Have you tried using board games in your kids ministry?

Board games are fast becoming ultra-popular, with board game cafes opening up all over the place. Monopoly and Ludo are things of the past (though still great for some people) there is what we now call modern table-top gaming.  I wouldn’t suggest board games every week, but this lot will take you once a month maybe as a theme to the end of the year.  If you can think of other links and verses which these games relate to, or if you are a board gamer with ideas of how to link games, then please post in the comments section.

The following are all games which fall into that ‘new’ category. I’ve included links to Amazon so that if you are interested you can buy the game. I will be fleshing out each game over the next few weeks into a full outline, but here are the themes and bible passages to be getting on with.

These outlines are for smaller groups on the whole, you are limited by how many people can play the game! However, if you have a larger group then perhaps bring together a few of the ideas and play a carousel of games?

You could have a full on games night and have a leader at each table to teach and play the game – the majority can be played in 15 minutes (with the exception of Carcassonne).

Where do you fit?
Body of Christ
1 Corinthians 12
Patchwork (2 player)

Mayfair Games Patchwork Game


Where do you fit?
Body of Christ
1 Corinthians 12
Blokus (4 player)

Mattel Games Blokus


Making plans –
I have plans for you, to prosper not to harm you (Jer 29.11)
wherever you go I will give to you (Joshua 1.3 : Gen 28.15 : Deut 11.24)
Carcassonne 2-5 players

Carcassonne: New Edition Board Game


Building one another up
1 thes 5.11
Tsuro (adapted) 2-8 players
Usually when you play tsuro you are trying to beat each other by forcing the other players off the board. However, you could play it cooperatively, to see how by playing together you can help each other to survive. Play the cards open handed perhaps (lay them in front of each player). For a longer game, try Forbidden Island (4 player)

Tsuro – The Game of the Path

Forbidden Island

Gamewright Forbidden Island Game


Jesus the good shepherd
John 10.11
I am sending you out like sheep amongst wolves
Matt 10.16
Lego Shave a sheep (check on the used versions – much cheaper!)

LEGO Games 3845: Shave a Sheep


Making choices
Proverbs 16.9 : Proverbs 3.5 (to be honest almost any game fits this theme!)
Get Bit

Mayday Games Get Bit Deluxe Board Game


Romans 12.2 …. Being able to test and approve what God’s will is.
Again, there are lots of other ways forward on this. Spiritual discernment. Discernment of ministries. Judging what is right and wrong.
I don’t suggest using one night ultimate werewolf in churches. (http://amzn.to/1Oq7AAh) However, this is based on an old game called mafia, rules you will find here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafia_(party_game). A bit of thought and you should be able to come up with an alternative quite nicely. All you have to do is to make some cards with the role titles on them.
Look around for variations or come up with your own. You can run with a large group to just 6


Armour of God
Ephesians 6
Welcome to the dungeon (4 player)
Variation : don’t play the two lives/two wins version as the game can take quite a long time. But each round is only about 5 minutes once players get the hang of it

Welcome to the Dungeon


Firm foundation / house on the rock
Matthew 7.24
Jenga! (any number of players…and if there is lots, then play as 2 teams taking it in turns)


Seriously, its one of those games which is ever green with so many variations that you can play to make it work. I even run a game called dread (not for younger kids) which uses a jenga tower to run a Role Playing game, with each decision the team makes requiring a pulled brick.

I also suggest that you should get the real jenga and not one of the cheaper versions, having tried the alternatives. The blocks just aren’t cut square enough in the copies, and it can be frustrating.


Investing (parable of the talents)
Matthew 25.14
Parable of the talents is much more about using what God has given you. That is, it is about the faith that God has given you which you should share with others, and invest in others, not bury it and keep it to yourself.
Kids will be familiar with minecraft and realise that you have to combine ideas and talents together to get better equipment to be able to mine deeper and get better stuff (the kids will explain it better than that to you…find a kid and ask them!!!)

Minecraft card game (4 player)

Minecraft Card Game

Beware of backsliding!
This one is a pretty tenuous link..but still!
Proverbs 14.14
Hey Thats my fish (4 player)

Fantasy Flight Games “Hey That’s My Fish!” Game