In my recent post 5 Things to make Church Work More Fun, I listed the following things as some ideas for how to overcome the mundane challenges that sometimes come with working on a church staff.
I promised to unpack them, so here is number 2 play together! Why are games important to youth ministry, because it creates space for youth to build relationships and common experiences with each other. In preparing for staff retreats or planning days, I always remember being asked to “do something that is fun and builds team.” I remember being offended the first time I was asked. Surely, I had something more to offer in leadership that games and team builders. I did and I did on the retreat. But what I found was that my youth ministry gifts were extremely valuable to our time together, because the games and team builders broke down walls, loosened people up, and create creative space just like they do in youth group.
Over the years, I have led lots of games with church staffs. Some of my all time favorite moments come from the following activities:
But my all time favorite was an idea by Paul Bonner my junior high youth minister. We worked on a large church staff with 60+ staff members. Paul convinced our senior pastor to play Gotcha! You may remember the 80’s movie (I guess actually most of you don’t because you weren’t born yet). Here’s how you play:
Everyone receives a piece of paper with a name on it(they should not have their own name and you need to make sure that two people don’t have each other’s names otherwise the game will end prematurely) and a water gun. Here are the rules:
Giving out names is key to a successful event, because you want to avoid an early end where someone gets their name before everyone else is eliminated. This happens sometimes if you have an even number of people. In the scenario below, you could end up with 2 winners who don’t know abou the other. An odd number of people and making sure two people don’t have each other eliminates this problem.
Our staff had a blast. Some took the game more seriously than others. But after 7 days, our pastors administrative assistant was the winner. She took me out on day two by simply telling me that the senior pastor needed to see me.
What other things have you done as a staff to have fun?
CYMT is excited about its newest endeavor, Theology Together. Theology Together educates both teenagers and youth workers as they engage in theological reflection, spiritual practice, vital service, and vocational discernment. The Theology Together process produces reflective action that is embedded in the fabric of youth ministry in all of its contexts. We believe strongly that youth are theologians and belong at the center of tough, life-changing dialogue around faith, relationships, and life. We place teenagers in the driver seat alongside their youth pastors and leaders, equipping each individual to think differently about youth ministry, to provoke a sense of awe and wonder: a WOW moment.
Youth theology is theology built upon the simple doctrinal principle of the priesthood of all believers, and takes that principle right down to its natural conclusion: that all believers, including youth, teens, adolescents, etc. are theologians. It is theology that values all youth as theologians. Here we will share with you how to engage with youth theology in your own ministry.
A few weeks ago, we shared the launch of Theology Together 2.0. Today, Dwight (the director of Theology Together) will be sharing with us one experience […]