Youth ministry often gives opportunities for our creative energies be used in many ways. From organizing a snowball fight at a Classis meeting (this really did happen) to hockey games between church councils and youth (also happened) to modifying curriculum so that our volunteer leaders can teach it using their own skill sets (yes, it happens).
God has created us to dream, to be creative and that leads to new ideas where ministry can flourish.
A youth pastor friend of mine sent me a text the other day and shared an interview he had done about a game he co-designed.
Here, Luke says:
“I’ve been a Youth and Young Adults Pastor for almost 10 years, and one of my passions has always been connecting with kids in fun and fresh ways through games! I started off working with both Young Life and church kids, and sometimes all you can do to connect with kids (or get them off their phones) is engage them in something cooler and interactive. Board games have found a huge place in the relational ministry work we do with kids. And over the past year, through our regular Board Game Youth Nights and just inviting kids over to hang out and playtest this game, we’ve created something awesome! Some of the youth have had awesome ideas and contributed to a lot of playtesting and backstory creation. Furthermore our Young Adults had an even deeper hand in helping with the design process and were willing “test subjects” for new game modes, mechanics, and wild ideas that I came up with.”
“Playtesting” and “test subjects” are interesting phrases for us considering we are a Reform-ing community of churches and inviting our members to experiment, to play together where we might be able to build something is very special. Like our "Builders" generation did not long ago.
What might collaboration look like for us in our ministries? Where we allow our creative gifts to build bridges of community for something we ourselves cannot (or maybe should not) complete on our own.
What is one way games have impacted your youth ministry?
What is your favorite youth ministry game?