Youth ministry programs

Three Pens Game

Three Pens Game. In this game, the leader sits behind a table, which is bare except for three pens. The pens are randomly set in a design by the youth leader. The youth leader rests one or two hands on the table alongside the three arranged pens. When doing this, one or more fingers are clearly pointed on the table in sight of all observers. The group is asked to determine what number is represented on the table.

It usually takes several attempts for at least one or two youth to discover the solution, which is determined by the number of fingers pointing on the table and not by the arrangement of the pens. The leader must take time before each guess to rearrange the pens carefully to leave the impression that he or she is diligently trying to get the formation of pens just right. The leader should alternate displays of fingers, using one or two hands with a varying number of fingers pointing after each rearrangement of the pens. The longer it takes for everyone to guess how to solve the riddle, the more fun it is, especially for the youth who have already figured out the answer and who usually cannot contain their disbelief that everyone does not get it. Make sure everyone "gets it" some time, even if you have to pound two hands with five extended fingers on the table and call out "ten" for those who continue to struggle.

As simple as this game appears, it has a very important message for the youth group year. Remind youth that the correct answer is obtained when they look at the entire table, the "whole picture", not just the obvious (the pens). Similarly, when we study things of faith, we need to look at them from various segments of Scripture. Paul's views of faith and those of James are different, yet the understanding of each gives us a more complete knowledge of how our faith helps us move forward in all the tasks of our lives.

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