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A potpourri of ideas and helps for the Sunday school teacher or youth leader

Train up a child in the way he should go...Prov. 22:6a

Bible Games

Bible Nouns
You can do this exercise like a Sword drill but instead of finding a reference the first person that thinks of a verse can stand and quote it. You can also let the second and third persons quote a verse. Whether or not they quote the reference with the verse will be up to you. You may want to have a good concordance handy.

Name a person, place or thing from the Bible and let your group quote a verse with that word or some form of that word in the verse. Example - fruit (could use fruit or apples, figs, etc.); peace (peaceable, peacemaker).

 

Where do you find…?                                  
The purpose of this exercise is to help the student remember where things are found in the Bible. Here are some references that can either be read by the leader or used as a Sword Drill before playing this game.
John 5:39  2 Tim. 3:16  Psa. 119:11  1 Pet. 2:2  1 Kg. 8:56


Read the Scripture but not the reference. The student then writes down whether the verse is found in the Old Testament or the New Testament. If he knows what book it is in he writes that down; do the same for the chapter and verse. Four points are possible for each verse if the student can give the full reference.
Be sure to match your verses with the age level of your group and their general Bible knowledge.

Example: The teacher reads- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If the student knows this verse came from the New Testament, he would write down “NT”. For the book line he would write “John”. But if he could not remember the chapter and verse he would receive a score of 2 points for that verse.

Here are a couple of PDF files you can print out to help in this game:
             Verses for "Where Do You Find"
             Worksheet for "Where Do You Find"


Bible Hangman
This is similar to regular hangman but uses Bible nouns instead. You will need either a chalk board or one that uses erasable markers. If those are not available use some large sheets of paper.

Have a number of Biblical persons, places and things on slips of paper and put in a sack or offering plate. Divide into two teams and choose a team to go first. Have team 1 look at one of the pieces of paper and draw a line on the board for each letter on the paper. Have a gallows drawn and then have team 2 start guessing letters to see what the word is. Proceed as in regular hangman till team 2 either guesses the word or is “hung”. Then it is their turn to draw out a paper. Keep score as to which side guesses the most words correctly.

 

What’s his Address?             
Many Bible stories are familiar but we don’t always know where they are found at in the Bible. This exercise will help your group get familiar with finding where some of the people are located in the Bible. Read the name of the character and let the person or team tell which book it is found in. Also please note that the books listed here are where the main incidents took place, there may be references to the character mentioned in other places; use your own judgment.

Here are some more ideas on variations of this game. Try making flash cards with the Bible character instead of just saying the name. You could also incorperate this into the game above called "Where Do You Find". Read a verse about the Bible character and let them guess where it was from.

David- I & II Samuel, I Kings, I Chronicles
Joseph of Arimathea- Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
Enoch- Genesis
Deborah- Judges
Joseph, son of Jacob- Genesis
Balaam- Numbers
Noah- Genesis
Dorcas- Acts
Naomi- Ruth
Priscilla- Acts
Lot- Genesis
Jacob-
Genesis
Miriam- Exodus, Numbers
Rahab- Joshua
Sarah- Genesis
Esua- Genesis
Naaman- 2 Kings
Rachel- Genesis  
Stephen- Acts
Paul- Acts
Abraham- Genesis
Abednego- Daniel
Agrippa- Acts
Gideon- Judges
Martha- Luke, John
Felix- Acts
Ruth- Ruth
Elijah- 1 & 2 Kings
Elisha- 1 & 2 Kings
Peter- 4 Gospels, Acts
Nebuchadnezzar- Daniel 
Naomi- Ruth
Silas- Acts
Esther- Esther  
Hamaan- Esther
Isaac- Genesis
Rebekah- Genesis
Meshach- Daniel
Abel- Genesis
Shadrach- Daniel
Moses- Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
Solomon- 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles
Joshua- Joshua, Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

 
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Incidents                                               
 
Here is a variation to the above game. Only this time you give an incident that happened and the person or team can guess what book it is found in.

