the pastor such as, “How many animals of each type were on Moses’ boat?” or “Where would I find the book of Hananiah?”
Your Christian teens can play several guessing games. Play the opening measures of familiar hymns or worship choruses, and encourage them to guess and sing along if they know it. Describe a Bible hero or a modern hero such as Mother Teresa or some member of your church. Start quoting a Scripture and challenge the teens to finish it, giving a prize for the person who quotes the most scripture. Make paper and pencil games, creating crossword puzzles, word searches, scrambles and fractured Scriptures for your teens to puzzle out.