It seems like our attention spans are getting smaller and smaller. For this reason, Bible teachers use games to help people develop spiritually. There are games for small children all the way up to adulthood.
I wanted to research this topic to find the best games to use to help bring the gospel to bear in the lives of people I know. Plus, who doesn’t love games?
Here are the top 7 games that I could find (with age ranges):
1. Bible Story Telling
Directions: have a group of people sitting in a circle. Beforehand, tell the group to bring 1-2 objects to represent a story in the Bible. Have the group pass their objects to the right and the other people have to guess what the objects represent. If they cannot guess, then they can pass it again two more times.
The goal of the game: to get out of the game first. Or have your objects be guessed first. For every person who guesses correctly, they get a point and the person who brought the objects gets a point. Whoever has the most points win.
Examples of objects to bring:
- Dinner plate or silverware for the Last Supper.
- Toy boat for Jesus calming the storm.
- Large stick for Moses parting the Red Sea.
- Some kind of net for Jesus multiplying Peter’s net with fish at sea.
- Red cord or rope for the story of Rehab leaving a red cord tied outside her home to be spared in the battle of Jerrico.
One can get creative when thinking of objects to bring that could represent a story in the Bible. It can be simple or more difficult, to make things interesting.
Each object represents a story, and students will have to figure out what it represents. One can bring multiple objects for more rounds of the game.
At the end of the game, each person can hold onto their own objects and explain why they brought that object for that particular Bible story. After that one can talk about what God is doing in one’s own life. Then, have the group go around in a circle and think of one way they can better grow in Christ with their own walk with God.
2. Domino Memory Game
Before the game begins, you can talk about the importance of memorizing scripture as a child of God. We are to store up His word in our hearts.
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.Psalms 119:11
When we memorize or focus on scripture, it keeps us away from evil and even from sinning against God. We are to know God’s word. He can help us live a life that honors Him.
Directions: Write or print the Bible verse of your choice into a sheet of paper or label (you can use labels like Avery 8160). Then stick the labels each on a domino making sure there is no overlap on at least one side so that they will not have trouble standing up. Then mix the dominoes with the Bible verse words.
Have the child put the words in order, standing each domino. After the child has assembled the dominoes and can say the verse, allow the child to knock down the first domino and watch them fall.
Kids love lining the dominoes up to make the verse and getting to knock them down when they are done!
If you have many children playing the game, you can print the Bible verse several different times, and tape onto different groups of dominoes. Then give each child or team their own group of dominoes and see who can put the words in order the quickest.
3. Belly Laugh
This game reminds kids that God loves a joyful heart.
I will be glad and exult in you;Psalm 9:32
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
If one is teaching a group of children a Bible lesson or story and can tell they are wound up, this is a great game to play to get their giggles out.
Play: Have one child lie on his or her back. Then have another child lie with his or her head on the other child’s belly. Have the remaining kids lie down with their heads resting on another child’s belly.
Choose one person to start the game by shouting, “Ha!” The next person will shout, “Ha, ha!” and each child continues to add a “ha” as they work around the group.
Sooner or later the group will burst into laughter, with heads bouncing off bellies with joy.
Cool Down: Let kids take turns telling a funny story or joke. Tell kids that God wants us to experience joy every day through fun and laughter.
4. Sticky Balloons
The message of this game is found in Luke 9:23.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.Luke 9:23
If using for a small group in a church or youth group setting, one could discuss the following questions on this topic. Examples of questions could be:
What does this verse have to do with today’s topic? Why is it hard to allow God to lead us? What changes do we experience when we allow God to lead?
After asking these questions, one can explain the idea behind this game, and give instructions.
For the supplies: 20 balloons per groups of 3 or 4, permeant markers, masking tape
Directions: Students should blow up their own balloons or have them blown up beforehand. On each balloon, preteens write down ways to live like Jesus on each balloon.
How to play: First, break up into groups in 3 or 4s. Give a role of masking tape to each group. Preteens work together to wrap one player in each group with masking tape (sticky side out) from the top of their knees to their arm pits. Once wrapped with masking tape, players begin putting on the balloons until all of them are sticking to their teammate.
After the game, take time to explain.
Our goal as followers of Jesus is to live like Jesus. The balloons can represent living like Jesus.
The more we train to be like Jesus, the more we become like him in our actions and attitudes. The way we train to be like Jesus is to stay connected to Him in our daily lives. The more we experience God in our lives, the more we become like Him.
When our friends look at us, they should see the attributes written on the balloons (patience, kindness, goodness, etc). The group that finishes first wins the game.
5. Pop the Balloons
A game of tag where players tie balloons around their ankles and try to stomp others’ balloons.
Before beginning, the facilitator can explain that Jesus wants us to walk in our true identity. Instead of believing lies of the enemy or giving into insecurities, we are to walk in who God calls us to be.
The facilitator can explain that most everyone has some kind of insecurity and that it might even be the enemy trying to discourage you. Instead of ignoring that, we should recognize it and not give into believing lies about ourselves. Then, one can start to explain the game.
Materials: Balloons (one for each person) and string/dental floss, and sharpies
How To Play: Each player gets a balloon and a piece of string and can pass around sharpies. Before starting, players must blow up their balloon and begin writing down any lies of the enemy they might think they are believing. Then they can tie the string (string no longer than 1 ft) to their ankle. After they are ready, the balloons can be tied to one’s ankle and ready to play the game of popping the balloons. Once everyone has their balloons tied to their ankles, the game can begin.
The goal of the game: is to pop each other’s balloons (lies of the enemy) before the time runs out.
The facilitator makes sure that players know the confined area they have to stay in. When the facilitator says go, players must try to pop other player’s balloons by only using their feet.
When a player has his or her balloon popped, he or she must exit the playing field. The last one remaining their balloon is the winner.
Tip: If the game is taking too long, decrease the playing field size to help speed it up.
6. Blind Man Leading the Blind
(youth or young adults)
Blindfolded person has to accomplish tasks. Team can’t talk. The goal of this game is to help direct the blindfolded person and build trust with them. God wants us to build up our brother’s and sisters in Christ and to help lead them to where they need to go.
Materials: One blind fold and random objects relating to the task.
How to play: There are three main groups for this game:
1) The blindfolded person
2) The team spokesman
3) The team
The blindfolded person has a selected task is put on a field.
The team spokesman faces away from the field and is not allowed to turn around to look at the field. The team stands in front of the spokesman, looking at the field, but the team is not allowed to talk.
Through motions the team must try to get the spokesman (who can’t see the field) to yell to the blindfolded person and explain what to do.
The facilitator has previously set up some task (i.e. go pick up a ball, bring it to a bucket, and put it in) and has told the team what the blindfolded person needs to accomplish.
7. Blanket Race
A relay race in which team members carry a person on a blanket.
Before the games begin, talk about the race that God calls us all to be apart of.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.Hebrews 12:1
This game can represent the race we’re on with Jesus. Teachers should tell students that God calls us to run with God the Father. We are joining in on the race God has before us. We are called to run in obedience to God the Father, not running aimlessly, but in self-control.
So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control.”1 Corinthians 9:26
Along the way, we should be encouraging one another and building each other up. In this game, build one another up. Encourage your teammates, shout, have fun, and play this game to the best of your ability.
How To Play: Each team has a blanket.
Each team will have five people carrying the blanket and one riding. Start at a line, and race around a certain point and back. Players must go down and back 10 times with a different person riding each time. The person who gets off the blanket has to take up carrying the next run, so players swap out who is carrying.
This game can represent the race we’re on with Jesus. Teachers should tell students that God calls us to run with God the Father. We are joining in on the race God has before us.