Thinking of hosting a game night? Check out these tips and ideas!

Are you thinking of hosting a game night for your next women’s ministry event?

Get ready to take some notes!

Today we’re walking through some game night options and ideas.

Most leaders find game nights are an easy win.

  • There’s not a lot of preparation required.
  • Attendance is high.
  • Women invite friends to attend.
  • Women exit having built new and stronger relationships with one another.
  • It’s fun!

Our women’s ministry team held a very successful game night last summer.

Each attendee brought a summer salad of her choice. I believe the women’s ministry team took care of the desserts. After our meal, each table played the saran wrap ball game, complete with pot holders to make the game extra challenging. We finished the evening with multiple rounds of a high-tech version of bingo (I’ll link to it in the list below).

We had an awesome turnout and a great time!

Though the saran wrap balls required quite a bit of preparation, the rest did not.  Check out this post at Christian Camp Pro for how to create and play the saran wrap ball game. Ours were filled with candy, gum, $5 gift cards, hand sanitizer, and other treats.

There are many ways to host a game night, and here are a few different options to consider.

5 Options for Your Game Night

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1. Bunko

Bunko is a simple dice game that requires constant movement around the room. It allows women to interact with most, if not all, of the women in attendance. You’ll find directions here, or you can order a Bunko kit here

2. Board Games

Recruit women or ask your team to bring in board games. Spread them out around the room and let women choose which game they’d like to play. Try to select board games that can be played quickly, have fairly simple directions, and encourage group participation.  If your group is fairly small, you could take turns playing several group games. See the bottom of the post for games leaders in our Women’s Ministry Community Facebook Group have recommended.

3. Bingo

Almost everyone knows how to play this classic game. We played this free PowerPoint version of bingo at our church last summer. The different winning bingo patterns made it interesting. Rather than clearing our cards immediately we usually played for second and third place. You’ll also find other games on this site such as Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune, and Deal or No Deal.

4. Icebreaker Games

Some groups opt to play multiple icebreaker games. Some great icebreaker games for groups include Night at the Museum, Women’s Ministry Bingo, High School Memories Bingo, Four Corners, DRACT, Meet Your Match, Top 10 Lists, and Roll & Poll.

5. Combination

Start your evening with icebreaker games for the group. After a testimony or devotional is shared, allow women to pick the board game they want to play.

Once you’ve decided your format for the evening, you’ll want to think through the details.

11 Tips for Hosting a Game Night at Church

1. Remove any inappropriate questions or cards. 

Skip quickly over anything that might be even slightly questionable. It’s always better to be cautious than risk embarrassing someone. 

2. Encourage everyone to play.

Select games that involve everyone. Guests in attendance may not enjoy watching women they don’t know play a game in front of the group like Family Feud.

3. Encourage and welcome guests.

Publicize the event as one to “bring a guest.” Use name tags, have greeters at the door, put up signs, and take steps to make every guest feel welcome.

4. Pick prizes that point women to Christ.

If you’re going to give out prizes, select prizes that will encourage spiritual growth. Load up a Door Prize Basket with an assortment of mugs, notepads, jewelry, water bottles, tote bags, signs, frames, and journals that have a scripture verse on them. Christian DVDs can bless an entire family.

5. Take a testimony time out.

Take a 10-minute break and have someone share a brief testimony of what God is doing in her life. We need to hear and tell the stories of what God is doing. It will encourage your women to look for God at work in their lives too. See the posts The Best Devotional You Can Share and How to Share the Best Devotional for help.

6. Break up cliques.

Group icebreakers or assigned seating for group games can help to break up those cliques. Be sure to allow those who have brought a guest to sit together. You don’t have to divide women up the entire time, but at least mix them up for part of the time.

7. Opt out of Bible games.

I strongly recommend against playing Bible games at your game night. We don’t ever want any woman to feel bad about her lack of Bible knowledge. Please read this post on Why I Don’t Do Bible Games if your team is considering this option.

8. Don’t play for money.

Bunko is traditionally played with money, but it’s still fun without. Consider allowing winners to select a small prize from the Door Prize Basket. Some church members may equate Bunko or other games with gambling, so be very careful in your publicity to eliminate any cause for concern.

9. Give clear directions for group games.

Even if the game is a familiar one to most, there are often variations of gameplay that necessitate clear rules and instructions. Expect there will be questions, and you’ll need to repeat yourself.

10. Offer finger-friendly snacks.

Snacks and game night go together like peanut butter and jelly. Opt for easy finger foods. The salty, sweet, healthy trifecta usually ensures women with dietary restrictions can enjoy the food too. Consider inviting women to each to bring a snack.

11. Honor Christ.

You’ll find an endless list of games that could create embarrassing situations. Avoid any games that encourage lying, dares, or telling secrets. Game night should be a safe place for every woman.  It’s better to err on the side of caution.

You may even find the response to game nights warrant repeating them regularly or offering them as an Interest Group.

The leaders in our Women’s Ministry Toolbox Community, a free Facebook Group, shared some of their group’s favorite games. Perhaps you’ll find a new favorite in the list below!



 

You may also want to read:
12 Ways Your Women’s Ministry Teams Can Warmly Welcome Guests
Icebreakers and Games
10 Things Icebreakers Should Not Do
Why We Need to Offer Different Types of Women’s Ministry Meetings
105 Christian Ladies Night Out Ideas

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