1. Small Group Game: Set a timer for 10 minutes to play ghost. The rules of ghost are relatively simple: each player takes turns adding a letter to an ever-growing word fragment. Try not to spell a word (of length 4 letters or more). Try to force another player to spell a word, or else try to get a player to say a letter that makes it impossible to form a word.
Choose any player to start the game. He or she may say any letter of the alphabet. Each player then has about 10 seconds to add a single letter to this fragment or “challenge” the last player who added a letter, if he or she thinks a word does not exist that starts with that fragment. If a challenge occurs, the last player must try to say a word that begins with that fragment. If the player who was challenged is able to spell a word, the challenger loses a point. If the player who was challenged cannot spell a word, the challenger earns a point. If a player accidentally spells a word, he or she also loses a point. The round ends. Begin a new round with that person.
2. Say, “Think of some objects that you would associate with death. What are they and why are they connected to death in your mind?”
Now pause to let people answer. If no one says anything, pick one person to answer.
Now Say, “What are some emotions that you associate with death?”
Now pause to let people answer.
Then say, “Many times we can experience fear, sadness, or loss when we talk about death. Why do you think death causes us to feel that way? What is it about death that makes us sad, angry, frustrated, afraid, etc.”
3. Say, “For those of us who may not have been here last semester, Eric talked about this line. He said that all of us are on this line somewhere. So here is what we are going to do. I will need someone to set a timer for 3 minutes and we will all look at this line and just honestly think about where we fall. Are you an observer, seeker, believer, worker, or a discipler? It does not matter where you are on this scale. We will not shame you for being an observer. You won’t be banished for being a seeker. We will not look up to you in honor for being a discipler. If you were here last semester, maybe you have changed a little bit. So take this time and read the descriptions and see which resonates the most and circle it. And, go.”
Start the timer and when 3 minutes is up, say “Now that you know where you are, be sure and pick up a button with your color on it at the communication table on the way out. Again the goal is to identify steps you can take to follow Jesus more closely. And the only way you can do that is by first knowing where you are. So hopefully by the end of the semester, you will have moved further along this line and you can switch out your button for a new one. These are available any time you need to switch.“
4. Say, “I need a volunteer who has a high command of the English language.”
Pause. Wait for volunteer.
Once you get one say, “I am going to read a passage from Ephesians slowly. I need you to write on the whiteboard the things the text says you were or what you were doing. Hint: look for verbs. For example, when the text says, ‘You were dead…’ you would write ‘were dead.’ Everyone can help them out. So turn with me to Ephesians 2:1-3.”
Read Ephesians 2:1-3.
Ask, “If someone said these things about you personally, would it make you feel good?” Pause for an answer or two.
Now Read Ephesians 2:4-10.
Say, “You might feel crummy if it was just the first part, but this second part of the passage kind of turns it around. Talk about what is different.”
5. Say, “So when we say that without Jesus you are dead, what do you think that means?”
Pause for an answer. Pick someone specific to answer if no one does.
Ask, “What do you think it means to say that we are alive in Christ?”
Pause for an answer.
Say, “These are things we are going to be diving into deeply throughout this semester of boot. So even if you are confused right now, it will make more sense, the more you attend. But right now we will pray.”
Take Prayer Requests. Pray.
After Prayer, remind people to grab a button while they head into the youth room to wait for parents.