source: | 2000 Games, Devotions, Themes, Ideas and more for Youth Work
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The large black book

This material was supplied to the German Youth for Christ, the “Rock Solid Club”. Rock Solid Club is a place where teens can experience things which they would experience anyway else. There are crazy games and events, there are discussion groups and there is bible work...


We present the bible to the kids, try to find out what they already know and show them how the bible is still relevant to our lives today. This happens with games, quizzes and "talks".


The bible is a closed book for most 11-14 year olds. Lots of children receive a bible at school or at confirmation but they don’t have any reading instructions (how to start, how to interpret it) and most will not enjoy reading it. They will think of it as boring, confusing and, even worse, as unimportant.

This meeting should break most of the myths which are in the bible and present some thoughts about why the bible is relevant for us today. For clubs who have members who already read the bible and/or who are Christians, there are a few alternative activities which can help you get more out of the bible.

For this meeting the room should be decorated with things which have something to do with the bible e.g. texts from the bible, presentations of characters/stories from the bible. When the young people arrive you can play some videos telling biblical stories in the background. The teams should be named after biblical characters or books.

Have different translations of the bible available which the Rockies can take a look at and which can also be used for different activities (use The Good News or The Message for the message if at all possible). You can also locate some bible reading plans for 11-14 year olds (e.g. from the bible reading society or from Aidlingen) and hand them out or spread them among those who are interested. You can do the same with some examples of the gospels. Ask at your local Christina bookstores or in the community for different materials and resources.

Icebreaker... hit with the bible

Aim: Two players compete against each other at bursting balloons with a bible.

Length: 5 minutes

Material: Balloons, two bibles (or other books)

Preparation: Blow up 20 balloons before the meeting – 10 in one colour and 10 in another.


Once everyone has arrived the players are split into two teams and placed on opposite sides of the room. Give everyone a number (people who come too late are given the next number in series). At the opposite ends of the room between the two teams, bibles are placed on the floor (or if you prefer, hymn books or other books if you are not worried about using them for the game).

Call out a number and throw two balloons into the game, one of each colour. The players on each team with this number grab a bible and try to be first to burst a balloon in their team colour (agree which colour beforehand). No one is allowed to touch the balloon with their hands. Play several rounds and award the teams with a point if they are first to burst the balloon.

Game 1... Noah’s ark

Aim: Team competition race with pairs trying to get two balloons into the “ark”.

Length: 5 minutes.

Material: Balloons, large boxes and rubbish bags


Make up teams with an even number of Rockies. For each team a rubbish bag full of balloons is placed at one end of the room and the teams stand at the other end behind their box (ark). Give the players 3 or 4 minutes for this game. The game is a competition – two team members run to the balloons, take two which they must transport back into the box between their bodies. They must take a cuddle position with the balloon between them. Once the balloons are in position they are not allowed to be touched with the hands for the whole distance. If a balloon bursts or is dropped they must go back to the start and start again. When a pair of balloons make it successfully into the ark, they next team of two may start. The winning team is the team who manages to get the most balloons in the ark in the given time.

You can end the game by letting some volunteers compete against each other to burst all of the balloons in their box the quickest by stamping on them.

Info... Everything is written in the book

Aim: A competition for finding places in the bible relating to the information given.

Length: 5-10 minutes.

Material: Stools, bibles

Preparation: Find a number of bible references which can be used to extend the information e.g.:
Exodus 20, 16 – Next week’s subject is “lies”
Hebrews 11, 1 – Next week’s subject is “faith”
Mark 4, 35 – We are going swimming next week
John 6, 5 – We will have a Pizza-Party next week- bring your friends – there is enough to eat
Genesis 7, 12 – If the weather is good we will join a Rock Solid Solid Event on Saturday
Luke 2, 7 – Don’t forget the Rock Solid Christmas party in two weeks
1. Thessalonians. 5, 17 – if you have prayer needs turn to a leader
Genesis 3, 7 – There are Rock Solid T-Shirts available now... you can order them today.
2. Tim. 3, 16 – Take this reference to present the theme
... Be creative and think up your own ideas!


