Category Archives: team

Team Health Tool (DIAGNOSTIC TOOL)


Time

Depends on how deep the discussion goes but at least 15 minutes
Description

This diagnostic tool gives teams a quick way to assess the health of their team in three key areas: Caring (engagement), Closeness (relationships) and Commitment (dedication to the team and its goals).

 

Materials

  • Pens and paper for each person (markers can also be used)

 

Preparation

  • Draw an example of the bar chart to show later.  It can look something like the one below:

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We are going to do a quick assessment that will help you to assess the health of your team and go deep quickly in sharing reasons why it may not be as healthy as it could be.”
  • “This diagnostic tool measures three elements of your team:
    • Caring – which is your personal level of engagement or motivation about the work you are doing together
    • Closeness – which is how you feel about your relationships with your team members
    • Commitment – which is how dedicated you are to staying with the team and supporting the work that you are doing together”
    • “You will assess each of these individually and about how you personally feel.”
    • “Then you will share your assessment with each other and tell why you answered the way you did.”
    • “I would like you to rate each of these three elements on a 1-10 scale.  1 is low; 10 is high.”
    • “And I would like for you to chart it for us so that we can see a visual of how you are feeling.  The chart should look like this…” (Show an example that you have drawn beforehand.)
    • “Okay, go ahead and make your charts.  There are no wrong answers, because you are just putting down how you feel.” (Allow a few minutes for them to make their charts.  Describe the three categories again if you need to.  When they are all done, have them go around the group and individually share their charts.  Ask them to explain each of their answers, and allow the others to ask questions.  However, don’t allow anyone to tell a person that they are wrong for feeling the way that they do.)
    • “It’s important to note that a score of 10 on each of these elements isn’t necessary for all teams to be healthy.  Some teams are fine with lower scores in ‘Closeness,’ for example.  What do you think are healthy scores for your team?” (Allow them to discuss their thoughts on this until they come to an agreement.  Then, ask them to discuss what needs to happen to get the scores to the optimal levels.  Finally, have them create a plan and ask for their commitment to act on it.)
    • “Great work!  You can use this tool anytime you want to do a quick temperature check on your team’s health.  Now that you’ve been through the process once, it should go pretty fast in the future.”

 

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Filed under Assessment, Commitment, Diagnostic Tool, team

Building the Church – GAME


Audience

Teens, Adults

Time

30 minutes
Description

This game helps participants to recognize the need for effective collaboration/teamwork when working to build up or serve the Church.  It is a “Gotcha” type of activity that sets up the participants to fail in order to make the point about teamwork.  By the end of the game, though, everyone wins!

 

Scriptures

Ephesians 4:11-13

 

Materials

o  Copies of the file “Building the Church – Pattern.ppt” (can be found at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page – There are 2 pages. You will need one copy of both pages for every two groups.  It will be necessary to divide the participants into an even number of groups for this exercise.  It’s best if these are in color.)

  • Copy (or copies) of the file “Building the Church – Vision.ppt”  (can be found at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page – You will need at least one copy for every two groups unless you project the image with an LCD projector.  If you print it, it’s best that it’s in color.)

o  Scissors or cutting tool (one or more per group)

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Print out the “Building the Church – Pattern” file. (2 pages – 1 set for every two groups)

o  Decide how you will divide the participants into an even number of groups.

o  Decide which groups you will secretly pair together for the activity.  One group in the pair of groups will get one of the pages from the “Building the Church – Pattern” file, and the other group will get the other page.

o  Set out scissors or another cutting tool on each table.  (To make the activity go faster, I recommend giving each table several pairs of scissors.)

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We’re going to do a game called, ‘Building the Church.’”
  • “I’m passing out a puzzle pattern to each group, and I would like you to cut out the pieces using the scissors on your table.”
  • “Do a good job cutting them out, because you will then piece them together like a puzzle to make a church building.”
  • “The first group to correctly ‘build’ their church will win!”
  • “Any questions?”  (Answer any questions.  Then, tell them to start.  Walk around the room as they are “building the church” so that you can see their progress.  If they are able to make a building that looks like a church from the pieces in their pattern, let them know that it is a nice effort but not what you are expecting.  Tell them that you think the church can be improved, and let them have more time to work on it.  After most groups have had a chance to create some time of building with the pattern, interrupt with the following information.)
  • “You’re doing a good job building your churches, but I think they can be much better.”
  • “I think I need to share with you what my vision for the church is.”  (At this point, either project the image of the church from the “Building the Church – Vision” file or hand out copies of the file to each table group.)
  • “This is more along the lines of what I had in mind.  Build THIS church!”  (Allow more time for them to work to build this church.  Before too long, they should realize that they don’t have enough pieces to complete the pattern.  The only way for them to complete the church is for them to collaborate with another group to share pieces.  Not all patterns were the same, however, so they must partner with the “right” group if they want to complete their church.  If they are struggling to discover this, you can drop hints until they understand.  Then, allow them to finish building their churches.  When they are done, have them go back to their original groups and discuss the following debrief questions.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. When did you realize that you didn’t have enough pieces in the pattern to build your church?
  2. What did you have to do to finish building your church?
  3. What impact did seeing the Vision for the church have on your efforts?
  4. How important is it to have a common vision in our organization for building up the Church?
  5. Read Ephesians 4:11-13.  What does it say about the different roles in the Body of Christ and why/how they should work together?
  6. How do you think this applies to us in this organization and our work with the Church?
  7. What should we do differently to help us build up the Church more effectively?

