Hero Hospital VBS

 “Home to God's Outrageous Love”
From Matthew 21:14-16

It's up to leaders how they want to share the overall theme of Hero Hospital.  You can start and end each VBS day with it, use it in worship, talk about it during activities, or any other time you can think of, but whatever you do you must take seriously God's life-changing love through Jesus: 

God's gift of love and grace flows freely.  Wherever you go, whatever you do, however you feel, God's love will always find you.  For many, these ideas are outrageous.  When Jesus helped and healed freely, it was thought to be outrageous.  When he shared forgiveness and God's grace freely, it was thought to be outrageous.  A lot of people still think it's outrageous!  A love that the world sees as outrageous, is just the right kind of love in God's Kingdom.  Jesus presented us with a vision of God's kingdom--so let's get outrageous and actually start building it.  

God's love changes communities into places of praise, discovery, healing, and hope for all, and makes us into heroes.  You are challenged to make your church into Jesus' Vision of God's Kingdom.  Go out and do it!!!

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Games

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Let's play together in this amazing kingdom we're building with Jesus.

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First, let's talk about learning for kids:

The goal of all these games is for the participants to learn and play.  The kids will get their brains firing on all cylinders--releasing positive hormones and building robust neural networks--as they play with something familiar in a new way.  Whatever lessons you teach kids about Jesus while they are playing like this literally get built into their brains.

The key is play!

What the best brain science tells us is that your goal should be to create an environment that has adult scaffolding to free up space for play and imagination.  We have even given you new rules to familiar games to promote creative thinking on how to reinvent games (learn more)

  •  Adult scaffolding is NOT emphasizing winners and losers, it IS striving to make sure everyone is having fun.  

  •  Adult scaffolding is NOT getting overcompetitive or even losing on purpose, it IS playing fairly and demonstrating how to give the game your best.  

  • Adult scaffolding is NOT enforcing the rules at the expense of learning and play, it IS being open to the inquisitiveness of kids and propensity to ask "what if?" which is also the spirit of the Gospel Rules that we are giving you.

When you give kids the opportunity for this kind of playful learning, their brains literally get bigger.  Their brains and bodies get flooded with endorphins and serotonin.  Endorphins make you feel more positive, improve immune response, and reduce stress.  Serotonin boosts neurotransmission to improve memory and learning and even counteracts depression while improving sleep.  We cannot imagine that Jesus would be anything but thrilled with an activity that did all of this for a kid.

 

But wait, there's more. Discoveries in neuroplasticity have shown that adults can actually grow new neural pathways too.  You're never too old to grow new brain cells, and all you have to do is sing and dance!

Building A Place for All

Games may look a bit different from what you might be used to for VBS because we are using the Gospel Rules--simple rules based on the Good News of Jesus that help us see and enjoy some of our favorite games in brand new ways.  It's all about living in the kingdom we're building with Jesus.  You will need to secure enough game sets for your participants or make sure they have the game at home, if you are virtual.

(An alternate, and original, tag game is also recommended below.)

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If you are virtual:

Encourage participants to play Guess Who with someone else who is with them in person while using the Gospel Rules.  You can also attempt to play Celebrities as one group over Zoom or whatever platform you happen to be using.

If you are in person:

Have the participants play Guess Who with one another using the Gospel Rules.  You can also play Celebrities as a whole group (celebrities does not require a boxed game).

Alternate Game: Sharks and Penguins

This game may be familiar, with a twist. You may remember Sharks and Minnows, but in this version there are penguins.  You will need a bandana (or similarly-sized piece of fabric) for each participant.

  • Create a boundaried rectangular play area.

  • Give the shark (the "it" person) two bandanas.  Like an actual shark, this shark has fins instead of arms so the participant will need to pin the bandana to her torso under her elbows while playing.  If a bandana falls, it has to be put back in place before the shark can tag any penguins.  

  • Give the penguins (everyone else) one bandana.  Like an actual penguin, these penguins have little feet instead of legs so the participants will need to pin the bandana between their knees while playing.  If the bandana comes out from between the knees, it's as though that penguin has been tagged by the shark.