Split the group into teams. Each team sends a volunteer to the front. They sit down and are given a bible (they both need the same version – e.g. Good News or The Message). Explain how to find sections of the bible (e.g. book, chapter and verse – to find the book you can also look in the contents list at the front) and read the first reference out. Die Rockies try to be first to find the reference and read it out once they’ve found it. The first one to read the verse correctly is awarded a point for the team. Repeat the verse and then give some further information on it. Repeat the game with more volunteers. If the Rockies find it too difficult let them find the verse in pairs.

Game 2... David and Goliath

Aim: The young people take the part of David and try to hit Goliath with marshmallows.

Length: 5-10 minutes

Material: Marshmallows, stools, rubber bands, screw lid or bottle top and sticky tape (If required).

Preparation: Build a catapult for each team by turning two stools around and placing a rubber band between the chair legs. You can also build in a holder for the marshmallows (screw lid or bottle top) and fix it to the middle of the rubber band.


Explain the story of David and Goliath (or see if some of the Rockies can tell the story). Split the group into teams and position them at the end of the room behind their "catapult" – give each team a pack of marshmallows. Each team chooses a leader as their "Goliath" – the Goliaths stand at the other end of the room (or a certain distance away), each of them on a stool.

Taking turns the team members are "David" – they put a marshmallow in the catapult, pull the rubber band back and shoot the marshmallow at their team’s “Goliath". All teams should shoot at the same time – award a point for each hit (2 points if they hit their Goliath on the head and 10 points if their hit the marshmallow into Goliath’s mouth). Play several rounds where different people take turns to do the shooting.

Game 3... The Good Samaritan

Aim: A race where the team members stick a plaster onto another member of the team and carry him on piggy back once back and forth across the room.

Length: 5 minutes

Material: Plaster, stools


Make teams and position them at one end of the room. At the other end is a stool and a few plasters are placed on it (the same amount for each team). The team chooses one person as a victim (the smallest team member is best) and is laid down face upwards next to the stool.

Tell the kids the parable of the Good Samaritan and then play the game like this: First of all two players run forwards, grab the victim and drag him back to the team.

The next part is that the other players run one after the other to the stool, fetch a plaster and stick it (carefully!) in the victim’s face. The next player may start when the previous plaster is in place. Then all of the players stand in a row and the victim is placed on the back of the first “horse” and is carried to the stool. Each player carries the victim once. Once players have had a turn the game is over. The first team to manage this is the winner.

Alternative: You can stick the plasters on the body and bandage the head with bandages (leave the mouth free!).

Go 1... Bible quiz

Aim: A quiz where the players answer different questions about the bible.

Length: 10 minutes.

Material: Paper and pens

Preparation: Prepare several questions including some of the examples below and by adding your own questions (e.g. some simpler ones).


Make teams and spread them out in the room. Choose some or all of the difficult questions below and play the quiz game. The team leaders are only allowed to help the Rockies once in each round (stick to this and watch out for cheaters). That will help totally inexperienced teams to win points.

True or false questions

  • There is a book in the bible which was written by Jesus (F).
  • In some countries it is forbidden to own a bible (T).
  • As Jesus was born he was visited by 3 wise men (F – the bible does not give a number).
  • One edition of the bible was printed with a printing error so that one command stated "you shall commit adultery" (T).
  • The bible says that Jonah was swallowed by a whale (F – only a “big fish” is mentioned).

One representative from each team plays. Place two stools (marked T and F) in the middle of the room. The first one to sit on the correct stool wins.

"What happened next?" questions

A man called Saul travelled from Jerusalem to Damascus, where he wanted to imprison followers of Jesus. What happened?

  • A. A bright light appeared from heaven and Jesus spoke to Saul.
  • B. He was struck by a crippling illness and died on the way.
  • C. he changed his mind and went back to Jerusalem.
  • D. He stopped at McDonald's and fetched a hamburger.

Jesus arrived in Jerusalem and everyone celebrated him and called him the king. Then he went into the temple. What happened next?

  • A. He taught the priests about the kingdom of God.
  • B. He spent the day in prayer.
  • C. He threw all of the tables over where things were sold and money changed hands.
  • D. He quickly had a shower then had a nice evening in the town.

