This learning game is a great way to introduce the concept of obedience to God. It can also be used for famous Biblical personalities (See the list at the end) that practiced hearing God and obedience to Him.
What to Do
- Tell the youth that they must only obey you if you first say the words “Simon says.”
- If they follow an order that doesn’t begin with “Simon says,” or if they fail to do what Simon SAYS to do they will be eliminated from the game. Remember, they have to do what “Simon” says, NOT what “Simon” does.
- Start with something simple like, “Simon says, put your hands on your head.” Put your hands on your head to demonstrate what you are asking them to do. Once you have given the instruction, take note of those who who did not follow the instruction and eliminate them from the game.
- Continue to give instructions, prefacing them with “Simon says” and eliminating those who fail to follow the instructions. “Thumbs Up” “Thumbs down” Shout out a phrase. Be sure to include a lot of funny and silly things to get everyone laughing.
- Mix things up by also saying things like, “Raise your right hand,” without the preface “Simon says.” Eliminate the youth who raise their hands.
- Continue to play, randomly choosing to give instructions with and without prefacing them with “Simon Says” and eliminating players until only one person is left. This is the winner.
You can play a second, more challenging round by:
- Giving the instructions quickly and keep the pace moving fast.
- Giving instructions in a quick series.
- Use phrases like “Do this” while making the motions you want copied. Other examples include “And This”, “Put it down”, “Put it back”, etc. Many of the youth will simply copy your gestures and be eliminated from the game.
- Relax and give simple instructions once in a while that seem as if they are not commands but instructions for how to play the game: “Relax”, “Straighten up your line”, “If you are having fun in this game, raise your hand”, etc. Some of the youth will let down their guard and be eliminated from the game.
- You can also call players by name and ask them to do simple tasks like “Move back a step”, “Get me a pencil” etc. You can point to a youth and tell them to tell you their name again, and other similar phrases.
- Or, you can simply follow this script:
- “Ok everyone stand up. I thought you said you knew how to play Simon Says! I thought you were ready! Ok I’ll give you one more chance.
- Simon says Stand up. That was slow! Sit back down.
- Simon says touch your nose. Simon says rub your belly.
- Simon says spin around in a circle. Ok you can stop.
- Simon says stop.
- Simon says touch your head, Simon says touch your mouth, Simon says touch your shoulders, Simon says touch your ears, Simon says touch your hips, touch your knees.
- Simon says touch your knees (while touching head), Simon says touch your hips (while touching ears), Simon says touch your nose (while touching knees), Simon says touch your ears (while touching shoulders), Simon says touch your hips, touch your head.
- Ok all those who are still in the game, give yourselves a big hand!”
Take It to the Next Level
How many of you found this simple game to be an unexpected challenge?
What was it that made it hard to follow instructions?
To those who were eliminated early:
- Was the game as easy as you thought it would be?
- Did you have trouble understanding the rules?
- Did you think the game was fair?
To the last remaining few:
- Did all of you get so far by REALLY following the instructions? (Some may have actually been eliminated but didn’t own up to their mistakes)
- Were you called out by others on the mistakes you made but didn’t own up to?
- How did it feel to be so close to winning, but failing in the end?
To the winner:
- What did you do to stay on till the end?
- What was your winning strategy?
- What’s your advice to everyone else?
Make it Spiritual
Many times, we find it a struggle to listen to instructions. Or we misunderstand what instructions are given to us. There are times when we’re distracted by things going on around us, we see what other people around us are doing and blindly followed along. Some times we don’t follow the instructions exactly but pretend to. We think no one’s going to notice.
Ultimately, when instructions aren’t followed exactly, we end up getting eliminated. To follow instructions only once or at the beginning is not enough. You have to keep following the instructions. To not follow God’s instructions can also eliminate us from Him being able to use us. To obey Him only once is not enough. We must be in a constant state of obedience. We can fool everyone around us, but we can’t fool God.
In the New Testament, obedience is not used with commands, laws, or decrees, but in reference to a person. Obedience is to God, to Moses, to prophets, to Paul, to parents, etc.
Make it Practical
- What areas do youth find it most difficult to obey?
- What areas of obedience do youth question most often?
- Why is obedience often difficult?
- Why are some things easy to obey yet others are so difficult?
- What can a person do if they have disobeyed to make things right?
Make it Personal
- What are some areas where you find it easy to obey God? Difficult?
- What types of commands do you tend to question?
- What things do you hesitate to obey?
- What areas of disobedience do you often make excuses for?
- What is one area of your life you can submit to God and live in greater obedience to Him? The solution is not to focus on the law, the rule, the commandment, but to focus on the person. Obedience is always to a person. What truths do you know about God that will make it easier for you to obey him in the area of your life you have chosen to submit to him?
- Deuteronomy 11:13 – “if you listen obediently to MY commandments”
- I Samuel 15:22 – “to obey is better than sacrifice”
- Hebrews 5:9 – “He became to all who obey Him the source of salvation”
- I Peter 1:2 – “that you may obey Jesus Christ”
- I Peter 1:14 – “As obedient children…be holy”
- I Peter 1:22 – “you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls”
Other references to obedience:
- Acts 5:29
- 1 Samuel 15:22
- Romans 6:16
- 2 Corinthians 10:5
Biblical Personalities who were are known for their obedience
- Abraham – Genesis 12:4 22:2,3
- Abram (Abraham)- Genesis 12:1-4; Hebrews 11:8; Genesis 22:3,12
- Asa – 1 Kings 15:11
- Bezaleel – Exodus 36:1; Numbers 9:23
- Caleb – Numbers 32:12
- Christ – Hebrews 5:8, 10:9; Philippians 2:8, Romans 5:19, John 14:31; 15:10; 15:20; Matthew 3:15
- Daniel – Daniel 1-6
- David – Psalm 119:106, 1 Samuel 17
- Elijah – 1 Kings 17:5
- Hezekiah – 2 Kings 18:6; Ezra 7:23; Psalm 27:8
- Israelites – Exodus 12:28; 24:7
- Joseph and Mary – Luke 1:26-38; 2:39; Acts 16:10; Matthew 1:24
- Joshua – A man known for his military strategy was asked by God to to march around Jericho for seven days beating on pots and blowing horns rather that use his miliatry might. – Joshua 11:15
- Josiah – 2 Kings 22:2
- Moses – A desert nomad who could not speak was asked by God to appear before Pharaoh, a leader of powerful civilization and to demand that the Israelites be set free.
- Naaman – 2 Kings 5
- Nehemiah – Was sked by God to supplies to rebuild Jerusalem from a pagan Babylonian king.
- Noah – Asked by God to build a huge boat and was ridiculed by men for doing so. – Genesis 6:22
- Paul – Acts 26:19; Romans 16:19
- Saints of Rome – Romans 16:19
- Wise men – Matthew 2:12
- Zacharias – Luke 1:6
- Zerubbabel – Haggai 1:12
This 170 page resource not only provides 52 of the world’s most popular group icebreaker activities and games, but also includes lesson ideas and discussion questions to smoothly transition into conversations about the issues common to most groups.
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