What would Jack say?

(Courtesy of Daniel Higgins)

This game is a combination of T.V. show “Family Feud” and the board game “Compatibility”.
The person running the game will approach a youth grouper before youth group, and ask them to answer some questions. For each question, “Jack” must provide 3-5 answers and rate them in order of importance.
When the game is played in youth group, teams will be asked the same questions as “Jack” and they will have to try and give the same answers and in the same order of importance.

(The game can also be played live with the “Jack” person writing their answers at the same time the teams write theirs.)

Jack will reveal and explain his answers why he gave them in that order so that we all get to know him.
After about 3 or so rounds, the team with the most points win.

3 points for a correctly placed match
1 point for an incorrectly placed match

Here’s and example:

Something you would do on the weekend…

Jack’s Answers:

1 Go out for coffee
2 Go to cadets
3 Update planes on wikipedia
4 Go to the movies
5 Set something on fire

Teams Answers:

1 Set something fire + 1 (One point for a correct answer in the wrong place)
2 Go out for coffee + 1 (One point for a correct answer in the wrong place)
3 Updating Planes + 3 (Three points for a correct answer in the correct place)
4 Spit roasts + 0 (Zero Points for an incorrect answer)
5 MCing events + 0 (Zero Points for an incorrect answer)

The Download

[This is the Mixer Version of the same Sharing Time activity]

Give each person in the group a sheet of paper and tell them to write down (download) everything that they did, or that happened to them during the week (or holidays). Then get them to find another person or other people in the group who’s list has the most similar items to their own. Interview some of the groups or pairs then pray.

Name That Tune

This game is adapted from the Spicks and Specks game show where it is called “Substitute”.

The aim is to teach the memory verse by singing it as many times and in as many ways as possible to help reinforce memorisation.

Split into at least 4 teams. Give the memory verse for the term to each team or have it up on the projector or a whiteboard. Each team will also need to be given three tunes to well-known songs as well – you can use national anthems, pop songs, church songs etc. This game is played in 3 rounds. Before the start of each round, each team has a minute to practice among themselves singing the words of the memory verse to the tune of one of the well-known songs that they were given.

Each team then takes turns in singing the memory verse to the tune of the well-known song while the other teams listen in and try to guess the tune of the song that is being sung. Teams only get one opportunity to make a guess and they “buzz in” when they think they know the tune. 1 point is awarded to the team that makes a correct guess, and 1 point given to the team that was singing the song that was correctly guessed. No points are awarded if no one guesses the tune of the song.

4 Pics 1 Word

This game courtesy of Mark Schroder, youth minister at Campbelltown Anglican.

This game is based on the same game that has overtaken your news feed on Facebook!

The idea: Try and guess the word that is being represented by 4 cryptic pictures. This activity is a great one for learning about Bible characters, Bible stories and each other.

Create 3 rounds for the game. For example:

Round one: Bible Character

Round Two: Bible Story or thing:

Round Three: Youth Group Character ie. leader or member.

How to play:

  1. Display pictures and the blanked out word on the screen
  2. Allow groups to think about the answer and write it down
  3. After a few minutes move on to next round.
  4. After all pictures have been displayed provide everyone with the answers
  5. Finally, choose one of the categories and give a few details or extra facts about it. If its a youth group leader or member interview them and pray for them in your small groups/pairs.

If the pictures are too cryptic, you can make a round easier by providing one or two bonus letters as clues.

Below are 2 examples provided in pptx files with the following answers for each respective one:

powerpoint #1

a) Callum- (he’s a youth group leader at Campbelltown Anglican Youth)

b) Samson

c) The Prodigal Son

powerpoint #2

a) Nick Bull- (he’s a youth group leader at Campbelltown Anglican Youth)

b) Jonah

c) Tower of Babel

Get your story straight

The object of this game is to help young people become familiar with stories from the gospels and as a secondary goal will help them mix with other young people at youth group. This game does NOT require players to have any prior knowledge of the Bible at all (though there is an advantage for people that do).

You will need to download and print off one of the Story Card decks (download: Deck 1 here), 200gsm cardboard works well. Each deck contains 12 stories. Each story is split over 5 cards (Beginning, 1st Middle, 2nd Middle, 3rd Middle, and End). Only use enough cards to have complete stories, for example if you have 20 people playing use 20 cards that make up 4 complete stories. If you have an odd number of players, for example 22 people, see if you can make up the numbers with 3 leaders so you have 25 people playing the game and 5 complete stories.

