The Imitation Game | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
August 2018

The Imitation Game

By Jeremy Steele

Imitating people as if you are standing in a mirror is difficult because you have to pay close attention to even the smallest changes in their body language and try to predict what they are going to do. This game helps students experience the act of actively imitating someone else to give them an experiential pathway into understanding what the Bible means when it calls us to Imitate God in Ephesians 5:1-2.

Before you begin pair students up and have them act like they are each other’s mirror. One person should be the “real” person, and the other person should be the “mirror” that is trying to copy. Give them a minute or so to get used to the idea.

  • Once they have practiced, have students stand in a single file line facing front to back.
  • When you say go, the first person will become the “real” turn around and face the person behind them who will be the “mirror.”
  • The pair will mirror each other while they count slowly to five. Once they reach five, the “mirror” will become the “real” person and turn around to face the person behind them. When that happens the first real person will go to the back of the line.
  • The new pair will continue counting at six and make the next swap at ten.
  • This will continue until someone makes a big mistake at which point the counting restarts at one, the “real” person goes to the back of the line, and the “mirror” becomes “real and turns around.
  • The goal is to have an unbroken chain of “mirrors” for as long as possible.

Questions for reflection:

Read Ephesians 5:1-2

  • How difficult was it to mirror someone like this?
  • What made it easier or harder?
  • What is difficult about imitating God?
  • What can make it easier or harder?
  • What could you change about this activity to make it easier (like choreograph movements ahead of time)? How does that relate to imitating God (we can know some of God’s moves by studying the Bible)?
When he's not playing with his four children with his wonderful wife, Jeremy is the associate pastor at Los Altos UMC in Los Altos, CA. Jeremy has spent over twenty years working in youth and children's ministry and continues to train children and youth workers as well as writing and speaking extensively in that field. His most recent book is the "All the Best Questions." You can find a list of all his books, articles, and resources for churches at