If you are planning a Christian event that will have multiple generations attending, you may find it challenging to find games which will help your guests get to know one another. People often have a tendency to isolate themselves with people they already know or people who are their own age. By finding games that will challenge your guests to break out of their comfort zones, you will give them a tool to learn about people they wouldn't have otherwise attempted to know.
When you are creating name tags, place a number on each card. Create groups of two to four people, trying to span a variety of ages. Once everyone has arrived, tell the participants to find their groups. Each group will then work together to see how many similarities they can find. Another entertaining variation is to have each person go around the room asking questions about the other guests until they find someone with whom they have something in common. The stipulation is that they need to find someone who is older or younger than they are.
When everyone is seated, ask them to find someone they do not know and interview them. To make it easier, hand out interview sheets where the participants can ask specific questions rather than having to think of their own questions. After the interview time is up, have each person stand up and introduce the person they interviewed. Because this is a multi-generational gathering, you may want to have the guests answer questions such as where they were born, how many siblings they had and what they did for fun as a child. This is a good way to see some differences between generations.
Based on the theme of your gathering, select Bible verses that can start conversations. Place these verses on cards on the tables as a casual ice breaker when guests are waiting for the program to begin. On one side of the card, place a Bible verse relevant to your gathering. On the other side, place open-ended questions that will start conversations. As an example, if you were doing a program on following God's plan through life, you could place Ephesians 1:11 on one side of the card and ask questions such as, "What are three ways God has shown you that everything will work according to God's plan?"
Games which require teamwork can be a good way for your guests to get to know one another while working together to win the game. You can create a table scavenger quest where teams have to work together to figure out who is the oldest, the youngest, who has lived farther from the gathering, or other facts about the lives of each person at the table.
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Heather Heinzer is a freelance writer from Wisconsin. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and has been featured in "Parents for Parents" magazine. She is planning to return to the University of Wisconsin-Rock County to obtain a degree in communications.