Starting the Game:

Split into groups of 5 people. After you form everyone into teams of 5 you can work out how many bible stories you’ll use from the deck (eg. 10 teams = 10 stories. There’s 12 stories in a deck so remove the remaining 2 stories).

(We’ll use 10 teams as an example of how the game works)

Designate a captain from each team of 5 and deal out 1 card from each of the stories that you’re using (maybe just give them the “beginning” card from each story), that’ll leave a remaining 4 cards for each story in the deck.

Shuffle the remaining deck of cards and distribute randomly. You should now have 10 teams where the captain has the beginning of a story but the rest of the cards in the team are mixed up and will all be from the different stories  (though the law of averages will mean that there could be 1 or more other card/s in the team that matches the captains story card). The card that has been dealt to that person stays with them for the entire game.

Playing the Game:

Give the groups a minute or so to work out if they have any cards that belong to the same story. After roughly a minute, sound a gong (or something) to indicate that the captains trading period has begun. Set a time limit for the trading period to encourage them to get on with it.

The Trading Period:

The captains meet in the middle of the room (front or wherever the trading area is) and they start to work out a trade with other teams. Captains can only trade a maximum of two people (and their cards) each trading period. At first the captains will want to trade the maximum, so everyone will want to trade 2 players. As the game goes on and people are getting closer to piecing together their story, some will want to trade 1 and others 2, but no matter what happens a team MUST NOT exceed 5 players. It’ll be up to the captain to work out how to trade the players they want to swap (eg. If the captain wants to swap 2 players but everyone else only wants to swap 1, then the captain will need to swap their players to 2 different teams. No problem).

The players remain in their teams with their cards during the trading period. Once the captains have struck a deal, then people move teams (taking their card with them).

Once all the teams have traded, give them another minute or so to work out if they now have more cards that belong to the captain’s story.

At the end of roughly a minute, start the next trading period and repeat the process until one group has one complete story. Check if the story is correct and then you may end the game there or continue until all groups have completed stories, though it is perhaps best to finish after 1 group has a complete story because of time. Have the winning group read out their complete story.

Note: It’ll help to have another copy of the cards printed out complete on A4 pages so you can check if the completed stories are correct or give assistance for those who need it.

Your Room

Have a young person (or a few people) from youth group make a 30 second video (each) of their room, showing things that are on their desk, posters on their wall, the song playing on their iPod, their Bible open at the last passage they read, the clothes in their wardrobe, a musical instrument or any other quirky thing they might have (a pet snake for instance!). The whole idea is to give a snapshoot of their life and what they’re interested in. After watching the video at youth group, quiz the group on what they saw in the video (questions like: what poster was on the wall? What passage was their Bible open on? What was on their doona/quilt cover? etc). Reward those who make a correct answer (with chocolate or something). This game can be played in pairs or groups where you would have each pair/group make a list answering the questions about the video. Repeat the process if there’s more than one video.

The aim of the activity is simply to better know someone at youth group.

Bible Blunder!

(this game comes courtesy of the great Daniel Higgins!)

This game is designed to help young people to be discerning in regards to what they might hear in bible talks or what they overhear about the bible. It will encourage young people to really learn the Bible for themselves, as well as teaching them some stories from the bible. This game requires you to go through and change or add to a Bible story before hand.

For example:

DAVID & GOLIATH (Edited Version!) 1 Samuel 16 & 17

David was the youngest of twelve son’s and was by far the most popular. (False! 1 Samuel 16:10-11) He worked as a shepherd, and often had to kill Lions and Bears. He was also glowing with health and had a fine appearance. Because of his health and fine appearance he was appointed King. (False! 1 Samuel 16:7) Now, the Babylonians were invading Judah (False! 1 Samuel 17:1) They had a champion by the name of Goliath, who was about 9 ½ feet tall! He Defied the people of Israel, and challenged them to send him a person to fight. Lots of men volunteered, but David was chosen because of his practice fighting wild animals.(False! 1 Samuel 17:11) David was a little nervous, but took courage when the King lent him his personal set of armour. (False! 1 Samuel 17:38) He went down to the water and picked out five smooth stones, and with his sling in hand approached Goliath. Goliath taunted him, so david started shooting his stones at him, Goliath charged and with his last stone David knocked out Goliath. (False! 1 Samuel 17:49) David then chopped Goliath’s head off. When the enemy saw what had happened they dropped there weapons and bowed down in reverence and respect of the Lord, becoming Israelites. (False! 1 Samuel 17:51-53) From that point on, David became very popular and went to live with the King and his Son.

