As we constantly look for ways to connect the Gospel message and our Catholic faith to daily life, I LOVE this idea of connecting board games to Scripture (and related teachings.)
There is a 12 week curriculum for children's ministry found at http://www.childrens-ministry-deals.com/collections/frontpage/products/board-games-12-week-childrens-curriculum
that I think has easy applications in working with teens --- develop your own ideas related to the following for your next youth ministry or family game night:
Games You Should Play:
Chess: Everyone has a role to play in the Body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
Chutes & Ladders: Ups and downs, the story of Joseph. Genesis 40
Connect Four: Connect yourself and others to Jesus. John 1:43-51
Life: Solomon made wise choices. 1 Kings 3:4-15
Sorry: Jesus teaches what it means to really apologize. Matthew 5:23-24
Trouble: The story of Moses. Exodus 2:11-15
Games You Shouldn't Play:
Battleship: Stop destroying others through gossip. James 3:3-10
CandyLand: Solomon teaches against pursuing fun & pleasure all the time. Proverbs 14:12
Checkers: David wasn't willing to "jump" to get ahead. 1 Samuel 24:1-7
Hungry Hippos: Jesus warns us about being greedy. Luke 12:13-21
Jenga: Don't carry your burdens alone. Exodus 18:13-24
Operation: Jesus teaches us to remove the plank from our own eye first. Matthew 7:1-5
They have more ideas at:
How about discussing Matthew 25 while playing MONOPOLY?
Can choose adding homes and hotels in ways that help others rather than only your own greedy gain.
WHAT IDEAS CAN YOU ADD?
How many young people were confirmed at your parish this year? Last year? The year before that?
How many of these teens are currently active in the parish?
If your answer wasn't "all of them" or 80%, or even 50%, I hope you wonder: what is going on? These young people spent time learning about their Baptismal promises and have been equiped with the gifts of the Holy Spirit -- we need them to be active in our faith communities!
While not yet fully "adult" in some ways, there are MANY ways they can offer their gifts in service to our Church. Liturgical ministries like lector, serving, music and ushers/ministers of hospitality should be open to them. Assisting with catechetical ministries like VBS, CCD, and peer ministries may appeal to several of them. Social action and justice efforts can use their energies. And, of course, all aspects of youth ministry should be welcoming them!
Also, the young people need the Church as they undergo some of the most confusing moments of their lives in regards to establishing their personal identities, negotiating family and romantic relationships, discerning future plans, and surviving the stresses of high school (bullying, popularity, peer pressures, homework, practices/rehearsals, and so on.)
The Catholic Faith has answers to many of their pressing questions....
we have strategies to get through the rough times...
we have decision-making tools to share...
and we have potential mentors to live as disciples of Jesus in a world
desperately in need of them!
This summer, why not take some time with your team to plan ways to reach out to these recent-confimands to personally invite them to be part of the faith community now as fully-initiated members? Get them to some summer youth ministry events and shower them with the love of God so that they will want to return and be involved.
Also, begin planning for the next Confirmation Preparation program. It should lead not only to the Sacrament, but to involvement and engagement in the faith community after the celebration. Far too many youth and their parents see Confirmation as graduation from religious education...
do we add to that mentality?
Or do we see it as an exciting springboard for youth ministry opportunities?
May we allow the Holy Spirit to work with us and through us.
Pardon my liberties with this prayer:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful youth ministers
and kindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and
connections for our recent Confirmands shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of our parish.
Cindee Case, MPS
Director of the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.