(This post may be useful for those in ministry looking for games to play during retreat breakout sessions!)
In the spring of 2019 I was asked to speak on “Prayer” at an annual Women’s Retreat. This topic is one that is close to my heart as noted in my April 2018-“I Want In” post. Remembering that Hebrews 4:16, encourages all to go boldy, or (depending upon your translation), go with confidence before the Throne of God, speaking on and encouraging prayer became my charge.
Along with preparing a brief testimony and visuals, the desire to make the breakout session a fun experience for everyone was at the forefront of my game plan! So, I prayed and asked, “Lord, how can I make this session exciting and…okay, competitive!” Hope you’re laughing here! (You know there is ALWAYS something to win at a retreat!)
After hunting on the web, the beginnings of a Scrabble board with praise words just happened to be in my Pinterest feed. To say the least, the game of Scrabble has become legendary in our family, so with this visual ‘gift’ in mind (thank You Holy Spirit!) I was off to Hobby Lobby to purchase a 24” x 36” foam board and suitable adhesives! Next purchase…Amazon for extra Scrabble tiles!
The beautiful thing about the board (that lived on our kitchen counter for days) was that it just kept evolving! As the tiles of one word were placed another word of praise would come to mind. The Spirit just kept the competition going between my husband and I with word after word forming off another until we were basically out of room and vowels!
Our final step was figuring out a way to integrate the board not only into the session, but as well how to make a fun, fast and easy game that would suit larger groups.
I pray Scrabble Praise! brings you as many laughs as it did for our breakout sessions!
You’ll find necessary supplies and instructions below:
1-24” x 36” Foam board. Color doesn’t matter, I purchased white from Hobby Lobby for under $3.00.
Scrabble tiles. Hello Amazon! I ordered 6 sets of 100 to accommodate six tables in the breakout room. About $6.00 per set of 100 tiles.
Glue Pen or glue sticks. I personally like a chisel-tip glue pen found at most craft stores where adhesives are located. This type of glue pen is clean, neat and keeps the project moving along. Glue pens are around $5-6.00. Glue sticks are in your child’s pencil box…go get them!
1. Prepare a flat surface i.e. kitchen counter or table for your board to live while you create. Make your board and allow drying time.
2. Once dry the board is ready to transport. Have the board displayed so that your participants can see the entire board. An easel works well.
3. Integrate the praise words into your session. As discussed in, “I Want In” there are so many that feel too intimidated to pray privately let alone in public. After your presentation introduce the board by explaining that any one of the words on the Scrabble Praise board can be used as a way to launch into prayer!
Ex: YES LORD, OPEN the eyes of my heart! Thank You for my RENEWED SPIRIT! I TRUST You, etc.
Game Set Up and Directions
1. Form teams of 4-5 participants.
2. Place a full set of 100 tiles face up at each team station. Face up saves time! (This is where the competitors stop listening to instructions and start scheming!)
3. Set up the word, “CORNERSTONE” in vertical fashion to begin.
4. Set timer for 5 minutes. Begin!
5. The goal is to form as many praise words as possible!
* Form lots of small words. Exegetical Theologians, Greek, Hebrew experts… calm down!
* Have a team member forming words to integrate into base words.
* Have another team member searching for needed letters to save time.
* Have FUN! This is where it gets wild as church people become very competitive when it comes to winning anything!
Ask each team for their total number of words.
Award prizes in any way that fits your retreat!
Ex: combo words, combo phrases, verse or music tie-ins etc.
Everybody wins, all the time with God!