  • Line the penguins up on one side of the play area and inform them that they will have to waddle across to the other side.  The shark can only tag them by removing their bandana without dropping one of her own.  Penguins must stay within the boundaries you have set.  If they go beyond the side boundary, they are tagged and sit down along the side.

  • A tagged penguin sits down and becomes a "grumpy walrus" that can grab for shark or penguin bandanas, while remaining seated.

  • Send the penguins across the play area one round at a time until their is only one penguin left.  Then pick a new shark and start all over again.  You may even want to pick two (or more) sharks.

Question to Explore

Does experiencing an illness or disability define all of who you are?

Answer: No!  We are all so much more than just the first thing people might notice about us.

Why?...

Bring it all Together, Brick by Brick

Guess Who

There are a lot of amazing people that have done a lot of amazing things on the special cards that we gave you for the Guess Who game.  We hope you remember some of these people.

What’s something cool that you learned about one of these people?

 

In Mark 2:1-12 Jesus meets an amazing man who had four really good friends and who wasn’t afraid to swing around on ropes.  He also happened to live with paralysis.  At the end of the story he’s able to walk out of the place and laugh and celebrate with his awesome friends.

Was he able to laugh and celebrate with his awesome friends before the story?  What else was he able to do before Jesus healed him?

 

 

Celebrities

Celebrities is a game built around reducing a person to the things that are most identifiable about them.  Many of the names we gave you are probably new to you but several should be familiar.  Take Hellen Keller, she was an incredible person who accomplished so much.  And she also happened to be blind.

Why is it difficult to reduce a person to one quality that isn’t their obvious disability?

 

In Mark 2:3-12 Jesus heals a man who lived with paralysis but also happened to be great friends with at least four other people and was brave and bold enough to break through a ceiling.  He sounds like an amazing person, yet even Jesus (at least as the author of Mark records it) repeatedly calls him “the paralytic.”

After this man was no longer paralyzed, do you think people continued to call him “the paralytic?”  If not, what did they call him?

In one or two of your own words, what is the game-changing idea behind these Gospel Rules?

Today you are challenged to make your church into "a place for all."  Go out and do it!!!

Building A Place for All:

 “They rubbed their eyes, amazed—and then glorified God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!”

From Mark 2:1-12

After completing the activity, make sure everyone awards themselves a games Builder Brick sticker on their I'm Awesome page in the Builder Book for their work in building Jesus' vision of God's Kingdom.

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Building A Place for Heroes

Games may look a bit different from what you might be used to for VBS because we are using the Gospel Rules--simple rules based on the Good News of Jesus that help us see and enjoy some of our favorite games in brand new ways.  It's all about living in the kingdom we're building with Jesus.  You will need to secure enough game sets for your participants or make sure they have the game at home, if you are virtual.

(An alternate, and original, tag game is also recommended below.)

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If you are virtual:

Encourage participants to play Guess Who with someone else who is with them in person while using the Gospel Rules.  You can also attempt to play Celebrities as one group over Zoom or whatever platform you happen to be using.

If you are in person:

Have the participants play Guess Who with one another using the Gospel Rules.  You can also play Celebrities as a whole group (celebrities does not require a boxed game).

Alternate Game: Tell Us How You Really Feel

This game may be familiar, with a twist. You are going to have the participants engage with their feelings, while running through a crowd.  

  • Have all the participants get in a big circle, then bring one person into the middle. 

  • The people making the circle should mark their spot: on grass you can do this with a popsicle stick poked into the ground; on pavement you can do this with sidewalk chalk; on carpet you can do this with masking tape.

  • As the leader, you'll ask the person in the middle the same type of question each time, "How do(es) ________ make you feel?"  Fill in the blank each time with something familiar like ice cream, friends, thunderstorms, broccoli, homework, video games, a test, church, pizza, ghosts, kittens, puppies, snakes, spiders, etc.

  • Make sure the person in the middle shouts out how that thing makes them feel with the first emotion that comes to mind like happy, sad, gross, scared, stressed, excited, bored, etc.  You may want to make a poster that lists these emotions.

