Your students are going to love this!
After all, the game includes water balloons, hula hoops, dodge balls, and more. Oh yeah 🙂
Use this game, followed by a quick lesson on Hebrews 12:1-3, to teach students that with God’s help, they can “run the race” and come out victorious.
Enjoy the game!
On a personal note, last week I went with my son Joey to NYC.
Joey was there to take a week long pre-college class on Fashion Design at FIT. Since he is only 15 years old, someone had to go with him. Lucky me 🙂
While in NYC I ran into Phil Rosenthal, creator/writer of Everybody Loves Raymond and star of the Netflix show, Somebody Feed Phil.
Well, I didn’t really run into him. He announced on Instagram that he would be at an Morgenstern’s Ice Cream because a new sundae was being named after him.
So, I showed up. Got to hang out with Phil for a few minutes and eat the most amazing sundae ever 🙂
I’m a huge fan of Phil. So it was awesome to meet him in person!
Here’s a pic of Phil and I at Morgenstern’s:
And here’s a pic of the Rosenthal Sundae:
If you happen to be in NYC any time soon, be sure to stop by Morgenstern’s.
Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth
SUMMER YOUTH GROUP GAME: THE ULTIMATE RACEDOWNLOAD PDF OF THIS GAME
Written by Carrie Busch
Bible: Hebrews 12:1-3
Bottom Line: With God’s help, you can “run the race” and come out victorious no matter what trials and temptations you face.
- Long railroad ties/pieces of wood (to act as balance beam)
- 10 Cones
- Water balloons (hundreds)
- 2 Hula-hoops
- Foam/dodge balls (as used in dodge ball)
- Baseball bat
- Flag (optional)
- Prize for winners of the game
This game is an obstacle course race.
Create two lanes, preferably outside, so you have a large amount of space for each team to play.
At the beginning of each lane, place a baseball bat.
Note: The following measurements are adjustable based on the amount of space you have.
About 20-feet beyond the baseball bat, place a hula-hoop in each lane.
About 20-feet beyond the hula-hoop, set up a “balance beam” of any length you prefer (as long as it’s the same on both sides) made of railroad ties.
Next to each set of railroad ties, set a tub of full water balloons.
Start filling these far in advance, so you have an overabundance.
About 20-feet beyond the railroad ties, stagger eight cones.
Next to each set of cones, place 5 or 6 foam or gym balls.
Lastly, use two cones, or a flag in the ground, to indicate the finish line.
Divide your youth group into two equal teams.
If you have an uneven number of students, have one student go twice to even the playing field.
Have each team choose three “harassers” who will not run, but instead will try to distract and annoy the other team’s runners as they “run the race.”
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
Explain each obstacle to the group:
Obstacle 1: When I say GO, run to the bat, place your forehead on it, and spin around ten times.
Obstacle 2: Run to the hula-hoop and hula ten times – youth leaders will be counting, so don’t cheat!
Obstacle 3: Run to the “balance beam.”
The harassers will be there throwing water balloons at you.
If you fall off, you have to start at the beginning of the balance beam.
Only move on once you’ve made it all the way across without falling.
Harassers: You can move on to the cone area and get ready for your next harassment opportunity.
Obstacle 4: Run to the staggered cones.
Crab walk through the zig-zag until you get to the final cone.
Harassers will be there throwing foam or gym balls at you to make it more difficult.
Harassers: You cannot stand closer than 10-feet, and you need to be careful about throwing too hard.
Once you finish Obstacle 4, run to the finish line and wave to the next teammate in line so he/she can start the race.
The race is finished once all teammates have completed the obstacle course.
The team that finishes first wins.
Give them their prize and get ready for a quick lesson.
Say: Life is a race.
There are challenges, trials, and temptations, but they don’t have to overcome us.
Read Hebrews 12:1-3.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Ask: What makes the race of life possible, according to the scripture we just read?
What was the hardest part of getting through today’s obstacle course?
Did you find it harder to accomplish each obstacle because of the other team?
Allow a few responses from students after each question.
In life, trials are inevitable.
We will experience joys and sorrow, ups and downs, challenges, and victories.
But we can have victory, no matter how many trials we face, if we fix our eyes on Jesus.
Because Jesus is our example.
When we look to him, we remember what he accomplished for us: everlasting life with him and no condemnation for our sins.
Every affliction that we endure is bearable in light of the cross.
Now, let’s get a little deeper into today’s scripture.
Take a look at what these verses ask the believer to do: lay aside our love of the world and our sin and run with endurance.
It may be tempting for us to give up right from the start, knowing that we’ll never be able to truly lay aside everysin.
But, instead, take a look at part two of the statement.
We are to “run with endurance.”
That means God knows we’ll struggle with part one.
You can’t “endure”… if it’s easy.
You can’t “endure”… if it’s quick.
You can’t “endure”… if it’s perfect.
You can’t “endure”… if there’s no battle.
If the Bible asks us to “run with endurance,” then we must expect it to be hard.
So, what do you do when you feel like there’s nothing to keep you going?
Well, scripture gives us some simple advice.
We fix our eyes on Jesus.
When we look to his example – obedience to God, sacrifice for others, suffering for doing God’s will – we can find strength.
Not because we’ll ever have the strength of Jesus, but because he has put his Spirit inside of us for this purpose.
Everything we do should be out of obedience to and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit acts as a shield for life’s struggles and pain – not so that we won’t have to experience them, but so that we can see them for what they are: an obstacle that will grow us and mold us more into the image of Christ.
Life as a Christian doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit takes away your pain and heartache.
Instead, the Holy Spirit helps you overcome.
Today, we crossed a finish line after being pummeled by water balloons and dodge balls, but in life, we’ll face a whole lot more.
God wants you to cross the finish line His way.
Fix your eyes on Jesus, and you’ll cross the finish line into eternal life with God.
What better victory is there?
END LESSSONDOWNLOAD PDF OF THIS GAME
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