Youth ministry programs

Christian youth Games: Meet Hallory, Knute, John and Joe

The following was used at a Halloween Party but it could be adaptable to other times of the year. Our young people suggested going to a haunted house, which was deemed inappropriate for the group at this time. We had a costume Halloween Party and used several of the activities recorded in the book, "Not the Same Old, Done-it-before Yoputh Meetings". At the end of the party we offered our version of a haunted house.

Picking a room apart from the main meeting room four manikins were assembled, basically by stuffing clothing with towels and newspapers and creating heads with a ball wrapped in a sheet. Hats were obtained to help identify some of the manikin characters. Inside one of the manikins a speaker was planted. Two of the older youth members agreed to set the room up with darkened lights, strings that they would be able to pull to open and close doors and the like - our haunted house.

Each of the manikins had a cut off 6 by 9 envelop leaning up against him or her with a collection of typed messages as follows:

  • Hallory ..."My name is Hallory and I believe we have to help ordinary families and our senior citizens and stop giving tax breaks to companies already with money. I also agree with our President of eighty years ago, Franklin Roosevelt, who said that we have 'nothing to fear but fear itself'. We are a great nation."
  • Knute Rockne ..."My name is Knute Rockne and I was a famous football coach at Notre Dame University. Before an important game I once said, 'Play hard, play smart and win one for the Gipper'. George Gipp was a great player who died at an early age of strep throat. We won that game and the theme "Play hard, play smart" will help in these hard times."

  • John Calvin ..." My name is John Calvin. I started the Presbyterian Church over 400 years ago. In the mid 1500's I wrote ... 'We are God's; let His wisdom and will therefore rule our actions ... O how much has that man profited who, having been taught he is not his own, has yielded his reasoning to God'. This advice to let God give us guidance was good then and it is also good now."

  • [When youth were given instructions before entering and choosing the message best suited for these times, they were told that John Calvin lived some 400 years ago and would look much, much older than the other three people.]

  • Joe Schmuck ..."My name is Joe Schmuck and my answer is simple - just throw all the bums out and elect people like me".

Youth were advised that, since these are changing times, that there were four individuals with four suggestions as to how to change things to make the world a better place. These were left in a manilla envelope resting on each person. Each youth simply had to approach each of the manikins, retrieve the message and return to me the one of the four which they had chosen to be the best plan for change. Of course they had to do this in darkened light (they were given a dimly lit flashlight) and they had to observe doors opening and closing and listen to the one manikin with the microphone at times talking to them. "Did you choose the right plan of change?" Or "Hey, why didn't you pick me?" were two of the comments spoken by the hidden older members through that manikin.

We found that, despite occasional screams, most prominent when six junior high girls decided to visit the room together, the youth took the event seriously and chose Knute Rockne and John Calvin as the two with the most useful advice.

The event was followed up with the following discussion:

  • We picked out some definitions of "faith" from scripture leading to a conclusion that faith is not simply a thought or feeling, it is taking an action. It is "saying 'yes' to the Word of God".
  • We looked at the group's top choice, Knute Rockne and pointed out that "Play hard/play smart" was an action, a commitment to change and work harder than before. We pointed out that change in the world starts with each of us ... we must change and commit ourselves to that change just as the Notre Dame team committed themselves to "play hard, play smart".
  • We read Galatians 3:14 then Galatians 5:22. "Through faith we might receive the promise of the Holy Spirit and the fruits of the Spirit are...". It was discussed that the Spirit of God fills our hearts with these fruits ... patience, self control, love and peace. This changes us so we are more confident to serve God while at school and at work, apart from the safety of youth group.
  • We noted that the second most popular manikin chosen was John Calvin and we read from I Corinthians 1: 9-11. Both John Calvin and this scripture point to the importance of trusting not in ourselves but in God.
  • We concluded by recognizing that saying "yes" to the Word of God, an action, is supported by the promise of God that those who trust him will be supported. We went back to our original concern - that of change and each youth was asked to review three challenges Jesus gave us in the Sermon on the Mount. These are: 1) Let your light shine- Matthew 5: 14-16... 2) When you pray, go to your room, close the door - Matthew 6: 5-6... 3) Do not seek riches on earth - Matthew 6: 19-21

Youth were asked to consider and share which of these three challenges was most important for them to commit themselves towards meeting in order to "Make a Difference" in the world. We formed small groups for youth to discuss these matters. The results of their discussions can be found under "Christian Question" on the website.

This activity is shared to demonstrate how an activity that appears to be strictly for fun can be used to share the message of the gospel.


Also try ... The Chest of Visions ... Christian sci-fi activity

Youth Ministry in a faraway land "A story you will not easily forget...

a story you will not want to end."

What if Jesus did not come 2,000 years ago but came today?

How would young people receive him?

The story is an adventure in a faraway land, a "story of faith, hope, courage and intrigue"

Click: The Chest of Visions

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