Field Service Charades
This is a modified version of the classic game of charades. The goal of the game is to help us all become better prepared to be adaptable in the field ministry. Each person takes turns playing the part of a householder with another person being the Witness knocking on their door. The householder will present a different situation that the Witness will try to adapt to using whatever “tools” they have brought with them. We tried to focus on learning to use new features in our Bibles (like the section An Introduction To God’s Word) , using jw.org, remembering key scriptures, and using specific tracts or publications. There is no score, no winning or losing, just each person becoming better equipped to give a witness. – 2 Timothy 3:17
The game starts with one person acting as a householder. That person selects a random slip of paper from a bowl that describes how they should act when the Witness knocks on their door. The second player acts at Witness out in the ministry. They should have their Bible, witnessing bag, smart device, or anything else they would normally take in the ministry. Using the direction from the slip of paper, the householder should present a challenge to the Witness. The Witness will then try to give a witness to the householder using the Bible and whatever else they may want to use (publication, tract, jw.org, video, etc.).
The slips of paper can include a variety of situations. Some might be speaking a different language, being deaf or blind, holding a belief such as the Trinity or evolution, having a question such as why God permits suffering or why we don’t accept blood transfusions, or maybe the person has lost a loved one in death or recently lost their job. Whatever they are, they should be varied and realistic as to represent the types of people we might meet in our ministry. We also included a “wildcard” where the householder can do whatever they want, and maybe have a little fun with it too. You can easily just cut up some strips of paper, write the various situations on them and put them in a bowl. I created some simple sheets with topics that can be printed and cut out for use that can be downloaded here.
A nice variation to the game is to do it as though the Witness is witnessing informally. With this version the Witness would only have one item such as a Bible or smart device with jw.org to use. The setting could be at school, public transportation, at the doctor’s office, etc. Also, if there are very young ones involved, they could be the assistant who rings the doorbell, gives the tract, reads the scripture or has some part as well. As added fun we like to use one of the bedroom doors so as to have a “real” door to knock on when playing.
There are a lot of great videos on jw.org and we like to review them as part of our family worship. Recently we watched the video Does God Have a Name?. Afterwards we played a Jeopardy-like quiz game to help review the key points from the video. I got the idea from another brother who shared several websites that can help make such games. A simple Google search of something like “make your own jeopardy game” will show several web sites that can help creating such a game.
I created a game on my iPad using an app called “Buzz-monster“. The app is very well done, allowing for up to 3 people to play together on the same iPad. Each having their own button to “buzz” in. The app makes it very easy to create questions and multiple choice answers. It also enables you to easily add pictures, audio and video to the questions. Like Jeopardy, the questions are grouped in categories and assigned point values. Each player takes turns picking a category and point value. A question is displayed and the first person to press their button is shown a list of multiple choice answers to choose from. If they select the correct one they get the points associated with the question.
For the video Does God Have a Name? I created 5 categories: Using God’s name, Other languages, Many gods, Archeology, and Scriptures. Each category had five questions, like “In english God’s name is rendered Jehovah, and it is also sometimes rendered this“. Using this along with the video really encouraged our family to take notes and play close attention to all of the detail presented in the video. It also led to much discussion after each question, especially on the hards ones that were guessed incorrectly.
This game is a fun way to use the Bible Character Cards that can be downloaded from jw.org. The object of the game is to guess which bible character you are holding on your forehead. The game starts with all of the character cards being shuffled and then layed out face down on a table. Each person takes one card, without looking at it, and holds it on their forehead so everyone else can see it. Then taking turns, the other players will offer clues about the character until the person is able to guess their character. For example: If one player was holding up Noah, another player might give a clue such as, “This person once had to feed and clean up after a lot of animals.” The idea is to offer a challenging clue that is not too obvious, but still helps them figure out their character. The cards are great for younger players who may not know a lot about all of the characters as they can read the details about the person off of the card to get an idea of what clue to give.
We downloaded all of the Bible Character Cards from jw.org and then printed them using a computer printer and 8.5 x 11 photo paper. We found using photo paper or a heavy card stock type of paper makes the cards more durable and better to play games with.
