If it’s one thing I know, it’s that students love having FUN! That’s why the College Pastors have been running EPIC Games on Thursday lunch times. I have loved using this time to connect with students while having a massive amount of fun with oversized games.
That being said, as in all youth ministry, the key is adapting to the circumstances you find yourself in. So I thought I’d share with you a few of the things that I’ve learned as I have sought to always improve our EPIC Games this term.
1. Check the weather
Our first EPIC Games day we had made up some great tarp-themed games. One was a hanging tarp with holes to kick balls through to earn points. The thing we hadn’t accounted for at the time was the weather. Just as we were setting up and getting excited about the kids who would come and get involved, cyclone Oma was blowing up a gust storm for us.
Jesus once said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
We certainly hadn’t expected the winds to be so strong that day, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time anyway even though the tarps were blowing all over the place. It certainly made the game more challenging I’ll tell you that!
Since then I have learned to take the weather into account when planning.
Which brings us to the next thing I learned,
2. Preparation is key
There’s nothing worse than going into something half cocked, but it can make for great learning experiences for the next time.
When wanting to present an exciting demonstration of a giant beach ball for Chapel one day, we didn’t quite take into account the time that it would take to blow the massive thing up. We’re talking a beach ball as tall as a grade 8 girl. No amount of huffing and puffing would blow that thing up. Thank God for electric pumps! It was hilarious seeing the looks on students faces as they walked into chapel right past a giant half-inflated beach ball wondering what that was about.
The next time we demonstrated the giant ball, we had thought about the time it would take and had the right pump there that was powerful enough to get the thing looking more like a beach ball than a pancake. This time when the students saw it, instead of being puzzled, they were in awe. Bigger things are cooler things.
The Scout motto is “Be Prepared”; that’s a great motto to live by but sometimes no matter how much preparation you do, things don’t work, that’s why I like this verse better,
“The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the LORD.”
Preparation is important, but it’s that extra help from God that makes success possible.
This brings me to the final thing I have learned,
3. People power helps
No matter how great an idea or a vision is, it will come to nothing if there aren’t people willing to put in the effort to make it a reality. I found this out while setting up for a massive game of capture the flag. Putting out posters to show the way, setting up the bases, making the huge flags, and making sure we had people to help explain the rules and sign kids up so they could get points for their tribe is a bit of a mission for one person to do alone.
The Bible says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”
That is so true not just when running EPIC Games but in any life circumstances. God often brings people into our lives that can help us out in our times of need and to keep us grounded when things are going great. I am so grateful for my wonderful wife, Bree, who being a Collision youth leader, volunteered her time to come into the school and help me out. I have also been amazed at the servant heartedness of quite a few students who have offered to help me out in setting up and packing down these massive games. Without them I certainly wouldn’t be able to do as much as I do.
Praise God for how He is building His Kingdom here at GCC.