Youth Group Game – Back to School
Bible: Romans 12:2
Topic: Trends; Not conforming to what is popular
Big Idea: Use this back to school game to point out how crazy trends really are and how trying to follow them is not a good idea.
Students will put together the best “first day of school” outfit based on what they’re given, then they’ll be rated by judges representing different eras.
They will learn that during the school year, trends not only apply to clothes, but also lifestyle. Instead of following them, they should focus on living a life they can be proud of.
- Clothes and accessories from all different eras (70s, 80s, today, etc.)
- Pictures (either hard copy or a slideshow) of outfits that would have been popular on the first day of school in those eras
Split the students into groups of four. Randomly divide the clothes and accessories between each group.
Tell the students that they have three minutes to put together the best first-day-of-school outfit out of what they’ve been given.
Once the time is up, explain that their outfits are going to be rated by three different judges: one from the 80s, one from the 90s, and one from today (or whichever eras you would like).
Have the judges walk by each outfit and rate it based on what was popular in the year they’re representing.
For example, the judge representing the 70s may say, “those shorts are way too tight to be popular” or “those jeans aren’t cool because they’re not wide enough at the bottom.”
End the game by showing everyone pictures of what would have been popular first-day-of-school outfits in previous years.
- What do you think are the most absurd trends of the past?
- Do you think what’s considered to be cool now will be cool in ten years? Why or why not?
Say: I have to say, you guys came up with some pretty creative outfits! It’s so weird to think about how often what’s “cool” changes.
If I wore something today that I wore as a back-to-school outfit when I was in school, you guys would definitely laugh at me!
Here’s the thing: What the world views as cool is always going to be changing. No matter how hard you try, it’s going to be pretty difficult to keep up.
If you do try to follow everything the world says is cool, it’s going to take a lot of your time and focus—not to mention money!
And just think—all of that time and money poured into something that in ten years a group of students will probably be sitting around laughing at!
Read: Romans 12:2
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Say: If you ask me, it’s kind of a relief to know that I don’t need to conform to the pattern of this world. I mean, look how often the pattern of the world changes—it’s impossible to keep up!
In all seriousness, this verse isn’t only talking about trends like which kinds of clothes are popular.
It’s also talking about other patterns of the world: Lifestyle, how you act, how you talk and what you do on the weekends.
Much like how what the world views as popular clothes is always changing, the lifestyle and actions that the world deems as cool changes too, and not always in a good way.
For example, the world says it’s popular to be successful no matter how you have to treat other people to get there, or it’s normal to talk badly about someone at your school as long as it raises your popularity.
- Is that the kind of person you want to be?
Say: As you go back to school, there are going to be a lot of trends you’ll be pressured into following. Trying to keep up with which kinds of clothes are popular is only the beginning of it.
- What are some lifestyle trends that you know are popular at your school?
- Do those fit in with the kind of life that Jesus wants you to have?
- Why shouldn’t you conform to the pattern of the world during the school year?
It’s fun to look at those pictures and laugh about how people dressed. In ten years, I promise that you’ll look at how you dressed now and laugh at yourself.
Like bell-bottom jeans, some trends are harmless and provide a lot of laughter down the road.
Some of the things that the world says are cool are nowhere near as harmless. The type of lifestyle that the world deems cool and popular now won’t result in laughter later; it will result in regret.
When you feel tempted to conform to the patterns of the world this school year, I hope you think of this silly game and remember how often those patterns change.
I also hope that you’ll remember this verse and know that God doesn’t want us to conform, but instead he wants us to be transformed.
Like this game? You’ll also enjoy our pack of back to school games and object lessons for youth ministry