Christian youth groups can use activities as a way of questioning and bolstering faith. Most of these activities can be performed with pen and paper and a basic idea of morality and Christian values. The group activities bind the kids together and allow them to learn from each others point of view.
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Too Many for the Lifeboat
This ethical dilemma tests the kids' grasp of ethics and moral reasoning, and allows for a spirited discussion. First, separate the kids into groups of about four. Tell them a ship is sinking, and that they must choose who gets on the lifeboat. A dozen people are waiting to get off the sinking ship, but the lifeboat only holds five.
The group waiting includes a murderer, a drug-addicted mother and her infant, a businessman who gives millions in charitable donations each year, a missionary doctor and a scientist who is close to finding a cure for cancer. Also waiting is a 16-year old Christian girl, a 16-year old Muslim girl, twin 14-year old boys and the 20-year old sister (of each team member).
The kids have to choose five people as a group and justify their choice to the other teams.
For an outside activity, build a fire and give each kid a twig. Tell the kids to sit in a circle. Each kid takes a turn standing up and saying a true or false statement about Scripture or morals, such as "Jesus was an only child" or "The Book of Revelations describes how God made the world". All of the other young people shout out whether the answer is true or false. Each right answer receives a marshmallow. After everybody in the circle gets a chance to stand up, each person counts up the marshmallows. Some people should have less than others. Add up all the marshmallows and tell the kids what number each person could get if they were shared equitably. The kids have a chance to do a good deed for their marshmallow-poor neighbour. The activity intends to show the power of cooperation over competition.
Divide the group into teams of four. Take one of each team aside before beginning the game and instruct him to be as selfish as possible. Place a plate of three cookies on each table of four. One person goes without a cookie. Pretend to have something else to do and let the group figure out how to share the cookies. The young person you took aside should fight for his cookie in as obnoxious a way as possible. This game tests the spirit of Christian giving of the rest of the group, and shows the group how hard it can be to give to a person who does not seem grateful.
Divide the group into teams of two. Each team writes down a situation where faith is tested, such as peer pressure not to go to Church, or when friends encourage swearing. Swap around the situations between the teams. Each team then acts out the situation and tries to find an acceptable way of dealing with the issue. Discuss the results with the other teams.
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