Wednesday, June 09, 2010

    COMMUNITY BUILDER: Who Will You Follow?

    Challenge your teens to consider all the "voices" that attempt to influence their lives with this simple community-building activity.

    With summer approaching, many youth ministries see less of their youth over the next several months.  Some youth will even be going away for good to college or elsewhere.  This simple activity can lead into a thoughtful discussion on all the influences teens encounter and how they discern which "voices" to listen to in the journey of life.  

    Divide youth into pairs or small groups of 3 or 4.  Set up a simple obstacle course, ideally outside in a grassy area.  The goal is for one member of the team to walk blindfolded from one end of the field to the other through the course (but it's not a race!)  The teammates are allowed to give the blindfolded member verbal directions but are not allowed on the obstacle course itself. Of course, this probably entails the group having to shout orders at their teammate. As it would be total chaos if everyone is shouting "Go right! Go left!", encourage teams to come up with a code.  Perhaps they use the words "red and green" in place of "right and left" or they use one animal sound for right, one for straight ahead, one for left, and so on.  The challenge for the blindfolded team member will be to to discern his or her team members' directions amidst all the other voices.  

    When finished, debrief by asking youth what was challenging about the situation, what helped them succeed, and how this might be like real life.  How is this like trying to stay focused on the message of Jesus in the roar of noise from our secular culture?  How do we stay focused on the most helpful "voices?"