Group of teens finding strength in numbers by working together

This game shows youth that they need help from God and from their community. The reflection questions help them explore the importance of relying on Jesus and each other. It is also a good lesson in endurance.

How to Play Strength in Numbers

Materials

  • Canned goods – 2 per person
    (To add a service aspect to this activity, ask each youth to bring two cans – 15oz or larger – of food from home. After the activity, donate the canned goods to a food pantry. Have some extras on hand for youth who don’t bring any.)
  • Shopping bags – 2 for each group of 3

Instructions

  1. Divide into groups of three.
  2. First have everyone hold a can in each hand and stand with their arms straight out. (Arms must be straight out – not held downward or upward.)
  3. They should hold this position for one minute or more.
  4. Ask these questions:
    1. Was this challenge more difficult than you thought it would be or easier?
    2. What surprised you about this challenge?
    3. Is there anything you could do to make it easier?
  5. Now, in each group of three the have one member of each group hold the cans out.
  6. Have the other two members support their teammate’s arms in whatever way they like.
  7. They should hold this position for the same amount of time as the first challenge.
  8. Ask these questions:
    1. For those holding the cans, was this easier or more difficult?
    2. For those supporting arms, was this easier or more difficult than holding the cans?
    3. How do you feel about asking for help when you feel overwhelmed in life?
    4. Who do you usually turn to for help?
  9. Talk about how God supports us when our burdens seem too heavy. Also reflect on how we need to support each other.

If they thought this was too easy, you can run this challenge:

  1. Have each group of three place their six cans in two shopping bags, three cans in each bag.
  2. Have one team member hold the two shopping bags straight out.
  3. Have the other two team members support them.
    1. All group members must all remain standing. The supporting members must not kneel or sit on the floor underneath the arms.
    2. The supporting members may only support the arms between the shoulder and the elbow.
  4. The group or groups which hold their position the longest win!
  5. * If it goes on too long, have them hold the bags without support.

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