All Youth

American Idol

This is yet another twist on the old favorite “Mafia” or “Amazing Mobsters.” I used this with a meeting centered around music. It’s also a nice option for those who don’t approve of the connotation associated with the original version.

The object of this game is to eliminate the Critics before the Critics eliminate the new talent. Think “American Idol,” but now the musicians can fight back! Game can have up to 40 youth plus one moderator. You will need a deck of cards. They will be used to tell each youth what their role is in the game.

1) Each youth will get a card. Set aside one (2-9/any suit) for each youth. Now replace one face card for every 6-7 youth that are playing.

2) Shuffle deck and allow youth to draw card that only they will see. SECRECY is the key.

3) Assignments are as follows:2-9 card = new talent; face card = music critic.

Once youth know what they are, take cards up.

4) Give the following commands:
“New talent sleep” – everyone closes eyes”Critics awake” – ONLY mob opens eyes. They choose (quietly) a person to eliminate. (Unanimously)
“Critics sleep” – everyone closes eyes again
“New talent awake” – everyone OPENS eyes

5) The eliminated person is announced and is exempt from any further commands or giving hints to other players.

6) New talent then votes on whom they believe is a Critic. People nominated may plead their case. The person receiving most votes is eliminated. Round over. Start commands again.

Summary: each round 2 people are eliminated – one by Critics and one by the New Talent. Whichever team at end remains, is the winner.

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An Acceptable Offering

Old Testament religion seemed to revolve around offerings and temple worship. Everything was given in accordance to the levitical laws. Offerings date back even further though — right to the time of Cain and Abel. One offering was acceptable the other was not. In the New Testament Jesus speaks of two men who went to the temple to pray. One prayed “about himself”. The other beat his chest and begged for mercy! (Lk 18:10-14) One’s prayer was accepted, one was not. The living sacrifice in Rom. 12:1,2 is the acceptable offering in the N.T. The real acceptable offering to God in the O.T. was not so much the blood of bulls and goats but obedience and a contrite heart.(see I Sam 15:22, Isa 66:1+2 et al). HERE IS THE CHALLENGE: COMMUNICATE THIS IN LESS THAN FORTY-FIVE MINUTES!
Here is my suggestion, but you can probably come up with one that will suit your group much better.

a) Choose four people the week before to compose two short skits. One will portray Cain and Abel, the other skit will portray the self-righteous man and the publican [Lk 18-10-14]. (They only need be three minutes each!)
b) Play the song “To Obey is Better Than Sacrifice” [by Keith Green- No Compromise] or have it done as a solo while the people are in silent meditation.
c) Sing the song “Lord You Are More Precious Than Silver”. Have the group suggest modern substitutes for the words. Sing the song using the words that they suggest (e.g. Lord you are more precious than my friends…).
d) You can take up a few different types of offerings that day.
i.) A pledge to God given on a slip of paper.
ii.) A vow of obedience in a certain area of their life.
iii.) Human Offering Plate! One by one the people can step into a rope circle on the floor at the front. When everyone is in the circle they could sing a song of surrender or dedication to Jesus. If there are too many people they can go up one row at a time or something while an offertory hymn or song is playing. The leader could pray over each group that goes to the front.
e.)If there is still some time remaining, songs of dedication, obedience and service should be sung at that time.

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Anarchy Ball

You’ll need a grassy field (dirt & rocks hurt) and every single inflatable ball you can get your hands on (e.g. soccer balls, footballs, rugby balls, basketballs, basically anything non-lethal). If it’s swamped and muddy, it’s a definite plus!

At the 50 yard line (center line of field) place all the balls in a horizontal line, from sideline to sideline. Then break everybody into teams. Try to even things out (equal number of big people and small people on both sides, etc.). Each side lines up horizontal to the goal lines at opposite ends of the field. When the whistle (or signal) is given, they charge each other like armies. Then they have to each try their hardest to grab a ball (one at a time) and run it over to the end zone. When they get there, they spike it or put it on the ground, and the ball is out of play for that round. In the playing field, it’s all about chaos. Tackling, moshing, wrestling, stealing balls from other people, passing the ball to someone who’s empty handed, kicking it, punting it (but it has to be carried into the end zone by hand), dribbling it, running with it, etc. etc. etc. Hence the name ‘Anarchy Ball.’ When a kid manages to get his ball into the end zone, he is free to run back and grab/ steal/ catch another one and repeat. The highest level of chaos is when the two sides first clash at the beginning, trying to grab a ball and fend off the opponents. When all the balls are in the end zones, the whistle is blown and the round ends. Whoever has managed to get the most balls into the opposing team’s end zone wins that round. You can play as many rounds as you like, depending on the stamina of the kids. Whoever wins the most rounds wins the whole shabang. Be sure to establish some guidelines and whatnot, and have a ref or two or three, in order to prevent violence/ animosity/ injury and whatnot. Other than that, there are no rules, hence the name: Anarchy Ball. Enjoy!

