Top 5 Games for Small Youth Groups - Dare 2 Share
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Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.

Top 5 Games for Small Youth Groups

Check out our top 5 games for small youth groups, including spiritual applications you can tie into your message!



Games for small youth groups are not only fun but also an essential part of providing opportunities for spiritual growth and connection. Even pastors with larger youth ministries should still have some youth group games for small groups. Our small youth group activities, along with our ultimate youth group games list, are not only fun but come with spiritual applications you can tie into your message! Let’s dive in!

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Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John Game

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is a fantastic rhythm game with little setup that can finish whenever you want it to!

What You’ll Need

  • Chairs for each person playing

How To Play This Small Group Game

  1. Each person has a chair. Put four chairs in a row (or use a couple of couches) and the rest in a circle. The four on the sofa, or in a row, are named in order as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The rest are numbered in order, with number one next to Matthew. The last person will sit on the other side of Matthew. Make sure everyone knows their name or number.
  2. The basic action for each person in the game is:
  • Slap their knees
  • Clap their hands
  • Snap right-hand fingers
  • Snap left-hand fingers
  • SLAP, CLAP, RIGHT, LEFT and get a rhythm going.
  1. Matthew always starts and says “ready” and all start SLAP CLAP RIGHT LEFT two or three times until all are in rhythm. 
  • Matthew says when slapping, “Mathew”
  • Matthew says when clapping “to”
  • Matthew says when right snapping “seven” (or any number)
  1. Player seven only has the left snap to react.
  • Player seven then says when slapping “seven”
  • Player seven says when clapping “to”
  • Player seven says when right snapping “Luke” or any name or number
  1. If someone doesn’t react fast enough, they are out. If that happens…
  • Stop the actions.
  • All with numbers higher than the one who didn’t react quickly enough stand up and move up one seat (this is why all the seats after Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John must be numbered). 
  • The player with the lowest number goes to the end next to Matthew.
  1. The number stays with the seat, not the player. Give the names and numbers to the students again with new seat numbers. Matthew starts again. The aim is to end up on the couch, which is why students shouldn’t just call on numbers, but the names as well.
An image of a snapping fingers  representing Dare 2 Share's blog titled Top 5 Games for Small Youth Groups

Spiritual Application

The key to this game was reacting quickly. But often, we react slowly to what God tells us to do. Maybe God is convicting you about a certain sin or telling you to stop hanging out with someone who has a bad influence on you. Maybe God is telling you to pursue a path that changes the course of your life and plans. Don’t be slow to react to His commands.

Charades Replay

Everyone’s played charades, but this version has a fun twist! If any of your students are thespians, they’ll shine in this youth ministry game for small groups!

What You’ll Need

  • A list of random items

How To Play This Youth Ministry Game

Getting started

  • Divide the group evenly into two or more teams.
  • Have the group spread out so that they can’t overhear the surrounding teams.
  • Review the basics of charades.
  • One person will act out a word or phrase without speaking while the team is trying to guess the word.
  • Show an example.


  1. Name the categories such as fast food, electrical appliances, and cartoon heroes.
  2. To start, ask one member from each team to come to you. Whisper the first word into their ear and return them to their group to be acted out.
  3. Once a member of the group guesses the word correctly, someone new runs to the instructor for the next word. No one can come up twice until everyone has acted out an item from the list.
  4. The new member must tell the instructor the word they just guessed to receive the next word from the list.
  5. The game is over once a team completes the entire list. 

Sample list

  • Superman
  • Storm
  • Blow Dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Milkshake
  • Watermelon
  • Taco
  • Captain America
  • Computer
  • Blender

Spiritual Application

Communication can be hard, even when you can use words! But remember that speaking with God through prayer is easy. Christians can pray whenever they want, wherever they want, however long they want, in any language they want, and about anything they want! In fact, during painful times when we can’t even utter a word, Romans 8:26 says the Holy Spirit prays on our behalf. 

Psychiatrist Game

Psychiatrists will leave your students clutching their stomachs with laughter! It’s a fun game that will bring out the silly side of all your students.  Plus – no setup!

What You’ll Need

  • Nothing!

