Activities that may get your family some discussion time!

1.  Group share "pop" Cut "Questions to Ponder" or "Discussion Questions" into small slips of
paper.  Insert them into balloons, blow them up, and tie them off.  In your family group mix, hit,
push balloons around.  Laugh and enjoy for a few minutes.  Then have everyone grab one balloon
(or find a favorite or non favorite color).  Take turns popping a balloon and reading question.  
Take time to answer-share-discuss.  To give it a real mix, you could add Bible versus or silly
questions!
Need: Questions on small lips of paper, balloons

2.  Trust and Intimacy - Pair share  This is good in the second or third family group.  Two
family members who do not know each other very well pair off.  FOLLOW DIRECTIONS
CAREFULLY!  Come back into large group and discuss.
1.  How did this feel?
2. What did you learn?
3.  Which questions were harder to discuss?  Why?
4.  Which questions were easier to discuss?  Why?
5.  What does this have to do with trust and intimacy?
Need: Copies of "Trust and Intimacy" sheet for everyone.  

3.  Stress me out - too much too fast! On a big sheet of paper, brainstorm things that stress
you.   
Lets think about stress in our lives...  Stress can be a feeling or reaction we have when there
are many demands on us.  It can be described as pressure from life event or events.  
1. How can too much stress be a problem? Go around and share how each person manages the
stress in their lives.
2. What is the biggest thing we do to increase stress in our lives? (Having a bad or negative
attitude; our THOUGHTS about stress.)
3. Is stress always bad for us? (No... stress can be a motivator i.e.: alarm clock)
4. What are some positive ways to handle stress? (Positive builds us up.... answers will vary)
5. What are some negative ways to handle stress? (Negative tears down, examples; turning to
drugs or alcohol, etc...)
Dealing with stress: Discuss how each member handles stress.  Make a list!  
Reflect: Take time to silently reflect on Matthew 6:25-34
Need: Sheets of paper, pencils or pens, Bibles  

4.  The Magic Wand You have just found a magic wand that allows you to change three things
related to your family.  You can change anything you want. What would you change?
- OR - How would you change yourself, your family, your town, your school, and your church?
* Discuss what the participant wants to change.
* What would they change if they become the parent for a month?
* The pastor, principal, etc?  
This activity helps them to learn about others' desires and frustrations as well as giving the
participant a chance to share about theirs.  
Need: Some kind of a wand

5.  Keynote Frame Game Give each person three blank cards and instruct them to fill in three
different responses on the subject: "What were main topics or learning points of the keynote?"
Give them about five minutes to complete the exercise, then collect the cards, shuffle them,
and randomly deal three cards to each person.  Ask everyone to read the cards they just
received and then to arrange them in order of personal preference.   Share and discuss.
Need: Index card or half sheets of paper, pencils or pens

6. Keynote Calm Down! (or other topic)  Sometimes the problem is not warming up, but the
need to calm or "come down" to reality after some intensive material is presented. Also, to get
the full benefit of new material, some "introspective time" is needed.  Have the family group
members lay on the floor, or get in a comfortable position. Then, have them self-reflect (think
to self, not out loud) on what they have just experienced and learned at the keynote. After
about five minutes, say a key word or short phase from the keynote and have them self-reflect
on it for a couple of minutes. Repeat one or two more times then gather the group into a circle
and have them share what they believe is the most important points of the keynote and how they
can best use it in their own life.  Note: This may seem like slack time to many, but quiet
reflection is one of the most powerful learning techniques available! Use it!
Need: Pay attention to keynote and listen for key words / points.

7. Can You Guess? Give each participant a piece of paper. Ask participants to:  Write a secret
(that can be shared) about themselves that the rest of the group does not know anything about.
Fold up the paper and put it in a paper bag.  Have a volunteer pick out one piece of paper, read it
aloud, guess who the person is, and give a reason for their choice. Go around the room and give
everyone a chance to guess.
Need: Paper, bag, pencil or pen
 
8.  Unfinished Sentences Pick several, or all of the questions below. Go around the room and
have each participant finish the sentences you have listed.
1. On Saturdays, I like to...
2. If I had only 24 hours to live I would...
3. If I had the car of my choice it would be...
4. I feel best when people...
5. If I had a million dollars I would...
6. Secretly I wish...
7. My favorite Bible story is...
8. If I could change the world, I would...
9. If I found $1000 in a vacant lot I would...
10. If I had a magic wand I would...
11. My favorite Bible verse is...   because ...
12. Something that really bugs me is...
13. God is like...
14. Someone that inspires me is __________ because...
Need: Copy of sentences for each person or have them listed on newsprint

9.  LOGOS Each person is given a blank nametag. Explain to the group that corporations are
recognized by a specific logo or symbol. (McDonalds arches, 3M, Apple Computer's Apple, etc.)
They are given 2 - 3 minutes to draw their personal logo. This logo should reflect their
personality, their interests, major or any thing they would like other people to know about them.
Then give the group time to mingle and see what each other's logo looks like. When it looks like
the entire group has mixed, instruct everybody with a similar logo to form a small group. You may
be surprised at how many similarities there are in your group.
Need: Name Tags, colored pens or markers.  

