Youth Group Games with a Purpose  - Dare 2 Share
Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.
Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.

Youth Group Games with a Purpose 

7 meaningful youth meeting games and activities.

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When you’re trying to disciple students, every moment counts. So, why not add more value to your youth-gathering game and activity time? These seven proven youth group games with a purpose are all memorable ways to reinforce important lessons. 

Also, don’t forget to check out our ultimate list youth group games, featuring 19 games with instructions! 

1. You Have a Mission  

Purpose: Helping students understand God’s given them a mission. Students are more likely to stick with their faith if they understand that being a Christian is more than just church and youth group attendance. This game will help them understand that the Great Commission applies to them just as much as it applies to adults, and that they’re needed for the Kingdom of God!  

What you’ll need: 

  • A list of items for students to take pictures of. You can either print the list or text it to each group. 
  • At least one student per group who has a phone that can take pictures or a camera (you can also provide cameras).

Here’s an example of a list (feel free to modify based on your needs, but the idea is to keep some of them vague so they can work together to make decisions). Remember to take pictures to document all these things. 

  • Challenge 1: Find something beautiful.  
  • Challenge 2: Find or create something messy. 
  • Challenge 3: Show kindness to someone.   
  • Challenge 4: Pray for someone who doesn’t know Jesus.  
  • Challenge 5: Discover something unique outside.  
  • Challenge 6: On social media or via text, send a message about the Gospel.  
  • Challenge 7: Take a group photo in a surprising way or place.  

Set-up:  

  • Divide your group into equal teams of about 5–6 people. Tell them you’ll send each team on a mission, and at the end, the leaders will vote to see who best accomplished the mission.   
  • Have each group designate a photographer. This student will take pictures of the group accomplishing all the challenges on the list.  

How to play this youth group game with a purpose:  

  1. Send a text message or pass out the list of things that the teams must accomplish in the next 10 minutes.  
  2. Give the students clear boundaries of where they can go to accomplish the challenges, and remind them that their group’s pictures have to be taken on the same phone. Tell them the time to be back, and then say “go.”  
  3. After they’re done, line up all the phones with the pictures. For each challenge, have leaders vote on which team had the best picture and give them a point. Add up the total, and declare a winner!    

Segue with: “Just as you were given a mission tonight, Jesus gives us all a mission in life,” or “just as you were given a mission tonight, Peter was given a mission,” or whatever fits your lesson. 

An image of a teenager taking a photo with her phone representing Dare 2 Share's blog titled Youth Group Games With a Purpose.

2. Minefield Relay  

Purpose: Learn to tune into the right voice. We live in a world of noise. It can be hard to decipher when God is trying to speak to us. In the Minefield Relay game, your students will learn to block out the distracting voices so that they can clearly hear what God wants from them.

What you’ll need:  

  • Chairs or cones  
  • Cups and pitchers filled with water (optional)  
  • Masking tape (or you can use premarked lines in a gym)  
  • Blindfolds (one for each team)  

Set-up:  

  • Decide how many teams you’ll have (about four or five students per team). For each team, set up four or five chairs or cones in a line, and use masking tape (or existing lines) to designate a start/finish line at both ends, as well as lines along the side as boundaries to keep other students out of the course.   
  • If you’d like, you can set up cups full of water at random spots between the chairs. Have pitchers of water ready to refill cups that get tipped over.  

How to play this youth group game:  

  1. Divide students into teams and assign each team to one of the courses. Blindfold the first student on each team, and have the second student on each team wait at the far end of the course. All other students can line up along the sides of the courses, ready to call out directions.   
  2. When you say “go”, the blindfolded student must weave around each chair or cone (walking to the right of the first one, then to the left of the second, and so on). If you’re using cups, you can require students to start over (or another penalty of your choice) if they topple a cup.  
  3. Meanwhile, students along the side of the course can shout out directions—either helpful (for their team) or unhelpful (for another team), depending on what strategy they choose. These students are not allowed to enter the course, throw anything onto the course, or touch the contestants.  
  4. When the blindfolded student reaches the far side of the course, the second student puts on the blindfold and goes through the course the other direction. Once they start, the third student should go to the far side of the course to be ready for their turn. Continue that pattern until all the players on a team have completed the course. That team is, of course, the winner!  

Segue with: “It can be hard to know what to do when we have a lot of voices or opinions coming at us. And for a lot of teenagers, none of the voices you’re hearing are helping you know truth or avoid harmful obstacles. Tonight, we’re going to talk about how to tune in to God’s voice.”  

3. First One  

Purpose:  Learning to wait on God in the midst of our busy lives. Waiting for God to answer our prayers can be hard, and this game gives a launching place for a discussion on that.

What you’ll need:  

A list of things students will bring you. Here’s an example of a list:

  • 3 shoes tied together 
  • a piece of gum  
  • 2 quarters  
  • a hat  
  • a snack  
  • an ID card 
  • 2 belts connected
  • a piece of jewelry 
  • a Bible 

Set-up:  

Divide students into 2–6 teams (ideally at least 4 people per team). 