The fiery furnace—Daniel

The prophet fed by birds—1 Kings

Someone who told a lie and died for it—Acts  

A young man thrown to the lions—Daniel  

The faith chapter—Hebrews  

The borrowed axe that floated—2 Kings  

Noah and the ark—Genesis  

A man waited 38 years beside a pool but never made it in—St. John  

Jesus’ crucifixion—Matthew, Mark, Luke, John  

The man who used a mantle to get across a river—2 Kings  

The birth of John the Baptist—Luke  

The visit of the wise men—Matthew  

The boy captive who became ruler—Genesis

The creation—Genesis

The visit of the shepherds—Luke  

The fellow who traded his inheritance for a bowl of pottage—Genesis  

The man swallowed by a fish—Jonah  

David & Goliath—1 Samuel  

The coat of many colors—Genesis  

The boy who ran away from home—Luke

The Fruit of the Spirit- Galatians

The armour of God- Ephesians

Cain and Abel- Genesis

The parable of the 10 virgins- Matthew

Boaz- Ruth

Nicodemus talking with Jesus- John

The Ten Commandments- Exodus and Deuteronomy

 

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Name Chain      
Start at the back or front of the room and go around and have each student name a Bible character. The first student names a character then the next student has to name a character that starts with the last letter of the character given by the first student. Also you could just randomly call on students that had their hands up.

Example: The first student says Abraham. The next student then would give a character that started with the letter “M” like Michael. The next student would use “L” maybe Luke, then Ezekiel and so on. If the class is doing it as a group, see how long they can go without repeating a name or getting stuck.

Another idea is to divide into two groups. One side would start with a name then the other side would name a character and go back and forth till one side gets stumped. You may want to set a time limit on thinking of a name.

Here are a couple of lists to help you:

Alphabetized list of men in the Bible
Alphabetized list of women in the Bible
(Please note that neither of these lists are definitive.)

 

Matching Game
Match the character with the incident or place, etc. You can put these on index cards in 2 columns. Try fastening them with yarn to a sheet so you can turn them over easily. Have them numbered on one side with the name or incident on the other.

This game seems to work well with your group divided into two teams. Allow each team to work as a group. Choose which team goes first and have them pick a number  in the first column and then find a match in the second column.

Moses—burning bush
Noah—ark
Achan—Babylonish garment  
Rahab—scarlet cord 
Elijah—chariot of fire 
Esther—queen  
Haman—gallows 
Solomon—Proverbs
Judas—betrayed Jesus 
Felix—Roman governor 
Samson—300 foxes 
NT—27 books
Daniel—lions’ den 
Naaman—leprosy 
Zaachaeus—Sycamore tree  
David—sling  
Joshua—Moses’ successor 
Paul—missionary 
Shadrach—fiery furnace 
Jonah—whale  
Joseph—coat of many colors  
Esau—bowl of pottage 
OT—39 books  

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Mother’s Day Matching Game
Match the mother and her child. You can put these on index cards in 2 columns. Try fastening them with yarn to a sheet so you can turn them over easy. Have them numbered on one side with the name on the other. The player or team would then call out a number on both sides and if they matched they would get a point.

Hannah—Samuel          
Rachel—Joseph
Eve—Cain         
Leah—Reuben
Rebekah—Esau         
Ruth—Obed
Bathsheba—Solomon         
Leah—Judah
Eunice—Timothy
Rebekah—Jacob
Elisabeth—John Baptist         
Eve—Abel
Mary—Jesus         
Sarah—Isaac
Salome—James         
Leah—Levi
Mary—John Mark         
Hagar—Ishmael

 

Couple Matching Game
You can put these on index cards in 2 columns. Try fastening them with yarn to a sheet so you can turn them over easily.

This game can be played around Valentine’s Day. The group can be on teams but each one must guess individually. No writing anything down or giving hints.

Abraham- Sarah 
Moses- Zipporah  
David- Michal  
Jacob- Rachel   
Isaac- Rebekah  
Boaz- Ruth  
Zacharias- Elisabeth  
Aquila- Priscilla  
Joseph- Mary  
Ahab- Jezebel  
Adam- Eve  
Ahasuerus- Esther  
Elimelech- Naomi  
Elkanah- Hannah
Lapidoth- Deborah  
Lot- Lot’s Wife
Philip- Herodias

 

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Drawings
Have different Bible scenes or concepts written on pieces of paper and put them in a sack or basket. You will  need something to draw on; large pieces of paper, a chalk board, etc. Also a timer or watch.