  • When the person in the middle shouts their emotion, everyone else who feels the same way about that thing must run across the circle to find an empty spot.

  • There will be one person left in the middle without a spot, and the game continues with you asking that person how they feel about something else.

Question to Explore

What should you do if your friend experiences an illness or disability?

Answer: Remember that your friend is still the same person and try to understand what they are feeling right now.

Why?...

Bring it all Together, Brick by Brick

Guess in 10

By adding on this extra Gospel Rule we’re encouraging you to put yourself into the shoes (or the paws, or claws, or feet, or fins) of the thing that you’re guessing about.  We want you to think about what it’s like to be like the thing that’s being guessed about.  Did you learn something about an animal while you were playing?  Did thinking about how the animal feels help you to remember that thing?

In Mark 8:27-29, Jesus’ disciples start guessing at who Jesus really is.  They first tell Jesus who other people have been calling Jesus.  Then they stop to think about how they really feel about Jesus, and Peter says that Jesus is the Messiah.  He says that Jesus is the hero they have all been waiting for.  In the Bible Jesus is called lots of things like Messiah, light of the world, prince of peace, savior, God, friend, teacher, shepherd, Lord, beloved, holy one, the Word, the Christ, and many others.  What do you feel is the right thing to call Jesus?

Pictionary

What do emotions look like?  We might think that we know the answer to that question.  In reality we often miss emotional cues in others, especially when their experience is different from what we expected.  Having to draw emotions onto inanimate objects should hopefully widen your range of what an emotion is.  Even if you resorted to making feeling emojis next to your drawings, you at least probably thought about an emotion in a new way.  What is something new that you learned about how an emotion might be expressed?

 

In Mark 8:22-29 Jesus gradually brings site to a man who had been living with blindness.  This happens gradually such that the man first mistakes people for trees.  He eventually sees what is before him clearly.  Right after that, Jesus tests how clearly his disciples are able to see who he really is.  They are able to see the Messiah--the hero they have all been waiting for.  How do you think the interaction with the man who had been living with blindness effected how the disciples saw Jesus?

In one or two of your own words, what is the game-changing idea behind these Gospel Rules?

Today you are challenged to make your church into "a place for heroes."  Go out and do it!!!

Building A Place for Heroes:

 “He taught people the truth of God—the good news of the kingdom.

Word got around.  Jesus healed them, one and all.”

From Matthew 4:19-25

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After completing the activity, make sure everyone awards themselves a games Builder Brick sticker on their I'm Awesome page in the Builder Book for their work in building Jesus' vision of God's Kingdom.

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Building A Place for Hope

Games may look a bit different from what you might be used to for VBS because we are using the Gospel Rules--simple rules based on the Good News of Jesus that help us see and enjoy some of our favorite games in brand new ways.  It's all about living in the kingdom we're building with Jesus.  You will need to secure enough game sets for your participants or make sure they have the game at home, if you are virtual.

(An alternate, and original, tag game is also recommended below.)

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If you are virtual:

Encourage participants to play Guess Who with someone else who is with them in person while using the Gospel Rules.  You can also attempt to play Celebrities as one group over Zoom or whatever platform you happen to be using.

If you are in person:

Have the participants play Guess Who with one another using the Gospel Rules.  You can also play Celebrities as a whole group (celebrities does not require a boxed game).

Alternate Tag Game: Round and Round Tag

This game may be familiar, with a twist. The participants will run around and around until the music stops.

  • Set up four big bases like a baseball diamond.  The bases need to be big enough to hold several participants: on grass stake down a tarp or string; on pavement draw with sidewalk chalk; on carpet mark the base with tape.

  • Start all the participants on home plate and tell them that they'll all earn a point for every time any participant crosses home plate.  Anyone crossing home plate can keep on going to first base and around all the bases again to earn more points for the whole group.  They'll be able to move from one base to the next anytime the music is playing.

  • Also tell them that if the music stops while they aren't on a base, they'll have to stand in the middle of the diamond and help to count every time someone crosses home plate.

