It’s summer and a lot of youth workers are on our site searching for fun games and activities. Add to that our fun little game rating and commenting contest we’re having right now where I’m giving away 10 prizes, both DVDs and books (peek here for details).
This brings up a big question. Do games still work?
Some people seem to be casting stones at ministries who still use games. Are games a tool of the past? Do they no longer open doors?
That’s the question I asked this week in my guest post on Tim Schmoyer’s Life in Student Ministry blog… an article I titled, To Play Games or Not to Play Games. Here’s a couple snippets:
The location wasn’t anything special—a multi-purpose room of a small little church. But about 70 students, gangbangers and high school dropouts from the community were gathered, laughing, playing games and having fun.
Games? Yes, gangbangers playing games.
30 minutes later the leader told a story and began a discussion about real life issues. This week the topic was death. A student laid down in the front of the room as if in an open casket at a funeral, and friends of the teenager began coming up and giving eulogies.
The leader wrapped up by sharing the Gospel. A handful of kids checked a box on a card saying, “I’d like to talk about this more.” Three one-on-one meetings happened that week between a caring adult and students. One of the students gave his life to Christ.
Across the country I visited and entirely different venue:
Every Thursday night teenagers would gather together here. A little music, a video, then a student would come up and share their story—or testimony as some like to call it. Then the leader would open the word and share for about 25 minutes. Week after week teenagers gave their lives to Christ, grew in their faith, fellowshipped with other believers and worshipped their creator.
When I talked with the leader of the group, the subject of games somehow surfaced. “We don’t play games here!” The leader snapped. “High school kids don’t want to play games,” he continued. “They want something relevant to their lives.”
Really? Games don’t work?
That’s what I seek to answer in that blog. Read it, jump in and comment.