How to play this youth ministry game: 

  1. Say: “The first one to bring me a __________________ wins a point.” (Fill in the blank with something from the list). Caution them to be careful, because it can get a little crazy!  
  2. Play several rounds, naming a different item each round.  
  3. After all the rounds, count up who won the most points and declare a winner.   

Segue with: “That was fun, and a little wild! To win this game, you had to be in a hurry. We live in such a fast-paced culture, it can really be difficult to wait. Sometimes when we have to ‘wait on God,’ it can lead to disappointment and distress. But even when God doesn’t answer our prayers when we want Him to, we can trust that His will and His timing are always best.”  

An image of random items such a rubber bands, buttons, and thumb tacks, representing Dare 2 Share's blog titled Youth Group Games With a Purpose.

4. “Get to Know You” Web 

Purpose: Learning how to admire, care for, and have godly conversations with people. Relational evangelism means that we show people we care about them in a relational way. A part of building relationships is getting to know people, and Get to Know You Web helps your students learn to do just that!

What you’ll need: 

  • A separate ball of yarn for each group of 10 students  
  • A printout for each group of 10 students with the following questions: 
    • What is your name? 
    • What’s your favorite color? 
    • How many people live in your home? 
    • What’s something hard you’ve done in the last 3 months? 
    • What’s a goal or dream you have for this year? 

Set-up: 

  • Divide the students up into groups that are no bigger than 10 students. 
  • Have each group of students sit in a loose circle, and give the ball of yarn and the printout of the questions to one of the students.  

How to play this youth ministry game with a purpose: 

  1. The person holding the questions and the yarn will quickly answer all the questions while everyone else listens.   
  2. Then they will randomly pick someone in the circle to throw the ball of yarn and question sheet to, while holding on to the end of the yarn; it should result in a line of yarn across the circle.   
  3. The person who received the yarn will admire something about what the other person just shared.   
  4. Then the person who just did the “admiring” will also answer all the questions on the sheet while everyone else listens.  
  5. Next, they will randomly pick someone (who has not previously answered the questions) in the circle to throw the ball of yarn and the question sheet to, and that person will admire something about what the person just shared.  
  6. This process continues until everyone has answered the questions and is holding a part of the yarn (to make a web-looking design).  
  7. At the end of the game, ask each group what they think their design looks like. 
  8. Ask them to let go of the yarn, and then collect all the yarn and pieces of paper.  

Segue with: “It was fun to learn more about each other and hear some encouragement given out. It’s great to be noticed, listened to, and admired. Today, we’re going to be talking about some good ways to have discussions like these (without the yarn) that will not only help us learn about others, but also lead to conversations about God.”   

*See the free curriculum Takeoff to Touchdown for more details on this process of starting a conversation with asking questions, building a bridge by admiring something about the person’s beliefs, and transitioning to a conversation about God. 

5. The Right Tool  

Purpose: Understanding how important the Bible is to our lives. Navigating the world God created without the Bible is like starting a project without the tools or a manual. This game leads to a great night talking about how the Word of God is a light in this dark and confusing world. 

What you’ll need: 

  • A pair of scissors  
  • A butter knife  
  • A pen  
  • A nail file 
  • A paper clip 
  • Five identical printouts of a simple picture, such as an animal (Tip: Search online for free, printable coloring sheets.) 
  • Optional but ideal: A table and five chairs set up at the front of the room 
  • Optional: Candy or other prize item 

How to play this youth ministry game with a purpose: 

  1. Ask for five volunteers, and have them sit at the table and chairs in the front of the room. Give each volunteer one of the printouts.  
  2. Tell them they’ll be having a contest to see who does the best job cutting out the picture in a certain amount of time. (Tip: Practice with the scissors beforehand to see how much time it takes to nicely cut out the picture; probably a minute or two.)  
  3. Hand out a cutting item (scissors, butter knife, pen, nail file, paper clip) to each volunteer. (Tip: Give the scissors to a responsible student who will try to do a good job.) 
  4. Say go, and start the timer. 
  5. Once time is up, have the students hold up the cutouts. Have your leaders (or you) judge which one is best (to avoid having students choosing one of the poorly cut ones to be funny and blowing the illustration)! 
  6. Give the winner a prize (if using), and have students return to their seats. 

Segue with:This activity was a good demonstration of how things work best when used according to their design—the way they were intended to be used. We all know from experience that things work best when used according to their design. Not only that, but things also work best when used according to their instruction manual. God’s Word or the Bible helps us understand how we are designed and the purposes He has for us.”  

An image of scissors representing Dare 2 Share's blog titled Youth Group Games With a Purpose.

6. Bank Robbery 

Purpose: Understanding the power of motivation. Bank Robbery helps students talk about what motivates them in life and how their motivation impacts their spiritual walk with God.  

