January 30, 2013 · 4:37 pm
30-90 minutes (depending on team size and sharing times)
This activity is a great way for teams to connect when they haven’t met for some time. Each member shares their “high” (best experience) and “low” (worst experience) since the last time the team was together. After each person shares, you might want to have another team member pray for that individual.
NOTE: This activity can get very emotional. Have a box of tissues available. Also, if you don’t set clear guidelines at the beginning regarding how long people should share, it will be difficult to do it later if you notice you are going over time.
Children, youth, adults
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Since we haven’t been together for some time, I would like for us to spend some time sharing about our personal highlights and struggles.”
- “We are going to go around the room, and each person with share their ‘high’ (best experience) and ‘low’ (worst experience) since the last time the team was together.”
- “While they are sharing, I ask that everyone just listen carefully.”
“Once they are done, I would like to ask for someone from the group to pray for that person.”
- “We have _______ minutes for this activity, so I would like to ask each person to try to keep your sharing to ________ minutes or less.”
- “I’ll go first so that you can hear what I mean by highs and lows.” (Be the first person to share. It’s important that you model the type of sharing you want from the group. If you share something superficial, most of the others will probably do the same. But if you disclose something meaningful, many others will feel comfortable doing the same.)
December 9, 2011 · 3:35 pm
This icebreaker uses a single die as a randomizer to get people talking about different topics. If they role a one, they respond to one question. If they roll a two, they respond to another one, and so on for each number on the die. You can use it for a variety of topics. It’s fun, and it gets people talking.
o Dice (one per group of people)
o Flipchart and marker (one each)
o Pick a topic that you would like the participants to talk about.
o Create a flipchart that lists a different aspect of that topic for each number on the die.
o Here are some examples:
“Describe the following about another culture:
1. Something you like
2. Something you don’t understand
3. A funny thing that they do
4. Something their culture taught you
5. A mistake you made related to their culture
6. Your choice”
“Describe the following about yourself:
1. A time you broke the law
2. A personally embarrassing moment
3. A bad decision you made
4. A cultural mistake you made
5. A story your family members still tell about you
6. Your choice”
“Describe the following about yourself:
1. Something you are known for
2. What you enjoy doing most
3. Where you go to relax
4. Who you admire most
5. Different jobs you have had
6. Your choice”
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Let’s do an icebreaker to get to know each other better.”
- “It’s called ‘Random Responses,’ and it gets you to share about yourself by having you tell about a particular topic.”
- “To determine which topic you will talk about, you will take turns rolling a die at your table.” (Show the flipchart you prepared.)
- “If you roll a one, you should talk about the topic listed next to the one on this chart.”
- “If you roll a two, you should talk about the topic listed next to the two.” (Continue sharing each topic to make sure they understand the process.)
- “If you roll a six, you get to choose which of the other five topics you will talk about.”
- “What questions do you have about how this will work?” (Answer any questions. Then, let them begin. Anyone at the table can start, and they can go in any order as long as everyone has a chance to share. Debrief by asking a few volunteers to share anything interesting that they heard or learned.)
April 20, 2011 · 8:48 am
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.
- 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.
Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes.
Activity: 20 minutes
Debrief: 15 minutes.
- 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.)
- 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?
Filed under Abundance, generosity, Overcoming obstacles, Performance, Problem solving, Productivity, Resources, Scarcity, team, teambuilding, teamwork
Tagged as bargaining, Blue, color combinations, enterprise mentality, enterprise thinking, exercise, Green, Indigo, limited resources, negotiating, negotiation, Noah’s ark, Orange, painting, perspective, rainbow, red, ROYGBIV, sharing, silo mentality, silo thinking, Violet, Yellow
February 24, 2011 · 11:12 am
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?
Filed under Apostles, competition, Game, Games that Teach, Group Dynamics, sharing, team, teambuilding, teamwork
Tagged as abundance, Acts 2:42-47, apostles, collaboration, competition, cooperation, disciples, equipped, equipping, first century church, Game, Games that Teach, Jerusalem, limited resources, lose-lose, mats, mentality, outcomes, productivity, race, scarcity, shared resources, sharing, team, team building, teamwork, travel, win-win
August 16, 2009 · 12:41 am
This object lesson teaches about greed and selfishness and how God wants us to deal with the blessings that He gives us. It uses a metaphor based on the two seas in Israel.
