Playing games in Sunday school has two basic goals: church members should be having fun and developing friendships, and Sunday school games should also deliver a biblical lesson. Teachers can try Bible games, verse games and adaptations of everyday games.
Games based around knowledge of the Bible can be played with school-aged children, teens and adults of all ages. Games like these can be based around almost any lesson, such as the books of the Bible, characters of the Bible or Bible stories.
Sunday school students might be challenged to memorise the books of the Bible, for example, or compete to see who can flip to a particular book the fastest. You can promote a cooperative spirit by giving the person who wins a particular challenge the gift of reading a verse to his or her classmates.
You can also incorporate physical activity into the games. You might play Bible story tag for instance. Give the class a story prompt like Noah's ark or the birth of Jesus, then let them play tag. Whoever is "it" at a given point can recite a part of the story you have assigned.
Bible verse games can be a good way to structure a lesson. Or you can structure an entire lesson with verses and play a game to get the students to participate in reading. For example, have students race to find a particular Bible verse. The winner can then recite the verse to classmates.
Students could also go on a treasure hunt. At each point where a treasure is found, you can use that opportunity to read a verse on the Bible's teachings about the value of worldly possessions versus the treasure that comes from faith in God.
Another option would be to have the students play musical chairs. As the students are eliminated, they can each read a Bible verse. The verses can be structured in order to make a particular point, and the winner can read the verse that delivers the final message.
Variations on Everyday Games
Another option is to take a game students are very familiar with, like a board game, and adapt it to deliver a biblical message. Some of these games might be available for you to purchase. Bibleopoly, for example, is fashioned from Monopoly. Instead of buying up property, the players have the goal of building a church. Another example is Apples to Apples: Bible Edition, in which the cards are filled with Christian content.
If you don't want to buy a board game, you can make your own model. Your class might enjoy a simple game of Bible Jeopardy, based on the popular television show. You can use categories like "Christian History" with appropriate questions. Or, for example, use Wheel of Wisdom instead of Wheel of Fortune. Players could draw point values out of a hat and fill in a Bible verse or aphorism.
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