John Cooper oversees 318 Student Ministry. John submitted this game to the Stash. Here are his instructions.

I came up with this game as a way to help us kick off our Stretch Retreat for Middle School Students. The retreat is this weekend! Our aim is to challenge our students to stretch in their relationships with God and one another beyond where they are currently. Here is the game:

Comfort Zones Game
Played similar to Take a Hike / Fruit basket Turnover


Players sit in chairs in a circle. Just enough chairs for seated players. One leader at a time in the center (try two in the middle to mix it up). Leader calls out something that is out of his/her Comfort Zone. Anyone who is comfortable with that thing/action/etc must get up from their seat and find a new seat.

Ex. Leader says: “Riding roller coasters is really out of my comfort zone. “

Players in the circle who are comfortable riding roller coasters, get up and race to a new seat. They must move to a new seat at least two chairs away from their current seat. Person who does not find a seat is now the leader in the middle.

Next Player: Speaking in public is really out of my comfort zone.

Game can continue indefinitely and helps you get to know your group better.

The statements can be reversed: i.e. “Sharing a toothbrush with someone else is totally in my comfort zone.” Then all players who are uncomfortable would move.


4 Responses to “COMFORT ZONE”

  1. John Cooper April 10, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    Ok, after the retreat, this is what I learned. Having students move based on the opposite was way too hard to keep track of and led to confusion, so we changed it to just moving if the student had the same feeling about a comfort zone. It worked much better and our students really enjoyed it.

  2. Ashley September 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    I play a game similar to this with my youth group students. But we call it “Upset the fruit basket”. So say you have 20 players you would need 19 chairs, in a circle. you have one person start in the middle of the circle and they say “I like people who…” and they chose something. (i.e. “i like people who pray every day”) and the people who do that have to stand up and find a new seat (that is not directly next to their old seat), and who ever is left in the middle is “it”.

    we usually play this on our first day of gatherings, as well as an icebreaker with other youth groups while on retreats :)

  3. MaggieW February 26, 2013 at 3:31 am #

    I know another game similar to these that has been called “I Have Never…” or “Never Have I Ever…” in which one person in the middle says something they have not done, and everyone who has done it has to move, the person left standing then repeats the process. It can also be played as the middle person says something they have done and everyone who has not done it has to move.
    Another variation I know is that everyone is sitting in a circle with their hands spread open, and one person is chosen (usually by a leader, just so it goes quickly) to start by saying something they have (or have not) done, and everyone who has not (or has) done it ‘loses’ a finger. The person who makes the ‘I have/have not’ statement just goes around in a circle (person A, then person B, etc). The winner is the last person with fingers.
    These games can work as icebreakers, or with people who have known each other for years. :)

  4. Dan Witten April 28, 2014 at 6:59 am #

    This sounds fun, we play a game like this called love your neighbor. Person in the middle asks anyone sitting down if they love their neighbor. If they say yes. The two people sitting beside him have to change seats while the person asking the questions sits in one of them. If they say no, ( this is where it is similar) they say no,but I like people wearing blue pants, then all the people wearing blue pants must find a new seat while the person in the middle takes any open chair.

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