Unless you have been on Sabbatical, like me, then you have undoubtedly heard your students talking about the #1 App in both the Free and Paid Categories on iOS and Android.
Meet Trivia Crack. In Trivia Crack you spin a wheel and try to answer three trivia questions so that you can answer a fourth question and earn one of the six needed characters to win. Sound confusing? It’s actually simple and addicting…check it out.
As I was playing Trivia Crack, and really when I’m doing anything, I asked myself: “what can I learn from this?” After running out of hearts and having to wait 30 minutes to play again…I came up with 4 things Youth Ministry can learn from Trivia Crack:
Students like competition. In competition…people lose.
One of my biggest pet peeves in youth ministry is “everyone’s a winner.” I hate when youth ministry games end with “everyone wins!” And if I’m being honest, I’ve done it a few times myself as not to break the heart of a puppy-eyed 6th grader. But it’s my firm belief that we are doing students a disservice by letting them always win.
Why? Because they will experience this nowhere in life after high school and it distorts their understanding of pain and suffering. If students believe they are suppose to “win” at everything, what happens the first time they experience failure in their pursuit of Christ? Or, what happens when God uses struggle to grow them, but they completely miss the lesson of the journey because the end result doesn’t look they way thought it would?
By allowing our students to lose, and encouraging them in their pursuit, we can teach them the beauty of failure, and force them to reflect on the One who has overcome.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
Students like validation…even if it’s in the form of a cartoon character.
There is this sense of validation whenever you answer four correct trivia questions and receive a small cartoon character. Why? Because we all like recognition and praise for our successes. While it might sound like I’m talking out both sides of my mouth after that last point about letting students lose, I think youth workers need to up their game when it comes to random encouragement.
When is the last time you intentionally reached out to a student just to validate their pursuit of Christ. I’m not talking about congratulating them after a game, performance or at graduation; I’m talking about in the middle of a week where nothing spectacular has happened. You would be surprised at the confidence capital that is built through a simple, “I truly see Christ working in you, and I just wanted to say I’m proud of you.”
If Trivia Crack is building confidence in teenagers, how much more should the church?
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Students are capable of learning…so challenge them.
While some of the questions on Trivia Crack are incredibly easy, others are quite difficult. So just when we thought students didn’t like extra homework, they seem to be blindly consuming tests and quizzes because it’s in the form of a trivia game!
This should remind us that students are far more capable than we give them credit for. Yes they can be extremely apathetic, but they are capable nonetheless. So let’s set the bar high. Let’s ask hard questions. Let’s expect students to retain what we are teaching them.
Which leads me to a follow up question: How are you helping students retain the lessons you teach each week? There is nothing more depressing than asking a room full of students what you talked about last week and having no response! Find a system that reminds the students what you learned and then be prepared to push retention with follow-up questions the following week.
If you’re not patient, you’ll pay for it.
If you’ve played the free version of Trivia Crack, then you know that after your hearts (sessions played) runs out, you have to wait 30 minutes before you can play again. This has become common in free competition apps and is possibly one of the most brilliant and frustrating tactics invented!
But they will not break me! I refuse to give in and pay for the “paid” version or buy any “in-app purchases” that give extra tries! If you are not patient, you’ll pay for it.
This holds true in youth ministry as well:
If you’re not patient with a student through their rebellion…you’ll pay.
If you’re not patient with parents…you’ll pay.
If you’re not patient with volunteers…you’ll pay.
If you’re not patient with other ministries in the church…you’ll pay.
If you’re not patient in your youth ministry tenure…you’ll pay.
And yes…somehow all of this came out of playing Trivia Crack…