 Divide your group into 2 teams. Take turns having someone reach in the sack and draw out a piece of paper. The person then draws that scene on the board while their teammates try to guess the answer. The one drawing the scene is not allowed to talk . There should be a time limit for each round.

Fruit of the Spirit  
Adam names the animals  
Baptism  
Noah’s ark
Fiery furnace  
Joseph’s colorful coat   
Elisha floats the axe head 
Love of money   
Jesus’ return to earth     
Daniel in the lions' den     
Paul’s shipwreck  
Mountain moving faith  
3 wisemen  
The shepherds    
3 Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace
Rich young ruler comes to Jesus by night
Baby Moses and the ark
Joseph  old as a slave
The disciples in the ship
Water into wine
Feeding of the 5000
David and Goliath
Jonah and the whale
Birth of Jesus
Gideon’s battle
Walls of Jericho
Elijah and the fiery chariot
Jesus at the pool of Bethesda (John 5)
Rahab letting down the spies
Peter and the prison doors opening

 

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Panel of Experts                                              
 
Have three adults (or you could use some young people) seated at the front; have a small tray or table there to hold the objects.

Have the young people bring an object from home that a lesson could be given from. The “panel of experts” will take turns giving short lessons from the things brought.

Some variations: Have all the objects displayed at the beginning and allow each panel member to choose which object they want to talk on.
    The leader can call on a young person to bring their object up and give it to one of the panel members.

 

Guess That Character                          
Get some adults to cooperate on this one. A few days before time give each one a name of a Bible character and possibly the reference in the Bible. Have them read over the story and be prepared to give clues about who they are.

When it’s time have them sit in front facing your group. They can dress to match the character if they want. The young people can then ask questions and try to guess who the characters are.

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Bible Charades                                         charades
Items needed: A basket with different Bible incidents (such as David & Goliath, etc.) written on pieces of paper.

Choose someone to go first. That person draws out a folded piece of paper and acts out the story written on it. Whoever guesses the charade then takes their turn.
Note: If your group is reluctant to answer because they don’t want to act out a charade: try having them take turns acting, and keep score on who answers the most.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Fruit of the Spirit
Baptism
Peter and the prison doors opening
Daniel in the lions' den
Elisha floating the axe head
Jesus’ return to earth
3 wisemen
Joseph sold as a slave
Balaam and the talking donkey
Birth of Jesus
Elijah and the fiery chariot
Feeding of the 5000
Jonah and the whale
Samson ties the foxes’ tails together
The broad way and the strait way
Abraham offers Isaac as a sacrifice
Noah’s ark
Christ the Light of the world
Adam names the animals
Fiery furnace
Love of money
Joseph’s coat of many colors
Paul’s shipwreck
Mountain moving faith
The shepherds
3 Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace
The disciples in the ship
Water into wine
Jesus at the pool of Bethesda
David and Goliath
Christ ascending to heaven
Baby Moses in a basket on the river
Gideon’s battle
Walls of Jericho
Christ knocking at our heart’s door
Elijah and the fiery chariot      
Rahab letting down the spies

A variation of this game could be for the teacher or leader to act out each one and let the group or teams guess what it is.
 

 

Bible Memorization
If your class is into memorization try this exercise: See how many different books of the Bible your group can memorize a verse from, you could have different students do different books.

 

Guess Who
Read a Bible story with the names left out and see who can guess the character or characters.

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Bible Verse Bee
This can be played individually or can be adapted to teams. If teams are chosen be sure each individual participates.

Start out with each one (or team) quoting a Bible verse. When a person can no longer think of one he has to drop out. They must be whole verses and no verse may be repeated. Keep going around till just one person is left.

 

Trivia Question
Try asking your group a fairly difficult Bible question and let them find the answer and bring it next time you meet.

 

Bible Tic-Tac-Toe
This is an easy game that can be put together on short notice. Draw the lines for tic-tac-toe and divide the group into two teams. Determine which side goes first and ask them a Bible question; if they give the correct answer they can tell you where to put their “x”.
Continue until one side wins or the game is a draw. Keep score of the number of games each side wins.

A variation of this would be to have three different categories or types of questions for the three tic-tac-toe columns. (Ex.- Old Testament, New Testament, Animals, Parables, Bible characters, etc.) The team would pick which category they wanted and if they gave the correct answer they would put their “mark” in one of the squares in that column.