What you’ll need: 

  • Streamers (red if you have them, but any will do) 
  • A hallway or narrow room 
  • Scotch or masking tape  
  • A toy necklace or treasure chest 
  • A stool or chair  
  • A phone or timer to time each participant 
  • A notepad, poster board, or marker board to record the time of each participant 

Set-up: 

  • Tape the streamers on the walls in zigzags from one side of the hallway (or room) to the other at varying heights. It should mimic the look of a laser beam protecting a bank (like you see in the Mission Impossible movies). Leave enough room for students to be able to fit between the streamers. 
  • Place the toy necklace or treasure chest on top of a stool at the end of the laser maze. 
  • Decide how you want the students to compete. Some great options would be individually against the clock, as teams, or boys against girls.  
  • Be sure to have extra tape and streamers on hand for repairs to the maze, as streamers get broken. 

How to play this game: 

  1. Line students up at the end of the laser-maze hallway from smallest to tallest (so that the smallest goes first) if they are competing individually, or by teams. 
  2. Explain to them that they have a mission: to get to the treasure at the end of the hallway without touching any of the “lasers.”  
  3. Tell them they’ll be timed from the moment you say go until the moment the treasure is in their hands. 
  4. Explain that your leaders will be watching closely, and for every streamer they touch, 10 seconds will be added to their time; for every streamer that is torn or damaged, 20 seconds will be added to their time; and if any streamer is ripped down completely, they will be disqualified. 
  5. Have the students go through the course; post their times on the wall as they go.   
  6. If playing with teams, calculate the collective team times at the end. 
  7. Announce your winner, and give them the treasure (that they’ve all been trying to “steal”) as the prize.  

Segue with: “Imagine if these were real lasers and you knew they’d trigger an alarm that launched an instant flood of people aiming to kill you. You’d be a lot more motivated to be careful. Also, imagine there was a real box of gold or a diamond necklace at the end. That would also change your motivation. Today we’re going to be talking a lot about motivation, because it truly drives many of our choices and decisions in life.”   

7. Group Pictionary  

Purpose: Help students see that God has a bigger perspective on things. Not knowing God’s plans for our lives or even our day can be stressful. God teaches us to trust Him, even when we find ourselves in situations we don’t understand because He sees the bigger picture. Group Pictionary helps your students begin to understand this complex subject.

What you’ll need:  

  • Two to four whiteboards or large easel flip-chart pads  
  • Dry-erase markers (one for each board) 
  • Pictionary words. You can make up your own or purchase the game and use those.  

Set-up: 

  • Place a whiteboard in each corner of the room.  
  • Split everyone into two to four teams.  
  • Find a place in the middle of the room that’s equal distance from all whiteboards.  
  • Put each team into a different corner of the room, around their own whiteboard. 

How to play: 

  1. Each team must select one person to draw each round.  
  2. Meet in the middle of the room with the people drawing. 
  3. Give each person the same word. When you say go, they must run back to their team’s whiteboard and begin to draw. They’re not allowed to talk.  
  4. Once their team guesses the word, the whole team must sit on the floor. First team to be completely seated wins the round. 
  5. Each team can then send up a new person to draw and start a new round.  
  6. The team that wins the most rounds wins the game.  

Segue with: “Great job, everyone! That was a lot of fun, and always good for some laughs. This game can be difficult because the person drawing already knows the answer, but those guessing can’t always see and understand the picture at first. Today, we’re going to look at a passage where Jesus had a plan, but His followers couldn’t ‘see’ the big picture, and things just didn’t make sense at first.” 

From Games To Curriculum And Discipleship

We understand that for many youth leaders, the point of games is to reinforce the message they’re going to give. Looking for fun games is easy, but finding youth ministry curriculum can be difficult, especially if you’re on a budget.

The Dare 2 Share store is stocked with youth ministry curriculum that’s biblical and encourages evangelism and discipleship. Curriculum ranges from one-time lessons to weeks’ worth of bible studies. Topics include everything from theology about who God is to hard questions teenagers have today about gender and identity. Best of all, Dare 2 Share curriculum is always free and accessible to any ministry!

If you’re interested in focusing your ministry on evangelism and discipleship, consider becoming a Gospel Advancing leader! Not only will you receive free resources made just for youth pastors, such as curriculum, but you’ll be a part of a growing and thriving network of like-minded youth leaders who want everything, including their games, to focus on the Gospel! 

Youth Group Games With a Purpose FAQs

Why should youth ministry leaders prioritize youth group games with a purpose?

Purpose driven games serve as innovative platforms for imparting important lessons or values, thereby enhancing the impact and memorability of the message.

How do youth ministry games with a purpose strengthen spiritual growth?

Spiritual growth is not just about learning; it’s about applying what’s learned in real-life situations. Purposeful games provide an ideal setting for this, allowing participants to put biblical principles into practice.

What advantage does integrating spiritual applications into youth ministry games bring?

Spiritual integration transforms games from mere entertainment into powerful teaching tools, bridging the gap between fun activities and faith.

What’s the overall impact of games with a purpose for youth?

By incorporating purpose and spiritual application, youth ministry leaders can implement a holistic approach to discipleship. This approach engages participants on multiple levels, fostering long-term spiritual growth.

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