The Tonight Show Effect


A secret in student ministry is that most, if not all, youth pastors really hate games.  I know you think we love to put Happy Meals in a blender, eat Crickettes, and buy pool noodles in bulk, but most people don’t enjoy coming up with great games.

I think there is several reasons for this.  One is coming up with great games is tough work.  Seriously a book full of games for teens might have 5% usable games for your ministry.  If people being paid to develop games are struggling with group games, then those of us who do so much more are going to have a difficult times.  Also, we are trained pastors and leaders who do pastor like stuff – writing messages, visiting hospitals, designing environments,small group training, etc.  I don’t know anybody that got into ministry to focus on games.

This is where The Tonight Show comes into play.  As I sat in a room of youth pastors a few months ago, many admitted their ideas came from Jimmy Fallon games.  Obviously they aren’t doing the ones that would be inappropriate for a church setting, but most of his games make for good youth group games.

Even one of the largest churches in the country, 12Stone, used a Tonight Show game in their MAIN service.  You can see it in the middle of Pastor Kevin’s message here.

All of this to say – the show is an awesome resource for student pastors.  Minute to Win It, The Price is Right, Jeopardy, and others give student pastors amazing ideas without having to come up with a super creative game.  Use these shows as a resource so you can spend more time focusing on relationships and discipleship.



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