Place four cards in the middle of the room with the letters A, B, C and D. One representative from each team of players is chosen. When the question is asked the winner is the first to grab the right card.


Read out a few bible statements which stop in the middle and let the teams look for a fitting ending. You can use verses such as the following ones (always explain the context beforehand):

  • At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is (deep in thought, or busy, or travelling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.") 1. Kings 18,27
  • "The Lord let the donkey speak and it said to Balaam..." (... "What have I done to you? Why have you beaten your donkey three times?") Numbers 22, 32
  • They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?" He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around." Mark 8, 22-24

The teams note down their versions of the extensions of the statement. Read the different endings out, including the right one, and the team guess which one is correct. They receive a point for each correct answer and one extra point is awarded if the team claims that their continuation was right and they were also correct in their claim.

What does not belong?

Use questions like the following ones:

Which name is not the name of a biblical book?

  • Matthew
  • Titus
  • Mark
  • Joseph
  • John

Which of the following people are not mentioned in the bible?

  • Nebuchadnezzar
  • Catharine von Aragon
  • Bilead
  • Isabel

Which of these people was not one of Jesus’ disciples?

  • Judas Iscariot
  • Paul
  • Peter
  • Simon
  • John

Which of the following is not mentioned in the bible?

  • Timbuktu
  • Rom
  • Jerusalem
  • Damascus
  • Athens

Everyone discusses the possible answers and agree on the things which they believe do not belong. The teams can either choose a mutual answer or vote for different answers if they do not agree. Each team then receives a point for each player who had the right answer.

Alternative: You can also create other rounds for example, an obscure name or phrase is taken from the bible and the teams must think up a definition for the word. You can also play "Pictionary" and let the teams draw famous scenes from biblical stories and let the others guess the subject. You can also call the questions out and the teams must call the answers out loud.

Go 2... The 1089 Trick

Aim: A simple maths trick to impress the club members (if they don’t already know it) and introduce the subject.

Length: 10 minutes.

Material: Bible verses in a sealed envelope, The Message, two further well-known books or newspapers, paper and pens.

Preparation: The leader who shows this trick should be sure of what he is doing and should have tried it out before. Open up page 1089 of The Message (or whatever bible version you have available – the main thing is that it has 1089 or more pages) and write down the first complete sentence on the page on a piece of paper in the top left corner. Put the sheet in an envelope and seal it. Place the edition of the bible and two further books or newspapers at the front on a table.


Introduce yourself as a famous magician (have you seen my TV show?). Then choose a couple of volunteers from the audience. One of the volunteers is given the sealed envelope. To make sure it cannot be tampered with they sit on it. The other volunteer is given a pen and piece of paper and sits at the front. The second volunteer should write 3 different numbers from 1-9 on his paper so that he forms a 3 digit number. Then he turns the number around and writes it down underneath (if he chooses 321 then he would write 123 underneath). The smaller number is now subtracted form the larger number.

(E.g. 321-123=198)

Then he should take the result and turn it around down again and write the new number underneath once again (e.g. if 198 was the result then 981) and then add these two numbers together (198+981=1089).

The end result is actually always 1089 whichever numbers are chosen at the beginning (maybe a leader should help with the sums otherwise the Rockies might make a mistake).

Ask someone from the audience to choose one of the 3 books or newspapers. If the person does not choose the bible ignore the choice and ask a second person to make an “important” decision. Do this until someone chooses the bible... life the bible up and carry on:

Ask the volunteer who had the result 1089 to turn to page 1089 in the bible and read out the first complete sentence on the page. Then ask the volunteer with the envelope to open it and read out what is written on the paper. You audience should be very impressed with your magical talents.

Chat... God’s handbook

Aim: To find out what the young people know about the bible, what they think about it and which meaning the bible has for us nowadays.

Length: 5-10 minutes.

Material: "The big black book" – sheets and pens


Make teams each with a leader. Give each person a copy of the Talk-Worksheet and a pen. Let the Rockies fill in the sheets alone and then spend time in the group to discuss the answers. The groups can then answer the following questions:

  • Which biblical stories do you know (apart from the ones already mentioned)?
  • What do you think is the main message of the bible?
  • How do you think the bible can help us in our lives today?

