Parable Scavenger Hunt (Choose Your Own Adventure!)

5 09 2011

Our theme for the month of September is “Choose Your Own Adventure,” and at youth group, we’ll be focusing on the little everyday decisions that slowly build into a lifestyle of faith. Tonight, our youth got to meet the people who will be in their small group and choose which topic they will study this month.

Our “introductory activity” was a scavenger hunt based on a modern-day version of several parables. (And by modern-day, I mean, Taylor Swift is the “Jesus” figure in one of the stories!  For what it’s worth, this analogy actually went over incredibly well with our youth…they ended up in some heated discussions about this particular parable!). I wrote the scavenger hunt based on those old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, which are told in second-person point of view and allow the reader to determine the outcome of the novel.

So, our youth got to insert themselves into the parable retellings and decide things like:

If I was given money to take care of, would I invest it or bury it in the ground?
If I saw someone on the side of the road who had been beaten up, would I come to his rescue or pass him by?
If my dad asked me to help him mow the lawn, would I say yes or ditch him for my friends?

**Disclaimer: I know the modern-day analogies aren’t perfect (Taylor Swift, after all, is not Jesus), but it was a creative way to get our youth into the Bible!  And, whenever they reached a card that had a blue box in it, they had to read the actual Scripture and talk about it before moving on.  They actually remembered the parables pretty well at the close of the evening!

All in all, I included 6 parables in the hunt, with 7 possible endings.  The stories seemed to be just long enough to be interesting, yet not so long that they got bored by the activity. Our version was a scavenger hunt around the church (into the vast uncharted territory known as the “Adult Wing”), which lasted about 25 minutes. But if you wanted to make this a longer activity, you could leave clues all over town and do the hunt by van.

If you’re interested in doing this activity with your youth, I tried to make a customizable version in pdf.

Download here: Scavenger Hunt CYOA

1. Find 31 hiding places for clues. (or, if you choose to have a central ending location, you only need 24)

2. Fill out the cheat sheet on page 1.  This will help you keep track of the stories!

3. Go through the 31 clues, and add your own locations in.

4. Hide the clues!

5. Give your students Clue #0 and a Bible, and send them on the hunt!

6. Let me know how it goes! 🙂




5 responses

5 09 2011

Really cool!

5 09 2011

this is amazing!! i bet they’ll remember this for awhile. Definitely save this for your book…. you are planning to write one, right?

5 09 2011

Only if you do the graphics for it!

2 12 2011
Brian Kirk

Wow. I love this! Your site definitely lives up to it’s title. How come I haven’t happened upon you sooner? Will be adding you to our blog roll.
Thanks for sharing this, Brian

22 06 2017
A. M. Forssman

I am interested in doing a similar activity with my youth group in Germany. I knew someone had to have already done something like this! This is awesome! Did everyone do the scavenger hunt together? Or did they go in small groups? Could several groups split up and do the activity at the same time – then compare adventures in the end?

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