January 26, 2011 · 7:56 am
Children, Teens, Adults
This game helps participants to understand how important it is to step our of our comfort zones in order to grow. You can use the story of Abraham (Abram at the time) leaving his country and his family and everything he knew as a reinforcement of the lesson.
o Genesis 12:1-9
o Rope (about 30 feet or more) or a garden hose
o Balls (about 5 – alternatively, you can just wad up scrap pieces of paper)
o Laundry basket or trash can
o Tie the rope or garden hose into a loop.
o Use the rope or garden hose to make a small circle on the ground (about 1 ft – 1 ½ ft in diameter).
o Coil the excess rope or garden hose on top of this circle so that you have only one circle.
o Set up the trashcan or laundry basket about 20 ft away from the circle (further if you want to increase the difficulty).
o Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “How many of you know what a comfort zone is?” (Acknowledge responses.)
- “A comfort zone is a place or situation where you feel safe, comfortable.”
- “When you are in your comfort zone, you don’t take risks.”
- “Those are uncomfortable, so they can’t be in the zone.”
- “In your comfort zone, there is no progress or growth, because progress and growth only occur when you take risks and step out of your comfort zone.”
- “God asked Abraham (Abram at the time) to leave his comfort zone.” (Have a volunteer read Genesis 12:1-9.)
- “Abraham had to leave everything that he knew (his family, his friends, his country, his home….) in order to follow God’s leading into a strange country.”
- “The trip would take months, and it would be full of risk to Abraham, his wife, his nephew, Lot, and their servants.”
- “They would face dangers from animals, thieves, foreign kings, fatigue, potential starvation and other threats.”
- “But Abraham could not experience God’s blessing from inside his comfort zone in his home in Haran.”
- “To experience God’s blessing, Abraham had to take a risk.”
- “Let me show you a demonstration that will help you understand comfort zones better.”
- “I’m going to need a volunteer.” (Select a volunteer from the group.)
- “Let’s pretend that this is your comfort zone.” (Position volunteer inside the coil of ropes or garden hose.)
- “Don’t you feel all comfy in there?”
- “Now, let’s pretend that you have a goal that you want to achieve.”
- “Your goal is to get five (or more if you like) shots in a row in that basket/trash can.”
- “You can take shots only from inside your comfort zone this first time.”
- “How many shots do you think you will make?” (Listen to response, and share it with the audience if it was too quiet for them to hear.)
- “Well, let’s try. Take your shots.” (Allow volunteer to take all his/her shots. Share the score with the audience.)
- “Not so good.”
- (Ask volunteer…) “What do you think would help you to be more successful?” (Listen to response, and shear it with the audience if it was too quiet for them to hear. If the volunteer doesn’t mention stepping out of their comfort zone, prompt them.)
- “Let’s try that.” (Allow volunteer to take one step, as big as they can, out of their comfort zone.)
- “But wait. That wasn’t very scary. Stepping out of your comfort zone has to have some risk involved.”
- “Otherwise, every place on earth would be your comfort zone.”
“Let’s make it more scary.”
- “Can I get another volunteer?” (Select another volunteer. Make him (or her) stand five feet away from the first volunteer.)
- “This person represents the risk of stepping out of your comfort zone.”
- “He (or she) has to stand right here and count to ten slowly (“one, one thousand, two, one thousand, three, one thousand….”).”
- “When he gets to ten, he can try to tag our first volunteer, the shooter, as long as he is out of his comfort zone.”
- “But if the shooter goes back into his comfort zone, he can’t be tagged there.”
- “However, he still has to make all five shots, either from within the comfort zone if he hasn’t don’t it already or out of his comfort zone if he is brave enough to come out one step.”
- “Do both my volunteers understand how this works?” (Answer any questions they have. Then, let your shooter try to make the shots, stepping no more than one step out of the comfort zone. If the risk person tags the shooter, the shooter can’t shoot anymore shots.)
- “That looked challenging.”
