New Year's Eve is a holiday with both pagan roots and Christian practices, and the holiday has been celebrated in one form or another by the Babylonians, Egyptians and the Romans for thousands of years. Pagan practices for New Year's observations were followed by various European tribes. When Christianity began to dominate Europe, New Year's traditions were “Christianized” and church members joined in the festivities. Some churches organize New Year's Eve celebrations -- often as an alternative to the alcohol-oriented activities common on the holiday -- and members may play games as a part of this observance. Games such as Jesus Bingo, Who Am I and Scripture Match can help to entertain church members during New Year's Eve parties.
Bingo is a game of chance that is a popular form of entertainment within many churches. Jesus Bingo is a version targeted toward kids, but adults can play as well. Instead of using the word “bingo,” game cards will have the name "Jesus" printed at the top. Only the numbers are called out in this version of bingo and a person wins by getting five numbers in a row, strait across or diagonally. Individuals creating the Jesus game cards can place “free spots” on different parts of the card in order to add some variation.
Who Am I
Games such as “Who Am I” can be played by church members on New Year's Eve. This is a guessing game in which players must ask and answer questions to find out the name of a biblical character. Party hostesses should give each arriving guest a card or a piece of paper bearing a biblical character’s name. When players begin to mingle they can ask each other “yes” or “no” questions about a particular character. Game players can only answer questions “yes” or “no.” Hostesses can allow game players to mimic biblical characters (as in the game charades) to help participants to guess the character.
When guests arrive at the church for New Year's Eve festivities, hosts give partygoers a piece of paper with one-half of a Bible verse. Once more guests arrive at the party the hosts hand out the other half of each scripture passage at random. Players must interact with each other in order to find the person who has the other half of their quotation. Players recite their scripture snippet to each other in order to complete the verse. Once two people complete their Bible verse, they win a prize. This game should continue until everyone finds a match or until people are ready to move on to another activity.
Church buildings are places of worship and not necessarily designed for dancing, but church members can have fun ringing in the New Year by having a dance contest. Hostesses should choose upbeat music that is appropriate for their particular congregation. Rules should clearly prohibit inappropriate dancing because the contest will be held in a house of worship. Senior members, children and young adult members compete against each other, and hostesses can choose one person or a small group to judge the contest. Dance contests can the scheduled right before the New Year's countdown to add excitement to the festivities.