• Luke 6:38, 12:13-21
• Ephesians 3:20-21
• Small, plastic cups (about 50)
• Big, plastic cups (two)
• Water (enough to fill the pitcher)
• Cookie sheet with a lip around the edge
• Fill the pitcher with water
• Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
• “Let’s read a story that Jesus told about a greedy man.” (Ask volunteer to read Luke 12:13-21.)
• “Why do you think Jesus told them this story?” (Listen to responses. The main idea is that Jesus wanted them to see that greed and the desire for earthly things were not the most important things for those in the Kingdom of God.)
• “What do you think about the rich man in this story?” (Listen to responses.)
• “What else do you think the man could have done with all his extra crop?” (Listen to responses. The one you are looking for to begin the object lesson is that he could have shared the food with people who didn’t have very much.)
• “I’m going to give you a picture of how God wants us to handle the blessings He gives us.”
• “I need everyone to stand up and form a single-file line.” (Help them get into a line. It doesn’t have to be straight. If you have a large number of participants, you can wrap the line around the room.)
• “This line represents some very important bodies of water in the land of Israel.”
• “At this end (designate one end of the line) is the Sea of Galilee.” (Hand the participant on that end one of the large cups, and ask him/her to hold it.)
• “And at this end (designate the other end of the line) is the Dead Sea.” (Hand the participant on the other end the second large cup, and ask him/her to hold it. Place the bucket nearby. If you have a Bible with maps in it, you might want to show the group what Israel looks like and point out the two seas with the Jordan River between them.)
• “The two seas are connected by the Jordan River.” (Hand all the remaining participants one small cup each and ask them to hold it.)
• “Now, even though these two seas are connected by the same river, they are very different from one another.”
• “The Sea of Galilee contains 27 species of fish, some found nowhere else in the world.”
• “Its sweet waters serve as the main water supply for Israel, and its shores are lush with vegetation.”
• “Many people make their living from its waters, fishing or planting crops near the shore.”
• “The Dead Sea, on the other hand, didn’t get its name for nothing.”
• “There are no fish, no fishermen, no vegetation on its shores.”
• “It’s twice as wide and almost four times as long as the Sea of Galilee, but the Dead Sea is toxic and bitter.”
• “There is no life in it or around it except bacteria and one type of algea.”
• “Why is it dead? There are several reasons.”
• “For one, it’s the point of lowest elevation on the planet outside of the ocean depths.”
• “The Jordan River brings water and minerals into the Dead Sea, but it’s so low that the only way the water gets out is by evaporation.”
• “And it’s so hot in this part of the world that seven million gallons of water evaporate from the Dead Sea every day!”
• “So the water evaporates, but the minerals (like salt) stay.”
• “In fact, the Dead Sea is six times saltier than the ocean!”
• “You are probably wondering why I gave you the cups.”
• “We are going to pretend like we are the two seas and the Jordan River to make a point about sharing what God blesses you with.” (Go to the end of the line with the person representing the Sea of Galilee, and use the pitcher to pour water into his/her cup. Then instruct him/her to pour water into the next person’s cup and so on down the line until the water reaches the “Dead Sea” participant. Each time the “Sea of Galilee” participant’s cup of water is emptied, fill it back up. Each time the “Dead Sea” participant’s cup fills up, have him/her empty it into the bucket.)
• “In this demonstration, I represent the top of the Jordan River, which starts before the Sea of Galilee.”
• “I’m sending water and fish and minerals into the Sea of Galilee, and those are travelling down through the Jordan River to the Dead Sea.” (Keep pouring out water whenever necessary.)
• “As a result, the Jordan River Valley is considered to be one of the most fertile places on the planet.
• “It takes all these minerals and water down, down to the Dead Sea, but the fish know not to get too close or they will die.”
