One special part of the junior youth gathering in Phoenix will be the Anabaptist Game.

After hearing the story of the early Anabaptists of the 1500’s, a group of Christians who defied the state church in order to follow their convictions, the junior-high youth will form groups and explore the Convention Center trying to find eight “safe houses.” There is a drama about the Anabaptists in each house. The youth won’t know where these “houses” are located, but Anabaptist Fugitives (high-school students playing the game) will help them find where to go. Other persons play the game as Soldiers, who try to capture the junior-high groups and send them to the state church magistrate, who questions their faith and then sends the groups to the dungeon. The Holy Spirit helps the groups know what to say when they are being interrogated.

After being released from the dungeon, each group then goes back to work at the goal: finding all eight houses. At each house, the groups receive a Bible verse that proves they successfully found that house. It’s a rousing two hours of fun, trying to find secret places and escaping the soldiers, experiencing a scary “dungeon,” and learning a lot about Christians who sought to follow Jesus completely, even to the point of torture and death. Many junior high students say it is a learning experience that impacts them deeply for a long time.

M_Hershberger_8152a-25001-135x180Michele Hershberger, professor and chair of the Bible and Ministry Department at Hesston College in Kansas, will be giving leadership to this experience.

It’s not too late to register for convention. If you know someone in grades 6-8 who would like to join in, help them register today