  • As the leader, you'll need to make sure the music starts and stops randomly, but giving the participants enough time to move a few bases.

  • Play continues until everyone has been caught between bases when the music stops.    

 

How many points did the whole group earn?  Is it worth the risk running to the next base knowing the music might stop?  Will you try a different strategy the next round?

Question to Explore

What should you do if you experience an illness or disability?

Answer: Remember there are lots of people to help you, and you still have a lot of ways to help and give yourself.

Why?...

Bring it all Together, Brick by Brick

Uno

When a person is given a Draw Four card and they start taking cards from others, the gut reaction of the people losing cards might be to object.  Yet, having fewer cards in Uno is a good thing. When is giving what you have to others a good thing?  Give examples?

 

In Luke 8:43-48 a woman who was living with constant bleeding jostled her way through a crowd and managed to touch the hem of Jesus’ coat.  She was instantly healed and Jesus felt it.  Power had come out of him.  The woman was terrified that Jesus would be angry but instead he was overjoyed to give her such a gift.  Why was the woman afraid that Jesus would be upset?  Why wasn’t he upset?

Monopoly

When playing normal monopoly, ending up in jail can be really frustrating, especially because you end up there simply because of bad luck.  These Gospel Rules aim to repurpose some of the element of chance in the game.

How does the feeling of ending up in jail compare to the feeling of going to a Philanthropy Fundraiser?  Is it different, the same, the opposite, or something more complex?

 

In Luke 4:16-21 Jesus follows up his baptism and temptation in the wilderness with an official launch to his ministry.  He lays out that he has come to spread hope and help people, especially the people who have had the worst luck in life.  Jesus invokes an Old Testament rule, “the year of the Lord’s Favor,” that cancelled debts and promoted prosperity through generosity.  What motivates you to help other people?

In one or two of your own words, what is the game-changing idea behind these Gospel Rules?

Today you are challenged to make your church into "a place for hope."  Go out and do it!!!

Building A Place for Hope:

 “Jesus said, 'Daughter, now you’re healed and whole.

Go in Peace.  Live well, live blessed!'”

From Luke 8:40-56

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After completing the activity, make sure everyone awards themselves a games Builder Brick sticker on their I'm Awesome page in the Builder Book for their work in building Jesus' vision of God's Kingdom.

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Building A Place for Healing

Games may look a bit different from what you might be used to for VBS because we are using the Gospel Rules--simple rules based on the Good News of Jesus that help us see and enjoy some of our favorite games in brand new ways.  It's all about living in the kingdom we're building with Jesus.  You will need to secure enough game sets for your participants or make sure they have the game at home, if you are virtual.

(An alternate, and original, tag game is also recommended below.)

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If you are virtual:

Encourage participants to play Guess Who with someone else who is with them in person while using the Gospel Rules.  You can also attempt to play Celebrities as one group over Zoom or whatever platform you happen to be using.

If you are in person:

Have the participants play Guess Who with one another using the Gospel Rules.  You can also play Celebrities as a whole group (celebrities does not require a boxed game).

Alternate Tag Game: BYG YOP

This is a brand-new tag game.  BYG YOP stands for two things: 1) a mighty yell, and Blue-Yellow-Green Yellow-Orange-Purple.  In this game, participants will play normal tag but be "revived" after their color is called out:

  • Set up a play area for the game with clear boundaries in a square or rectangle shape.

  • Give the "it" participant a red bandana (or similarly-sized piece of cloth).

  • Give all the other participants a bandana (or similarly-sized piece of cloth) of a different color.  Here are color recommendations based upon how many people are playing:

    • 3-4 participants - one blue, one orange, one green, one purple​

    • 5-6 participants - one blue, one orange, two yellow, one green, one purple

    • 7-12 participants - two blue, two orange, two yellow, two green, two purple

  • Tell the participants that if they are tagged by the "it" participant, they should immediately sit down on the ground and listen carefully to the leader.  The leader will blow a whistle or use another means to pause the game and then:

    • If the leader yells "BYG," then anyone with a blue, yellow, or green bandana us untagged. 