10.  Name your favorite Bible Verse Take turns sharing favorite bible versus or stories.  
Have your group:
1. Share when they first learned it or whom they heard it from.
2. What special meaning does it have for them?
3. When do they most use it, either for personal times of inspiration or to pass on to someone
else in need?
Make a list for your group to reflect upon
Need: Newsprint and markers

11.  Color Jacuzzi:  The object of this small group exercise is to get the group to quickly meet
the other members. The facilitator calls out a color of the rainbow or pases colors around for
members to choose.
RED: Red typically is the stop/turn- off color - tell what is the one thing (that they can disclose
in public) that is really a turn off to you
.  
Orange: is the motivation color - what motivates you?
Yellow: is the inspiration or creativity color - what was one of the best ideas you have had?
Green: is the money color - what do you plan to do for money, or the dumbest thing you ever did
for money.
Blue: is the sky's the limit color - what is your favorite fantasy about your future?
Indigo: is an odd, or different color - what is the most daring thing you ever did?
Purple: is the color of royalty - if you were ruler of the universe for a day - what is the first
thing you would do?

12.  Ya really want to know? Each participant is asked to give his/her middle name and tell
how or why that particular name was chosen for them. The facilitator should begin the process
and if appropriate, do it with a little bit of humor to encourage others to share.

13.  Sing me a song Read the Song of Solomon, Chapter 4 and 5.  Discuss. * What are these
chapters about? * What do you find attractive in a person? * What does LOVE LOOK LIKE? *
What does LOVE FEEL LIKE? * What does LOVE SOUND LIKE? * From the reading, how do you
think love has changed from Bible times to present? Close by silently reflecting on I Corinthians
13: 4-7 & 13.  
Need: Bible

14.  Write Thank-You Notes Have participants write thank you notes to an adult who is
special to them.  It could be a parent, grandparent, uncle or aunt, teacher, youth leader, etc...  
Encourage them to be specific  (Uncle Bob is nice because when I was in the hospital, he visited
me every day, he is always there for me).  Then take turns sharing with the group the important
adults in your life.  Share what that person does that makes them important.  Finally, take turns
answering this question:  "When I am an adult, I want people to thank me for
_______________."       
Needed: Note Cards, Pencils/pens

15  Get Acquainted Get an object that you can hold in your hand... say something like, "My name
is Bob, and this is a rocket ship that will take me to Paris."  Then that person passes it to the
next person and they say something like, "My name is Freida, this is a sports car and I am
driving it along the California Coast.  Everyone gets a turn.  For added fun, do another round with
the person on the right introducing the person by them saying their name and the object for
memory.   
Need: An object    

16.  I talk, God listen; God talk, I listen Give each person a piece of paper.  On one side
write Dear God, on the other side, write Dear (and their name).  Have participants write (or
draw) whatever they wish to communicate to God (worries, concerns, joys, thanks, forgiveness,
etc...).  It can be like a prayer or a conversation.  Then, have them turn the sheet over and write
God's response.  The point is to help participants learn to listen for God.  As participants feel
comfortable, have them share their letters with the group.  Others may have inspiration or
insight to add.  
Needed: Paper, pencils/pen  

17. Our deepest Fear Read the following thought:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful
beyond measure.  It is our Light, not our darkness, that frightens us.  We ask ourselves, who am
I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you NOT to be?  You are a child
of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about
shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  We were born to make manifest
(visible) the glory of God that is within us; it is in everyone.  As we let our Light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own
fear, our presence automatically liberates others."  (Marianne Williamson, From a Return to
Love)
Discuss:
What keeps you from being your best?
What does the statement, "you playing small does not serve the world" mean?
Do you know of a time someone, or yourself, played "poor me."  Talk about it.
Was there a time you did not want to do your best because someone else might be jealous?   
How can you make visible the glory of God?
Each person take turns sharing or take turns completing this statement; "I can make God visible
to others by..."  How does this statement FEEL to you?

18.  Opportunity How many times in the last week has God given you opportunity to: Make
friends... Eat breakfast... lunch... dinner... buy new clothes... attend camp... enjoy a snack... buy
music... see a movie... play a game... shower... see relatives... watch TV... attend Church...  
Have
each person make a list
of opportunities in your life.  Then combine and make a group list.  
Close by giving a thanksgiving prayer for each of these opportunities.

19. Angels What images does the word "angel" bring to mind? Discuss. Read Hebrews 1:14, 13:2
and Psalms 103:20.
Discuss:
Do you think God uses angels today?
Tell of a time when you could have used an angel's help.
How does prayer affect your life?
Do you believe in miracles?  
What miracles would you like to see happen in today's world?

20. Prayer Cards Assign each group member one or two prayer concerns.  Here are some
examples: child abuse, those with alcohol or drug addictions, children waiting for adoption,
homeless, those that are hungry or living in poverty, those who have lost a loved one, our military
and police, those who are in nursing homes, those who are lonely, those who seem rejected by our
world, those with health worries, etc...  Write them on an index card.  Have group members
carry these cards with them each day and spend time praying for that specific concern.  They
can also include personal joys and concerns on their card.   
Variation... assign secret prayer partners from within your group each day of camp by drawing
names at random.  Ask them to not only pray for that person, but also do several simple kind
deeds for them.  

21.  Jesus' Prayer Life, click here

22. Spiritual Journey - Faith Development. (for discussion and/or in plotting your journey on a
timeline)
a. Name at least three people who have supported your spiritual and/or faith development.
b. Tell how they have supported you.  What did they do?  What do they mean to you?
c. Name at least three positive events that have supported your spiritual and/or faith
development.  Examples: Work camps, church camps, mission trips, youth groups, etc.  What did
they do for you?
d. Name at least three events that challenged your spiritual and/or faith development.  
Examples: Death of a loved one, illness, divorce, move, etc.  In what ways have these events
changed you?  In what ways have they helped you grow in your faith?
PART TWO: Look toward the furture.  How can you continue to develop your faith and spiritual
journey?  What people do you need, what events could help you?  How can you help others?

23.  Friends and Birds

Carl Crabtree - CRY '03 - '06
E-Mail:
carl@carlietree.com