Tag Archives: team building

Building Our Walls (CLOSER)


Image

Time

30-45 minutes

Description

This closer is best used at the end of an event where you have been studying Nehemiah.  It asks participants to make a commitment to their team, a major initiative, a mission, a goal, etc. by writing it on a “brick” and sticking it to a wall where others are also adding their bricks.  The final result is a visual representation of a wall of commitment built by all the participants.

Scriptures

  • Nehemiah 6:15-16
  • Nehemiah 9:38, 10:28-33

Materials

  • Printouts of the file “Building Our Walls – Brick Commitment Cards.”  (One copy for every two participants.  You can find this file on the Lesson Materials and Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.)
  • Scissors or other cutting tool
  • Markers (several for each group or table of participants)
  • Flipchart paper
  • Masking tape
  • Worship instruments and sound system
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Print out the Brick Commitment Cards.
  • Cut them in half along the black line.
  • Tape two sheets of flipchart paper together, and then tape them onto a wall where everyone can see them.  If you have a bigger group, use more sheets of flipchart paper.
  • Draw a scene at the bottom that represents the rubble of torn-down walls, and write “from RUBBLE” at the bottom and “to RAMPART” at the top.  (See the photo at: https://teachingthem.com/2013/02/15/building-our-walls-closer/)
  • Tear off pieces of tape and have them ready at the front so that participants will be able to stick their commitment cards to the wall quickly. (You might want to make the tape into circles so that it goes behind the paper.  It will look nicer.)
  • Ask a worship leader to lead the group through two songs to set the mood before they make their commitments.
  • Pass out commitment cards and markers to each group or participant.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • (Have a volunteer read Nehemiah 9:38, 10:28-33.)
  • “When the walls of Jerusalem were built after only 52 days, the people made a binding agreement to protect what they had worked so hard to build up.”
  • “Their commitments included not intermarrying with pagan peoples, not trading on the Sabbath, allowing the land to have a Sabbath rest every seventh year and cancelling all debts, providing tithes and offerings for the Temple and the priests and Levites.”
  • “When you build something good for the glory of God, you want to protect it, right?”
  • “The Enemy is going to attack it.  That’s guaranteed.”
  • “So, you need to think about how he will try to tear down your walls, and you’ve got to make a commitment to strengthen them there.”
  • “And you can’t just reinforce the walls; you’ve also got to guard the gates, because if the Enemy can’t go over or through your walls, he WILL try to get in through your gates.”
  • “The gates are the way that things come into and go out of the city.”
  • “For us, our gates are most likely our ears, our eyes and our mouths.”
  • “The Enemy uses these three gates to destroy many good works of God.”
  • “Through what we hear, what we see and what we say.”
  • “A little gossip, a little rumor, a harsh word, a hasty email, an inappropriate or condemning photograph – these are his tools.  Guard against them.”
  • “I would like to ask each of you to also make a personal commitment to protect what you have worked so hard to build while we’ve been together during this event.”  (Hand out a “commitment brick” and a marker to each participant if you haven’t done so already.)
  • “These sheets of paper are ‘Commitment Bricks.’”
  • “We are going to use them to build a wall of commitment here at the front of the room.” (Point out the flipchart paper where you would like them to bring their commitment cards.)
  • “When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, all the walls were rubble.”  (Point to the “RUBBLE” on your flipcharts.)
  • “But he helped the people to build the rubble into a rampart!” (Point to the “RAMPART” on your charts.  A rampart is a strong defensive wall around a city.)
  • “I’ve asked the worship team to lead us in a few songs to prepare our hearts.”
  • “After we have worshipped, I would like to ask you to take a moment to pray about what your commitment should be.”
  • “Then, write the commitment on your brick and sign your name.”
  • “I have tape ready at the front of the room, and I would like you to bring your Commitment Brick up here to cover up this rubble and build a wall of commitment by sticking your brick to the wall.”  (Have the worship team lead.  Then encourage everyone to pray, write down their commitments and tape them on the wall.  When everyone is done, have them stand in a semi-circle around the commitments.)
  • (Ask a volunteer to read Nehemiah 6:15-16.)
  • “When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, all he had was rubble and a group of people who had given up hope of building their walls.”
  • “The people were discouraged by the rubble.”
  • “It was a constant reminder of their weakness, their shame, their failure.”
  • “But Nehemiah saw the rubble and had hope!”
  • “He realized that the rubble meant that they already had all the materials they needed to build the walls right there waiting to be used!”
  • “They didn’t have to build a stone quarry and find ways to transport large amounts of stone.”
  • “They had everything they needed, and it was already distributed around the city in all the right places!”
  • “He cast his vision with the people, and in 52 days, they took that RUBBLE and made it into a RAMPART! (a strong, defensive wall).”
  • “Maybe the rubble you see around you has been used by the Enemy to discourage you and to cause you to lose hope.”
  • “But I want to encourage you today!”
  • “You have all the resources you need to build your walls!”
  • “With God’s help, even this rubble can become a rampart!”
  • “Let’s thank Him for His good work in our hearts and minds today!”  (Praise the Lord with some applause or other method appropriate to your context.  Then, ask the senior leader to say a prayer to close the time.  Dismiss participants after the prayer.  You will probably want to transfer your Commitment Wall to a visible place around your team or to post it online as a reminder of the commitments that have been made.)
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Filed under Closer, Engagement

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

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

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?”

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

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)

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