All of us have been afraid to witness (or to share our testimony) at one time or another. But a testimony, or witnessing is simply sharing about something that has happened to you. Use this high energy youth group game to clarify some of the misconceptions youth have about sharing their faith as well as learn the importance one’s lifestyle and speech also play in sharing the gospel message with others.
A chair for each youth.
Arrange the chairs into a large circle with the chairs facing inward. There should be one less chair than the number of people so that if all the youth take a seat, one will be left standing.
What to Do
Play a variation of the game “I never.” All the youth are in a circle in chairs. One of the youth group members, is “it”, and in the center of the circle. The person in the center says something they have never done. Anyone who has done that must exchange chairs. They cannot sit back in the same chair. While they are exchanging chairs the person in the center tries to grab an empty seat. Have the new person that ends up in the center tell a little about what it is he/ she did. After several rounds, say that you have one more that you would like them to respond to. Say, “I’m Barnabus and I’m not afraid to witness for Christ.” Anyone who has been afraid of witnessing should change chairs. All will probably change chairs. You might, depending on who gets left in the middle, have the person left tell about one time they were afraid to witness or to just give their testimony.
Take It to the Next Level
Tell them that all of us have been afraid to witness at one time or another. To witness means to testify, it is just sharing about something that has happened to you. Hopefully we can clarify some of the misconceptions about sharing your faith as well as learn some effective ways to share your faith.
Make it Spiritual
Barnabas is not only a man of good character, but also one that was used by God. He is the only person in the book of Acts referred to as a “good man”. But he isn’t just a good man, he also is one who was “full of the Spirit”. His real name was Joseph, but he had the nickname Barnabas or “Son of Encouragement” Because of his personal character and his closeness to God, he was used by God to share the Gospel with a great number of people. They not only came to a saving knowledge of Christ, but they also reflected his Christlike lifestyle, so much so that they eventual came to be called “Christians.”
There are three characteristics of Barnabus that stand out in these passages about him: He was an encourager, he was a good man, and he was full of the Holy Spirit. In other words, he had a close relationship with God and that relationship with God was both reflected in his words (encourager) and his actions) a good man.
Our testimony for Christ is more than just our personal faith. It is also how we live our lives based on that faith. Both our lifestyle the way we treat others (as an encourager) is a testimony as well. We need both the Christian character as well as the Christian message. A famous quote says “What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say.” But when what we do and what we say are in agreement, our Christian testimony is all the more powerful.
Make it Practical
- What are some of the characteristics of an encourager?
- What are some examples of words of encouragement?
- What are the characteristics of a good man?
- What are some examples of a Christlike lifestyle?
- What is a testimony? What are the basics of an evangelistic testimony?
Make it Personal
- What can you do to be an encourager of others this week?
- What are some things you can do this week in serving and loving others such that they might recognise you also as a good man or good woman?
- Choose someone to share your testimony with this week and make an appointment to meet with them to share it.
“My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.)”
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.cJoseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.”
Acts 9:26-27 (Background passage: Acts 9:26 – 15:39)
“When he [Paul] came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.”
“News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”
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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