Category Archives: teambuilding

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?

Leave a comment

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?

 

Leave a comment

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

Balls in the Air (TEAM BUILDING)


Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Time

20-30 minutes
Description

This team building activity helps teams learn how to work together through changes and difficult circumstances.

Scriptures

N/A

Materials

  • 5 tennis balls per team
  • Flipchart and a marker (optional)

Preparation

None

Procedure

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

(Divide the participants into groups of six, and give each group 5 tennis balls.)

(Have each team select a “feeder” (the person who throws the balls into the group).)

(Have remaining team members number off 1 to 5.)

(Then ask all number 2s to step into the hallway, so that they don’t hear the instructions.)

(Share the following directions with the feeder, and Members 1, 3, 4, and 5 from each group.)

o  “The purpose of this activity is to work as a team and learn to work together even without the use of verbal communication.”

o  “The goal of the activity is to get as many tennis balls in the air at one time as possible.”

o  “Ultimately, the goal is to have all five tennis balls in the air at one time and to include Member 2 as a valuable team member without the use of verbal communication.”

o  “Team members 1, 3, 4 and 5, please stand in a circle, and leave a space for Member 2.”

o  “The feeder will stand outside the circle and toss the tennis balls into the circle.”

o  “You will toss balls in the following sequence:

o   The feeder will toss a tennis ball to Member 1.

o   Member 1 will toss the ball to member 4.

o   Member 4 will toss the ball to member 2.

o   Member 2 will toss the ball to member 5.

o   Member 5 will toss the ball to member 3.

o   Member 3 will toss the ball to member 1.”

o  “This will create a star pattern.”

o  “When you get comfortable tossing one ball, the feeder should add the other tennis balls in, one-by-one, until the group can handle all five tennis balls at once.”

o  “We will try this several times, and each time, you will have three minutes to pass the balls.”

o  “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer any questions.)

o  “Remember, you can’t say anything to Member 2 when he/she comes back in the room.”

o  “I’m going to invite the 2’s back in.”  (Invite the 2’s back, and have them join the circles that their teams have made.)

o  “Okay, feeders, begin.”  (Have the feeders pass their first ball into the circles.  After three minutes, call a time out, and ask these questions:

o  “How many balls did you get in the air?”  (Ask each team; you can record their responses on a flip chart if you wish.)

o  “What obstacles are making it difficult for you to achieve your goal?”

o  “What is the impact on your team’s ability to reach its goal if one member is not clear about his/her responsibility, or if one member is unaware of the team’s purpose or goals?”

o  “Let’s do it again, but before we start, I’ll give you a few minutes to talk about how you can improve.”

o  “You can now share information with your #2’s.”  (Allow 3 minutes for strategy planning.)

o  “Okay, let’s try again.”  (Allow two minutes for the beginning of another round. After two minutes, stop the exercise and say the following. NOTE: If you are running this activity with teens or children, you may want to stop before this next part or make up different reasons for adding these new challenges.)

o  “Your organization has experienced some turnover; number 3s, please move on to the team nearest you.”  (After the groups have traded their number 3s allow 1 minute for them to continue the exercise.  After the minute, say the following.)

o  “Your organization has decided to decentralize and open a satellite office in another country; number 4s, please take 10 steps backward and continue to be part of the work process helping your team to meet its goals.”  (Allow the groups to continue the exercise for two minutes.  Then, say the following.)

o  “In order to reduce overhead at corporate office, your organization needs to downsize.  Number 1s, you have all been laid off.  Please move over into the unemployment line (left side of the room).” (Allow the groups three minutes to continue the exercise. Then, stop the activity, and have all participants return to their seats.  Debrief the activity using the following questions.)

Debrief Questions

o  “How many tennis balls did you get in the air during the last challenge?”

o  “For those who got closer to the goal, what contributed to your ability to improve your results?”

o  “If passing on advice to new employees, what lessons that you learned from this activity would you share?”

o  “What lessons are there in this exercise that you might take back to your organization’s teams?”

