As I write this at the beginning of January, I ponder my gym. It has been over a year since I joined, and I suppose I didn’t notice last January due to being so new myself. But it is packed. I see the faces on the new members, as they’re learning new machines and figuring out their routine. I notice how crowded the stairwell and track is when I try to run up and down and around many more people than normal. I notice that for many, the gym experience is new. Maybe this is the ideal time for youth ministry as well, as you begin the year with a “new,” or at least, re-“new”-ed, focus on relationship building, and more importantly, teaching and growing God’s Word.
This month, I take a couple of those “old” favorites, and make them “new”! Use them as idea starters for devotions and studies. Use them as games and events for your winter/spring celebrations. May this New Year continue to be a blessing for your ministry!

Type/Purpose: Chase/Tag

Materials: None


  • Break your large group into numerous small groups. Recommendations would be for each small group to consist of at least 6 participants, and for there to be a minimum of 3 small groups. Try to keep each small group to a maximum of 10-15 participants.
  • Ask each small group to sit in a circle, and space the groups out to allow room to run around each group.
  • Select an “it” from each group.


  • Upon “go”, each “it” will walk around the group, tapping each individual on the head and saying “Duck.” At some point, they will tap an individual and say “goose.”
  • Upon saying “goose”, the goose will stand up and chase the “it.”
  • “It” will run around their small group, and then to another group, and sit in an empty spot.
  • The new “it” will begin again, starting around the group that the person they chased just sat in.
  • If the person being chased gets tagged, the tagger sits in an open spot of their choosing, and the “it” resumes from that circle.

Teachable Moments:

  • What was it like playing this game in a new way?
  • Describe a time when you had to re-learn something you’ve done in a new way? What was that like?
  • How might you compare this to being a Believer in Christ, this idea of new-ness?