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Bible Scavenger Hunt
This exercise is to encourage your students to search the Scriptures. They should put down a Bible reference for each “item” they are hunting for. There is more then one answer possible for some of the items.

If you want to divide up into teams try giving the “even” numbered items to one side and the “odd” numbered items to the other. Or just see which team gets all of them first.

1. A shepherd.
2. A verse with only 2 words.
3. Two men who did not die.
4. Roll call of the heroes of faith.
5. A verse with 90 words in it.
6. A man with no parents.
7. A chapter with 176 verses.
8. A tax collector.
9. A lightweight axe.
10. A cupbearer.
11. A harp player.
12. A chapter with only 2 verses.
13. A slave.
14. Heart attack victim.
15. A woman with make-up.
16. Two people involving coats.
17. A leper.
18. A fisherman.
19. A snake-bitten man.
20. A snake on a stick.

 

Scripture references to “Bible Scavenger Hunt” Some may have more than 1 answer.
1. A shepherd. 1 Sam. 16: 11 (David); Gen. 30:31 (Jacob); John 10:11 (Jesus)
2. A verse with only 2 words. Jn 11:35
3. Two men who did not die. Gen. 5:24 (Enoch); 2 Kings 2:11 (Elijah)
4. Roll call of the heroes of faith. Hebrews 11
5. A verse with 90 words in it. Esther 8:9
6. A man with no parents. Gen. 1:27 (Adam)
7. A chapter with 176 verses. Psalm 119
8. A tax collector. Matt. 9:9 (Matthew); Luke 19:2 (Zacchaeus)
9. A lightweight axe. 2 Kings 6:6
10. A cupbearer. Neh. 1:11 (Nehemiah)
11. A harp player. 1 Sam. 16:23 (David)
12. A chapter with only 2 verses. Psalm 117
13. A slave. Gen. 37:28 (Joseph)
14. Heart attack victim. 1 Sam. 25:37 (Nabal)
15. A woman with make-up. 2 Kings 9:30 (Jezebel)
16. Two people involving coats. Gen. 37:3 (Joseph); 1 Sam. 2:19 (Samuel)
17. A leper. 2 Kings 5:1 (Naaman); Num. 12:10 (Miriam); Matt. 26:6 (Simon)
18. A fisherman. Matt. 4:18, 21 (Peter, Andrew, James, John)
19. A snake-bitten man. Acts 28:3 (Paul)
20. A snake on a stick. Num. 21:8

 

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Animals of the Bible
Call out a name of the animal and let your class answer true or false if it is found in the Bible. You can do this for a few minutes before a regular lesson or divide up into 2 teams and go back and forth. Here is a partial list of strange animals found in the Bible. Be sure to check with a concordance on animals not found in the Bible.

Chameleon- Lev. 11:30
Ferret- Lev. 11:30
Lizard- Lev. 11:30
Coney- Lev. 11:5
Pelican- Lev. 11:18
Cuckow- Lev. 11:16
Deer- Duet. 14:5
Dragon- Psa. 91:13
Apes- I Kgs. 10:22
Greyhound- Prov. 30:31
Mouse- Lev. 11:29


Question for the Experts
                               
This just takes a few minutes and I like to do it before I begin teaching the Sunday school lesson. Simply ask them a Bible related question, usually about a person, place or thing. Have everyone who thinks they know the answer raise their hands and then call on someone to answer. Those who knew the correct answer are experts for that day.
This is a good way to teach your class little tidbits from the Bible as well as get them "loosened" up for the lesson.

 

Character Attributes
Pick a Bible character and spell out the name (Ex. J-O-S-H-U-A). Have your students come up with one attribute or characteristic for each letter. (J-just, O-obedient, S-sincere, etc.)
You can also do this exercise if you are studying about a character in your lesson.
EX.- RUTH: R- righteous, U- unselfish, T- thoughtful, H-humble

 

Characters in Genesis
You can divide your group into teams or just let them answer individually. Make up a list of all the Bible characters found in the book of Genesis then throw in several characters not found in Genesis (Ex. Moses, Miriam, Joshua, etc.) Read the names and have them answer T or F if that character is found in the book of Genesis.

You can also put this game on paper and make it a quiz. Or you could simply go around the room having your class name the characters until they can't think of anymore. If you do this be sure to have a list of characters ready and mark them off as your group names them.