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenges, Coping skills, Focus, Game, Games that Teach, Group Dynamics, team, teambuilding, teamwork

Draw the Pig Personality Test (ICEBREAKER)


Time

15-20 minutes
Description

This fun icebreaker can be an energizing way to engage participants.  It’s a “personality assessment,” but it’s just for fun; there is no scientific value to the results.

Materials

  • Paper for each participant
  • Pens, pencils and colored markers for each participant
  • Printout of the “Pig Analysis” sheet (at the end of this lesson)

Preparation

None

Procedure

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

  • “Let’s start out our time together by getting to know each other.”
  • “We’ll do it in a funny way.”
  • “On the sheet of paper that each of you has, I would like you to each draw a pig.”
  • “Make it as detailed as you like.”  (Allow 5 minutes for drawing the pig.)
  • “Now that you’ve drawn your pig, I’m going to help you do some analysis to see what your drawing tells us about you.”  (Read each of the descriptions on the “Pig Analysis” sheet.  Keep it light and fun.)
  • “Take a few minutes, and share your Pig Analysis with your table.”
  • “Tell them if you think it is accurate or not.”
  • “So, what do you think?  Does your Pig Analysis match your personality?”
  • “Okay, this was not a scientific instrument, so any truth it contained was probably accidental….or was it?”  (You might want to have participants put their names on their pictures and post them around the room.)

Pig Analysis

If the pig is drawn:

 

Toward the top of the paper – You have a tendancy to be positive and optimistic.

 

Toward the middle – You have a tendency to be a realist.

 

Toward the bottom – You have a tendency to be pessimistic and may be
prone to behaving negatively.

 

Facing left – You have a tendency to believe in tradition and be friendly; you may also be prone to remembering dates well.

 

Facing Right – You have a tendency to be innovative and active, but may be prone to forgetting dates easily and may not have a strong sense of family.

 

Facing front – You have a tendency to be direct, and may enjoy playing the role of devil’s advocate; you also are prone to neither fearing nor avoiding confrontational discussions.

 

With many details – You have a tendency to be analytical, but may also be prone to being cautious to the point that you struggle with trust.

 

With few details – You have a tendency to be emotional and to focus on the larger picture rather than focusing on details. You also have a tendency to be
a great risk taker and may sometimes be prone to reckless and impulsive decisions.

 

With less than 4 legs showing – May indicate that you are living through a major period of change and as a result you may be prone to struggling with insecurities.

 

With 4 legs showing – You have a tendency to be secure and to stick to your ideals; however, others may describe you as stubborn.

 

With large ears – Indicates how good of a listener you are (the bigger, the better).

With a long tail – Indicates how intelligent you are (the longer, the better)

 

34 Comments

Filed under Body of Christ, Character, Church, diversity, Fun, Group Dynamics, Humor, Icebreaker, Oneness, Relationships, self-image, team, teambuilding, unity

High-Performing Numbers Game (GAME)


Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Time

20 minutes
Description

This game is a “Gotcha” activity. (A “Gotcha” is a training activity that is designed to create a paradigm shift in the participants’ minds.  It is set up so that the participant will fail in order to create an awareness of their need for training on the topic, and it is usually done before the topic is introduced so as not to give away important information.)

 

This “Gotcha” is taken from Ken Blanchard’s and Sheldon Bowles’ book, High Five!: None of Us Is As Smart As All of Us (and slightly modified).  It is intended to help participants see the need of having a good system for working together and clear roles in their teams.  Teams don’t become high-performing teams simply because they have talented individuals; they need good process, communication, feedback, encouragement, goals and other elements.

