Wednesday, October 20, 2010


    Try this quick activity to help your teens think about issues of inclusion, exclusion, and the spiritual practice of hospitality.

    Split into small teams of 5-10 people and have each team select someone to be "it." Each team stands in a tight circle, facing in, with their arms around each other.  When you say "Go," the "it" person attempts to force their way into the middle of the circle while the circle does everything they can to keep the "it" person out.  Call time after a couple of minutes.  Debrief quickly, inviting responses from the groups about the experience and what it felt like to be either the person trying to get into the circle or the being the ones trying to keep the person out.  Now issue a different challenge, explaining that when you say "Go" each group should work together as quickly as possible to completely surround and envelope the "it" so that he or she is completely hidden from view.  It's sort of a group hug with the "it" person concealed in the center.  Cheer on the groups and award 1000 happy points to the first group to successfully complete the challenge.  Finish by asking how this experience may have been different from the first challenge and what sort of emotions it stirred up.

    This would be a perfect activity to help lead into a discussion of your own group's efforts to show hospitality to visitors, to talk about Jesus' own ministry of welcoming those other excluded, or to open a discussion of the recent bullying going on in our nation's schools and how your youth might respond to this problem from a Christian perspective.