We also played it using a commercially available game called Heads Up! Board Game that is basically the same game but includes headbands to hold the cards, a bunch of other cards for playing it without a Bible theme, and a timer. We used the headbands from this game to place the character cards on our foreheads during the game. This makes the game a little easier and fun, but isn’t necessary to play. Just holding the cards to your forehead works well too.
Another variation that we have played is where each person puts a Bible Character Card on their headband so that all players have one on their headband at the same time. We then would talk to each other as though we were in the Paradise and were meeting each Bible character. We would ask each other questions that we would want to ask that person if we met them. For example: If one player had Noah, another person might ask him, “What was the first meat you ever ate and did you enjoy it?”
There are lots of different ways you can play this game using the Bible Character Cards. Other options could be to play charades using the cards with a player selecting one and then acting out clues without talking. The Bible Character Cards provide a great way to learn more about the various people from the Bible.
We like to spend a few minutes at the end of each evening playing this game. It helps us all memorize some key scriptures that we could use in the ministry. It is helpful for even those who have been in the truth for many years and memorized them long ago, but now want to memorize how they are translated in the 2013 revision of the New World Translation.
I used some business card sheets (like the Avery 8371) and printed them using a computer printer. Attached below is a PDF of the ones we made. Optionally you could just write them on some index cards or even just print them out on paper and cut each card out. Half of the cards have a scripture citation on them and the other half have the actual scripture. Shuffle the cards and then lay them all out facing down in a 5×4 pattern. Then each person takes a turn turning over two cards. If the citation matches the scripture then the person keeps the cards. If not, then they turn them back over. It challenges you to not only memorize where you have seen a card, but to also be able to know which scripture goes with which citation.
Bible Memory Game
This activity is fun for all ages and we have found that the adults often really get into this one. If you have kids you have likely collected a box of all kinds of Lego pieces. This activity uses the Lego pieces to learn about the stories in the Bible.
Each player draws a card that has one of the stories from My Book of Bible Stories. Each person then creates their own model using various Lego pieces to represent the story. Once each person is done, the others try to guess the story. Another variation is to read one of the stories along with the account in the Bible. Afterwards each person creates their own model from that story.
What you need:
- My Book of Bible Stories – you can find this on jw.org
- Lots of Lego pieces. You can buy a big box of them from one of the many online stores. You can also buy specific pieces in bulk at the shop.lego.com website under the “Pick a Brick” section. There you can also get customized mini figures with beards, swords and spears, etc to better match Bible characters. I also search around on eBay and found a few Pharaoh, Roman Soldier, and various animal mini figures to use.
- Cards each with a different story number written on them. We bought a box of the Avery Business Card sheets (Avery 5371 or similar) and then used a computer printer to make the cards. Attached below are the PDF files that we made to print the cards. Optionally you can just print the pages on paper and then cut each of them out. We also have a few wild cards which we use to let the person chose any story they want from the Bible.
Bible Cards 1 Bible Cards 2 Bible Cards 3 Bible Cards 4 Bible Cards 5 Bible Cards 6 Bible Cards Back
Sometimes we like to play a Bible game as part or our Family Worship evening. Bible Pictionary is a great game where one person picks a bible word from a hat/bowl/etc and then draws it on a piece of paper while others try to guess the word. We found a great iPad app that makes the game even more fun to play. The app is called SketchParty TV.
You need to have an iPad and an AppleTV that is hooked up to your television. You connect the iPad to your TV wirelessly using the built in AirPlay feature. Once setup you then run the SketchParty TV app.
One player holds the iPad and a Bible word will display on the iPad. Using the iPad the player then draws a picture based on the word. The picture is displayed on the TV while the player is drawing (but not the Bible word) and the others try to guess it. The game has a timer so you have to try and guess a set number of words within the time limit. You can skip and go to another word if you get stuck. The game even allows you to play as teams.
SketchParty TV comes with a basic list of simple words, but allows you to add your own custom word list. We created a Bible word list and use this list for the game. You can download our Bible wordlist on your iPad (see link below) , open the wordlist.txt file and then copy/paste the word list into the SketchParty TV app. You go into the setup for the app and create a custom word list. Just paste the text into the word list and save it. Now select this as your word list and start the game.
SkectchParty TV Bible wordlist