3 Guaranteed Ways To Make Games Fun Again

It’s a youth ministry staple.

We all do it  –Almost weekly.
You’d think we’d  have it down pat by now.  Unfortunately it is a problem for veteran youth workers and rookies alike.
We often fail at choosing and leading games!

  • I am not quite sure why…
    • Do we not put enough effort into it?
    • Is it because games are not spiritual so it is a low priority?
    • Do we think we can “wing it” with games and it will still work?

If you are reading this blog, chances are that you work with students.  Chances are you run games with these students.  And I hope you want them to be effective and good.

Well, here are 3 ways guaranteed to make it happen.

  1. Follow the Leader

If you are having fun then your students will have fun.  It is a very simple but true formula.

I see it all of the time.  A leader is leading a game and they look board doing it.  Then all of the volunteers are leaning up against the walls on their phones.

No student is going to be excited and involved with this kind of leadership.  If you and your team are more excited then the students, watch out.  This is the recipe for an awesome game.

  1. Skill less

You are not training professional athletes!  Keep the games VERY, VERY low skill.  When picking a game to play it should not require high levels of coordination.

A 3 on 3 basketball tournament requires large amounts of skill.  A game of tag requires far less skill.

The more skill required the more students you alienate.  The less skill required the more students can get involved.  That is a recipe for fun.

  1. A 5 Year Old Can Understand

Here is a simple rule in doing games well.  If it takes you more the 60 seconds to explain then the game is too complicated.

When it comes to games for a bunch of students, simple is more fun.

You are going to lead games for your students.  So follow these 3 ways guaranteed to make them fun.

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Tyson Howells

Tyson is the associate youth ministry director for Vanguard Youth Ministry Institute. He has been a youth pastor for many years in Winnipeg as well as in Edmonton. Tyson is passionate in seeing relational youth ministry that results in youth that are passionate about following Jesus. He still leads a small group at the youth group in his home church.


  1. Sarahsays:

    Thanks for this post! We have to do without our awesome “games guy” volunteer this year, so we’re readjusting to other leaders taking over this part of our youth night. I’ve put major prep into games before, only to have them fall flat. These tips will be helpful for us moving forward!

    • Tyson Howellssays:

      Thanks for the comment Sarah. It is always difficult to lose a good volunteer. I do hope this article helps and I am sure your team will be leading students in great games in the future.

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