This fun energizer gets people up and moving in a mad dash to grab an available chair. It works well to increase the energy in the room, and it could also be used to randomly sort participants into new groups. Use the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control instead of normal fruits to reinforce a message on the Fruits of the Spirit.
- Chairs – one per participant at the beginning
- Flipchart and markers (Optional)
Use the following procedure:
- Have all the participants sit in a circle of chairs. If necessary, they should bring their chairs with them from the tables back to an open area.
- Ask the first FOUR participants for their favorite kind of fruit. They cannot repeat a fruit. If someone says their favorite fruit has been mentioned, prompt them to give their second favorite kind of fruit. (You may want to flipchart the fruits so that participants don’t forget them.)
- For example, participant #1 may say apple, #2 says orange, #3 says kiwi, and #4 says mango. (Alternative: If you have a large group, you can also use the Fruit of the Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control.)
- Once all the fruits have been named, go around the rest of the participants, assigning them a fruit in the same order, e.g., apple, orange, kiwi, mango.
- Make sure all participants are assigned one of the four fruits.
- Then tell participants that you are going to announce a fruit, and all the people who were assigned that fruit have to stand up and switch chairs.
- Tell them that while they are up, you will take one of these chairs out of the circle.
- The person that is left standing must then announce a new fruit.
- At any time, a person in the middle can say “Fruit Salad,” and it will force everyone to switch chairs.
- Answer any questions participants might have.
- Then, begin a round. Play several rounds.
- If you are using the activity to randomly sort participants, have them number off the number of groups you want after the final round. Then have all “ones” get together, all “twos” get together, and so on.
This game helps participants to become familiar with and remember the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder Themes through a competitive sorting activity. Participants should have taken the Clifton StrengthsFinder or StrengthsQuest assessment at http://www.strengthsfinder.com. You can get an access code by purchased their books, StrengthsFinder 2.0 or Strengths Based Leadership.
o Romans 12:4-5
o Cards with each of the StrengthsFinder Themes and their definitions (one set per team – you can find the file with these cards at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page in the file “Strengths Finder Theme Sorting – Cards.ppt.”
o Scissors or other cutting tool
o Envelopes (one per team)
o Answer Key (at the bottom of this lesson and also in the file “Strengths Finder Theme Sorting – Answer Key.ppt” on the Lesson and Material Downloads page.)
o Flipchart or whiteboard
o Prizes for the winning team (optional)
o Cut out the cards for sorting, and put one set per envelope (one per team). You might want to number or name the envelopes to correspond to team designations.
o Write the Debrief Question on a flipchart or whiteboard, and have them ready for the groups to review and discuss after the game.
o Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Let’s do a competition that will help you to become more familiar with and to remember the 34 StrengthsFinder Themes.”
- “I’m giving each team an envelope with all 34 Themes and their definitions.” (Pass out the envelopes, but instruct them not to open the envelopes until you give the signal.)
- “When I say go, work with your team members to match each Theme to its definition.”
- “The team that finishes earliest with the least number of mistakes wins.”
- “I will only check your answers once, so make sure that they are correct before you ask me to check them.”
- “When you say you are done, I will tell you what order you finished in, i.e., 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc…”
- “Finishing first doesn’t mean you win. You have to have the least amount of mistakes.”
- “If there is a tie for least amount of mistakes, the team that finished earliest will win.”
- “Any questions?” (After addressing questions, let the teams open their envelopes and start sorting. When they finish, they should notify you, and you will tell them what place they finished in. This doesn’t guarantee a win. The most important thing is that they have the fewest mistakes, but if there is a tie for fewest mistakes, the team who finished earlier will win. After you have checked their answers using the Answer Key below, declare a winner and offer them a prize if you wish. Then, have the teams work through the Debrief Questions below.)
1. Read Romans 12:4-5. This Scripture continues to talk about spiritual gifts. Do you think its truth also applies to our Strengths? Why or why not?
2. Why do you think God made us so differently?
3. What does it mean, “each part of the body belongs to all the other parts?”
4. How can we live this Scripture more intentionally in the future?