Parable of the Bad Tenants (Matthew 21) | Games

The parable of the bad tenants is all about consequences, about unheeded messengers, about responses that should never have been an option. Jesus may 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

Age group recommendation icon

All Ages

Any sized group icon

Any size group

Setup time required icon

Requires setup time

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Quiet game

Suitable for seated groups icon

Can be seated

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.

Story Road

Age group recommendation icon

All Ages

Smaller groups icon

Small group

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Requires setup time

Quiet game icon

Quiet game

Suitable for seated groups icon

Can be seated

Print this game and travel the journey of the parable. You’ll need dice and counters. Print available by clicking on the picture.

Ripple effect

Age group recommendation icon

Ages 7+

Bigger groups icon

Big group

No setup-time required icon

No Setup time

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Noisy game

Space needed icon

Space needed

Easily described as ‘Simon says’ meets ‘a crowd’s rolling wave’. Have the kids stand in a circle and pass an action around. The easiest is a wave, encourages creativity. Once the action reaches the person who started it for the 2nd time, they stop the action and the next person starts a new one. Links to the idea of consequences.

I was stopped by…

Age group recommendation icon

Ages 7+

Any sized group icon

Any size group

No setup-time required icon

No Setup time

Noisy game icon

Noisy game

Suitable for seated groups icon

Can be seated

A storytelling game that escalates swiftly. The first person tells the story of beginning a journey (eg. walking down the road) when “they were stopped by…” (eg a falling piano). The second person continues the story, navigates the obstacles and continues the journey until “they were stopped by…” and the third-person takes over.

Consequences

Age group recommendation icon

Ages 7+

Smaller groups icon

Small group

No setup-time required icon

No Setup time

Quiet game icon

Quiet game

Suitable for seated groups icon

Can be seated

This is a classic game. If you don’t know it each player is given a sheet of paper, and all are told to write down a word or phrase to fit a description, optionally with some extra words to make the story. Each player then folds the paper over hide the most recent line, and hands it to the next person. At the end of the game, the stories are read out.

An example may be
1) An adjective
2) A man’s name
3) The word “met” followed by an adjective
4) A woman’s name
5) The word “at” followed by where they met
6) The word “to” followed by what they went there for
7) The words “he wore” followed by what he wore
8) The words “she wore” followed by she wore
9) What he did
10) What she did
11) The words “and the consequence was” followed by details of what happened as a result
12) The words “and the world said” followed by what it said

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