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Filed under Church, Collaboration, competition, Game, Problem solving, team, teamwork

Joseph’s Journey


For summer camp this year, I’ve written ten Challenges (Bible activities for small groups and a leader to do together – sometimes in competition with other groups) and some large group lessons on the story of Joseph. They are all located on the Lesson and Material Downloads page (see the link at the top of the screen), and you can find them alphabetically in the list. They all start with the letters “JJ” for “Joseph’s Journey.”

Hope you can find some lessons that will be useful for you!

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Filed under Abraham, Abundance, acceptance, activity, Agape Love, Annointing, Belief, Bible study, blessing, Challenges, Change, Character, Christianity, Comfort Zone, Coping skills, courage, Discipline, distractions, drama, exercise, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Future, Game, Games that Teach, God's dream, God's favor, God's Plan, God's Will, Hands-on, Healing, heart, Hope, Humility, Jesus, Joseph, Kindness, leadership, Lesson, Listening to God, Love, Obedience, Object Lesson, Overcoming obstacles, Pride, purity, Relationships, Repentance, Salt of the earth, sanctification, spiritual disciplines, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Health, Spiritual Warfare, Strengths, struggles, team, temptation, territory, test, tool, Transformation, Trust, unconditional love, Waiting on the Lord

Annimuzzles (ICEBREAKER)


Time

45-55 minutes
Description

This icebreaker takes longer than most to facilitate, but it can be a fun way to start an event where it is important for the group to think creatively.  Participants will work together in teams to create puzzles from their own illustration of different types of animals.  Another team will solve the puzzle.

 

Materials

·      Sheets of blank paper (1 per team)

·      Notecards (3×5 inch – 31 per team)

·      Markers (several colors per team)

·      Masking tape (1 roll per team)

·      Prize for the winning team (optional)

 

Preparation

·      Use one notecard from each team’s supply to write down the type of animal they have to draw.  Here are some suggestions for what you can write on the cards (but feel free to make up your own):

o   Tasty Animal

o   Smart Animal

o   Arctic Animal

o   Australian Animal

o   African Animal

o   Ugly Animal

o   Unfriendly Animal

o   Mythical Animal

o   Dangerous Animal

o   Farm Animal

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Let’s do an icebreaker!”
  • “I need everyone to line up in order from least to greatest by your answer to this question: ‘How many pets have you owned over your lifetime?’”
  • “Those with the most should be on this side of the room.”  (Pick a side and point to it.)
  • “Those with the least should be on this side of the room.” (Point to the other side.  Allow them to sort themselves out.  Then debrief by finding out how many pets various people had.  Finally, divide the participants into groups by having them number off and having like numbers get together.  Make sure that there are no more than six people per team.  When they are in their teams, hand each team some markers, a sheet of paper and their 31 notecards, including the one with the assignment written on it.)
  • “I’ve handed each group 31 notecards, some markers and a sheet of paper.”
  • “On the top notecard is your assignment.”
  • “You are to work together to draw that type of animal on the blank sheet of paper.”
  • “Once you are happy with it, you are going to make a larger version of the same drawing on your 30 remaining notecards.”
  • “It’s easiest if you lay the notecards out side-by-side like a big canvas and then draw the picture on them.”
  • “You will be making a puzzle that another team will have to solve.”
  • “There are some rules you have to follow as a team:
    • Each person on your team must draw on at least four cards.
    • There must be some drawing on every card.  (It’s okay if it is background or landscape – it doesn’t have to be the animal itself.)
    • You will have only 20 minutes to make your drawing.”
  • “When your drawing is complete, shuffle your notecards.”
  • “When I give the signal, you will give them to another team, and we will see who is able to solve the puzzle first.”
  • “The first team to solve their puzzle will be the winner!”
  • “What questions do you have?”  (Answer questions, then let them begin drawing.  When it comes time to pass the cards, you can have them pass them in any order you want as long as every group gets a set.  Make sure everyone starts solving at the same time.  When you have a winner, award the prize, if you chose to have one.  Then, have groups debrief using the following three questions.  After they are done, you can use the tape to tape the puzzles on the back so that they can be hung for everyone to see.)

Debrief Questions

  1. What was challenging about that activity?
  2. What would have made it easier?
  3. How is this like the work and challenges you experience in your teams?

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Filed under creativity, Energizer, Facilitation, Fun, Game, Icebreaker, Teaching, team, teambuilding, teamwork

Breaking Out of the Silos (EXERCISE)


Purpose

This activity helps participants to challenge silo mentalities by forcing them to work collaboratively to complete a task.  The task is a painting task, in which each team (or individual) will only receive some of the colors they need to finish.  In order to meet all the requirements of the task, they will have to negotiate for resources from other teams or individuals.

