Christian teens that participate in youth groups are often given leadership roles within the ministry. In order to prepare young adults for these helping roles, many youth groups participate in leadership games to determine strengths and potential in certain areas. Youth roles include volunteer work within the ministry and community, peer counseling and witnessing to others.
Broken Square Exercise
In the broken square exercise, groups of six form to complete the task. While five members work to complete the squares, the sixth member of the group observes. In this exercise the members of the group use their paper pieces to complete a square. The challenge in this game is that none of the group members are allowed to speak. No member may take a piece from another member to complete the square; however, a youth can give his piece to another group member. This activity encourages young adults to observe those around them and be sensitive to others' needs while working to complete the task. To be an effective peer counselor or witness, a youth leader needs awareness and sensitivity to those around him.
The balloon fight games assesses the group dynamic when put into a competitive setting. Divide teams into groups of six. Each person is given a balloon and some elastic or string. Ask each member to blow up the balloon and tie it to the outside of his leg. Advise the participants that each team is to destroy the opposite team's balloon by stepping on and popping it. Give one point to the team for each balloon destroyed. The last team with a balloon unpopped wins. Observe the group dynamic for cooperation, clear instructions to team mates and efficiency. Young Christians pursuing leadership roles learn how to work successfully with and instruct those around them, leading the group to victory.
Moon Landing Game
The moon landing game places young leaders at a crash scene hundreds of miles from their destination. Each potential leader must choose and rank the supplies for his"crew" to take to the mother ship. Since the crew can only take essential supplies, the leader must choose those most important to the crew. This game judges the participant's ability to assess the needs of others and draw upon individual crew member strengths when determining essentials.
Go outside to play the river crossing game. Take masking tape and make two parallel lines 15 feet long and 45 feet apart to represent the river. Give each group of six to eight people five cardboard pieces. Each cardboard piece is two by two feet wide. Each team is responsible for getting all of the team members across safely. Use the cardboard stepping stones to get the members across. If anyone touches the "river" he must go back to the beginning. The goal is to get the members across as quickly as possible by organizing and giving direction to teammates. Youth leaders learn when to step up and give direction and when to step back and follow advice.
Annabeth Kaine began writing in 2010 with work appearing on various websites. She has successfully run two businesses, held chairmanship positions on two fund-raising committees and received excellence-in-service awards for both. Kaine is completing her Bachelor of Arts in psychology.
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