Do another feedback round or carry straight on with the background. The answers to questions 5 and 6 on the sheet:

Question 5: a. 1.Corthinians.13, 1 d. Proverbs 30,33 f. Exodus 20,13

Question 6: b. John 14, 6 c. Matthew 22,39 (all the others are the wrong!)

Background 1... What is in it?

Aim: To solve some of the myths surrounding the bible by using a true/false quiz.

Length: 5-10 minutes.

Material: True/false cards


Keep the same groups as in “Chat” and give each group 2 cards (size A 4) with TRUE and FALSE written on them. Read out 10 of the below statements relating to the bible. For each statement the group must decide if it is true or false and then hold up the relevant card. Give the teams points when they have the right statements. After each statement can you use the explanation underneath to say more about it and to break down some of the well spread myths relating to the bible.


Let the teams run to different walls to choose their answers. E.g. answer A run to wall X and for answer B run to wall Y.

Some archaeological finds in the Middle East have refuted some biblical stories.

FALSE – No archaeological find in the world has disproved the bible. The opposite is actually true: Millar Burrows, an American scientist writes: "In general we can say that archaeological research has underlined the authenticity of the biblical reports."

Luke, who wrote a book in the New Testament about the life of Jesus, was one of the most accurate historians of his time.

TRUE – His accuracy is astounding. Sir William Ramsay, who was born in the 18th century and is acknowledged as one of the best archaeologists who has ever lived, wrote: "Lukas is a first class historian. Not only are his report of events absolutely trustworthy, but he should also be counted as one of the greatest historians."

Most people in Germany know the 10 commandments by heart.

FALSE – If you have enough time, find a few volunteers who should recite the 10 commandments. This is bound to help confirm that this statement is false.

You cannot find out what the bible really means.

FALSE – There is doubt as to the primary message of the bible. Although there are many types of communities and churches in the world, they all confirm the central message of the bible. Josh McDowell, a current Christian book author wrote "Even those who do not believe in the bible have had no difficulties in finding the message." You can give a short outline of the central message of the bible (how exact is up to you).

There have been more books, films and TV series on the bible than on every other book in the world.

TRUE - (You can mention a few examples: "Jesus", "The 10 Commandments"...) There are more book stores who have specialised themselves to the bible and books relating to the bible than every other book (you can name your local bible book stores as an example).

There are so many different translations of the bible because we do not really know what the original text said.

FALSE – The bible translations only differ in the type of language they use but not in the sense and contents. Versions such as The Good News and The Message for example help us to read the bible in a language we can understand well.

The bible is the best selling book in the world.

TRUE – The bible has been read by more people and has been publicised in more languages than every other book in the world. Hy Pickering said that the demand for bibles was so large that in Great Britain, for example, “a copy flew from the printers day night every 3 seconds". That made 22 copies in a minute, 1369 editions per hour and 32876 editions every day of the year. In the 17th century Voltaire, the famous French author, claimed that the bible would slowly be forgotten in his lifetime. After his death his house became a bible book dealer store.

There are more people in the world today who read the bible than ever before.

TRUE – Two million people across the world say that they live their lives according to the bible.

If you were to read one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) the average reader would need approx. 4 hours.

FALSE – It would only take 1 ½ hours. Reading parts of the bible really does not take too long. We can never read (and understand) the bible all at once. (It would be good if you told the group how often you read the bible).

Background 2...The bible stairs

Length: 10 minutes

Material: Blackboard or overhead projector and markers

Aim: This is an alternative to background 1 for clubs who already have a number of Christian youths who are already familiar with the bible. This background should help them to read the bible constructively.

Preparation: Draw some stairs with 5 steps on the blackboard or film beforehand. Write on the steps in turn when the points are named. As an alternative you can build a massive staircase and place the words on the steps on pieces of A4 paper. You should then climb up the stairs with the Rockies or volunteers and explain the points.