 

Scriptures

o  Nehemiah 3:1-32

o  Ephesians 4:11-12,16

 

Materials

o  A set of number cards for each team (You will need three 0’s, 3 9’s and one each of the numbers 1-8.  It’s okay to give them more numbers than they need, though.  Feel free to give them a full set each of 0-9.  You can print out the numbers from the file “High-Performing Numbers Game – Number Cards.ppt” on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  Or if you’ve got a big budget, just buy a pack of playing cards for each participant.  If you do this, you will need three sets of playing cards per team.)

o  Scissors or some other cutting tool (if you use the printed numbers)

o  Printed instructions for each normal team (This page is included at the bottom of this lesson.  It’s the shorter one.)

o  A printed instruction sheet for your special team (This page is also located at the bottom of this lesson.  It’s the longer one with more detailed instructions.)

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Print your number cards, and cut them out (if you are using the printed version).

o  Print your normal instructions (one copy for all but one of your teams) and your special instructions (one copy).

o  Read through the instructions on the special page so that you understand how the game works and why the team you choose to be the special team should be able to win most of the rounds of the game.  (Two members of the team will only have to choose between raising a 0 or a 9.  The third member will know a trick that makes it easier to know which number to raise, and he won’t have to wait to see what the others raise in order to know his number.)

o  Group the number cards and instructions into sets.  (Make sure you remember which instruction set is special so that you know which team you give it to.)

Procedure

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

  • “Let’s play a game about teamwork.”
  • “I’m giving each group a set of numbers (or playing cards) and an instruction sheet.” (Pass out these materials.  Make sure that other teams don’t notice that their instructions are different from the special instructions.)
  • “I’ll give you a few minutes to read through your instructions, and I’ll come by your table to answer any questions you might have.”  (Go table-to-table to make sure that they understand the instructions.  You don’t want to answer questions as a group, because it might come out that one team has different instructions than the others.  When everyone understands how the game is played, start the game by saying a number between 0-27 out loud (see a recommended sequence below).  The team that wins is the first team to get three numbers in the air that correctly add together to total the number you say out loud.  Award one point to that team.  Keep saying numbers until you’ve given them all.  Then, add up the team point totals and announce the winner.  TIPS: You may want to get someone to help you as a spotter to see which team is up first.  Also, it’s often easier to tell who was up first if the players have to stand and raise their number rather than just raise their number.  If you only have a few teams, put the players at the front of the room so that it’s easier to see who is up first.)
  • (After the game, you can debrief with the following:)
  • “I have a confession to make.”
  • “One team had different instructions than the rest of you.”
  • “This team (point out the special team) knew a trick for getting their numbers up faster.”  (Allow someone from the team to explain the trick.)
  • “I played a trick on you to make a few points that I would like you to remember.”

o   “Having a team with smart or talented individuals is good, but it’s not as good as having a team with a really good system or way or organizing the work.”

o   “There have been many professional sports teams that were full of superstar athletes but who were unable to win a championship.”

o   “That’s because a high-performing team is more than a collection of superstars – it’s a team, which means that the individuals work together.”

o   “The better a group of individuals work together, the more successful they can be.”

o   “And it’s possible…even probable…that a team of average players who work together in a high-performing way will out-perform a team of highly skilled individuals who don’t work together well.”

o   “So, now we need to do something very important.”

o   “I want everyone in the room to raise their right hand above their head.”  (Demonstrate and encourage them to follow your lead.)

o   “Now, point your hand out toward the front of the room.”  (Demonstrate.)

o   “And repeat after me…”

o   “In the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior…”  (Wait for them to repeat after you.)

o   “We forgive you ______ (substitute your name).”  (Participants usually think this is funny, and it eases the tension some may be feeling because you tricked them into playing a game that they couldn’t win.)

Idea for Bible Teaching

You could use this activity along with Nehemiah 3 or Ephesians 4 (see Scriptures at the top of the lesson) to emphasize how important it is that everyone does their appointed role on a high-performing team or to emphasize how well things work when you have a good system in place for teamwork.

