In this active game, youth are asked to evaluate how a person’s testimony is affected by the things we do, our character, and even our background or characteristics. Youth Ministers can use this as an introduction to living a life that points others to God, sharing our testimonies, or to discuss the life of Paul, his testimony, and the accusations made against him in the Book of Acts.
- A chair for each youth
- A handkerchief
How to Play the Game
- Ask your youth group to form a circle of chairs facing inward then take a seat.
- Take a handkerchief and knot it at one end so it can be easily thrown back and forth between the teens. Give the handkerchief to one of the youth instructing him/ her to throw it into the lap of someone else in the circle. As he/she throws it he/she must call out “Earth!” “Water!” “Air!” or “Fire!”
- If “Earth!”, “Water!” or “Air!” is called, the youth into whose lap the handkerchief has been thrown must name some bird, animal, or creature that lives or moves about in that environment. Each animal can only be used once during the course of gameplay.
- For example, if “earth” is shouted then the youth who receives the handkerchief might answer. “Worms!” It would be just as correct however for him to name any beast which lives upon the earth.
- If the handkerchief is thrown, and the youth who throws it calls out “fire!” then the youth that receives the handkerchief must remain perfectly silent. If he/ she does not he/she must response to one of the questions (listed below) before passing the handkerchief on to another youth.
- As soon as a handkerchief lands in someone’s lap the one who threw it begins to count rapidly to 10. If an answer is not given to one of the three words except “fire”, then that person must answer a question before passing the handkerchief on to the next person.
Take It to the Next Level
Questions can be on any topic, making this a fun game for youth leaders and Sunday School / Bible study teachers to introduce just about any topic.
For this example, my topic is a person’s “personal testimony.”
The questions that youth must answer all involve whether the action/ attitude/ characteristic stated
- harms one’s testimony (Harms)
- benefits one’s personal testimony (Helps)
- has no effect on a person’s testimony. (No effect)
To make it easy, you might want to write the answers on newsprint or a large sheet of paper in front of the room. You want questions with a simple answer, but that also allow a more detailed explanation or opinion later.
After the question is answered continue with the game. You can use questions more than once so that you get different opinions for later discussion.
You may do the questions in order, or just ask them randomly. Personally I prefer random as it is less an interruption to the game. Also limit the number of questions to those most applicable to your group of youth.
Keep track of the answers and who gave them to stimulate a discussion later. Later you can say, “John, you said ________ doesn’t affect a person’s testimony. Could you explain why you said that?”
A Personal Testimony – Being a withness for Christ
Here’s my list of things that could affect a persons testimony. Some of the choices involve things that happened to Paul in the book of Acts. Others involve things to which a typical teen might be exposed,
- Being a follower of the Way (Paul)
- Being in Jail (Paul)
- Being Responsible
- Belief in an afterlife (Paul)
- Causing a public disturbance (Paul)
- Ceremonially clean (Paul)
- Challenged to fight someone
- Clear conscience (Paul)
- Customs (Acts 16:20-21)
- Disagreements (Acts 25:18-20)
- Disturbing the Peace (Acts 24:1-8)
- Falsely accused of a crime (Acts 25:7)
- Giving gifts to the poor
- Going to a party
- Going to an RA movie
- Going to church
- Good looks
- Hanging with the wrong crowd
- Having a consistent devotional life
- Having fun!
- Having personal problems
- Having to appear in court (Paul)
- Helping those in need
- Insisting on your rights (Paul)
- Kissing someone in public
- Listening to country music
- Listening to ONLY Christian music
- Listening to Rock music
- Losing your temper
- Loving one’s enemies.
- Making good grades
- Memorizing your testimony
- Obeying parents
- Pointing out the sins of others
- Praying daily (Paul)
- Preaching (Paul)
- Quoting from Scripture (Paul)
- Saying table grace
- Serious about life
- Serving others
- Sharing your belief with someone else (Paul)
- Showing your answers on a test to someone
- Singing (Paul)
- Sneaking out of the house to go to church
- Speaking to a leader with great authority (Paul)
- Taking a stand for what you believe (Paul)
- Taking responsibility for your actions (Paul)
- Teaching against worshipping idols (Acts 19:22-27)
- Telling Jokes
- Telling the truth, even if it hurts someone (Paul)
- The clothes you wear
- Thinking about sex
- Trials (Paul)
- Worshipping God in a place where it is outlawed (Acts 18:12-16)
- Your nationality (Paul)
If you want to focus on one passage, Acts 16:16-38 is a great one to look at.
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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