First of all you should think about the fact that you do not have to start reading the bible at the front and stop once you reach the end – especially not if you are just starting to read the bible. The bible is a bit like a library. It contains 66 different books but even some of the individual books are too long to read all at once. It is therefore better just to read a story or one chapter at a time. In order to read more of the bible it makes sense to follow the five steps which you will now present like this:


The primary thought is that you read a bible text and ask “which people are dealt with here?" (Write “who” on the step) This people can be mentioned by name. It might be the people who are listening to the story, the narrator and all others who have something to do with the section.


As the next step we should ask “who” and “what” (write this down) - "where did this happen?" or "what happened in the story?" or "who says and does what?"


Thirdly we should ask ourselves, "What is the message of the story?" or "what does the story want to teach us”? (Write “what “ in the diagram). To discover the message we must answer one of two questions: "What is God like?" or "how should the people be?“ In other words, each biblical story wants to tell us something about God and what he is like or something about the people and how they should be or how they live.


Our next step should be to bring the story into the present, into today and it is our goal to find out what the story wants to tell us today. We want to know how this part of the bible influences our FAMILY, our FRIENDS, our FAITH and/or our FUTURE (write these four words on the step). That often works quite well when we think about how we would react in the situation – if we had the same problems and had to make the same decisions. Then we can take at look at how God reacted to the biblical characters and how he would answer us today.


This last step is the one where we take everything we have learnt from the bible and take it into practice. That is our business plan and we should structure it into the following parts (add this into the steps):

  • PRAYING... decide what you want to pray for.
  • LEARNING... decide what you want to learn and think about it.
  • ACT... decide what you want to do and what you can do.

You can transmit the message easier by reading out a biblical story (e.g. one of the parables about Jesus) and let the Rockies work on the five points.

Let's do it 1... If it were today...

Length: 10-15 minutes

Material: Bibles or copies of a biblical story, pens and paper

Aim: To bring a biblical story to light and then transfer it into today’s times through sketches.


Make groups (maybe the ones who were there last time) with one leader in each group and read out biblical stories (e.g. one of the parables about Jesus). Each team must make up a modern version of the story and present it to the rest of the group as a sketch. You can either give each team a different story or let the teams work on one story in different ways. Examples of parables which are good for this use are: The Good Samaritan (Luke 10), the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15), the parable of the 10 minas (Luke 19) or the parable of the great banquet (Luke 14).


As a longer project the Rockies can make a photo story (like in a teen magazine) or even make a video.

Let's do it 2... Bible rap

Length: 10-15 minutes

Material: Bibles or copies of individual psalms, pens and paper

Aim: An alternative to Let's do it 1. The aim is to look at psalms in more detail and then to write them into a rap song.


Make groups (like beforehand) with one leader in each group and read through some psalms. Help the Rockies to see that the psalms were written on lots of different subjects – some for praising God, some were a complaint to God and some were a cry for help. The groups can decide on one psalm (or a biblical story as an alternative) and turn it into a rap or invent their own psalm rap. Once they have written their raps, play some relevant music in the background and let the kids perform their rap in front of the others.

Note: If some of the Rockies are more interesting in drama and others are more interested in a rap then split the group into two teams and let them plan their performances.

Input... God’s handbook

Aim: To show that the bible was given to us by God and show that we should use it as a direction sign for our lives. This meeting should also give the participants a personal view into how the leaders use the bible in their everyday lives.

Length: 10 minutes

Material: Copies of a picture puzzle - puzzles, bible

Preparation: Copy a picture for each team and cut it out. Make an additional copy of the puzzle (which you do not cut up) and a smaller version of the puzzle (note: as an alternative to a puzzle you can also use Lego bricks with building instructions).


Make groups and give each one a copy of the puzzle. On the start signal the teams must put the puzzle together as quickly as possible. After one minute or so, secretively give one team a copy of the complete puzzle and another team the smaller version. We can assume that the team with the sample puzzle will be finished first and the team with the smaller version second.

Wait until everyone is finished or until the team give up without help. Then explain why the winning team won. If you use Lego let two volunteers build the same object but give one the building instructions.


