Probably one of the worst game ideas (at least with my current group although this would probably be highly contested by some) was “Steal the Bacon”. This game was very fun but became painful very quick! You might ask what is “Steal the Bacon”? In simple terms you 1. split into two teams 2. make sure each team has the same amount of people 3. Number everyone off…making sure there are #1’s on both sides, #2’s on both sides, #3’s on both sides, etc… 4. You separate the teams to opposites sides of the playing fields 5. You then put an object in the middle of the two teams (football, frisbee, or we used a truck inner-tube). 6. You then call out a number like 6 then the person on each team that was number 6 runs to grab the bacon and bring it back to their side.
This sounds like a wonderful game (and truly could be) and you can actually see many youth ministries and children ministries having a great time playing this game because videos are posted on sites like Youtube. However our group decided to add more steps in the game and that is when you try to physically crush your opponent to the ground without even going for the bacon. You would have a 6’1 250 lb guy with no football pads on trying to smash their opponent to the ground when they weren’t looking instead of just grabbing the bacon. This was one of those “sacred cow” games they had done for several years at their retreat and I dared not mess with it at first. It was during the second year that I saw people getting hurt, limping off the field, crying, yelling, and I said enough was enough and cut the game short. It was one of those times that I knew the game should have probably been cut even sooner but I didn’t want to labeled “the guy who ruined the retreat.” Sometimes it is a wise move to not mess with “sacred cows” if it is not necessary but other times if it is in the best interest of the group make the move now! Thankfully we didn’t end up with broken bones and honestly I don’t know how!
What is a game that you have used in your children, youth, or adult ministries that has went really bad?