Youth Group Games: How to Let the Students Lead

Do you ever feel like you’re in a rut when it comes to choosing games for your youth group? If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many youth leaders feel this way, especially when they are trying to let the students take the lead. It can be tough to step back and let them take charge, but it’s definitely worth it! In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for letting the students choose the games. We’ll also provide a few ideas for fun games that will get everyone excited and engaged!

Practical Leaderships for Choosing Youth Group Games:

Let the students & volunteers become the game leaders.

My favorite ways to come up with games for youth group night.

  1. Ask the youth group to help create a list of their favorite games.  You will be able to see fairly quickly which youth love games.  Use them as a resource.
  2. Assign two youth to come up with a game for the next week.  Rotate the youth each week.  It will help ensure that those two youth will show up the next week.  Let them help run the game.
  3. Alternately, ask an adult volunteer to come up with a game for the next week.  Give them resources (websites and game books) to research or let them take the ball and run with it..  You will see fairly quickly if there is a volunteer or a parent that enjoys running a game.  It can be the glue that keeps a volunteer engaged or that gets a parent involved as a volunteer. 
  4. Remember as a youth leader it’s your job to enlist volunteers and delegate!  Many volunteers doing small pieces adds up to a healthy program.  And it helps avoid burnout.

Over time the group will develop a small number of go to games that they love.  Every now and then mix it up with something new.

Tip:  When the weather is good always do the game(s) outside.

Awareness:  Some youth may have a physical disability and active games are a problem for them.  Find a way to include them in the game.  Or, provide an alternate sit down game for those that don’t want to get physical on the nights you have a physically active game planned.

Bottom Line: Let the students lead the ministry!

Keep it your games simple and fun.

If you have a subset of youth that like games, create a game night once a month.  It attracts a group with a different vibe who love to get together and play elaborate card and board games.  Build that community and it will attract their friends that aren’t attending church.  Not everyone is involved with athletics.  Outreach!  Evangelism!  Ultimately, find a parent of one of those youth that appreciates the group and have them volunteer to support that group of youth.

This post was written by Steve Wakefield.

Steve is married to Brenda and has three talented and creative daughters.  He is a graduate of Wabash College.  Recently retired from a business career in operations, he enjoys writing, reading, cooking, and traveling.  Steve has been active in the youth ministry program at Grace United Methodist Church for the past 24 years.  For ten of those years he was the part time Minister of Youth.  One of the highlights of that tenure was leading seven national and three international youth mission trips.

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