Tell the youth group that they’re doing Bible trivia and you may hear groans. Sometimes young people feel that trivia games are like final exams, or they dread another “Jeopardy” or “So You Want to Be a Millionaire” spinoff. But there are ways to punch new creativity into old ideas so that your games will challenge and inspire young people to dig deeper into God's word.
Puzzle the Pastor
The object of the game is for young people to search the Bible and write questions that will stump the church’s head pastor. Assign youth into teams of five. Together, they write 20 questions. Give them the whole Bible for scope, or limit them to one book of the Bible. Tell them to make the questions difficult but not impossible to answer. Invite the head pastor to the next meeting, and let teens ask their questions. Teams get 50 points for questions that the pastor can’t answer. Let the pastor use lifelines, like 50/50 and phone a friend. Correct answers that require the pastor to use a lifeline earn teams 25 points. The team with the most points at the end wins.
For this high-energy game, divide teens into groups of five or less. Give each group a mini whiteboard and erasable markers. Give teams 30 seconds to write down ten things in a particular category. Categories should come from scripture, such as “List 10 of Jesus’ disciples,” or “List 10 animals in the Bible,” or “List 10 miracles Jesus did.” The first team to complete an accurate list wins the round. Play as many rounds as time permits. If categories are harder, let adolescents search the Bible for answers.
Truth or Dare
A new twist on an old favorite, this game requires that you write 12 dare options on a whiteboard before the game starts. Number them 1 through 12. Dares should be silly, such as “Sing the chorus of a hymn,” “Do a cartwheel,” or “Show us your driver’s license photo.” Prepare Bible trivia questions that relate to lessons you’ve been studying. If someone answers a question wrong, he or she has to roll a pair of dice and perform the corresponding dare.
There's a Scripture for That
Give teens a taste of what it’s like to be a youth pastor. Break into groups of five or less and give each group a list of common and not-so-common teen problems written in the first person. The list could include statements like “I’m constantly fighting with my siblings,” “My parents won’t give me any freedom,” “My friends ditched me, and now I’m alone.” Instruct groups to find scriptures that will help in each situation. Have each group turn in their written ideas, and print copies of the combined research for the class.
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Michelle Watson has been an editor and freelance writer since 2010. She has edited hospital magazines around the United States and written on a variety of health-care topics. Watson is also a licensed high school English teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a teaching credential.