 

Suggested Number Sequence and Correct Number Cards for “Special” Team

Number You

Call Out

“A” Person “B” Person “C” Person
25 9 9 7
17 0 9 8
12 0 9 3
19 9 9 1
22 9 9 4
8 0 0 8
14 0 9 5
11 0 9 2
26 9 9 8
23 9 9 5
4 0 0 4
18 0 9 9
16 0 9 7
24 9 9 6
6 0 0 6
13 0 9 4
21 9 9 3
27 9 9 9

Instructions

o  Pick three people on your team to play, and give them the number cards.

o  The Facilitator will call out a number between zero and twenty-seven. 

o  The three players should hold up number cards that add up to the number the Facilitator calls out.

o  No player can hold up more than one card.

o  All three players must hold up one card.

o  The first team to get the sum right wins. 

 

 

 


Instructions

o  Pick three people on your team to play, and give them the number cards.

o  The Facilitator will call out a number between zero and twenty-seven. 

o  The three players should hold up number cards that add up to the number the Facilitator calls out.

o  No player can hold up more than one card.

o  All three players must hold up one card.

o  The first team to get the sum right wins. 

How to Be a High-Performing Team

o  Give each of your players a letter – A, B or C.

o   “A” person – Take only two numbers (zero & nine).  If the Facilitator calls out a number from zero to eighteen, hold up zero.  If it’s nineteen or more, hold up a nine.

o   “B” person – Take only two numbers (zero & nine).  If the Facilitator calls out a number from zero to nine, hold up zero.  If it’s ten or more, hold up a nine.

o   “C” person – If the Facilitator calls out nineteen, hold up a one.  If it’s a single-digit number, hold up that number.  If it’s a two-digit number, add the two numbers together and hold up the sum of those two numbers.

Leave a comment

Filed under Body of Christ, competition, Game, Games that Teach, team, teambuilding

One Body – Many Parts (DEVOTION)


In your table groups, read through the Scriptures below and then answer the following questions.

1 Corinthians 4:7  (what do you have that you did not receive?)

1 Corinthians 12:14-26  (not one part, but many)

1.    What can we learn from these Scriptures about our different strengths and talents?

2.    How should we think about our strengths and weaknesses as a result?

3.    How should we think about others’ strengths and weaknesses?

4.    Is it true that if one part of the Body suffers, every part suffers with it?  Why do you think so?

5.     How can we show “equal concern for each other?” (1 Corinthians 12:25)

Leave a comment

Filed under Body of Christ, Church, Devotion, diversity, Oneness, Paul, Relationships, team, teambuilding

Stronger Together (LESSON)


Time
30 minutes

Audience

Children, youth, adults

Description

This lesson helps participants understand how important it is to have unity in the Body of Christ.

Scriptures

  • John 13:34-35; 17:20-23
  • Romans 15:5-6
  • Ephesians 4:1-6, 4:9-12, 4:25-32
  • Hebrews 10:23-25

