Openers, Topical Curriculum

Clever Stories

Here’s an excellent and versatile activity to open up any size group meeting. You can use it for laughs or to begin a discussion on “How we know the story of Jesus is real.”

Students create the most believable stories they can based on random items you have chosen and placed in bags and envelopes on the front table.

Main Point:
Good stories are entertaining but it is the truthful story of Jesus Christ that changes lives.

The quantity of supplies will depend on your group size and time. We suggest that you supply no less than 5 envelopes with items inside but no more than 10. You are providing options for your participating volunteers. You may not use all of the items you prepare.

  • Envelopes, boxes and bags in a variety of sizes
  • Unique items to place inside the envelopes, boxes and bags. Possible items may include:

    • Family photo. The story could be about a picture, a family or about where the picture was taken.
    • Money could prompt a story about something bought or about a job where the money was earned.
    • Sports equipment
    • Books/magazines
    • Video/Computer games
    • Music
    • Yearbook
    • Plants, rocks, flowers
    • Hiking boots

Place individual objects in bags and envelopes.

Students choose an envelope or bag, open it and tell a story that relates to the object in the envelope/bag.

  • The story can be something that happened to them, someone they know or something they heard.
  • Participants can completely make up the story.
  • Participants may tell a true story with made-up stuff mixed in for drama.
  • Story telling will be timed. Allow 2-4 minutes per participants.
  • The object is for each participant to tell the most believable story.

We’re going to start out tonight with a little exercise. I need 5 volunteers to come up front. You will each have the opportunity to choose an envelope with an object in it. When you see your object, you will be given 30 seconds to think of your story and then the clock will be started and you will have 3 minutes to tell a story related to your object. Your goal is to tell the most believable story among all the contestants. OK, it’s time for our first contestant. Chose an envelope or bag, take 30 seconds to think it over and then you will begin.

After several “stories” ask your whole group which story was:

  • The most believable?

  • Most interesting?

  • Most unlikely?

  • The funniest?

  • The most emotional?

* You may want to give a prize for the winner(s).

Ask The Group:

  • Does being any of the above make the story actually true?

  • What makes a story believable?

  • What makes a story true?

Possible Bible Passage to Discuss:
We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
2 Peter 1:16 (NIV)


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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