Best Practices for Leading Games
Leading Games Is a Ministry
Being a games leader for a Crossroads Kids Club is a very important ministry. Many children will come to a club because of the game time. They see their friends having a fun time, and they want to join in. In other words, the game time at Crossroads is a “hook” that helps draw students into club where they are then exposed to the Good News of Jesus. We will probably never know on this side of eternity how many times God has used the game time to draw a student into club and then used the club to draw the student to himself. So, your work as a games leader is truly vital.
Lead Safe and Inclusive Games
The first thing to remember about being a games leader is that you are representing Jesus to the students. You need to be positive and encouraging. You want to see all the students participating, and you don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable or unwanted. Another thing that is vitally important is to be absolutely sure that all games are safe and are conducted in an orderly way. Certainly we do not want children getting hurt because we did not ensure a safe environment.
Choose and Use a “Starting Position” and Signal
Create a “starting position” that you use to begin each new game you play. Students will return to this starting position when one game ends and before beginning the next. For example, you may place different colored traffic cones representing different small groups (teams) along the sideline of the gym, if you are in a gym. Starting position might be that all the players of a team are lined up to the right of their team’s cone. Then you will want to have a signal to indicate when you want the students to get into this “starting position.” Your signal could be as simple as counting to five, or it might be a “codeword” of your choosing. You might simply yell, “Starting position . . . go!” Whatever you do, be consistent. (And practice.) When the students are back in the starting position and are quiet and focused on you, then you will easily be able to announce and explain the next game.
Dealing with Challenging Behavior
You will avoid many behavior problems by having the games materials ready to go, moving from game to game quickly, explaining the rules carefully and clearly and making the game time fun. Using the “starting position” technique described above will help you tremendously if the kids lose focus. You can always give the signal for “starting positions,” regain their attention and restart what you were trying to do.