The parable of the bad tenants is all about consequences, about unheeded messengers, about responses that should never have been an option. Jesus may be seem to be teasing the religious leaders with such a brash tale but the truth is that we all too easily forget that our actions send ripples into the future. Here is a selection of games to suit a wide range of ages and set-ups. choose the game you would most like playing and your youngsters would respond to best.
How many does it take – Cut up on magazine picture per child / team and place each picture into a separate bag. Have a child randomly pick one piece and try to guess what the whole picture is. Repeat until they guess or reconstruct the picture. Link this game to the idea of how many servants/prophets were sent.
This parable talks about the two sons and encourages us to reassess, to be willing to change your mind, to question our answers. The games therefore link to these key ideas and sprinkled in there is the idea of two, matching two, and counting.
Yes/No – Ask the youngster(s) if they can…(insert action) and have them shout out yes or no then as a single child specifically if they will….(insert action demonstrate or mime). examples – Can you do a star jump? Can you whistle? Can you tidy your room? Saying you can/will and doing are different things.
Within the parable of the vineyard owner there are two distinct themes you can pull out for games, that of the grape gathers task and that of the fairness of the wages, I’ve tried to give you a selection of games to represent both and that can also suit a variety of setups and spaces.
Grape toss – basically a beanbag toss game. You can use grapes or other small items and you need to toss them into various containers. For one child have them try and reach every container, for groups have each group assigned a different container to fill.
The Parable Jesus tells here is super simple and yet very deep. We all expect the senior servant to forgive the debt of the lower servant because we expect him to continue passing on the blessings, it jars at us that he would not do so. These games tie into that idea of flowing from one to another and the key theme of forgiveness.
Dominoes fall – This story shows how mercy, forgiveness and compassion should follow down from our heavenly father through us and to those we meet. Use dominoes, blocks, cardboard boxes or whatever you have on hand.
This passage isn’t an easy one and there are two main themes that show themselves in the suggested games here. one is the idea of corporate prayer, the other conflict resolution. Choose the game that emphasises the part of the passage you want to focus on.
Order – Print the game page by clicking on the picture. We order things to help us understand the world and how to act. In this game you are given 5 random images and told to order them. How you order them is entirely up to you and no answer is wrong but you must give a reason why. Are they in value order? age order? does the order tell a story? Etc. Link to the blueprint conflict resolution part of this passage.
This is a passage a lot of people would rather skim, we don’t want to portray the angry Jesus who slings things like calling someone a devil. But this passage is so important to understanding not only Peter but the way the people of God could move from adoring crowds to chanting crucify. At the root of this passage Peter gets it wrong on the back of declaring Jesus the Messiah, his great high and painful low clashing back to back.
Nothing – Play this little board game, the rules are on the page but the basis is that you need to lose everything in order to win. You’ll need a lot of counters or coins. The pdf is accessible by clicking on the picture.
Jesus asks a seemingly simple question and suddenly the slow meander to find food for Jesus’ friends becomes a pivotal moment. There are so many symbols and ideas packed into these few verses, identity, naming, foundations, kingdoms, keys… here are just a few games to get you started.
Incomplete – using the jigsaws to give the child 12 pieces with only one complete picture. Talk about how God knows us completely and wants us to know him. the pdf is accessible by clicking on the picture.
This story of the Canaanite woman is an encounter of healing, of acceptance, of determination and of an unlikely party receiving the abundance of God’s love. These games play on the idea that the Canaanite woman didn’t appear to belong in this narrative as well as the words Jesus used the the passage about dogs and tables. There is a variety of games suitable for different sized groups and spaces.
Table roll – You will need a big table for this one and some small balls, ball pit balls or table tennis balls would be ideal. Pour the balls over the table. Have the kids positioned under or around the table with baskets to catch them when they drop off the edges.
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