Every youth group plays games. Whether you have a group of 10 or 210, there’s a good chance that games are a staple part of your large group program. Sometimes you will play stage games, and other times, you will play games that involve everyone in the room. It is important to have a game host that will facilitate a high energy, fun experience for the students in the room. This host could be the youth pastor, a SGL, or even a student. There are four important things to remember before you hand the microphone off to another person to host the game

  1. Be the thermostat. I have heard this phrase multiple times in student ministry, and it is so true. When you are the thermostat, you set the temperature for the room. Don’t be a thermometer because a thermometer just tells you what the temperature already is. When you are the one setting the temperature, you can decide how fun or exciting this game is going to be. When my leaders are leading games or doing announcements, I tell them to pretend that whatever they’re doing is the most exciting thing ever. If they’re excited about the game they’re playing, chances are that the students will be too.
  2. Be confident. Confidence is sometimes a personality trait, so some of you are already shaking your head and saying, “I have no confidence, so I can’t host a game.” Wrong. I think that the key to being confident when hosting a game is to know what you are doing. Similar to preparing a message, make sure you know your content before going on stage. Have an idea of what you are going to say before you actually say it.
  3. Keep things moving. When hosting a game, quiet time is not your friend. Make jokes. Tell stories. Ask questions. Whatever you do, don’t let there be silence. If a game is bombing, know when to pull the plug. Move along to the next thing, and don’t sweat it.
  4. Recruit a co-host. Like King Solomon wrote, two are better than one. He obviously wasn’t talking about youth group games, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Having a co-host for your games is always a great idea. You have to make sure that you and the co-host have good chemistry. While hosting, it is important to banter back and forth. Make it a conversation. Think Jimmy Fallon and Higgins. David Letterman and Paul Shaffer. Tripp and Tyler. This person may not be your best friend, but it definitely needs to be someone that you can joke with.

Now, we can’t all be as funny as Jon Acuff, but humor always goes a long way in hosting games. If you are naturally funny, embrace that! If you are not naturally funny, maybe delegate hosting to someone else. Kidding, but seriously, it would be a good idea to recruit a co-host that can make a couple jokes. If the students laugh during your game, most likely, it will be a success. Now, GO! Be the best game host since Steve Harvey!

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Johnathan Baldwin

Johnathan is a student ministries pastor from Indiana who loves youth ministry, sports, summertime, great coffee (depending on the situation, not so great coffee works too), my dog (Marcie), and as of lately a good book. Over the past couple years, Johnathan has felt a growing passion for guiding and empowering leaders to lead students. He believes that if we call people to greatness, they will achieve greatness.

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