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Over the past number of weeks as I was considering what to add to this webpage that would be beneficial to you, the youth worker, I came across a list of 8 fun filled games that revolved around food. As I was reading through it I was impressed at the quality of these ‘food’ games and I came to the conclusion that they would be a lot fun with a group of youth.

As I was sharing this with my wife and looking over the games with the recent news of Haiti on the TV in the background, I was reminded of the pledge I made with myself over 15 years ago about using food for games.

Through my years of ministry I have had the joy and privilege to travel to many developing countries for ministry. I remember, while in Nigeria, holding two twin girls in my arms, watching them die due to starvation. My wife and I spent a night on garbage dump in the Philippines watching young boys and girls scavenging through garbage. I have been in Zambia, Russia, India and many other places, seeing families go hungry because there is just not enough food to go around (not to mention what we are currently seeing in Haiti with the horrific earthquake that took place in January 2010).

There is not enough food to go around? Really? Statistics show that there is enough food on earth that no one needs to go hungry. The problem is that the majority of the food is in the developed countries, North America being a huge consumer. In fact we have so much food in North America that we actually use food for games! Can you figure that? There are people around the word that would do pretty much anything for the food that we use at youth group for games. It’s a harsh reality but true.

How many of us as youth leaders have had hot-dog eating contests, played with marshmallows, cheerios, created “fear factor” challenges with food, etc.? I am sure you can add to the list. Is using food for games being stewardly of the resources that God has given us?

Say NO TO FOOD for games at youth group. Youth workers are creative people so I am sure you are able to come up with some other way to entertain our youth without wasting food. Over the past 15 years in ministry I have tried not to use food for games. Have I slipped up? You bet, but every time I turn on the TV I am reminded of my personal pledge to those I have met overseas who long for food.

Will you join me in committing to not using food for games at youth group? It’s a pledge that will take some creative thinking on your part but one that will set a huge example to your youth. It’s one small step that can make a life-long impression.

If you are willing to take the pledge, comment on this article and let me know that you are saying NO TO FOOD! Also, please send some idea/links/games that you have used that have worked for you that does not include food. Looking forward to hearing from you.

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