Posts Tagged ‘fun’

5 Things to make working at church fun!

March 24, 2011 3 comments

One of my firm beliefs is that youth ministers have an important task on church staffs … making working at the church fun!  Working at a church can be difficult especially when the staff does not have fun and celebrate.  For whatever reason, these things do not come easy to  churches.  We help others worship God on Sunday and then we turn church into a job instead of a vocation on Monday.

If you are a youth worker, then no matter what your age you still have enough youthful exuberance in you to be a leader and bring joy to your staff.  I’ve found that when you do all these things you earn the trust of the staff and church leaders.  If you focus to much on one area, then you can be labeled the church clown; but with perseverance they will join you in these things and find greater joy in their work and your community.

Over the next few days I’m going to give examples and unpack these things, but here’s the 5 things to get you thinking.

  1. Celebrate
  2. Play Together
  3. Laugh
  4. Share Stories
  5. Worship Together

I posted #1 – Celebrate Give them a Brick today to get you started.  Tomorrow’s post – #2 Bowling and Got Cha!

When and how does your staff do these things together?


Youth Ministry Game: Pantyhose Grapefruit Swing

October 27, 2010 2 comments

I’m probably immature for thinking this game is funny, but you’ll think it’s funny too.


One of each of the following for every 8-10 youth:

Knee high stocking panty hose



Masking or Carpet Tape


Place a softball in the bottom of each knee high panty hose.    Make a starting line and finish line 20 feet apart.

How to Play:

In this relay the first person ties the panty hose with the softball around their waste where the softball hangs to 1 inch off the ground.  Students without touching the panty hose (its cheating and to easy) swing their hips to get the softball to bump the grapefruit from the starting line to the finish line and back for the next person.

Found this picture from early 90’s playing this game with my first youth group. We used balloons instead of grapefruits.  Discovered they were too hard to move forward.  I wanted to give you a visual.

Youth Ministry Game: Wax Paper Carpet Sliding

October 20, 2010 1 comment

I have to admit I love this game and look for opportunities to play it at churches I visit.


One role of wax paper per 12 youth

A long hallway, gym, main aisle of the sanctuary (if you dare) that is carpeted with short carpet.


Tear  wax paper into 3ish foot length pieces.  Clean hallway or room of things student might run into during the relay.

How to Play

In this relay, students pair up in two’s.  The best pairs involve bigger students pushing smaller ones.  Divide into multiple teams as appropriate for the size of your group.  Give each pair a piece of wax paper 3ish feet long.  The smaller student sits on the piece of wax paper with their bottom and feet on the wax paper (with their knees to their chest.  The larger student pushes them to the other end of the room and back.  The next group goes when they return.

Another fun thing to do: Have a long slide contest.  Students push their partner to a certain line and then let them go.  The group whose slider goes the farthest wins.  Starting at the wall and going to the free throw line in a carpeted gym, I can push a small seventh grader hard enough that the bump into the opposite wall.  Not bragging, just giving you an idea about how far someone can slide.


Wax paper will rip and melt due to friction with the carpet.  When this happens, a student my get some carpet burn.  My advice is to have additional sheets ready and if they feel their butt burning at the halfway point switch wax paper.  Or simply play in the winter when folks are wearing jeans.  It doesn’t happen often but it does happen.

Youth Ministry Game: Trash Can Relay Race

October 13, 2010 1 comment

I must admit that a kid broke his arm on my first night at Brentwood UMC’s youth group playing this game, so pay attention to the warnings at the end.


One large trash can with wheels for every 12-20 students.  The ones with the multi-directional wheel platform are the best.  You know the ones that are in your church gym or fellowship hall.

Optional:  Helmets


Gather trashcans, remove bags, clean or spray with Lysol

How to Play

Each team should pair up by two’s.    One student climbs into the trash can.  The other student then pushes the trash can to the other end of the room.  Students then switch places.  When they return to their team, the next pair goes.


