Middle School Ministry is a fun ministry… and you can’t have fun without games!
But the thing about games? They’re often either hit or miss. Middle schoolers will either love it or loathe it. And when they loathe it, it’s tough to recover. These games are marked by awkward silences, confusion, blank stares, and disinterest.
In these situations, the games are rarely the problem. It’s usually the way the game is led that’s the problem. With a little tweaking any game, even the lamest ones, can be loved. So, here are 7 tips to making even the lamest fun!
1. PREP THE GAME, EXPLAIN THE GAME, PLAY THE GAME
Before you explain the rules to a game, make sure the game is ready to be played. Have everyone in teams, on stage, or holding their equipment before you explain the rules. If you try to explain the game before prepping 80% of your middle schoolers will forget how to play before the game starts. Once everyone is in place explain the game, then play the game.
2. START SIMPLE
If the game is super complicated, start simple. Play the game with fewer rules if need be. Once the students get the hang of the game, start to add the new twists and new rules. This lets them understand the game, but it also helps the game build in intensity.
3. MUSIC = ENERGY
You can make the lamest games fun, simply by adding music! While you’re explaining the game, have some upbeat music quietly playing behind you. And then when the game starts TURN IT UP! Music adds intensity to the game, but it also creates an atmosphere where spectators can loudly cheer.
4. INVOLVE EVERYONE
Everyone in the room should be involved in the game, even if it’s a stage game that only requires a few volunteers. Figure out a way to get everyone involved. Have the whole crowd count down to start off the game. Ask the crowd to decide on the winner. Have them cheer for the person they want to win. Whatever you do, don’t let the crowd just sit and watch.
5. BE THE BIGGEST FAN
Enthusiasm is contagious. Be the game’s biggest fan and your enthusiasm will spread. If you think this is the greatest game to ever be played, your students will too! While the game is being played, commentate what’s happening. Give an exciting play-by-play, get enthusiastic when the competition is nail-biting, cheer the contestants on when they’re not doing so well. Don’t just watch the game, cheer the game!
6. STOP THE GAME AT IT’S PEAK
Once your game has reached the peak of fun, once you realize your students are swimming in the deepest depths of delight… kill it. They’ll hate you for it, but it’s the best thing you can do! After all, once you’ve climbed to the peak of a mountain the only direction to go from there is down. If you wait too long to stop they will only remember the downhill spin and not the fun. If you end the game at it’s peak, they’ll be begging to play it again!