Role-playing activities for church youth

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Many young people engage in role-playing games -- or RPGs -- like "World of Warcraft," "Dungeons and Dragons" and "Runescape." Church youth may engage in role-playing with Christian RPGs or may engage in skits and improvisational activities that engage the youth in exploring their beliefs, practical applications for Christian faith and the meaning of biblical passages. The creativity and imagination of the youth leaders provide the only limits to the types of role-playing activities church youth explore.

Role-Play Scripture

Choose a well-known parable such as the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37) or the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25: 31-46). Ask small groups of five to seven youth to create a dramatisation of their assigned scripture story in modern situations.

For example, the parable of the Good Samaritan transforms into the story of a gay student attacked by a group of intolerant classmates. The Pharisee becomes a teacher too busy to stop and the Levite converts to a school administrator. Students explore how they might react to a real situation and the cost of action.

Sharing a Testimony

In one-on-one situations, allow youth to practice sharing their faith with one another. Give each pair about 10 minutes to work together. This activity prepares youth to talk to others about their faith. Students may work with a prepared list of questions for the first couple of sessions. Once a student reaches a comfort level with testimony sharing, he can release the scripted questions. Once all youth in the groups reach a comfort level with this activity, have the group go out in pairs to speak to other teens at youth events.


The youth Sunday schoolteacher or youth pastor provides a scenario for students to respond to and apply Christian values. For example, a student buying supplies at a store receives too much change from the clerk. The student must decide whether to say something to the clerk and return the overage or leave with the extra funds in her purse.

Students face everyday issues in these activities. The student realises that his values should match his talk. Students explore biblical principles with the teacher or pastor at the end of the improvisation activities.

Christian Role-Playing Games

The youth pastor or adult sponsor uses a game such as "The Way" to role-play Christian values. Students cooperate to reach a common goal like providing food and emergency supplies for a devastated area or refugee camp. Through the imaginary events in the game, students safely face conditions where their core values are put to the test.

For example, youth role-play having a surplus of resources for the group and entering a situation where others lack food, clean water and other resources. Students determine if they would share equally or choose another solution to deal with the poverty of others.

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