Activity Name: Heaven & Hell
Setting: Indoor(depending upon available space) or Outdoor
Number of Players: 7-30
Number of Facilitators: 2
Tools & Equipment: 3-7 medium-sized plush or plastic balls or tennis balls (possible more for larger groups), and a Clock or Stopwatch for Facilitator
Bible Reference: Hebrews 7:26; 2 Corinthians 12:2; & Daniel 12-13
How to Play: For groups of 7 players or less, a facilitator should choose 1 person to be a “gatekeeper”. In groups of 10-20 players 4 or 5 people can be “gatekeepers”. In groups larger than 20 participants, a facilitator may choose how many players can be “gatekeepers”. Remaining participants should form 2 parallel lines facing each other, with an equal number of participants in each line. There should be at least 30 feet of space between the lines (a larger amount of space in outdoor settings, in larger rooms, or for larger groups). This space will be known as the “The Second Heaven” and the chosen “gatekeeper(s)” should be in this open space. Players on one of the lines will be called the “Angels” while players in the other line will be called the “Humans”.
The object of the game is to prevent the “gatekeepers” from crossing over into the earth realm. Because there are an even number of people in both lines, every “Human” should have an “Angel” in the line across from them-creating a pair. This Angel will be assigned to this Human for the duration of the game. Both facilitators will act as referees. While ONLY one of them will also act as an “announcer”.
The balls represent “prayers”. The balls should be randomly given to a few players in the “Human” line, and they should hold the balls until the announcer says “Go!”. Once the announcer says go, the “Humans” with the balls will begin to attempt to throw them over to the “Angels”. The “gatekeepers” must remain still and in place. If the ball doesn’t reach the “Angel” and lands in the “Second Heaven”, then the “Angel” closest to the ball may go over into that space and retrieve the ball. The “Angel” with the ball may now attempt to throw the ball back down to their “Human”. This act represents an answered prayer. If the ball is closer to the “Human” line, a “Human” may go into that space and grab the ball. The balls never belong to a particular “Human” & “Angel” pair and can be used by anyone at any point in the game. However, the “Humans” and “Angels” can only throw the balls to each other. For example, an “Angel” should not be throwing a ball to another “Angel”, nor should a “Human” throw a ball to another “Human”.
Two minutes into the activity, the facilitator who is also serving as the “announcer” will call out a single sinful act, word, or phrase. They will say something like: lying, cheating on a test, smoking weed, or Netflix & Chill. (Make sure these, acts, words, or phrases are age appropriate). When this happens, the “gatekeepers” are able to move and grab the balls that are in their area (Second Heaven), and can also tag any “Humans” in the area. “Angels” cannot be tagged. If a “Human” is tagged they must now be still (frozen in place), and only their specific “Angel” can go into the “Second Heaven” and un-tag them to set them free. The other “Humans” & “Angels” must continue throwing the balls back and forth during this time. The announcer will wait 2 minutes to allow the “gatekeepers” time to interact. Then the announcer will yell “Stop”. If a “gatekeeper” has tagged a “Human”, and their “Angel” was unsuccessful in un-tagging them, the “gatekeeper” can take a ball with them, and replace the “Human” that they tagged by taking their place in the “Human” line.
The other facilitator is to make sure that no “Human” or “Angel” is unfairly holding a ball in order to stall for time, and they should also ensure that participants are remaining in place (or frozen) when tagged. No one should be tagged with a ball-only lightly by the hand.
The announcer then says “Go” once again, and the activity resumes-and the “gatekeepers” in the “Second Heaven” are still. It is important that the announcer be unpredictable and inconspicuous when it comes to saying “Go”, “The Sinful Act, Word, or Phrase”, & “Stop”. Participants should not be able to predict when the announcer will speak, so it is recommended that the announcer change the time intervals between announcements. The activity should continue for as long as time allows.
There are no winners or losers in this activity. This can be done as a sole activity. It also reinforces one of the lessons in our Spiritual Warfare Curriculum.