How To Play This Small Youth Group Game

  1. Select a game leader who will administer the game (such as yourself).
  2. Ask everyone to gather in a group. A circle, line, or seating arrangement is fine – as long as the “Psychiatrist” is able to easily walk to all of the “Patients”.
  3. Someone is selected to play the Psychiatrist role to begin the first round (using whatever method you prefer). 
  4. The Psychiatrist leaves the room where they cannot hear or see the rest of the group.
  5. The game leader instructs the “Patients” (the rest of the group) on a secret symptom that every Patient will display.
  6. Once the Patients have the symptom in mind, the Psychiatrist is invited back into the room.
  7. The Psychiatrist questions the Patients freely, seeking to uncover a correct diagnosis.
  8. The Psychiatrist is allowed to question the Patients as long as the game leader sees fit, but there should be a time limit to their questioning, such as 5 minutes, in order to allow everyone to have a turn as the Psychiatrist.
  9. The game leader should listen closely to all the questions and monitor the answers to make sure the Patients are being accurate in their responses. If a Patient gives a misleading answer, the game leader should tell the Psychiatrist to try the same question again with another Patient, without giving too much away.
  10. The round ends when the Psychiatrist announces the correct diagnosis or comes very close.
  11. If it becomes obvious the Psychiatrist is not going to figure out the diagnosis, the game leader should ask the Psychiatrist to make one final guess before revealing the correct diagnosis.
  12. After the round ends, another Psychiatrist is selected (using whatever method you prefer ) and the game continues as time permits or until everyone has had a turn as the Psychiatrist.

Spiritual Application

In this game, the Psychiatrist had to guess what the Patient’s diagnosis was. God doesn’t need to guess what our problems are. He always knows what we’re struggling with and is waiting for us to ask Him to help. 

Spot the Difference Game

Remember those “spot the difference” picture games you played as a kid? This game is the real-life version!

What You’ll Need

  • A piece of paper for each team
  • A pen or pencil for each team

How To Play This Small Youth Group Game

  1. Divide your group into two teams.
  2. Stand the first group in a line facing the second group. Give the second group a set amount of time (you decide how much) to look at the appearance of the other team.
  3. Once their time is up, the second team (observers) will leave the room, and the first group must change ten things about themselves. The ten things must be noticeable (ie. they cannot change things in their pockets or other things previously out of view).
  4. When the second group returns, they must observe the first group and work out what ten things have changed. They may write them down if this is helpful. It’s best to give a set amount of time for this to happen.
  5. Once this is done, you can swap the roles of the groups.

Spiritual Application

God notices everything: nothing gets by Him! This may scare us, comfort us, or both. On the one hand, God can see every sin we commit, even the secret ones in our minds and hearts. On the other hand, when people in our lives may not notice us or the things we do, God always does. And remember, while God can see all our sins, little or big, He is merciful, gracious, and forgiving. 

An image of lots of green chairs with one yellow chair in the middle of them  representing Dare 2 Share's blog titled Top 5 Games for Small Youth Groups

Boppity Bop Bop Game

This is a simple game with no setup that can end whenever you want it to (these are the best). If you’ve got some fast-talkers in your ministry, they’re going to rock at this small youth group game.

What You’ll Need

  • Nothing!

How To Play This Game For Small Youth Groups

  1. Gather everyone in a circle.
  2. Choose a player to start the game as “It”.
  3. “It” begins the game by pointing to another player and saying “Boppity Bop Bop Bop.”
  4. The other player must say “bop” before “It” completes the phrase “Boppity Bop Bop Bop.”
  5. If the other player says “bop” first, “It” must move on to another player.
  6. If “It” finishes saying “Boppity Bop Bop Bop” before the other player responds with “bop,” they trade places and the other player becomes “It.”
  7. “It” can try to fool players by only saying “bop.”
  8. If the other player responds by saying “bop” when “It” hasn’t yet begun saying “Boppity Bop Bop Bop,” then the players switch places.
  9. “It” can attempt to fake out players into prematurely saying “bop” by only saying “bop” themselves.
  10. “It” can also quickly move or point to another player and say either “bop” or “Boppity Bop Bop Bop.”
  11. Any disputes are resolved through Rock-Paper-Scissors.
  12. Encourage the youth to switch places to keep the game moving quickly.
  13. The game continues as long as you’d like it to.

Spiritual Application

Not every game has to have a spiritual application! Some games can just be silly and fun! That said, if you’d like to tie in a simple spiritual application for this game, remind your students that this game required listening skills – “It” could fool the players by only saying “bop.” We should listen to God even more carefully! Not because He tries to fool us, but because when we listen carefully, we can discern His will for our lives.

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Games for Small Youth Groups FAQs

Does my youth group have to be large to participate in fun games?

No! Any size group can have fun and grow in their faith through interactive games.

What’s the benefit of tying a spiritual application into youth ministry games for small groups?

By incorporating a spiritual lesson into games, you are not only engaging students in a fun activity but also helping them apply biblical truths to their lives practically and memorably.

I have a large youth group. Should I still have small youth group activities?

Yes. If there’s a day where you have less students than expected or break up into sections, small youth group games come in handy! In the meantime, check out our Top 4 Big Youth Group Games.

Where can I get more youth group games?

You can check out our Ultimate Youth Ministry Games list where you’ll find 19 games with detailed instructions!

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