Culture -

20+ ideas for online ministry games —

By Becca Haines

CIY has seen the Church rise up in cool, creative ways during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Youth groups are connecting online for Bible study, discussions and FUN. We’ve loved hearing about how youth pastors are playing games via Zoom, Instagram Live and other platforms to keep pointing young people to Jesus.

 

Here are 20 games you MUST play with your youth groups:

 

1. Scavenger Hunts. They’re simple, fun and youth leaders have been reporting a lot of success with these for small group time. Hunts can include the whole family or present students the challenge of finding things on their own … perhaps a sock of a parent (that they’re wearing!)

 

2. Reverse Charades. CIY staffers loved playing this one. Choose one person to close their Chat box while everyone else sees what movement they must act out. The guesser can be timed or not, or given three movements to guess. A great example round would be: A T-Rex dabbing.

 

3. Lip Sync Battles. Show your students you’re just as good as John Krasinski! Everyone gets to vote on who wins. Note: don’t do entire songs for timeliness.

 

4. Two Truths and a Story. This game is so good CIY’s MOVE and MIX programs will be playing it this summer. Do you have a tell when you’re fibbing? This game will tell!

 

5. Name That Sound. It's important to mute everyone when one person is speaking … or making a duck sound on their phone. How else will they guess in this game?

 

6. Drawing Competition. This is a great idea from our youth ministry friend in Kentucky, Tim Monks. He challenged his students to a draw all sorts of things – one was himself – and the results were hilarious!

 

7. Guess Who? Two people select a person in the chat and then they take turns asking questions to figure out who the selected person is. Some like to put a limit on the number of questions, and a way to include everyone would be to allow suggestions from the Chat box.

 

8. Clue Mafia. The youth pastor private messages the character roles to everyone. Later during the video chat, the game’s a foot! Find out who done it by finding clues or hints given by the characters. Invite your group to dress up or pull off some crazy accents to make their character come to life.

9. Trivia Night. Use the Raise Your Hand feature, or you can use the Share Screen feature to create a board in PowerPoint and have a trivia night - Jeopardy style!

 

10. Silent Karaoke. A member of the group sings a song while on mute. Everyone tries to guess what it is!

 

11. Rock Paper Scissors. Give everyone three lives, and play on the count of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot!

 

12. Where Am I? Save 10 different landscape pictures of well-known places around the world. Then, go into your Zoom and add them to your virtual backgrounds. You can do this through the video dropdown menu in the bottom left of your screen. Make sure to go to the bottom of the menu and click “I have a green screen.” Look for the + sign to add your pictures.

 

13. The 25. Everyone needs to have their mic on for this game. You’re going to be counting to 25 together … but one person at a time. If two people speak at the same time, ya’ll have to start over! Make it harder by counting higher … or turning the mics off!

 

14. Mirror. The leader will individually inform each player through Chat who to mimic on their screen. Tell the players to pin that person in their window (by clicking the … in the upper right corner of the screen.) The game starts with everyone doing simple movements, and then mirroring their person until everyone is doing the same movements.

 

15. One Word Stories. Everyone needs their mic on. The leader will establish an order in which players will follow to tell a story, using one word at a time. One long story or several short stories – it’s up to you … but make sure you record it so more can enjoy it later.

 

16. Deaf Jam. In the Chat, list three songs you MIGHT be dancing to – everyone try to guess.

 

17. Family. Have everyone in the group text the leader a name of a celebrity. Once the leader has everyone’s name, he/she will read the list to the group. ONLY twice – because everyone will be guessing who is who. If a player guesses correctly, that celebrity is a part of the player’s family and can now help that player guess more celebrities. Remember everyone’s name because the goal is to be the head of one big family!

 

18. Who dis? Have everyone in the group text you or private Chat to share a fact about themselves that nobody knows. Then, as you go through the list as a group, have everyone try to guess which fact goes to which person.

 

19. Say What? The leader looks up a picture of a random animal – real or mythical. Turn your video off as players start to ask Yes/No questions to figure out what the animal is. Use the Share Screen feature with those who guess it right.

 

20. What Am I Holding? With the video off – or out of camera shot – everyone in the group holds an item they’ve chosen from their home. Take turns describing your item. Whoever guesses the most correct items in the group, WINS!

 

Like these games? Find more here as well as some other great free online resources.