    • If the leader yells "YOP," then anyone with a yellow, orange, or purple bandana is untagged. 

    • If the leader yells "BYG YOP," then all of the colors are untagged.  For younger kids, you may have to remind them each time which colors go with BYG and which go with YOP.

  • Have the participants start playing.  After a time, choose a different "it" participant or multiple "it" participants.   

Advanced Play: The advanced version of the game is played the same way as above, but participants are now allowed to trade bandanas with these extra rules:

  • Everyone can have only one bandana at a time.

  • The bandana must be traded before "BYG," "YOP," or "BYG YOP" is yelled.

  • Even the red bandana can be traded so that someone new is "it."

Did the participants figure out that yellow is included in both groups?  What did it feel like to anticipate which word the leader was yelling?  What did it feel like to suddenly be untagged or healed.

Question to Explore

Why do some people experience an illness or disability when others don’t?

Answer: We live different places, eat different foods, and even breath different air so we experience illnesses and disabilities differently to.  Yet, God's unending love for each of use never changes.

Why?...

Bring it all Together, Brick by Brick

Connect Four

When playing Connect Four, you have to pay attention or before you know it, the other person has four in a row.  It might have been tough for you to pay attention while blindfolded.  What did you have to do to stay on track with getting four in a row first?

 

In John 9:1-41 Jesus heals a man who has lived with blindness his whole life and then other people get mad because they’re not sure the man deserved it.  They seem to think that because you’re blind, there’s something wrong with you.  There isn’t.  Your eyes may work differently but you are still God’s beloved child. 

Did you feel like you were any less your special self when you were blindfolded?

Jenga

Jenga is hard enough as it is, without adding in blindfolds.  The game definitely gets harder as it goes along.  We gave you the option of working with a non-blindfolded friend because we thought you could use the extra help.

Did you develop any special strategy as you progressed through the game blindfolded?

 

In John 9:1-41 we get an entire chapter devoted to one incident.  Jesus heals a person living with blindness and everyone freaks out.  They seem to freak out because they had assumed the man was blind because something was wrong with him, or his parents.  There wasn’t anything wrong with him.  From one moment to the next his ability to see changed, but besides that he was essentially the same person living in the same world.

How do you think the man’s strategy for living life changed after this story?

In one or two of your own words, what is the game-changing idea behind these Gospel Rules?

Today you are challenged to make your church into "a place for healing."  Go out and do it!!!

Building A Place for Healing:

 “I know one thing for sure: that though I was blind, now I see.  I came into the clear light of day.”

From John 9:1-41

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After completing the activity, make sure everyone awards themselves a games Builder Brick sticker on their I'm Awesome page in the Builder Book for their work in building Jesus' vision of God's Kingdom.

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Building A Place for Discovery

Games may look a bit different from what you might be used to for VBS because we are using the Gospel Rules--simple rules based on the Good News of Jesus that help us see and enjoy some of our favorite games in brand new ways.  It's all about living in the kingdom we're building with Jesus.  You will need to secure enough game sets for your participants or make sure they have the game at home, if you are virtual.

(An alternate, and original, tag game is also recommended below.)

Gospel Rules.png

If you are virtual:

Encourage participants to play Guess Who with someone else who is with them in person while using the Gospel Rules.  You can also attempt to play Celebrities as one group over Zoom or whatever platform you happen to be using.

If you are in person:

Have the participants play Guess Who with one another using the Gospel Rules.  You can also play Celebrities as a whole group (celebrities does not require a boxed game).

Alternate Tag Game: Discovery Tag

This is a brand-new game.  In this game, participants will play normal tag but the "it" participant won't discover if she is tagging the right participants until the end:

  • Set up a play area for the game with clear boundaries in a square or rectangle shape.

  • Select an "it" participant and have them close their eyes.

  • Give all the participants a bandana (or similarly-sized piece of cloth) of a different color.  Here are color recommendations based upon how many people are playing:

    • 3-6 participants - one blue, one green, one yellow, one orange, one red, one purple

    • 7-12 participants - two blue, two green, two yellow, two orange, two red, two purple

  • Tell the participants that their bandana color is a secret and they will need to hide it by scrunching it up in their hand or finding another clever way of concealing it on them.  Give everyone time to conceal their bandana.

