Monday Minute: Why We Play Games

Welcome to the Monday Minute, where we keep it short and pithy. That’s right, the average person can read about 400 words per minute, so each Monday, you can expect to see less than that.

Today’s Monday Minute is all about why we play games. When playing a game, make sure you know why you are playing. In my view, games serve one of three purposes: to have fun, to teach a point or to develop relationships through teamwork. Let’s quickly break each of them down.

1. Games To Have Fun

In my opinion, these games are essential. If you do a game every week, then it is fine to mix in a game that illustrates a point. On the other hand, don’t lose sight of the fact that many students are stressed and it is nice for them to have a place where they can just have some fun.

On the other hand, make sure that you are striking a healthy balance of fun, love and truth. Remember that you are not ultimately called to play games, you are called to minister to students. Games are just an avenue in which we can do so.

2. Games That Teach

I must admit that I do not use games that teach often, but when I do, I try to make them memorable. If your goal is to teach a lesson, make sure that it fits. Don’t use these games just because you heard about it and want to shove it into your next message. Ensure that this game is truly enhancing the lesson you are sharing.

3. Games That Build

I like to use team-building games in settings where relationships have time to develop. It is hard to develop deep and meaningful relationships in an hour or two at your youth meeting. I reserve these type of games for retreats, camps, over-nighters, etc.

In addition, I highly recommend some sort of debriefing. Ask questions like, “Why did you succeed?” or “Why did you fail?” As a youth pastor, these games reveal leadership qualities and provide invaluable teaching points for many students.

So ask yourself why you want to play a game. Doing so will help you achieve your desired outcome.

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