Love them or not, games always find a way into kids ministry programming. Most kids ministers have planned icebreakers, dodgeball, messy games, and every single version of tag imaginable.
Playing games can make you more effective as a kids ministry leader, but games can also easily become disconnected from your ministry goals. How can we get the most out of our games and make them count? Here are three suggestions:
- Plan several days in advance for your games. This one may seem too obvious, but how many times have you found yourself trying to plan a game for your kids ministry an hour before kids arrive? Planning a couple of days in advance gives you the time to prep any supplies you need, and it takes away the stress of last minute planning. If you play a game that kids love, write down the rules and a supply list for your own future reference.
- Include adults and kids in your games. Whenever you have the chance to include adults in a game, do it! This gives kids the chance to build connections with their adult leaders outside of small group times. When adults and kids sit down for a discussion later, kids will care more about what those adults have to say. This is one of my favorite parts of recreation at Student Life For Kids. We include your adult leaders in the games so they have the chance to connect with kids from your group.
- Connect your games to the lesson you are teaching. Playing games gives you an opportunity to start teaching before the large group lesson even starts. Even if your game is only loosely connected to the big idea you’re teaching, making a connection can help grab the attention of kids for the lesson.
Looking for more ideas about how to make your games count? Check out “Great Games That Teach” in the KidMin Toolbox. This brand new resource has more than 100 games for your kids ministry, and every game has a biblical application lesson.
Logan Meek leads the Student Life for Kids team. Logan joined the Student Life For Kids team in 2014 after spending two years as a Sixth Grade teacher with Teach For America. He believes in the importance of strong kids ministry to help kids build strong spiritual foundations.