Instructions: This game is played in teams and will require a sheet of paper and a pen for each team. Put the edited story on big screen (if you are able) and read the edited story out loud telling them to look out for ‘bible blunders’ which are places where the story has been changed or added to. Afterwards, give the teams 2 minutes or so to list all the mistakes by writing them on a sheet of paper.

Once the time is completed, ask the teams to mark their list as you read out the list of the mistakes (honesty system!). A correct guess gets you one point, but an incorrect guess means you lose two points. After each mistake is announced, say how it really happened, so everyone knows how the story should actually go. At the end, ask people how many mistakes they got (Did they miss some? Did they think there was extra?) then tally up the scores. The team with the most points wins.

Bible or what?

This game helps people become familiar with the Bible and recognise concepts and phrases that are not in the Bible. This game is adapted from a “Spicks & Specks” game where contestants are shown a photo and have to decide if the photo is of a famous composer or serial killer (very entertaining and unfortunately often quite hard to tell…). Obviously “Bible or What?” doesn’t use photos but text. Participants need to decide if the text they are shown is from the Bible or elsewhere.

Some examples of topics are: Bible or Poetry? Bible or Pop Song? Bible or Philosophy? Bible or Buddhism? Bible or Islam? Bible or Shakespeare? Etc. (Poetry & Philosophy obviously refer to non-biblical examples of those topics).

Choose some texts for your topics that are hard to distinguish between and others that are obvious. Here are 2 example questions for Bible or Shakespeare just so you get the idea:

1. “Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast”

Answer: Shakespeare! (Romeo & Juliet).

2. “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.”

Answer: Bible! (Proverbs 14:17 – KJV)

And 2 example questions from Bible or Pop Song:

1.     “Throw your soul through every open door, count your blessings to find what you look for, turn my sorrow into treasured gold, you pay me back in kind and reap just what you sow.”

Answer: Pop Song! (Adele – Rolling in the deep)

2.     “For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”

Answer: Bible! (Psalm 57:10 – TNIV)

Instructions: You can play this game in 3 rounds where you choose 3 topics and have a multiple questions in each; or you can play the game with multiple topics that have one question for each, it’s up to you but the latter will be more work.

Once you have chosen your topics and worked out your questions, form the group into teams to play. Give each team a game card that says “Bible” written on one side and “Other” written on the reverse side. After displaying and reading out the text, each team is given a minute to decide their answer before showing if they think the text is from the Bible or from the other topic you have chosen. Tally points as you go and declare the winner when you’ve completed the rounds. More importantly use the game as an opportunity to help people understand what is in the bible and what isn’t.

Download the pre-prepared presentation slides:


The good old Australian Anglican Prayer Book (AAPB) has some great prayers written in it for various things on pages 91-97 (also p.120). Doing some of these every now and again is a good way to be trained in WHAT to pray and different things to pray for. The leader of the prayer time can print some off (or photocopy) a few of the different prayers and choose some of the youth group to pray them out. Some of the language might need to be adjusted and updated so the youth group understand it.

Here is a word document of the AAPB prayers with language adjusted to be gender inclusive.

SMS Memory Verse

Write the memory verse out on a piece of paper using only the numbers used to write the words in an SMS message, ie. the numbers that correspond to the letters on the keypad. (Eg. “843 5673” = “the lord”). Obviously there will be a number of words that will correspond to a pattern of numbers but that’s all part of the fun for the kids to work out the memory verse. They can use their mobile phones for this game to help them work it out. Split the group into small teams of 3-4 and if there is a person on each team who has credit and is willing to spend it, then you could say whoever is first to text the memory verse to the leader’s mobile wins. Otherwise the winner can be whoever is first to decode it and write it out correctly.

Mad Gab Memory Verse

This is a good game for introducing a new memory verse. Just like the card game ‘Mad Gab’ from Mattel©. It’s a game of words and phrases, it’s not what you say, it’s what you hear. Say the words “Day Leo Fur Rings” a few times and you’ll find you’re saying. “daily offerings!”, just sound it out. Write up the memory verse in Mad Gab style (eg. “Iron hot ash aimed off day goes bell” = I am not ashamed of the gospel). If it’s a large memory verse split it into sections (ie. If there are 3 sections to the memory verse then make 3 rounds to the game, and when a team has solved the first section, give them the second, and so on til they solve the whole verse). Players work in teams and compete against each other to solve the memory verse first, and when they have solved it, run up to the white board and write it out in full.