List:
Abel, Abimelech, Abraham (Abram), Adam, Asher, Benjamin, Bethuel, Cain, Dan, Dinah, Eliezer, Enoch, Ephraim, Esau, Eve, Gad, Hagar, Ham, Haran, Isaac, Ishmael, Issachar, Jacob, Japheth, Joseph, Judah, Keturah, Laban, Lamech, Leah, Levi, Lot, Melchizedek, Methueslah, Milcah, Nahor, Namasseh, Naphtali, Ninah, Noah, Rachel, Rebekah, Reuben, Sarah (Sarai), Seth, Shem, Simeon, Tamar, Terah, Zebulun

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20 Questions
Divide your group into two sides. Then tell them you have a certain Bible character in mind (you can also use a Biblical place). They must figure out what it is by asking 20 questions. Determine which side goes first and let them ask a question that can be answered with a “yes” or a “no”, and then the other side asks a question.

 Each side gets to only ask one question at a time. If one side asks a question which reveals to them the answer they will have to wait till their next turn before they can ask if the answer is correct.  (EX: If side A asks “Was this person in a lions’ den?” and you say “Yes”, they cannot then ask if it was Daniel. Side B gets a turn next.)

If neither side guesses the correct answer in 20 questions then you start over with the next round.

An alternative way to play would be if one side tries to guess the answer and it is incorrect then they lose a turn and the other side gets to ask two questions.

 

Money Bag

Have a pile of coins laid out in front of your group. You will need pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. Divide your group into 2 teams. Put an offering plate on each side of the pile and mark one “girls” and the other “boys” or have "team A" and "team B". As each person takes their turn they may choose which “coin” question they want- a 5 cent question, and 10 cent, etc. The side with the most coins at the end is the winner. Remember to take into consideration the level of your students, the questions here were some that I used for my group but they may or may not be suitable for yours.

Rules

2 teams but each must answer their own question.

If you give the answer when it is not your turn the other team gets the money.

If one team does not answer the question the other team will not get a chance to answer.

If a question is missed it will not come up again.

Some questions may seem easier then others. Some are bargains and you get a good deal, some are not.

 PDF file for Money Bag Questions

 

Guess That Song

This game works well if your group of young people are familiar with the songs in your church hymnal.
Have a list of songs made up from your hymnal and have someone ready to play them on a piano or keyboard. As the song is played let the class guess the title to the song. To mix things up sometimes the chorus can be played or start playing in the middle of a verse. Keep track of who guesses the most songs correctly.

 

Bible Drills

Have them name all the books of the Bible that start with the letter "Z" or the letter "J" etc.
Call out a book of the Bible and have someone name the book before and the book after that book.
Let them list as many characters as they can think of in a book of the Bible.
See who can name all of the Major Prophet books or the Pauline Epistles, etc.

 

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Bible Treasure Hunt
Find a verse for each of the words.
(Multiple answers possible, both plural or singular is ok, work on your own, no Google or concordance)

Note to teachers: Since there are so many correct possibilities, I did not put any Scripture references to these. Kids can be pretty creative sometimes when it comes to finding an answer! You will either have to grade them on your own or if there is time you could have your class participate in calling out their answers.

Well
Crown
Sling
River
Boat
Chariot
Sword
Lunch of bread and fish
Money
Candle
Coat
Bones
Nets
Throne
Stones
Armor
Staff or rod
Altar
Fish
Garment
Lamp

 

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Christmas Stocking Memory Game

This is a fun idea to do at a party or even at the beginning of your class on Christmas Sunday.

Have a Christmas stocking filled with a variety of items found around your house such as a flashlight, pen, screw or nail, scissors, calculator, pocket knife, etc. Pretend that you received this stocking for Christmas and you wanted to show it to your class. Take everything out of the stocking while making comments about the items and wondering why you received some of them.
After all the items have been viewed put everything back in the stocking. Next, talk for a few minutes about a Christmas program, some lesson that it coming up, or whatever. Then have your class tell you what all was in the stocking. A good way to do this is to pass out paper and let each one list as many items as they can in a specified amount of time.

 

 

 

Be sure to learn the names of your students as soon as possible.

 

You can learn many things from children.  How much patience you have, for instance.