Tell the group that when the queen was crowned in 1953 the Archbishop of Canterbury gave her a bible in the middle of the ceremony and said “here is the most valuable possession in the world". Can you imagine that? The queen stands there wearing the crown jewels (ask if someone has already seen a photo before) and she was told that the jewels were less valuable than the bible. If you have a bible at home then it is more valuable then all of the English crown jewels.

That might seem a little strange to you but with the previous game you have proven to yourself why the bible is so important and valuable. Whether we believe it or not – the bible is a little bit like this sample puzzle. If you live your life yourself, it is like building a complicated model or a massive puzzle without any is a lot of work and usually does not work.

The best thing about the bible is that it is an instruction leaflet which was written by the creator of man – God himself. If we take notice of the bible, the instructions of the creator, we can be sure that we are living our lives as well as possible, we have the parts in the right order and live our lives like intended. Someone once said "God created us and he alone can show us how we should live." No amount of money and no jewels can be the path directors for our lives. We stress that using the bible as an instruction book for our lives does not simply mean that we have to obey a lot of laws. Obviously Christians try their best to uphold the laws (not stealing, lying or killing etc.), but the bible is a lot more – it is one of the main chances for God to speak with us. God can use the bible to tell us what he feels about us, what his plans for your future are and how you can react if you have a difficult decision to make etc.

At this point one or two leaders can give a short talk on how they use the bible and to tell the group how they need the bible to grow as a Christian. They can tell something about a part of the bible which has helped them recently – try to be as practical and exact as possible.

At the end, encourage the Rockies to try the bible out themselves – not the whole thing from start to finish, but to start off with a few stories from Jesus’ life – Mark or Luke are suitable books for the job (mention the gospel booklets at this point if you have some).


The Rockies can ask some questions about every aspect of their lives if they want and the leaders can explain what the bible says about it. As an alternative, the Rockies can simply ask questions about the bible.

Crunch... Water to wine

Aim: The teams try to it transport as much water as possible from one end of the row to the other using sponges.

Length: 5 minutes

Material: Sponges, buckets, red food colouring (or other water soluble colour), ruler


Tell the Rockies the story where Jesus turned the water into wine. Make teams and place them in rows. There is a bucket with water and two sponges at one end of the row and a water container at the other end (transparent if possible) with some red food colouring at the other. On the start signal the person at the end of the row dips their sponge in the water and passes it along the row. When the sponges arrive at the other end the water is wrung out into the container (where the water amazingly turns into red “wine”). The sponges are passed back along the row and are filled with water again. The winning team is the team with the most “wine” at the end of the game in their container (after 3-4 minutes).


How often do you read the bible? (Circle your answer)

  • ... A. Every hour

  • ... B. Daily

  • ... C. When I go to church

  • ... D. As often as I can

  • ... E. Never

  • ... F. Others

What? Or which story do you know? (Tick off)

  • ... A. The Christmas Story

  • ... B. How God carried Jesus up to heaven on a horse

  • ... C. The Great Flood

  • ... D. Adam and Eve

  • ... E. The Easter Story

  • ... F. Jesus fed the 5000

What do you believe in the bible? (Cross off)

  • ... Every word

  • ... Some of it, but some things are not believable

  • ... A nice historical book but not relevant today

  • ... They are just made up stories

What is found in the bible? (Cross out the wrong ones)

  • I am worth nothing without love

  • Stealing is OK if you don’t get caught

  • An axe in the house saves a carpenter

  • Sniffing your nose too heavily lead to nose bleeds

  • You do not need to kill anyone

  • If you feel good about it, do it

Which statements came from Jesus?

  • ... God helps those who help themselves

  • ... I am the way, the truth and the life - Just do it

  • ... Love thy neighbour as your own

  • ... No one experiences a greater love than someone who gives his life for his friends

  • ... Don’t worry, be happy

True? Or not?

  • In the bible you will only find "you shall" and "you shall not."

  • The bible is not relevant today

  • The main story in the bible deals with Jesus

  • The bible gives answer to life’s important questions

  • The bible is too difficult to understand

  • Only the Pope knows the bible in the original language

[ © | 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work ] - 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work
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