Youth group isn’t just about Bible study. It’s also a safe place for teens and pre-teens to socialize – and play uproarious games that only a certain breed of humans -- youth pastors -- can tolerate -- and dream up -- playing. When planning your next youth group get-together, think of activities that allow not-yet adults to act like children one last time.
Divide the youth group into two teams and mark off a dividing line between them for a game of "Capture the Flag" in the dark. Each team hides a flag on its side and tries to steal the other team’s flag and sneak it back to their own territory.
Instruct one person to hide somewhere in this twist on the childhood game of "Hide-and-Seek: Sardines." The other players look for the hider, and once they find her, cram in and hide with her. The very last person to find the hider loses. This is another game best played in the dark.
Organize this version of that awesome sport where you hit people with a ball instead of passing it to them. In "Eternal Dodge Ball," no teams or boundaries divide people; everyone hits everyone else.
Send teens off around the church property or neighborhood with cell phones and digital cameras and a list of tasks to complete and then record with a picture for proof. The more outlandish the tasks the youth have to perform, the better. For example, one task could be to stand on your hands on a sidewalk. The first team back with all tasks completed wins.
Pretend to sneak Bibles to missionaries in countries that persecute Christians and arrest anyone found possessing a Bible in the game "Bible Smugglers." One youth leader hides in the woods somewhere, while other leaders act as “guards” and try to intercept players from reaching the missionary. If caught, players are interrogated by guards about the contents of the Bible, the person of Jesus Christ and other theological or doctrinal issues. Players who give satisfactory answers are released to continue their task.
"Bible Smugglers" may not be appropriate if you have non-Christians attending your youth group.