• “Then, the water evaporates from the Dead Sea, leaving all the salt and minerals behind.” (Have “Dead Sea” volunteer pour water into the bucket to demonstrate evaporation.)
• “Now, the water is like God’s blessings, and I’m like God, pouring out blessings to this person.”
• “He/she is then sharing those blessings with someone.”
• “As long as he/she keeps sharing those blessings, I’ll keep more blessings coming.”
• “But do you see what the Dead Sea person is doing?”
• “He/she is keeping all the blessings for himself/herself!”
• “That doesn’t work with God.”
• “Just like in the story, God says, ‘You fool! I’m taking to take those blessings away from you and give them to someone else.’”
• “And so, just like that, when we try to keep all the blessings for ourselves, they evaporate!”
• “Do you want to be a ‘Sea of Galilee’ person or a ‘Dead Sea’ person?” (Listen to responses.)
• “’Sea of Galilee’ people keep getting new blessings from God.”
• “They enjoy those blessings and then pass them on to someone else, which gives them the blessing of the joy of sharing.”
• “Okay, pass the last of your blessings down to the Dead Sea, and then bring your cups over here.” (Move to the table, and set out the cookie sheet.)
• “Everyone who has small cups, place them on this cookie sheet right-side-up.” (Have them make a single layer of cups with each cup as close to the others as possible. All sides should touch other cups if possible. Once you have a bottom layer down, start stacking cups (use extras when you need to) on top to make a second layer. Each cup should rest on top of three different cups beneath it. When the second layer is done, add a third and a fourth until you have just one cup the very top of the pyramid you’ve created.)
• “Let’s pretend these cups represent each one of us, and this pitcher represents God.”
• “God pours his blessings out to you, and He wants you to enjoy them.” (Demonstrate by pouring water into the top cup slowly and evenly.)
• “But God never intends for you to keep that blessing all for yourself.”
• “God will bless you more than you can handle all by yourself, and He wants you to share your overflow with those people He has put in your life.” (Allow the water to overflow the top cup into the cups beneath it. Ask volunteer to read Ephesians 3:20-21.)
• “This Scripture says that God is able to bless us immeasurably more than we ask for or than we even imagine.”
• “In the King James version of the Bible, it says that God is able to do exceeding abundantly more than we ask for or imagine.”
• “Isn’t that cool?”
• “The blessings will just keep coming and coming!” (Keep pouring until the cups on the bottom level start to overflow. It’s likely that not all the cups will receiver water from the upper rows. That’s okay.)
• “You just keep blessing those around you with your overflow, and God will keep blessing you.”
• “Now, you know these people in the second row, but maybe you don’t know the people in the third row.”
• “When you bless those close to you, it gives them the ability to bless those who are close to them who you don’t even know.”
• “Then those in this third row can bless those in the fourth row!”
• “When people get blessed, it’s easier for them to bless others.”
• “And maybe some of them know God as their Lord, too.”
• “God will bless them directly in addition to the blessings they get from knowing you.” (Start filling the emptier cups on the second, third or fourth rows, and allow them to overflow to the rows beneath them. Ask volunteer to read Luke 6:38.)
• “God wants to bless you so much that it just runs over like this water, but He says that He will use the same measure you use to bless others.”
• “In other words, the size of cup you use to pour our blessings on others is the same size cup God will use to bless you.”
• “What size cup do you want to use to bless others?” (Listen to responses.)
• “I’m going to use the biggest cup I can find, because I want God’s blessings to keep coming and coming in huge amounts.” (Thank everyone and let them take their seats.)
Filed under Agape Love, generosity, Hands-on, Kindness, Love, Object Lesson, Relationships, sharing, unconditional love
Tagged as ask, blessings, choke, covetousness, Dead Sea, Ephesians 3:20-21, exceeding abundantly, exceedingly, fertile, Fertile Crescent, generosity, generous, giving, greed, helping, imagine, immeasurably more, Israel, Jordan River, Jordan River Valley, life, Luke 12:13-21, Luke 6:38, measure you use, Object Lesson, Parable of the Rich Fool, richness, Sea of Galilee, selfishness, sharing, stinginess, stingy