- “But something interesting happens when you step out of your comfort zone.” (Uncoil the rope or garden hose to make it twice as big as it was.)
- “Your comfort zone grows!”
- “Now you feel comfortable going further than you went before.”
- “So, let’s try it again.”
- “Our risk person will count to ten slowly before he tries to tag our shooter.”
- “Our shooter can step one, big step outside of his comfort zone and take five shots without getting tagged.” (Allow them to try this.)
- “It’s getting easier. Let’s do it again!”
- “The comfort zone increases, because our shooter took a step out of it during the last round.” (Uncoil the rope or garden hose another loop or even two (depending on how fast you want to finish the exercise) to make it bigger. Then let the shooter try to make his shots again. If the shooter makes all his shots, you’re done. If he doesn’t, you might want to run the exercise a time or two again. When you are finished, thank and dismiss your volunteers and close with the following comments.)
- “So, you can see how a comfort zone works.”
- “Whenever you take a risk and step out of it, it grows.”
- “The more you do it, the easier it will be to accomplish your goals.”
- “Remember our story about Abraham?”
- “He took a huge risk, but every step out of his comfort zone helped him to grow in his faith in the Lord.”
- “By the time Abraham reached the Promised Land, he had learned to put his complete faith in the Lord.”
- “He needed that faith to help him wait the 25 years for God’s promise of a son to come true.”
- “He would need it again to pass the test of almost offering Isaac as a sacrifice to the Lord.”
- “Abraham could never have the faith to do those things if he had stayed in Haran.”
- “If you want to experience God’s greatest blessings, you’ve got to follow Him out of your comfort zone.”
Filed under Abraham, Abram, Belief, blessing, Challenges, Character, Comfort Zone, courage, faith, God's Plan, God's Will, Obedience, Object Lesson, Sarah, test, Trust
Tagged as Abraham, Abram, achievement, afraid, comfort zone, danger, development, faith, Fear, Genesis 12:1-9, goal setting, goals, God's blessing, God's promise, grow, growth, Israel, lot, maturity, Object Lesson, promise, Promised Land, reward, risk, Sarah, Sarai, scary, shoot, shooter, shots, step out, stretch goals, tag, target, travel, Trust
January 17, 2011 · 5:28 pm
This game helps participants to understand how challenging it is to get feedback “in under the radar” without raising the intended recipient’s defensiveness. Participants will enjoy trying to get beanbags into a target. The beanbags represent their feedback, and the target represents the recipient’s heart.
o Proverbs 15:1, 18; 21:23
o Beanbags (three per team – if you can’t find beanbags to buy, you can make simple ones with small ziplock bags or drawstring bags filled with beans or rice)
o Posterboard (1 sheet per team)
o Markers (2-3 – Red, Green and Black if you want it)
o Masking tape
o Note cards (3 per team)
o A bag or pouch with material that you cannot see through (1 per team)
o Create a target on the posterboard. Start with a 6” x 6” circle in the middle. Then draw concentric circles around it, making each new one about 6” bigger all around.
o Write point values in each of the circles. The center circle is worth 50 points. The next, bigger circle is worth 25. The next, bigger circle is worth 15. The next one is worth 10, and if you have any edge left on the poserboard, you can mark that worth 5 points.
o Buy or make your bean bags.
o Place the posterboard targets on the ground, and mark a boundary for the throwers with a piece of tape on the floor. It should be about 8-10 feet away from the target.
o Mark three more lines of tape on the floor at 25%, 50% and 75% of the way between the throwing line and the target.
o Cut the notecards in half, and put a large, colored dot on each one (Make 3 with RED dots and 3 with GREEN dots for each group.)
o Mix up the 6 half-cards, and put them into a bag/pouch.
o Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Giving feedback isn’t easy.”
- “We want our feedback to be taken to heart by the person we are giving it to.”
- “Their heart is our target.”
- “If the feedback doesn’t make it to their heart, they won’t do anything about it.”
- “And even when we give feedback with a pure heart and a desire to help the other person, there is no guarantee that our feedback will hit its target.”