 

Setup

  • Give each team (or individual, depending upon the size of your group) several colors of paint (poster paints work well).
  • Teams or individuals should get different color combinations so that no one group or individual has everything that he or she needs.  Recommended color combinations are:
    • Team #1 – Black, white, red and yellow
    • Team #2 – Black, white, blue and yellow
    • Team #3 – Black, white, green and yellow
    • Team #4 – Black, white, red and blue
  • Give each team or individual enough paintbrushes for each team member to participate in the painting, a large sheet of paper (a flipchart works well for groups), something to mix their paint on (a piece of cardboard or a paper plate) and several small cups with water in them for rinsing the paint brush.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes.

Activity: 20 minutes

Debrief: 15 minutes.

 

Procedure

  • Tell participants that they are going to work in their teams to produce a work of art with the supplies that you have given them.
  • To be judged successful, each team or individual must paint a picture of Noah’s Ark complete with the rainbow that was God’s promise never to flood the earth again. (You can choose another theme if you like; the only essential element is the rainbow, because it uses all the color combinations that will force the teams to break out of their silos.)
  • The rainbow must be at least one-third of the picture, and it must contain all the colors of a rainbow (which can be remembered with the acronym ROYGBIV – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet).
  • The picture must fill the paper.
  • They will have 20 minutes to complete their paintings.
  • (After they begin, observe how they solve the problem of not having all the right color combinations for the rainbow.  You may want to bring out your observations during the debrief.  When the 20 minutes are up, have the groups answer the debrief questions below.  Then, discuss their insights as a large group.  Emphasize the need to share limited resources so that everyone could succeed.  This is not a competitive activity.)

Debrief

  • How did you resolve the problem of not having enough colors to make all the colors of the rainbow?
  • How willing were the other teams to share their paint with you?
  • How willing were you to share your paint with them?
  • Why was this difficult at times?
  • How is this like sharing limited resources in the work environment?
  • What could you do to make it more likely that individuals and groups would share their resources for the greater good of the organization?

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Filed under Abundance, generosity, Overcoming obstacles, Performance, Problem solving, Productivity, Resources, Scarcity, team, teambuilding, teamwork

Remember the Titans (MOVIE MENTORING)


Audience

Teens, Adults

Time

3 hours
Description

Remember the Titans deals with race relations in the 1970s in Virginia, when black students were bussed into white schools.  A black coach is appointed to lead a high-school football team, and he and other members of the team struggle with the prejudice and racism that threatens to ruin their chances at a successful season.

The movie is relatively safe to show to teens and with different types of audiences.  There is minimal swearing and only one inappropriate scene (where Sunshine, kisses Bertier in the locker room).  Sunshine is apparently trying to be provocative.  It does not appear that the character is actually homosexual, and homosexuality is not glorified.  Christianity is shown in both positive and negative ways.  Some Christians act in prejudiced or racist ways, but others (particularly Rev and Louie) put Scripture to song to encourage the other players.

These questions are for teaching about high-performing teams.

Scriptures

These Scriptures speak to some of the themes of the movie. 

o  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

o  Hebrews 10:24-25

Materials

o  Copy of the movie

o  Equipment for showing the movie (TV, DVD player, LCD projector, Speakers, Screen…)

o  Question Sheet (attached)

o  Popcorn and drinks (optional)

Preparation

o  Print out copies of the question sheet for each individual or group.

o  Set up everything for viewing the movie.  (Be sure to test it all out to make sure that the movie plays well and that the sound can be heard by everyone.)

o  Prepare snacks. (optional)

 

Procedure

Watch the movie.  Then on your own, with a mentor or with a group, answer the questions on the Question Sheet.

Question Sheet

1.     What were some of the challenges that the Titans faced as their coaches tried to make them into a team at the beginning of the movie?

2.     What did the coaches do that was helpful in shaping the players into a team?

3.     What did the coaches do that was harmful to their goal?

4.     What did the players do that was harmful to teamwork?

5.     What did Julius Campbell (the leader of the black students, played by Wood Harris) mean when he told Gerry Bertier (the leader of the white students, played by Ryan Hurst) that “attitude reflects leadership?”

6.     How did this feedback impact their relationship and the team?

7.     What was the turning point for the team?  Why do you think so?

8.     What were some characteristics of the Titans when they became a high-performing team?

9.     What challenges did the team face after they became a high-performing team?

10. How did they respond to these?

11. What kinds of changes do individuals need to make in order to become part of a high-performing team?

12. What do you think is the most important lesson that you can take away from this movie?

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Filed under Challenges, Change, Character, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, Coping skills, courage, diversity, Fear, forgiveness, Group Dynamics, Healing, leadership, Relationships, team, teambuilding, teamwork, Trust, unity

Shared Resources (GAME)


Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Time

20-25 minutes
Description

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.

Scriptures

o  Acts 2:42-47

 

Materials

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  Bible

Preparation

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.

 

Procedure

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.)


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?

 

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Filed under Apostles, competition, Game, Games that Teach, Group Dynamics, sharing, team, teambuilding, teamwork