What goals do you have for your volunteer meetings? You may have assignments to hand out, leaders to train, and events to evaluate. But, don’t forget about one of the most important goals - having fun!
Individuals who genuinely enjoy volunteering are much more likely to return to their positions year after year. Adding some not-so-serious activities to your meetings is a great way to build a community of volunteers who support each other and encourage each other in Christian service. Everyone will get to know one another at a deeper level. And, the better everyone knows everyone else, the more likely it is that you will be able to capitalize on one another’s strengths and build on one another’s interests.
These three ideas accompany CTA’s latest line of volunteer appreciation gifts, Serving with a Heart Like Jesus. In fact, CTA is offering an entire booklet of volunteer icebreakers and fun activities - you can download it for FREE in the Resource & Idea Center!
My Life Story
This activity works well for groups of any size. Depending on the size of the group and the directions you give, it may take 30 minutes or longer.
You will need a pad of chart paper and a box of crayons or markers and scissors for every 2–3 participants.
Introduce the activity by saying, “We are each going to write a book - an autobiography. You will each need one sheet of chart paper and access to scissors and a box of crayons (or markers).”
Have participants fold their paper in half, then in half again - cutting the short folds almost all the way - to create an eight-page book.
Explain that each book should include the following:
• The title page (page 1) - choose a title of a famous movie, book, or song that sums up the contents of your book. You may want to think about this and add it after you have filled all the other pages. For example, someone may call the story of his life “The Quiet Man” after the John Wayne classic. Someone who’s a real foodie may use the title “Duck Soup.” Get creative and have fun!
• Page 2 - write the name of a game or activity you enjoyed in childhood or draw a picture of it.
• Page 3 - draw or name your mode of transportation in high school. Include someone who regularly rode along with you.
• Page 4 - draw or name your first church.
• Page 5 - draw or name your first boss and your first job.
• Page 6 - draw or name your family members today.
• Page 7 - draw or name your favorite thing to do outside of work.
• Page 8 - draw or name something from your current bucket list.
When everyone is finished, have each person “read” his or her book to one, two, or three other people.
Devotional thought: As the activity winds down, read Isaiah 46:3–5. Then pray a prayer like this: Lord, we like to think we are authoring our own life stories, but we are not. You direct our paths. You carry us from cradle to grave and make it possible for us to shine your light and show your love. Forgive our foolish pride and equip us to serve you more and more fully in the weeks and months ahead. We pray in the name of our Savior, Jesus. Amen.
Suddenly . . .
This simple activity can develop into a hilarious exercise, depending on the people involved. It requires no supplies and any number of people can play.
Ask everyone to sit in a circle. Then, one person begins a story with one sentence, ending the sentence with “SUDDENLY . . .” Then the person sitting on the speaker’s right picks up the story, adding a sentence and ending it with “SUDDENLY . . .”
The story continues around the circle until everyone has had an opportunity to add a sentence. The person who began the story adds one sentence to end it.
A starter sentence might go something like this: “It was literally my first rodeo, and I had just gotten out of the car in the parking lot when SUDDENLY . . .”
Devotional thought: As the activity winds down, read Psalm 91. Then pray a prayer like this: Heavenly Father, you are Lord over all the “suddenlys” in our lives. Though we are often taken by surprise, you never are. And you promise to work in everything that happens to us for our ultimate good. Even in times of turmoil, help us to shine your light and show your love. We pray in the name of Jesus our Savior. Amen.
How Sweet It Is!
This game is a favorite Minute to Win It activity. You will need a bowl, a timer, a box of sugar cubes, a table, and some wooden craft sticks. To win, the player must balance a dozen sugar cubes on a craft stick for three seconds while holding the craft stick in his or her mouth. Here are the detailed directions:
1. On a small table, place a bowl containing 12 sugar cubes. Give the contestant a craft stick.
2. Set the timer and say, “Go.”
3. The contestant puts the craft stick in his or her mouth and begins stacking sugar cubes on it. When all 12 cubes are positioned on the stick, everyone counts to three; the cubes must remain on the stick for three seconds.
4. If one or more cubes fall, put that number of new cubes into the bowl. The contestant can then try again.
5. Award a small prize to each successful candidate, perhaps a plantable seed gift or a pen and bookmark set.
Devotional thought: As the activity winds down, read Psalm 145. Follow the reading with a prayer like this: Heavenly Father, you have given us the gift of a Savior, our Lord Jesus. He is the sweetest gift of all. His name is the sweetest name of all. Forgive us for taking this gift too much for granted. Teach us to shine his light and to show his love as we serve you by serving those around us. We pray in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2018 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.