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Works Cited - Children & youth ministry

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Works Cited

Harbin, E. O. The New Fun Encyclopedia. Nashville: Abingdon, 1983.

McGill, Dan. Crowdbreakers and Games. Loveland, CO: Group, 1997.

Rice, Wayne. Play It Again! Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993.

McCollam, Dan. Junior High Game Nights. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991.
McCollam, Dan. More Junior High Game Nights. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992.
Michelle Marshall

Nerd Night


#1 Comb Clean Count

Materials: Lots of cheap plastic combs, sheets of newsprint, tables or areas of open floor space.

How to play: Divide the students into groups of now more then 4 per group. Each student is given a comb. Tell students to comb through their hair 5 strokes then empty the comb and count the number of hairs. The team that produces the most hairs within the 40 total strokes wins the competition. Give the commands “Comb Clean Count.” (Burns, Simone, and Lusz, 130).

#2 Duck, Pig, Cow

How to play: Assign one third of your students to be ducks, another one third to be pigs, and the other one third to be cows. Tell them the object of this game is to make their animal sounds as loud as they can and find the other animals. The trick is that they will do this in the dark. Turn out all the lights and tell them to walk around making their sounds and locating the other group members making the same sound. When they find someone making the same sound they form a group. That group stays together and continues to find more of the same. After several minutes tell them you will turn on the light and they are to sit down with their group, the largest group wins. Be sure to do this in total darkness or a strobe light also works. (Burns, Simone, and Lusz, 133).

#3 Do as I Do

Materials: Small paper cups and pitchers of water.

How to play: Have the group assemble in the meeting room and give everyone a small paper cup with a little water in each. Tell them you are going to do toast to commemorate something. Tell them that whoever does this toast exactly like you will win a special prize.

Tell them to repeat everything you do

Take your cup of water and hold it up in the air and say, “ A toast.”

They’ll repeat.

Continue: “To everyone here,” (move your cup to your left).

Let them repeat.

Then say, “And to everyone at home” (move your cup to the right).

They repeat.

“And to the future.” (Move your cup straight ahead again).

They repeat.

Then say “Bottoms up!” and put the water into your mouth, but rather than swallowing it, you’ll actually keep the water in your mouth. Bring your hand with the cup in it down as if you’ve finished the toast and “swallowed” the water. Wait for the audience to do the same. When they are done, spit your water back into your cup (as if that were the real ending to the toast). Everyone will have already swallowed their water and it will be too late to do anything about it. No prize winner! (Burns, Simone, and Lusz, 131-132).

#4 Trains

How to play: Have the group form a large circle. Choose three or four leaders who will be “the Engines” to begin. These “Engines” each chugga-chugga-chug to another person in the circle, grab him or her by the shoulders and ask him or her name. When the person says his or her name, the Engine hops on one leg and say the person’s name. Then, the Engine hops on the other leg and says the person’s name. He or she does this a total of five hops on each leg.

After the fifth time, the two people form a two-person train with the new person becoming the Engine at the front and the other person holding on to the shoulders of the new Engine. The trains will each move to another student in the circle. Repeat the process: ask the person’s name, say the name while hopping five times, and the new person becomes the Engine of the train each time. After a few minutes, huge trains of students are formed, running around and through each other. (Burns, Simone, and Lusz, 155).

#5 My Aunt Came Back

How to play: In this song the leader sings a line, and then acts out a motion and the audience mimics each line and motion. The results are hilarious.

The leader announces that this is a song that requires audience participation. The tune could be anything you want, just keep it really simple so the audience can repeat it easily.

Leader sings: “My aunt came back…”

Audience: “My aunt came back…”

Leader: “From Kalamazzo.”

Audience: “From Kalamazoo.”

Leader: “She brought with her…”

Audience: “She brought with her…”

Leader: “Some gum to chew.” At this point begin making an exaggerated chewing motion as if you were chewing a huge piece of gum. The audience should do the same.

Audience: “Some gum to chew.”

That was the first line of five lines. Sing each line and act out the motion with the audience repeating after you.

Line two: “My aunt came back…” Audience repeats

“From New Orleans.” Audience repeats

“She brought with her…” Audience repeats

“A pair of jeans.” Hit your hip with your hand and entice the audience to do the same. You and the audience should be chewing gum and hitting your hip all at the same time. Audience repeats.

Line three: “My aunt came back…” Audience repeats.

“From Niagara Falls.” Audience repeats.

“She brought with her…” Audience repeats.

“Some ping-pong balls.” Sway left to right as if you were watching a ping-pong game being played (or as if you were playing ping-pong. Now, you and the audience should be chewing, hitting your hips, with your head swaying side to side. Audience repeats.

Line four: “My aunt came back…” Audience repeats.

“From the New York Fair.” Audience repeats.

“She brought with her…” Audience repeats

“A rocking chair.” Now rock forward and back while, at the same time chewing, hitting your hips, and head swaying side to side. Audience repeats.

Line Five: “My aunt came back…” Audience repeats

“From Timbuktu.” Audience repeats

“She brought with her…” Audience repeats

“Some NERDS LIKE YOU!” Point at the audience as you say this!!

