While many children's ministry games focus on Bible stories and teaching kids to remember Christian facts, some of the most useful games bring in real-life situations. Although teachers must take into account the age and intelligence of their students, there are practical games suitable for any age.
Teach the Golden Rule
For youngger children's ministry games, teachers should focus on basic lessons of right and wrong, morality and ethics. The idea is to teach without teaching so that kids have a good time without knowing they are learning. A great way to start is with the Golden Rule.
Jesus brings us teachings of love, so it's only natural that children practice games where the goal is to love and share. Break children into groups and give each group a different amount of a different kind of candy. The goal of the game is for each group to get at least one piece of each type of candy.
It is up to the children to determine how they get the candy, but the lesson focuses on teamwork, sharing, and helping each other reach a common goal. The catch is that if at the end of the game if any group has failed to get a piece of each type of candy, no one gets to enjoy their spoils. You can make it a race to see which group can accomplish the goal the fastest or recognize a group that was particularly helpful to the class as a whole. You're on the right path to building a dynamic children's ministry when your students are having great fun while learning life's biggest lessons.
Use Current Events
Older children's ministry games can bring in a current events focus. These games are meant to be both fun and educational, encouraging students to look at serious problems strategically to find a solution. For instance, teachers can break the class into two groups, Israelis and Palestinians.
After giving a brief introduction of the history of the Israel / Palestine conflict, teachers can release their students to come up with the most creative possible solution that is fair to everyone – nothing is off limits. Teachers can reward the most fantastic, creative solutions with prizes or class recognition. By bringing in fun elements, teachers encourage students to look at age-old problems in new ways.
One idea is to require each group to present a solution that involves a zany exit, such as the leader of the Palestinian Authority presenting the president of Israel with a sacred Native American macaroni and cheese recipe as a sign of peace. Creativity and fun abound as students learn about war and peace, conflict resolution, religious tolerance, and current events.
Final Thoughts on Creating Children's Ministry Games
Children's ministry games have to be about both fun and education for them to meet the needs of teachers and students. Teachers should look around them for contemporary examples to drive home the messages of the Bible that are still so relevant today. As long as students learn to see all problems as solvable, teachers will help develop solid Christian leaders from their ministry games.