Materials

  • Paper currency (enough bills so that you have one for every three or four participants and one for yourself – NOTE: you are going to have them tear the money into smaller pieces.  If this is considered disrespectful or illegal in your country, you may want to use pictures of currency instead of the real thing.  For that matter, you may not want to see your hard-earned cash being torn into pieces.  Feel free to substitute.)
  • Clear tape (like the kind for wrapping presents.  Enough for each group of three or four participants to have a roll and one for yourself.)
  • Optional – a flipchart or whiteboard and markers
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Write the Scriptures on slips of paper (one per slip) so that you can hand them out to participants.
  • Before you begin teaching, hand out the slips of paper to different participants, who brought their Bibles.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “Today is your lucky day!”
  • “I’ve got extra money, and I would like to share it with you!”
  • “But first, I need to put you into groups.”
  • “I want everyone to line up single-file in the order of how many pets you have ever owned.”  (Or you can choose a different sorting technique.)
  • “I want the person who has owned the most on this side of the room, and the person who has owned the least on this side of the room.  (Gesture to either side of the room as you give these instructions.  It doesn’t matter which side you choose for most or least.)
  • “Everyone else will line up between those two people in the order of the number of pets you’ve owned.”
  • “Any questions?” (Answer questions.) “GO!”
  • “Okay, now we need to see how many pets you’ve had and what kinds.”  (Go down the line and ask each person how many and what kind of pets they owned.  If anyone is in the wrong place based on number of pets, move them to the right place in the line.)
  • “Okay, now I need to put you into small teams to receive your money.”
  • “I am going to number you off – one to ___.”  (You will want three to four people in each group, so count the total number of participants, and divide that number by either three or four.  This will tell you how high they need to count off.  For example, if you have 24 people and want to divide them into groups of four, 24/4=6.  You would have them number off one to six, and that would give you six groups of four people each.  Once you’ve told them how high to count, number them off.)
  • “Now, I want all the ‘ones’ to get together and all the ‘twos’ to get together.”  (Do the same with each number group.)
  • “Great job!  Now here is your money!  Congratulations!”  (Hand out one bill of currency to each group.)
  • “I know, I know…we’ve got a small problem.”
  • “I only gave each group one bill, but there are three (or four) of you.”
  • “Don’t worry; I have a solution!”
  • “I want the person who has the money in each group to tear it into three (or four) equal pieces and hand them out to all the team members.”  (Encourage them to do this.  They may be reluctant.  If so, convince them you are serious by demonstrating with a bill at the front of the room.  Keep encouraging them until every team has torn the bill and shared it equally.)
  • “There!  Isn’t that great?  Everyone happy?”  (Participants will most likely not be too happy and will tell you so.  Act as if you can’t understand why they wouldn’t like your solution.)
  • “What’s wrong?  I just gave you free money!  You should be happy!”  (Listen to their feedback.)
  • “Oh, so you’re saying that the money isn’t worth anything when it’s torn up like that?” (Listen to responses.)
  • “You’re saying that the money is more effective at what it does when it is all together?”  (Listen to responses.)
  • “That’s really interesting!  And it reminds me of something I’ve read in the Bible.”  (Ask everyone to take a seat with his or her groups.  Then, have a volunteer read John 17:20-23.)
  • “This is Jesus’ prayer the night before He died on the cross.”
  • “It’s probably a very important prayer if it’s one of the last ones that He prayed.”
  • “Why do you think He prayed for ‘complete unity’ between the believers and with God?”  (There could be many answers, but one will be so that the world will know that God sent Jesus and loved the believers just as He loved Jesus, His Son.)
  • “That’s not all the Scriptures say about unity between the believers.”  (Have a volunteer read Romans 15:5-6.)
  • “What is Paul saying about unity to the Romans?”  (Answers may include that it enables us to glorify God with one heart and mouth.  Have a volunteer read Ephesians 4:9-12.)
  • “What do you think Paul is saying in this Scripture about unity?”  (Listen to responses.  A main idea that you want to bring out is that being alone isn’t good.  We need others to help us when we get into trouble.)
  • “If Jesus and Paul feel the need to pray for the believers and encourage them to keep unity, it probably isn’t so easy to do.”
