Friday, February 24, 2012

Family Ministry on a Shoe-String - Minute to Win It!

First of all I want to thank Lindsey Whitney for graciously allowing me to re-post her article on "Minute to Win It for Church!" Lindsey writes Growing Kids Ministry - be sure to take a minute to check her site for all the great ideas, articles and resources you will find there! As you think about the ministry opportunities you want to offer the children and families from your church and community, think about having your own "Minute to Win It!"

Great Idea for Family Event

This past weekend, we had our annual Missions Conference. Saturday night was family night with the “Minute to Win it Theme”. Our Missionary, Steve Clouser, talked about the “one-minute” opportunities we have throughout life to plant the seed of the gospel, to water it, or sometimes to even see the harvest. The event was great. Here are few things I learned:


  1. Have a variety of games. We had 10 games picked out, one for each level, with a few alternatives in case the crowds got restless. Well, after watching the level 1 game three times everyone was completely tired of it. We did not consider the fact that our Level 1-3 games would be played A LOT as people got eliminated and new contestants started. So, plan for 4-5 Level 1 games and 2-3 Level 2 and 3 games. Plan to have Level 4-8 games interchangeable and reserve a few super hard ones for Level 9 and 10. About half-way through the game, we just started throwing games at the contestants without rhyme or reason because we wanted to keep things interesting. Not exactly fair to the contestants, but much more fun to watch. Oops! :^)
  2. Have sign-ups ahead of time. We had sign-ups the week before and then put everyone’s name in a bowl (one bowl for kids and one bowl for adults). This prevented the “Oh oh! I want to play! Pick me! Pick Me!” phenomenon.
  3. Play the cup stacking game. For some reason, no matter when we brought this game out, people loved it!
  4. Have simple prizes, if any at at all. People were way more interested in playing the game and attaining the prestige of the next level than they were about any prizes. Most forgot to pick theirs up and had to be reminded. I wish I would have known that before my $80 trip to Sam’s Club. Oh well, you can also use chocolate!
  5.  Have separate divisions for adults and kids. We played a few games simultaneously to keep the audience engaged, but mostly we played the kid side while the adult side was getting set up. Then we immediately went to the adult side and set up for the next kid game. Etc Etc Etc. so there were no lulls in the program. Our arena looked like this: minute to win it set up (We used masking tape to mark it out).
  6. Have someone running the music. My husband downloaded a techno CD from itunes for $10 with 30 songs on it or something. They were perfect for the games, but they needed to be turned on and off so we could hear the host announce what was next.


  1. Don't give people extra lives. We only allowed players one life, but we had a few contestants playing for 30-40 minutes and ended up running out of time (not everyone got to play). So, one shot folks! The games were pretty easy, so maybe if you pick harder games, an extra life is needed.
  2. Don't bother giving out practice packets. We picked out 14 possible games, copied the instructions, made packets and handed them out to all the Sunday School classes. Then, on the big night, pretty much everyone confessed they hadn't even looked at them. You can always make a list of potential games and direct everyone to the website or just keep them guessing!
  3. Don't play "Fishhead". It’s impossible to set up and even more impossible to play!
What about you guys out there? Any tips you want to share? I’ll love to hear it, because we’ll be repeating this event as a Family night in the furture. Thanks!
Thank you again, Lindsey, for this idea! My next post will include more of Lindsey's ideas!" So . . . what do you think about having your own "Minute to Win It" at your church? Have you done this? Are you planning to do it?

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