Games With A Purpose – 200 Icebreakers, Energisers, and Games That Make a Point
Martin Saunders & Jimmy Young, Monarch 2016

£14.99 (Approx)
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What does it say on the tin?

Games with a Purpose mixes energizing, entertaining games with learning points to create an invaluable resource for working with groups aged 9 and above.

Categorized around popular topics this collection of games has something to suit every situation – from games needing little or no preparation or equipment, to big, memorable games that will stay with your group for a long time.

Every game is followed by suggestions for further discussion, and the index of themes makes it easy to locate the right game for any session.

What do you get?

A 255-page book containing 200 different games. The games are split into 12 different categories: ice-breakers, Get set go!, challenges, big and memorable, Bible games, energisers, messy games, tech games, team games, small group games, seasonal games, quick-fire games.

Each category comes with an introduction from the authors as to why you might need these type of games and when best to use them.

Each game has a clear summary of what age it suits, what equipment is needed (if any), and a theme you can connect it to. There is a succinct description of the game followed by a ‘What’s the purpose?’ section which helps you to think through how you might lead into the theme of your session.

Who is it for?

Youth leaders to use with young people aged 9 upwards. Small groups, youth groups, Enquiring, Beginning, Growing. Downloadable.


  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    This is a fantastic book of games to use in your youth group. There doesn’t seem to have been a new book of games published for some time, but this more than makes up for the wait. Not only are the games fun and easy to lead (generally!) but the encouragement to link games to teaching themes is what really makes this resource stand out.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Very. Games are not just important because they are fun, but because they can help people understand a topic better. Each chapter (or category) outlines when and why you should use those type of games.

    How accessible are the leader’s notes?

    Very easy to follow. Each game has: a theme connection, age suitability, resources needed, venue requirements, background preparation, the game itself, and what’s the purpose? i.e. how to apply it to your teaching.

    Who could lead it?

    Anyone leading a youth group. Great to use with new leaders or to encourage helpers to get more involved, as the games are easy to understand and to lead.

    How helpful are the participants’ resources?


    How good is any digital material?


    How much prep will I have to do?

    This very much depends on the games you choose each time! Some games need no preparation whilst some (especially the Big and Memorable games) could take some time. But beware of trying to scrimp on preparation – the better prepared you are, the better the game will go and the stronger the link will be to your teaching programme.

    Is there website support? Links?


  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    These are games that involve working together or as teams.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    The range of games is impressive – silent games, memory games, messy games, relay games, team games, camera games, etc.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Very. Choose the games that you think will work with your group, and tweak them to make them even better.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    This is presumed throughout.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    There is a chapter on Bible games – 10 games to help young people get to know their Bibles. There is a memory verse game, Bible reference game, names of Jesus game, Bible Who’s who etc. Whilst the remaining chapters are not Bible-based, they do all connect with a possible theme you are teaching on. To help, there is a concise index at the end of all the possible theme connections. (eg burdens, church, gender, identity, Jesus, listening to God).

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    The focus is on fun and learning without realising. It is not expected to be the main teaching element of your youth group meeting.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?


    Is there a particular theological perspective?


  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    Games help people to have fun and put them in a place where they may learn better, be more open and honest and willing to go deeper.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    This is not the focus

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    It helps to communicate that God is a God of joy and laughter, not just for the serious issues of life.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    This depends on the topics you choose, and what you teach after the games!

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?


    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?


    How well does it connect with global issues?


    How well does it encourage global mission?


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