Stop everything and point to the audience! The joke’s on them. (Burns, Simone, and Lusz, 142-143).

#1 Book Bustle

Materials: Find about 50 old, discardable books. Hide a gift certificate or a cash prize in a brightly colored envelope in one of the books, and stack the books on a table. Be sure to write down the title of the book in case no one finds the prize. Secure an old-fashioned bell alarm clock or rig a school bell to ring for your signal.

The Challenge: Choose several nerds from the audience. Inform them that when the signal goes off at any time during the evening, they have 60 seconds, all the players must sit down and wait for the next alarm. The first player to find the envelope wins the prize and the points. (McCollam and Betts, 74)

#2 Calculations

Materials: Supply a small calculator for each contestant. Write five long math problems on poster board using marker pens. Prework the problems and write the answers in pencil on the backs of the problem boards.

The Challenge: Have contestants sit in folding chairs with their backs to the audience. Announce that this will be a best out of competition. The first one to come up with the right answer wins each round. Hold up one of the poster boards and shout, “Go!” The first nerd to shout the correct answer is the winner of that round. The nerd to win the best out of five rounds is the grand winner. (McCollam and Betts,74)
#3 Lunch Launch

Materials: Supply each team with an empty lunch tray, a spatula, and the following lunch items: one scoop of mashed potatoes, a square of Jell-O, a slimy fish fillet, and a carton of milk

The Challenge: Everyone has seen someone trip in the lunchroom and send the lunch tray and food flying across the cafeteria. This game is just the opposite-nerds try to catch their lunch food on their trays. Position partners about ten feet apart. At the signal, one player uses the spatula to launch lunch items across the room. The other player runs underneath the food to try to catch it on the tray. The team that catches the most food on its tray is the winner. (McCollam and Betts, 74)
#4 Nerd Food

Materials: Supply each contestant with a bowl of Nerds candy or cereal. If neither of these is available, choose any food that would add to the humor.

The Challenge: Seat contestants at a table with bowls of nerd food in front of them. At the signal, the nerds begin to eat as fast as they can without using their hands. The first nerd to finish is the winner. (McCollam and Betts,75)
#5 Nerd Races

Materials: Each contestant needs an oversized pair of pants and a large pair of shoes that lace. The nerdier the clothes the better.

The Challenge: Choose one contestant from each team. Have contestants slip on the pants and shoes over their clothes. The shoestrings on the large shoes should be tied together. At the signal, the nerds race around their teams while holding up their pants and with their shoestrings tied together. The first player to complete one lap around his or her team is the winner. (McCollam and Betts, 75)
#6 T.P. Races

Materials: Each contestant needs one large roll of generic toilet paper. Supply a long pencil or a six-inch dowel rod to thread through the toilet paper tube.

The Challenge: Nerds have the worst luck. Have you ever seen a nerd get toilet paper caught in his or her pants? That is the idea behind this game. Choose two contestants in costume from each team. Tuck the toilet paper down one contestant’s pants at the waist. The partner holds the ends of the pencil or dowel rod so that the toilet paper rolls freely. AT the signal, the nerds run around their teams and around the building in any pattern they want. The only objective is to run until the rolls run out. If the toilet paper breaks, the nerds must return to their rollers to retuck the loose ends into their pants. The results are hilarious to watch. The first team to run out all the toilet paper is the winner. (McCollam and Betts,75)

Introduction: One of my favorite stories in the Bible is about Zacchaeus. I picture Zacchaeus as this short little nerd who was always trying to fit in. After being teased as a child about his height and lack of athletic ability, he went to school to be successful in business. Now here he is, a rich businessman who has used his position to get back at those who once laughed at him.

But in Luke 19 we see Zac standing on the road to Jericho, still feeling a deep emptiness and sense of need inside. Then the Lord passes by and chooses Zacchaeus out of all those people and goes to his house. What joy must have filled Zacchaeus. Finally someone chose him over the others, someone who really mattered.


What happened in Zacchaeus’s life to bring about his change in attitude? Tonight we want to speak about three things that will really satisfy.

  1. He cast off cool (vs.4). When Zacchaeus climbed that tree, he made a decision. He decided that it was more important to have an encounter with Jesus than it was to look cool. Every person must come to this decision in his or her life to be truly satisfied. It is a great relief to any person to quit trying to be cool and just enjoy being saved!

  2. He cared for others (vs. 8). Zacchaeus decided to quit worrying so much about himself. Instead, he focused on those less fortunate than he was, giving half of all his worldly possessions to the poor. When we feel lonely and unloved, we may find that the greatest joy comes from helping and blessing others. When our focus changes from self to others, we can have true satisfaction.

  3. He corrected past wrongs (vs.8). It is one thing to forgive and another to make restitution. WE have lost the art today of truly making past wrongs right. Zacchaeus forgave those who hurt him in the past and did everything within his power to correct his own past offenses. Joy comes to those who truly mourn and are sorry for hurting and cheating others.


The miraculous change that took place in Zacchaeus can take place in any one of us who will follow the same steps of casting off cool, caring for others, and correcting past wrongs and hurts. For every person, these are the steps to true and lasting satisfaction in Christ Jesus (McCollam and Betts,76).


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