Groups need to be spread far enough apart so that students don’t try to tip over another groups trashcan.  Play this game in a open room like a gym or outside.  Racing 2 trash cans down a narrow hallway leads to broken arms.  I know this is shocking.  Have adults at both ends to help with students getting in and out of trashcans they can and will tip over.  Use helmets if you want!

Youth Ministry Game: Cake Face

October 6, 2010 1 comment

Here’s a simply game that is supposed to be messy only for those who volunteer.  It can be fun to play around Halloween.


Icing, Sprinkles, Candles, decorative icing

Optional: swim goggles

Clean up supplies including baby wipes


Have icing and decorative supplies divided up for groups or located in a central location where they can share.  Have clean up supplies on hand.

How to Play

Divide your group into teams of 4-6 with each group choosing one person to volunteer to get messy.  Give icing and access to plenty of cake decorating supplies.  Groups decorate their team members face like a cake.  Depending on your group you can decide whether the competition is best designed, fanciest, or scariest.


You may want to use swim goggles on each participant to protect their eyes.  Participants eyes should not be covered whether you use the goggles or not.  Also participants will need help removing icing so have supplies on hand to help with this.  Baby wipes are helpful for getting the final coating off the skin and hair.

Here’s a picture from a time we played on Halloween.  The students expanded the game to make costumes from the random supplies in the youth room.

Youth Ministry Game: Pantyhose Helicopter Wars

September 29, 2010 2 comments

Pantyhose Helicopter WarJust want to warn everyone that this is the first of several panty hose games.  After I bought panty hose, I had to find some other games to play with them.  This one is a youth ministry crowd favorite!


3-5 Pairs of Pantyhose Knee High Stockings

6-10 Tennis Balls


Gather supplies and place one tennis ball in the end of each knee high stocking pantyhose


Helicopter wars is a two person competition that can be turned into a youth group tournament quickly.  The game moves fast.  Each person places the pantyhose over their head – just the head not over the face.  The tennis ball should be hanging down.  Students then swing the ball around their head (like a helicopter).  Participants must swing their balls in opposite directions. When you give the signal, the two participants attempt to get their pantyhose tangled and then to pull the pantyhose off the other persons head without using their hands.

Once kids get the hang of it, the game is fast and funny.  I recommend playing the best 2 out of 3 so that youth get some practice.

You can have multiple wars going on at the same time.


The tennis ball and pantyhose can come flying off of people with smaller heads.

Youth Ministry Game: Dunkin’ for Dookie

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

This week another one of my all time favorite youth ministry messy games – Dunkin’ for Dookie.  I need to send a shout out to Kris Konsowitz and Collierville UMC that introduced us to this game.  I should also acknowledge that this game helped spread the G1 virus to 650 of 800 people at a youth event causing mass vomiting and diarrhea.  Therefore, I have created a non-germ sharing version for your enjoyment.


Buckets, Toilet Bowl Seats, Apple Juice, and Miniature Baby Ruths or Twix, Dixie Cups, duck tape

Youth Ministry Game - Dunkin' for DookiePrep

Attach toilet bowl seats to the top of buckets  with duck tape.  Put 1/2 gallon to 1 gallon of apple juice in the buckets, add 12 miniature baby ruths or twix (dookie) to the buckets.

This is a relay game so you will want to prepare one dookie station for every 8ish youth.

How to Play

The game is simple break your students into relay teams.  Give each student a dixie sized cup.  Place your toilets 10 to 20 yards away.  One at a time students will run to the toilet open it and scoop out at least one piece of dookie and eat it.  After swallowing the dookie, they run back and the next person goes.


The original version of this game that I saw involved students sticking their heads in the toilets to get a piece of dookie like bobbing for apples.  Don’t do this!! Too many germs!!

I also recommend having a trash can near by for the students who can’t get past the visual image this game creates.  Twix with a little apple juice tastes good, but the visual image looks well like dookie.

Have fun!