Ninja – The Youth Ministry Game That is Taking Over…


You may have seen this game before and not really understood what was going on.  The game is called Ninja.  It is an extremely easy game to figure out and explain but can take a lifetime to master.  Youth Ministers like it simply because they will play and analyze it more than anyone else, ensuring that they could beat any youngster up for the challenge.

Here are the instructions:

Size of Group: You can play two people but I would recommend starting with at least four.  If you have more than 20 people, it may be good to split them in to small groups of ten.

Goal of the game: To hit/touch someone else’s hand with your hand.  This eliminates them from the game.

Directions: Have everyone stand in a circle, take a bow (like on the Karate Kid), and strike a pose like a Ninja.  One person will move at a time and you will go in clock-wise motion.  Basically the person whose turn it is will try to touch/hit the hand of another person with their hand with ONE motion.  The person they are trying to attack can make ONE motion to move out of the way.  Both people stay where the end of their motion ends and are frozen until it is either their turn again or they are attacked.

How to Win: You play until one person is left in the game and they are declared the winner.

Things to Know:

  • You always go after the person who started to your right at the beginning of the game.  The circle will eventually collapse and people may get out of order.  Always remember who you go after.
  • If someone goes out of turn, have them return to where they were.
  • Can set a rule that your hands must visible (recommended)
  • A role, jump, or spin is considered one motion.

Once your youth start to understand the strategy to this game it can become extremely competitive.  It is a great game that most enjoy (especially the volunteers!)



  • We played the game at the First Lego League Robotics Festival in St Louis Missouri just a few months ago, our intermediate Youth Group played it and brought it back to our parish…Even our priest likes it.

  • Becky


    I am looking to do this activty with my Ministry but I wanted to do a talk with it. I was thinking I would start off saying how you never knew what the other person was going to do. How they would move and react. I was attempting to find a quote from the Bible that talks about you never know what God is going to do and what he has in his plan for you. Could you help?

    • That is a great idea. Maybe to make it a little easier would be to decide a fundamental truth that exists in the bible to connect it with… like Discernment. We may not know now what His plan is for us, but there are ways in which we can prepare ourselves for when that plan is revealed to us. Like a Jeremiah 29:11 night.