- “There are many things that can rise up and block our feedback from reaching its target, and one of the most common obstacles is defensiveness.” (Ask a volunteer to come to the front and represent the person to whom you want to give feedback.)
- “When we are trying to send our feedback to its target…” (Demonstrate “feedback” flying through the air in the direction of the volunteer with your hand.) “…if we don’t skillfully send it into the target area, the person’s defensiveness radar will see it coming….” (Have the volunteer make a beeping sound to represent a radar system, and ask them to speed up their beeping as you get closer.) “…and the defensive walls will go up!” (Have the volunteer put up their hands and block your feedback from reaching its target. Then, thank and dismiss the volunteer.)
- “So, let’s play a game that demonstrates this difficulty.”
- “It’s called ‘Under the Radar,’ and your goal is to throw a beanbag onto a target to earn points.”
- “You will have to stand here at this line to make your throw and try to hit that target.” (Demonstrate so that participants get the idea.)
- “That would be challenging by itself, but it’s more difficult than that.”
- “I’m going to divide you into a team of three and then make you compete against another team of three.”
- “Three people will get a chance to throw their ‘feedback’ onto the target, and the team that they are competing against will get a chance to block them.”
- “Here’s how it will work.”
- “Each person throwing will get three chances to hit the target, but before they throw, they have to draw three cards out of this bag.”
- “Inside the bag are eight (6) notecards – three with RED dots and three with GREEN dots.”
- “If they draw a card with a RED dot, the other team gets to put a person on one of the strips of tape between the throwing line and the target.“
- “This person represents defensiveness on the part of the person receiving the feedback.”
- “They have to stand on the tape, but they can do whatever they can from that point to try to block your ‘feedback’ from reaching its target.”
- “If the person throwing draws two RED dots, two of the opposing team get to stand on the tape marks (different ones).”
- “If he/she draw three RED dots, three of the opposing team get to stand on the tape marks.”
- “If less than three RED dots are drawn in the three draws, not all opposing team members will get to stand on the tape marks.”
- “Those not on tape marks are not allowed to interfere with the throws.”
- “GREEN cards are good for the throwing team and keep the opposing team off the tape marks.”
- “After drawing three cards from the bag, the thrower should make three throws and see how close to the center of the target that he/she can get while trying to avoid the defenses of the opposing team members on the tape marks.”
- “After that team member has made their three shots, add up the total points.”
- “Then, move the opposing team members off the tape marks, and let the other two team members take turns drawing three cards and take three throws while avoiding the defenses of any opposing players who get onto tape marks because of RED dot cards.”
- “When all three team members have thrown, the opposing team gets their turn to throw and see how many points they can accumulate.”
- “The team that has the most total points (from all nine throws) wins.”
- “Any questions?” (After addressing questions, divide the group into groups of three and pair up the teams of three against each other. Then, have them choose who will throw first and let them play. When they are done, recognize or reward the winning teams, and have them return to their seats to work through the following debrief questions.)
1. What was challenging about the game?
2. If you compare the game to giving someone feedback, what comparisons can you make?
3. What types of things make people’s defensiveness go up?
4. How can you give feedback in a way that won’t make people defensive?
5. Read Proverbs 15:1, 18 and 21:23. Do these Scriptures give you any additional ideas?
- “Sometimes, you only get once chance to send that feedback in there, so you want to make sure that it has the best chance possible of hitting it’s target.”
Filed under acceptance, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, discipleship, Evaluation, Game, Games that Teach, Hands-on, heart, Humility, leadership, Relationships, self-image, Spiritual Growth, team, Transformation
Tagged as advice, anger, beanbag, blame, blind, block, building relationships, coaching, communication, defensive, defensiveness, denial, Fear, feedback, Game, Games that Teach, heart, interpersonal, Johari's Window, lack of awareness, leadership, mentoring, Proverbs 15:1, Proverbs 15:18; Proverbs 21:23, public, radar, saving face, target, throw, timing, toss, Trust