Service Scavenger Hunt

Scripture: Luke 10:25-37

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of the Good Samaritan.
  • During a tour of their community/school/church, students will become more aware of opportunities to serve by listing as many services as they notice and sharing their insights with peers.

Guiding Question: What are some often overlooked opportunities to serve others in my community?

Materials: notebook for each student, pen for each student, community to walk/drive around (or school/church building)

Procedure: Review the story of the Good Samaritan especially focusing on how the Samaritan was serving spontaneously during his normal schedule. He veered from his everyday routine in order to help the man who was attacked. Begin to open students’ eyes to the opportunities God can and does give them by going on a service scavenger hunt. Give each student a notebook and a pen. Then go exploring. If you are at a school or church, go through each room and instruct students to write down as many opportunities that they can think of serving in that room. For example: In a church foyer, you can be a greeter, show guests a list of classes, help prepare communion, etc. This can be done with a community center/ neighborhood or school as well. If you are in a neighborhood, walk students around tennis courts, cul-de-sacs, playgrounds, visit a student or teacher’s home (with advance notice to the family). If you are in a school, let students walk in the classrooms, cafeteria, playground, auditorium, etc.

If you have enough drivers or a small community that makes walking a good choice, you can tour the town. You may want to make your first stop your church building. As you walk around the property, encourage students to write down every way they can think of people can serve God while in and around your church building. Then go to the park or a mall – any place with lots of people. Have students write down more ways they can think of to serve people. Keep walking or driving around your community and encourage students to think about other ways to serve people and share their faith as you pass schools, hospitals, nursing homes and more.

If possible, end your scavenger hunt in a teacher or church member’s house. Have students write down all of the ways they can serve family members. Then step outside of the house and have them do the same about their neighbors. If you cannot go to someone’s house, then walk through a neighborhood and/or return to the main teaching area where you began. Encourage students to be as specific as possible about these neighborhood people they probably know the best. Want to get really challenging? Pull out a map of your state, your country or even the world and have students write down more ideas.

Once their lists are complete, talk about what they wrote down. How many of these things would they have even thought about without the game? What can they do to be more aware of the opportunities God is giving them? With older kids and teens, have some more mature discussions about the realities of not always being able to meet every need and how Christians need to work together to meet the overwhelming needs in the world.

Additional Questions:

  • How can you share your faith, by telling someone about God, inviting them to Church or encouraging them in their Christian walk as they serve?
  • What are some things that you can do in advance to prepare for times when you might see someone in need?

Supplemental Activities:

  • For a more competitive and game-like feel: Use a “Scategories” game format where students compete to list the most number of services and the least obvious services. The winner is the one who has more creative services than anyone else. Have the person with the longest list read their list aloud. As they read, other students mark off any that they also have. Then students count how many are left after that. The person with the most not crossed off wins.
  • Encourage each student to pick one thing from their list. Depending upon your situation and how much time and money you have, you may even want to give them a set amount of cash to use. Assign a few students to an adult leader. Have them work in small groups to choose a need and do what they can to plan for and/or fulfill this opportunity God let them see.
  • Have students think of the types of needs that they might see on the streets in their community. How can they prepare for when they see an unexpected need so that they do not turn away from the person? For example: Students may see a homeless person. Discuss how they can keep nonperishable food and hygiene items in their cars so that they are always prepared to give. Students can organize a donation drive for the homeless and make service bags to keep in their cars. Good items include: nonperishable food, toothbrush and paste, lotion, antibacterial, etc. Let students think of other opportunities to prepare for in advance.