Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Hunger Games + Easter?

The Hunger Games seem to be everywhere. A poll my youth group tonight showed more than half have already read or seen the movie. Of those who hadn't most were still planning on seeing the movie and only one person didn't know what I was talking about. It's not surprising that book has sold almost three million copies and the movie was #1 at the box office making $155 million it's first weekend (the third highest weekend of all time). I have wanted to blog about the story and the movie for awhile but this post isn't a review or reaction or even a comparison of the book and movie. It's about youth ministry, Easter, and The Hunger Games.

Tuesday I was searching for activities for youth night (I've added a link at the end to a new game the group loved) when I found this freebie "Sacrifical Love: A Hunger Games Bible Study." It seemed like the prefect bridge into a discussion on Jesus' death and resurrection. The writer compared Katniss' volunteering to take her sister Prim's place in the games to Jesus taking our place and punishment. I tweaked a few of the questions and finished with communion. I was very happy how the night went.

What made the night was the kids answering  "what makes The Hunger Games so appealing?" The answers were very diverse and the conversation flowed well. Someone said the action, another said it is feels real even though it's fiction, someone said it's not the world but it feels like a possible future. Then one of the girls paused and said, "I think it's appealing because of the type of story it is. It reminds me of the stories in the Bible, of how God sent his son to show us his love and to do that he had to be a sacrifice." In my head I was like, "yep exactly I'm just going to read the Bible and pray cause you said it all." We actually moved from that into more question but it made me smile that she made the connection. It was a good night.

How do you feel about taking something "secular" like The Hunger Games and using it to illustrate God's story? Is it useful? Harmful? Over done? Not done enough? Have Christians done it poorly, unfairly, or wrong? These are things I have been thinking about and I wonder what you think about them.

Bonus Fun:
The new game I found is called Ninja. The kids loved it and it followed the best youth ministry advice I ever got (about running games). My first year at the church I was feeling over my head about everything especially finding creative and innovative activities for the youth group. I asked A.J. Thomas for advice and he said something like, "Liz, you're doing it wrong. You have to stop trying to come up with games you think the kids will enjoy. Instead, choose a game that will be hilarious for you to watch because that is the game they are going to love the most." It has proven to be true time and time again. Three-legged, capture the flag, in the dark -Epic! I don't think we've actually done that....hmmm...I know what were doing next week :)

This is a video of kids playing Ninja and then Waa:


Krystle B said...

How do you play Waa?

Krystle B said...

Could you email the insturctions on how to play Waa?