  • Tell the participants that if they are tagged by the "it" participant, they should immediately sit down on the ground and wait until the "it" person gives up.

  • Tell the "it" participant that they will role a dice to select a color.  Their goal is to tag all of the participants except those who have that color.  Here are the numbers for the colors:

    • 1 = Blue​

    • 2 = Green

    • 3 = Yellow

    • 4 = Orange

    • 5 = Red

    • 6 = Purple

  • Let the participants play, and when the "it" person decides to stop, have all the tagged and untagged participants reveal their colors to see if the "it" participant got it right.

  • Select a new "it" participant to play again.

 

Advanced Play: The advanced version of the game is played the same way as above, with one switch:

  • The "it" participant is now attempting to tag only the colors she rolled on the dice rather than everyone but those colors.

  • The "it" participant only has one minute to do this.

Was it easy to conceal your color?  Did you decide to just show your color?  Was it hard to figure out the colors if you were "it?"

Question to Explore

Why do some people recover from an illness or disability when others don’t?

Answer: We don't always know the answer to that question but we can learn more by working together.

Why?...

Bring it all Together, Brick by Brick

Candy Land

With these rules, the fastest way to win the game is probably for all of the players to stay together.  That way, every player’s turn benefits everyone and gets them all to the end of the board faster.  But staying together is something that each player has to choose for herself.

How did you decide whether to take a shortcut or to stay with the group?

 

In Matthew 8:1-4 Jesus is offered a choice.  The person living with leprosy chooses to trust Jesus and Jesus chooses to fulfill that man’s faith in him.  It’s amazing!  We can all choose to trust Jesus like that too.  Have you learned something about trusting others from this Bible story or from playing the game with these Gospel Rules?

Clue

With these rules, your only chance to win is to win together.  That’s a pretty important lesson in life.  If you communicate and cooperate well, you can set up each person’s turn for maximum success, which in turn helps the whole group. 

Was it hard to switch to a mindset of using your turn to set up the next person’s turn for success?

 

In Matthew 12:22-25 Jesus is challenged for helping someone.  He is questioned as to whether he has the authority to heal the person he heals, whether that's the way things are supposed to be done.  In God’s kingdom you always have the authority to help a person like that.  When you switch to thinking about how you can find new ways to help from how things have always been done, it's like adding a whole tool box your work in building God's kingdom.

What’s one way you can be helpful to someone you played Clue with, beyond the game itself?

In one or two of your own words, what is the game-changing idea behind these Gospel Rules?

Today you are challenged to make your church into "a place for discovery."  Go out and do it!!!

Building A Place for Discovery:

 “Jesus said, 'the people are to know all about God—streaming in from the east, pouring in from the west, sitting down at God’s kingdom banquet.'”

From Matthew 8:1-13

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After completing the activity, make sure everyone awards themselves a games Builder Brick sticker on their I'm Awesome page in the Builder Book for their work in building Jesus' vision of God's Kingdom.

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Building A Place for Praise

Games may look a bit different from what you might be used to for VBS because we are using the Gospel Rules--simple rules based on the Good News of Jesus that help us see and enjoy some of our favorite games in brand new ways.  It's all about living in the kingdom we're building with Jesus.  You will need to secure enough game sets for your participants or make sure they have the game at home, if you are virtual.

(An alternate, and original, tag game is also recommended below.)

Gospel Rules.png

If you are virtual:

Encourage participants to play Guess Who with someone else who is with them in person while using the Gospel Rules.  You can also attempt to play Celebrities as one group over Zoom or whatever platform you happen to be using.

If you are in person:

Have the participants play Guess Who with one another using the Gospel Rules.  You can also play Celebrities as a whole group (celebrities does not require a boxed game).

Alternate Game: The Ceiling is Lava

This game may be familiar, but with a twist.  In this game, participants will try to get from one side of the play area to the other, without losing anyone to the lava above their heads:

  • Set up a play area for the game with clear boundaries in a square or rectangle shape.