  • “What do you think gets in the way of unity among believers?”  (Answers might include differences of opinion, different denominations, differences of beliefs, jealousy, unforgiveness, lack of time, distance, etc…  You may want to put these on a flipchart or whiteboard.  I recommend drawing a line down the middle of the space and writing a minus sign at the top of the left column and a plus sign at the top of the right column.)
  • “That’s quite a list, and I think it would definitely break the unity of a group of believers.”
  • “Unity is hard.  Human nature (our sinful nature) leads us to want to divide rather than do the hard work to stay together.”
  • “There’s an old saying: ‘People like people who are like them.’”
  • “This means that we are drawn to people who look the same, act the same, have the same opinions, have the same backgrounds, etc.”
  • “It’s easier to keep relationships with these people, because we have so much in common.”
  • “If I had let you make your own groups earlier, you probably would have divided up based on ‘dog people’ and ‘cat people’ and ‘fish people’ and ‘hamster people,’ and all of you would have thought that you were better than the other groups.  Am I right?”
  • “But when people are different than us in the way they look or act or think…, we have to work hard to keep the relationships strong.”
  • “In fact, we might have to make some changes in our own lives in order to keep the relationship together.”
  • “So, let’s make a list of things we can do or the changes we can make to preserve or build unity.”  (Have a volunteer read John 13:34-35.)
  • “What’s the ingredient this Scripture mentions that we need to have for unity?”  (Answer should be ‘love.’ .  If you are using the flipchart or whiteboard, write these down on the “plus” side.  Have a volunteer read Hebrews 10:23-25.)
  • “What ingredient does this Scripture mention?”  (Answers should include ‘meeting together’ and ‘encourage one another.’ Have a volunteer read Ephesians 4:1-6.)
  • “What ingredients does Paul mention in this Scripture?”  (Answers should include ‘humility,’ ‘gentleness,’ ‘patience’ and ‘bearing with one another in love.’  Have a volunteer read Ephesians 4:25-32.)
  • “Last one.  What is Paul telling the Ephesians to do in this Scripture in order to preserve unity?”  (Answers should include ‘put off falsehood’ (or ‘be honest with each other’), ‘speak truthfully,’ ‘be angry sometimes but don’t sin by holding onto your anger,’ ‘do not steal from each other,’ ‘do your share of the work,’ ‘share with those in need,’ ‘don’t gossip, spread rumors or criticize,’ ‘build others up,’ ‘get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, fighting, slander (or ’saying bad things about others’), and any kind of bad feelings for others,’ ‘be kind and compassionate,” and ‘forgive each other.’)
  • “Look at all the things we need to do to keep our unity!”
  • “How are we ever going to be successful at all this stuff?”
  • “The good news is, we don’t have to do it by ourselves.”
  • “In truth, we are a lot like the money you have in your hands.”
  • “It doesn’t have any power in itself to put itself back together.  Neither do we.”
  • “But we do have a power given to us by the Holy Spirit.”  (Bring out some of the tape, and use it to tape back together the bill that you tore earlier.)
  • “The Holy Spirit is a little like this tape.”
  • “He has the power to bring us back together.”
  • “All we have to do is surrender to God’s will and allow Him to mend us, to bring us back together.”  (Pass out rolls of tape to each of the groups.)
  • “Are you willing to allow the Holy Spirit bring you back together?”
  • “Then tape that money back together.”  (Give them a few moments to tape the money.)
  • “Now the money is powerful and effective again!”
  • “Know this: one of the Enemy’s favorite and most effective weapons against us is a strategy called ‘Divide and Conquer.’”
  • “The Scripture says that Satan is like a roaring lion watching for someone to devour.”
  • “If you have every watched Animal Planet, you probably know that lions don’t attack herds; they attack the animals that wander away from the herd.”
  • “They attack the weak ones, the sick ones, the lazy ones, the ones doing their own thing.”
  • “That’s because attacking the herd is dangerous; they could easily trample the lion or gore him or kick him in the head.”
  • “Satan wants to divide us from the herd – the rest of the Body of Christ – so that he can attack us and have a really good chance of taking us down.”
  • “Don’t give him the opportunity!  Stick with the herd!”
  • “We are stronger and more powerful together!”  (You can allow the participants to keep the money or you can collect it back.  It might be interesting to encourage them to pool their money in order to increase its buying ‘power.’  Maybe they could buy something with it that would benefit everyone.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Agape Love, Christianity, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, forgiveness, Relationships, Satan's tactics, teambuilding, unity