Children, Teens, Adults
This game teaches that we often need to share resources in order to be successful. Competition with others outside the team is usually productive, but competition within a team can create a lose-lose outcome for all involved.
o Acts 2:42-47
o Flipchart and marker
o Large, open space to play
o Mats of some type
o They can be pieces of cardboard or posterboard, table mats or even newspaper or flipchart paper.
o You will need one per participant, plus one extra per team. For example if you have four teams of five people each, you will need 20 mats (one per participant) plus four mats (one extra per team) for a total of 24 mats.
o They should be large enough for one person to stand on (i.e., about 2’x2’).
o (Optional) Prizes for the winning teams.
o Clear the open space of any obstacles.
o Divide participants into teams of similar size (5-8 is best).
o Identify a starting line and a finishing line. It should be across the room and a significant distance away.
o Count out the mats for each team. They should have one more mat than people on their teams. It doesn’t matter if teams are not the same size. If you have three teams with five people and one team with six, the three teams should have six mats, and the fourth team should have seven mats.
o Space the mats out along the starting line. Keep them close enough together that teams will be able to pass mats back and forth between them.
o Write the debriefing questions (at the end of this lesson) on a flipchart, but conceal them until it is time to debrief.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “We are going to play a game about sharing resources, and we will do it twice.”
- “The first time, your team will be in competition with the others, and we will see how can get from the Start Line to the Finish Line first.”
- “I’ve put mats out along this Start Line.”
- “Your goal is to travel to the Finish Line only stepping on the mats as you go.”
- “It might not sound too difficult, but I have a few additional rules to share.”
- “You can never have more than one person on a mat at a time. In other words, no sharing mats.”
- “Your feet must never touch anything except for a mat as you go from the Start Line to the Finish Line – no standing on other peoples’ shoes, no stepping on the floor, no using other objects as mats – these are the only mats you can use.”
- “If you break a rule, you have to go back to the Start Line and begin again.”
- “Each team has one more mat than you have people.”
- “So the way that you will move is that people in the back will pass a mat forward to the leader.”
- “The leader will step on the new mat, and everyone behind him will step forward to stand on the mat of the person that was in front of them.”
- “Eventually, you will fill up all but one of your mats.”
- “Pass that mat from the back of the line to the front of the line, and everyone will be able to take another step forward.”
- “Does anyone have any questions?” (Answer any questions.)
- “Okay, get ready, get set……..GO!” (Allow teams to race. Make sure they are following the rules. Send a team back if it breaks a rule. When a team has crossed the Finish Line, declare them the winner and have everyone return to the Start Line.)
- “Now, let’s do it again, but this time, I’m going to take away some of your mats.” (Select groups, and take away one mat from each of them. You can even take away two mats from one team to add more difficulty to the challenge. Leave two groups with all their mats (including the one extra per team). )
- “During the last race, success was beating the other teams, but this time, success is ALL teams crossing the Finish Line.”
- “Unfortunately, not all teams are equally equipped, so you are going to have to find a way to share resources.”
- “All other rules still apply.”
- “What questions do you have?” (Answer any questions.)
- “Okay, get ready, get set………GO!” (Allow teams to work together to reach the Finish Line. They will have to pass the two extra mats between teams in order to be successful. If you took two mats away from one team, they will need to permanently borrow one of the extra mats. This will allow only one mat to be passed between teams, which will slow them all down. However, it’s a good lesson on ‘we are only as strong as our weakest link.’ Without the extra mat, that team will get left behind. After they have all crossed the Finish Line, you might want to award a prize to everyone for their teamwork or offer a prize to the team that won the first race. Have participants regroup into their teams to discuss the following debriefing questions.)
o How did you resolve the issue of scarce resources?
o Why is it important for us to share resources?
o How can we do this better in our own groups/organization?
o Read Acts 2:42-47. How did the early Church handle resources?
o What was the impact of this approach?
o What other lessons can you take away from this activity?