  • Select an "it" participant.

  • Tell everyone that their goal is to make it across the play area without touching the lava, but this time the lava is above their heads rather than under their feet!  They have been transported to a strange planet where the lava flows three feet off the ground.  If anyone puts any part of their body above three feet, they an burnt to a crisp by the lava and have to lay down immediately.  As the leader, you are in charge of enforcing the lava ceiling and making sure no one goes any higher than three feet.

  • Tell them that in this topsy-turvy world, the "it" participant is out to help them rather than to get them.  The "it" person can revive anyone who gets burnt by the lava.  The "it" person is immune to the lava.

  • Have the participants start to play and see how quickly they can get across the play area.  

  • Select a new "it" participant to play again.

 

Advanced Play: If the group needs a greater challenge, lower the lava ceiling:

  • Lower the ceiling to 2.5 feet, 2 feet, or 1.5 feet off the ground.

  • Declare that the "it" healer is no longer immune from the lava.  If the "it" participant gets burnt, they can be revived by any other two players working together.

Was it hard to move around bent over or crawling along the ground?  Did you get annoyed by the lava?  A a healer, did you get annoyed by people asking for your help or was it an honor to help them?

Question to Explore

How can you help those who care for people experiencing an illness or disability?

Answer: By recognizing their sacrifices.

Why?...

Bring it all Together, Brick by Brick

Checkers

Checkers may be one of the first games you learned how to play.  We added in an extra rule that makes the game more complicated, but did it make the game any better?  We hope that the extra rule makes the game a little bit more fun.  We hope that it doesn’t make it more competitive.  Who do you usually play checkers with and why do you play?

 

In Mark 9:33-37 Jesus asks his disciples what they were talking about and they tell him they were trying to figure out which of them was the best.  Jesus finds a little kid nearby, picks up the kid, and basically says “this one is the best!”  That kid wasn’t even a disciple, so why was he deserving of so much praise?  That kid was having too much fun being a kid to make life and faith into a competition.  What is the best thing about being a kid?

Battleship

In Battleship you have big ships and you have little ships.  It turns out that the big ships are just bigger targets.  We added in an extra element of strategy by letting you move your first ship that gets hit.  If you save that move to the last possible moment, it can pay off big time.  Which ship in the game would you say was the most valuable, and why?

 

In Matthew 20:1-16 Jesus tells a parable about people who all get paid the same amount for different amounts of work.  Some of the workers complain even though they had received exactly what they had originally agreed to.  They thought they had earned extra.  This is another parable about God’s kingdom.  That’s a place where everyone receives the infinite love of God.  It isn’t earned.  It’s given.  Why would someone do extra work if it wouldn’t earn something extra for them?

In one or two of your own words, what is the game-changing idea behind these Gospel Rules?

Today you are challenged to make your church into "a place for praise."  Go out and do it!!!

Building A Place for Praise:

 “And the entire crowd was delighted and cheered, rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.”

From Luke 13:10-17

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After completing the activity, make sure everyone awards themselves a games Builder Brick sticker on their I'm Awesome page in the Builder Book for their work in building Jesus' vision of God's Kingdom.

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About the Authors

Hero Hospital is a collaborative effort of people and churches in the Southern Ohio Synod and beyond.  Dan Jacob (Ministry Associate at Wittenberg University and Youth Leader at Peace Lutheran in Beavercreek) and Gary Pecuch (SOS Youth and Family Ministry Coach) have organized these efforts.  Special thanks goes to Carey Hovland, Pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Beavercreek, OH, for coming up with the original idea for the Gospel Rules.  If you're curious about how all these original materials were made then check out Inkscape (graphic design), DaVinci Resolve (videos), Animatron (animations), EZgif (gifs), Artfire (lego minifigures), Audacity (audio clips), and Wix (website).

The bannerblue.org site also showcases much of the other work of Dan and the artists he works with.  If you'd like to support projects like Hero Hospital, please consider heading over to the Make Mobile page to check out another major project that could use your help.