One of my favorite church camp messy games is “zombie tag”. This game is played with chocolate and strawberry syrup. Thanks to shows like the Walking Dead or video games like the Call of Duty zombie mode, this game has a lot of relevance for young people. I have ran the game for several years and it has always been a big hit. It is also not too hard to give this game a scriptural connection. Even though I typically use this game at camp, it can be adapted for a youth group as small as eleven or twelve. Hopefully, these lesson plans will provide a great youth group night this summer.
Scripture: Romans 10:10-15
10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[ 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
To play this game you will need several bottles of chocolate and strawberry syrup. You will also need a wide outdoors place to play the game in. Begin by picking a fast runner to be the “alpha zombie.” The alpha zombie’s goal is to tag other players. When someone is tagged they need to report to a designated place to be “zombiefied”. This process is done by squeezing strawberry and chocolate syrup on the person. This person is now a zombie and they are trying to tag the non-zombies. The goal for non-zombie players is to last as long as possible.
It is possible to play this game as a non-messy game. In order to do this bandanas, hats, or something else is needed to clearly show who the zombies are. If played as a messy game it might be a good idea to hose the students off before beginning the discussion.
After the game is over, use the following questions to prompt discussion:
1. Did it become harder to evade zombies as the game went on? Why?
2. What caused the zombie “infection” to spread so fast in this game?
These are fairly straightforward questions and it should easily come out as more people become zombies, their influence grows, and spreads to other people quickly. This point needs to be clearly made so that it can be clearly referenced later.
Read Romans 10:10-15 and then use the following questions to prompt discussion. Following many of the questions are “facilitator instructions” that include useful pointers for the person leading the discussion with the students.
1. According to this scripture, how is one saved?
Facilitator Instruction: This is a comprehension question. The answer in verse thirteen is that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” If appropriate for the group it could be mentioned that salvation is not based on saying a certain phrase but on a changed heart, that the cry to the Lord comes out of.
2. Looking at verse 14, how do we preach to people who have not heard?
Facilitator Instruction: Students should be led to consider the words, techniques, or structure that should be used to preach the gospel. This question also naturally leads to the next one, and students should be led to consider how the gospel can be preached without using words.
2. Is it possible for someone to “call on the name of the Lord” without being told the good news about Jesus?
Facilitator Instruction: This is a very open question, and it opens up the conversation about to what degree the gospel can be shared by our actions. Building on the answers of the students, the facilitator should follow up and ask additional questions along this line.
3. Looking at verse 15, what does it mean to be sent? How are you sent?
Facilitator Instruction: The end of verse 15 states “beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.” This means the sent ones are the messengers who bring the good news. All Christians who have experienced grace and received forgiveness of sins know the good news. This makes all messengers and means that we are all sent.
4. Who do you think you might be sent to deliver the message of good news to?
Facilitator Instruction: The answers the students give might be generic like “their school.” If this is the case ask them to privately consider the names of the specific people they are to reach.
5. If all Christians took the directive to be messengers of the good news and share it, then how fast would the gospel spread?
Facilitator Instruction: This is the question that connects back to the game. In the game, the infected grew and with each person they added they became more effective at infecting others. Often this game reaches a tipping point where the number of infected becomes too many. In the same way if all believers took seriously sharing the gospel, then the message of Jesus Christ would quickly overwhelm the world.