1. Highway Code signs
This starter works across many different styles of groups/meetings but works particularly well with those who are navigating life's stormy waters.
You will need: either copies of The Highway Code on each table or a downloadable sheet of signs and markings from The Highway Code with a copy for each table.
Have a look at the Highway Code signs and invite all at your table to choose a sign and say why they most identify with that one at the moment.
- Are you on an uphill struggle?
- Are you needing to 'reduce speed'?
- Are you wanting to take a sharp turn in your life but feel that God is not letting you?
- Are you at a crossroads in your life?
- Is your life crashing round you?
- Have you got some choices to make?
- Are you going round in circles like a roundabout?
- Have you just lost it and are about to go over the edge?
For more excellent ideas like this see Ian Birkenshaw, Multi-Sensory Parables, Scripture Union, 2006, p. 24.
2. Dreaming and investment talk
Read the parable of the talents from Matthew 25.14-30 (preferably from The Message: 'The Story of Investment').
Announce to everyone that your fictional great aunt Ethel has left you a large sum of money in her will (set your own amount!) for you to invest in a worthy cause or project of your choosing. Over coffee and a cake, discuss what you would use it for and how you would invest it. Share your ideas with one another.
Take it further
Discuss together attitudes to money and resourcing. Pray too about the ideas you've shared together – God may be leading you afresh!
3. Jenga blocks - names of God
Using the toppling tower game, Jenga, you can explore the names of God for as long as you like. The Jenga tower is built up as normal. However, on the top of each block is written a Hebrew or Greek biblical name of God with its definition written on the underside. Play the game on your own or with a group, removing individual blocks in turn and trying to balance them on the top.
Each person could think about the block that they removed before they place it back on the tower, praying that they would know that specific characteristic of God in their own lives or for certain situations - ie, that they would know Elohim Ma'owiz (God of my strength) after a really tough week at work. The game can be used in many different ways and gives people the opportunity to inspect their lives in the context of who God is. It can act as a simple reminder of the many characteristics of God, or it can be a tool to discover just how vast God is. The game is great for children and families to do together!
Play around with other scriptural ideas too, eg, using ideas from the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5 and 6, or the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5.22-23).