Get your story straight

The object of this game is to help young people become familiar with stories from the gospels and as a secondary goal will help them mix with other young people at youth group. This game does NOT require players to have any prior knowledge of the Bible at all (though there is an advantage for people that do).

You will need to download and print off one of the Story Card decks (download: Deck 1 here), 200gsm cardboard works well. Each deck contains 12 stories. Each story is split over 5 cards (Beginning, 1st Middle, 2nd Middle, 3rd Middle, and End). Only use enough cards to have complete stories, for example if you have 20 people playing use 20 cards that make up 4 complete stories. If you have an odd number of players, for example 22 people, see if you can make up the numbers with 3 leaders so you have 25 people playing the game and 5 complete stories.

Starting the Game:

Split into groups of 5 people. After you form everyone into teams of 5 you can work out how many bible stories you’ll use from the deck (eg. 10 teams = 10 stories. There’s 12 stories in a deck so remove the remaining 2 stories).

(We’ll use 10 teams as an example of how the game works)

Designate a captain from each team of 5 and deal out 1 card from each of the stories that you’re using (maybe just give them the “beginning” card from each story), that’ll leave a remaining 4 cards for each story in the deck.

Shuffle the remaining deck of cards and distribute randomly. You should now have 10 teams where the captain has the beginning of a story but the rest of the cards in the team are mixed up and will all be from the different stories  (though the law of averages will mean that there could be 1 or more other card/s in the team that matches the captains story card). The card that has been dealt to that person stays with them for the entire game.

Playing the Game:

Give the groups a minute or so to work out if they have any cards that belong to the same story. After roughly a minute, sound a gong (or something) to indicate that the captains trading period has begun. Set a time limit for the trading period to encourage them to get on with it.

The Trading Period:

The captains meet in the middle of the room (front or wherever the trading area is) and they start to work out a trade with other teams. Captains can only trade a maximum of two people (and their cards) each trading period. At first the captains will want to trade the maximum, so everyone will want to trade 2 players. As the game goes on and people are getting closer to piecing together their story, some will want to trade 1 and others 2, but no matter what happens a team MUST NOT exceed 5 players. It’ll be up to the captain to work out how to trade the players they want to swap (eg. If the captain wants to swap 2 players but everyone else only wants to swap 1, then the captain will need to swap their players to 2 different teams. No problem).

The players remain in their teams with their cards during the trading period. Once the captains have struck a deal, then people move teams (taking their card with them).

Once all the teams have traded, give them another minute or so to work out if they now have more cards that belong to the captain’s story.

At the end of roughly a minute, start the next trading period and repeat the process until one group has one complete story. Check if the story is correct and then you may end the game there or continue until all groups have completed stories, though it is perhaps best to finish after 1 group has a complete story because of time. Have the winning group read out their complete story.

Note: It’ll help to have another copy of the cards printed out complete on A4 pages so you can check if the completed stories are correct or give assistance for those who need it.