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Anchored in Christ

Teach that only Christ is suitable for us to put our faith in

Items needed
a chair or stool
a bed sheet
string cut into four or five foot sections one for each student
index cards

Tie several pieces of string to the chair and the rest to the index cards. On the index cards write some things that people tend to put their faith in (money power it’s also a good idea to put your own name). Then label the chair “Christ” place the index cards on the seat and cover with the sheet with the strings leading out.

Have everyone gather around the chair and grab a string. Have everyone pull their string and discuss how all these things let us down but Christ never fails.

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And The Trumpet Shall Sound

This can really be done indoor or outdoors. You need at least 15 people, but the more the better.

You will need to prepare beforehand a piece of paper for each of the youth. Write on each piece of paper:

1. A job occupation
2. A personality disposition (scheming, fastidious, mean, etc.)
3. If they are Christian or non-Christian (Important to give no more than 1/3 of the youth “Christian”)

Hand each youth a piece of paper and tell them not to show it to anyone else. The MC will say that the youth room, church building, outdoor field, or retreat center that you are at represents our city. They are all citizens of that city. They have each been given a job (or unemployment), a personality trait, and been told if they are Christian or not. For some time, they are going to live in this city. They are allowed to do whatever they want during that time. I also encourage them to think of a specific person that fits their characteristics (helps them to act like someone different) and imitate them.

Let them go to it and have the youth workers make sure no one is not participating or causing unnecessary trouble (maybe the workers can be the city police…). You’ll be amazed how creative the youth will be. After around 20-30 minutes, play a loud trumpet blast from a stereo or a real trumpet. Have everyone gather into the starting room. Separate the Christians on one side of the room and the non-Christians on the other side. Explain that Judgment Day has come. All of those who were Christians or who converted to Christianity are in Heaven. All of the rest are now in Hell.

Ask first the non-Christians why they didn’t become Christians. You will get a variety of answers. Probably some will say “No one ever told me about it,” or “How was I to know?” That is a good time then to turn to the Christians and ask them why the others are in Hell. Ask them very gently but directly if they tried to witness and why or why not.

You can end this part of the discussion explaining that we do not know the day or the hour, but one day there will be a separation of believers and unbelievers. At this point it is good to bring the two sides together and have an open discussion on what our responsibility is to persuading others to accept Jesus and how the youth can strengthen each other in doing so.

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Animal Game – Variation

Instead of playing the Animal Game, I thought of a variation of the Animal Game. Instead of using animal names you use the real names of the kids. You should play with the kids because it is an easy way to learn names for yourself and for the kids. So you would say Joey “likes” Kelley and so on. A little twist you can use is the person in the middle that is it uses a pillow to try and hit the person talking. Make sure you clarify the person it can only hit below the knees. That is it!!!!!! Enjoy!

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Have all your group members sit in a circle. Go around the circle, and have each person think up a DISTINCTIVE animal sound ie. quack, woof, meow, ribbit. Sounds that are similar are NOT ALLOWED ie. reow & Rwoar. Once everyone has a sound, pick someone to be IT and have them stand in the middle of the circle. The larger the circle, the more challenging it will be. Have someone start off by making their own noise, and then someone else’s ie. meow- bark. Whomever is bark must quickly say his/her own sound and then someone else’s ie. bark – quack, before the person who is IT smacks him/her over the head with a newspaper (or pillow). It goes on around the circle until someone is tagged. Whomever is tagged becomes it and goes into the middle with the newspaper in hand!

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Animalz! Variation

Like Animalz!, but we use the *name* of an animal instead of a sound, and the play proceeds as Owl says, “Owl loves Rat”, and Rat must say “Rat loves ____” (some valid animal in the group) before the person in the center whacks Rat on the knee (not head!) with an empty liter soda bottle or a roll of paper towels. Moose loves Squirrel!

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Announcement Mania

Why do we do announcements? We want kids to remember what is going on and hopefully bring out some of their friends. The key word is remember. Memory experts say that we remember best what is put to word pictures. Also we pay attention to things that are either novel or intense. So when it comes to making announcements zing and stick the idea is make them MEMORABLE!
Try video announcements, Man on the Street interviews, forehead advertising, but especially linking ideas to pictures in kids heads! Using these techniques will help your group remember times, places, and other important details (that I can’t remember right now!) Remember word pictures made memories, and memories make announcements stick!

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Another Sound Scavenger Hunt

Here’s some more ideas for a “sound” scavenger hunt. We’re actually doing this with a college crowd, but all sounds are appropriate for younger ages too. Pop-can opening, cards being shuffled, someone saying “I love you” in a foreign language, video game in an arcade, 10 toilets being flushed, have a random passer-by say their name and describe their shoes, a store clerk singing a silly song, a sneeze — double points if it’s REAL.

Good luck — Daryl

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