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?
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