Although many families attend church together, they often split off for choir practice, Bible study or a group service project. When your church wants to inspire a bit of family togetherness, mix it with fun by hosting a game night. Welcome families of all sizes and ages to come out and play some games with a gentle humanitarian theme. These group-activity evenings need not be expensive or ornate; game nights require just a bit of creativity.
A great way for families to build trust within themselves and among the congregation while emphasizing the importance of faith is to perform the trust walk exercise. Members partner up; it is up to the families whether they would like to be partners with their own family or meet someone new. The activity works best when partners are approximately the same size. One of the pair is blindfolded, the other becomes the "leader." A church elder or activity coordinator then leads the pairs on a walk, through the parish, on a short hike on the church grounds or even in the nearby community. The leaders are responsible for guiding their partners, ensuring their safety across tree branches and sidewalk cracks and letting them know where they are, what they're passing and what's coming next. Partners switch after a short time and then the whole group can discuss the emotions the game brought out.
Church organizers need not spend a lot of money on fancy board games or activity supplies for a family game night. With a game of Bible charades, all you need are a few pencils, slips of paper and a basket or hat. Ask each family member to write down the name of a person who appears in the Bible. Encourage parishioners to use the more commonly known names to make the game more fun. Each person drops his slip of paper in the basket, then draws one out. You can split the group into two teams or just have everyone work together to guess. Whoever's turn it is will attempt to act out her Bible character, giving hints such as phrases associated with the person, style of dress or taking some kind of action.
A quick trip to the dollar and craft stores (or bulk purchases online) can have you ready for a fun family game. Buy items such as glitter, stickers, markers, pom-poms and feathers, then purchase a bulk supply of popsicle sticks and small, thin slats of wood. When the families arrive, give each person a small bag full of decorations and ask each to find a quiet area of the room to settle in and decorate a cross. Let creativity and imaginations run wild. Give them about half an hour, then put all the crosses on a table with a piece of paper and pen underneath. Each family member then must guess who they think made each cross. They can use what they know about the other families to help guess. If they know one woman is a big fan of animals, they can scope out a cross for little cat faces. Maybe they have just received a member back from a military tour of duty; perhaps his cross is decorated in camouflage and American flags. After the guessing, each person can reveal his cross. The added benefit of this game is that when families are getting ready to leave, they can take their decorated crosses home as a special souvenir to put up on the fridge, wall or bedroom, to remind them of the fun evening.