I have been working with teenagers for about 12 years now. Here is a game with a short message, a quick activity and hopefully something these kids can remember. Please remember that these games are just to help make a point and are not exhaustive in explaining the Scripture cited. Feel free to use them with your group.
Explanation: Our obedience to God has nothing to do with our feelings. You cannot always wait to feel like reading the Bible, or feel like praying, or feel like going to church. Actually most of the time you don’t – especially if you are a non-Believer. You may not get why you have to go to Church, but go anyway. You may miss the mark and forget to pray all the time, but do it anyway and next time you may be closer to understanding more about who God is and who you are in Him. You may not want to read the Bible, but read it anyway because next time you do, you may even get saved if you are not! And even if you don’t, do it again until you love going to church, until you look forward to spending time in prayer, until you crave His Word! And the closer you are to God, the greater chance you have of making the mark which can be anything from salvation for the lost to further sanctification for the Believer or getting what you didn’t understand before or finding pleasure in what you despised (obedience), or despising what once was pleasurable (sin). There is always blessing when we obey Him even though you don’t understand why you should.
Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Philippians 2:12 – Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
Isaiah 55:11 – so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Hebrews 2:5 – and having been made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him
Philippians 1:6 – And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Things needed: Trash bin, lots of sheets of paper of any kind.
What to do: Have kids sit down where they usually sit. Place the trash bin in a semi-central place. Hand out two sheets of paper and have the kid make them into two balls. They cannot move from where they are. Those sitting closer to the trash bin have an advantage than those far away (closer is better). Point that out. Have them try to make their ball into the trash bin. Then have them do it again? Was their second try closer to the mark? Ask them what they did different? Eventually, given enough time, they will make it. Encourage your kids to keep praying, to keep seeking God, to keep reading Scripture. Sometimes they may not understand why they have to do this, but God promises to not leave them where they started. Sometimes they may not feel like doing anything for God, so confess that even you feel that way also. Close in prayer begging the Holy Spirit to open their eyes and ears even more to the things of God.
You can do this activity in any order or tweak it to your groups specific needs.