What Youth Ministers Can Learn From a Professional Hockey Team

What do you get when you combine two of my favourite things (youth ministry and the Vancouver Canucks)?

You get this awesome video:

I was pretty pumped when I saw this video. Most of my friends (and some readers of this blog) know that I’m a passionate Vancouver Canucks fan. I’m blessed to be a season-ticket holder and I’ve made a string of corny music covers and parody videos honouring the team.

So while the games in this video (led by assistant coach Perry Pearn) aren’t exclusive to youth ministry, you can see how easily they can be applied to a youth ministry setting – especially with respect to trust, communication, and leadership.

In the first game, teams had to make it through a maze of landmines (i.e. pie tins) while blindfolded.

“The big thing is communication…and how important a single voice is to follow,” Pearn said.

The second game challenged the players to keep a bucket of water up using only their feet. One by one the players had to take their feet off the bucket, remove their shoes and socks, and resume holding their part of the bucket. Once every player had done this, they removed their feet leaving just one player holding up the bucket before setting it down.

“It’s a great thing to watch who takes charge,” Pearn said. “You have to make some decisions in that…and usually one person has to take on the responsibility of being the last person to hold on to that bucket and set it down.”

The third game is a youth ministry classic: the wooden skis. The players quickly learned that if they weren’t working together and communicating, they wouldn’t go anywhere.

The Canucks seem to be having more fun than last year (when they missed the playoffs for the first time in six seasons). It’s showing on the ice as well as they’ve sported an 8 and 4 record to start the season.

It’s nice to see grown men having as much fun playing games as our youth would at our youth ministry events.

My guess though is that the hockey players don’t eat pizza as their main staple. :p

Clayton Imoo

Clayton Imoo is husband to Gail and father to sons Sean Isaiah and Jacob Isaac and daughter Kayla Marie; and he has served as the Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver for the past ten years, helping parishes develop their own youth and young adult ministries.

Clay enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, playing sports, playing naptime, speaking and writing blogs on family, faith and the Vancouver Canucks at http://www.claytonimoo.com

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