Youth ministry programs

Christian Youth Games: The Lifeboat Game

The Lifeboat Game. A list of ten people is displayed. The list includes individuals such as: a pregnant woman, the president, a minister, a person about to find a cure for cancer, a ten-year-old child, a comedian, a fisherman, a sailor, and a reformed criminal who speaks to youth about the dangers of crime and the like. Youth are advised that these ten people are in a lifeboat and the lifeboat is sinking. It has been determined that only five can remain for the lifeboat to float. Youth are asked to write down which five they think should remain. One of the ten people on the lifeboat is identified as �yourself.�

The votes of five are totaled up and the choice of the group is revealed. The matter is then opened up for discussion. Did the group, as a whole, make the correct choice? Why were the choices made?

We did this event on January 27, 2008 with not only twenty six young people participating but fifteen adults. We did not include the president in our list and added a missionary doctor. Why don't you try this with your youth group. Here are the results we got from the event...

The top six choices of the adults, then of the youth are as follows. All votes are for which five of the ten individuals should stay on the boat�

15 adults voted as follows:

10 Year Old - 13 votes... 87%

Scientist about to find cancer cure - 13 votes... 87%

Pregnant woman - 12 votes... 80%

Missionary Doctor - 11 votes... 73%

Fisherman - 9 votes... 60%

Myself - 6 votes... 40%

26 youth members voted as follows:

Myself - 21 votes... 81%

Missionary Doctor - 18 votes... 69%

Pregnant woman - 17 votes... 65%

Sailor - 15 votes... 58%

Ten Year Old and Scientist (tie) � 14 votes � 54%

One quick observation - the closest result is for the missionary doctor to remain. 69 per cent of the youth said yes and 73 per cent of the adults also felt he should remain.

The minister � he got one vote (thanks to Danny Ermert) but Pastor John stated that he had filled out his list with himself off the boat.

More Lifeboat Results - this time from a group of young Christian leaders at a Youth Workers Conference (October 2008)

The choices included with number of votes received in parentheses: Pregnant woman (18), Ten Year Old Child (19), sailor (10), scientist to find cancer cure (17), fisherman (9), President of U.S. (4), reformed gang leader (7), minister (8), a television news reporter: mwho could tell the story (1), yourself (6).

If anyone uses this, let me know how it went. It would be interesting to see how your group voted. Please write to: I would really like to hear your results and your thoughts about what choices your young people made.

God bless you in all your youth activities.

Comment Received ... July 9, 2016 from Lori Kehoe of Albany, New York

Hi Tim! Wow thank you for getting back to me so quickly. You obviously have such a huge heart for teenagers and for the Lord and I see so much awesome stuff on your page and in your book!

OK, so I am doing a talk on lifeboat ethics and that is how I happened upon your page. I wondered if I could persuade you to help Christian kids understand that there is a right answer? It is not appropriate for us to decide whose lives have more value. So, for example, if there were five seats available and 10 people who needed them the truly correct answer is to put their names in a hat and pick -not for us to make a judgment. And, of course, an ideal answer from a Christian kid would be to also give up your own seat because no greater love is there than a man lay down his life for his friends.

When it comes to other issues -like ethical organ donation -(and there is plenty of not ethical organ donation)let's say one kidney -the way that you ethically decide that first is to see who is the one to have the greatest chance of making it through the surgery alive. That's a no-brainer then after that it should be either who has the highest most urgent need and then who is first on the list or, if all other things are equal, you pull names out of a hat .. for example, you don't decide that a child with down syndrome has less value than a child without down syndrome. I will close for now but just hoping you might be open to those remarks since you are clearly in a position of influence.

Jo writes regarding Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meetings ... "I think this book is really good and helpful. I first read the online version of the book because i did not want to pay for it. But after reading a couple of program ideas and having a very very successful youth program I totally HAD to get this book. It is well worth the money." Read more reviews like this one by Jo by clicking ...
Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meeting (the book)

" The ideas here work. I know that because I've seen them work. Every one has been teen-tested."...Frank Tangredi, youth leader, New York

Click here for Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Youth Meeting (the book)

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