Buzzer Blanks

(AKA. Wheel of fortune, missing letters, hang man) This is a good game for introducing a new short memory verse. Using a white board, put underscore dashes on the board for every letter in each word of the memory verse eg. Jesus wept = _ _ _ _ _    _ _ _ _. Divide everybody into 2 groups. Each group elects someone to be the buzzer and another to be the contestant. The ‘buzzer sits on a chair out the front while the contestant stands behind them with their hands on the head of the buzzer, when they want to answer a question they lightly press the buzzer to make the sound for that team. The game is played in rounds so that the each person in the team has an opportunity to be the buzzer or contestant. When a contestant gets a question right they are allowed to select 1 letter of the alphabet (apart from vowels) to be uncovered on the board. Have special rounds where contestants are allowed to choose vowels or solve the memory verse. You will need to prepare at least 26 questions for the game and they can include bible questions, youth group questions, celebrity questions, etc.

Pass the Parcel

Hide a word of the memory verse in each layer of the parcel (with or without prizes). With music playing, pass the parcel around the group till the music stops and then unravel a layer of the parcel. Repeat till all layers are unravelled and all words have been revealed. Have the group place the memory verse in order and say out lout together.

Note: If you have lots of people, this activity will require lots of space.

Eat Out! Memory Verse

Write each word of the memory verse on a disposable paper bowl (one memory verse word on each bowl, or if it’s a long verse write a few words) so that there is a set of bowls with the complete memory verse. Split into teams of about 5 people and give one set of bowls to each team (obviously you’ll need to have one full set of bowls with the memory verse written out per team; eg. 5 teams = 5 sets of bowls). Have each bowl filled with some sort of food (eg. Cereal, crumbled dry weet-bix, chips, custard, etc.) so that the word/s cannot be read underneath. Do a “ready, set, go!” and the team that finishes their food first, arranges the memory verse in proper order, and read it out is the winner.

Warning: You will want to check for food allergies among the contestants first, and let people sit out who really don’t want to be a part of it.

Chinese Whispers

This operates just like the Chinese whispers you played at school. Split into 2 teams and have each team form a circle or a line. Tell the memory verse to the first person in the group and then they have to pass it on to the next person by memory, and so on… At the end of the group, see who has the memory verse most accurate. This activity will work as an introductory memory verse activity as well.

20+ Note: If you have more than 20 people, split into smaller groups and have the last person in the group write out the verse on butcher’s paper.

Application Pictures

Ask the group “what situations would it be useful to know this memory verse?” and then draw pictures of those situations on the white board/butchers paper. The aim is for them to see how memorising the bible is useful in life.

-20 Note: If you have time on your side, you can split into small groups and have each group come up with their own situations and pictures, then present it back to the group. Add approx 5 minutes per group to the running time for this activity (eg. 4 groups will add 20 mins)

Memory Verse Song

Split into groups (approx. 10 people) and have each group do the memory verse in a different music genre (eg. Advertising jingle, high school musical, rap, soap opera TV theme song, Opera, Country and Western etc). Record the songs if you have the technology and use them in the coming weeks to remember the verse.

50+ Note: If you have 50 people or more, just use a memory verse song already written (eg. Colin Buchanan) to teach the memory verse. You can play the song on CD and sing along or play it live! (playing live might be best, because the CD can be a bit lame).

Pass the Parcel revision

Teach the memory verse to the group. Make a parcel with prizes in each layer. Have the group sit in a circle and pass the parcel around the group while everyone says the memory verse out loud, whoever has the parcel when the memory verse has been said through gets to unwrap a layer. Repeat the process saying the memory verse each time until all the layers have been unwrapped (some kids will miss out on a prize, but this will teach them that life isn’t always fair… they’ve got to learn somewhere!).

Total Recall

See who can recall both the memory verses for the term. For an extra challenge you can see how many verses they can recall from the year! Do this activity near the end of term, and even get them to do it in groups sometimes so they can work out the memory verses together by writing down as many as they can recall on a piece of paper.