Common Ground

Game Summary: Teams will race to create lists of things that all the team members have in common.

Game Supplies: You'll need paper and pencils.

Form equal-sized teams of three to six. Give each team a sheet of paper and a pencil. Tell teams their challenge is to list everything they can think of that all team members have in common. For example, team members might all attend the same school, prefer the same kind of music, or like the same brand of tennis shoes. The only rule is that they can't list similar body parts, such as "We all have two arms, a brain, and a nose."

Tell teams they have three minutes to create their lists, so they need to work quickly. (Groups of five or six may need more time, but don't allow more than four to five minutes.) To add to the urgency and excitement of the game, inform teams when there's one minute as well as 30 seconds remaining.

When time is up, find out which team has the longest list and ask team members to read the similarities they listed. Then ask teams who had similarities not already listed to share them. To conclude, have the entire group discuss the following questions. Ask:

• How easy was it to discover something in common with another team member? With every team member?

• What does this reveal about the extent to which we're alike? The ways in which we're all different?

• How can our similarities draw us closer together? How can our differences help us grow closer?

Variation Idea: Challenge teams to list things members don't have in common — things that make each person unique. For example, kids may have been born in different states, might go to different schools, or might like different music. You might also challenge your entire youth group to list as many things as it can that members all have in common.