Team Building Activities
Setting: A space appropriate for the size of the group that allows movement
Props: All aboard-a small platform
Number of Participants: Enough to make it a challenge. Too few is too easy.
How: All participants must get both feet off the ground long enough to sing a short song such as “Jesus Loves Me.”
Spiritual Application: During this activity, group members physically cling to one another and hold one another on the platform. If one falls off, others may be pulled, as well. Thus each person must be concerned for others in the group. We must all work together to accomplish the goal of All Aboard, and the same is true in reaching the world for Jesus Christ.
Setting: Anywhere, yet needs to be a place where a little bit of water will not hurt the area.
Props: Two different fishing weights, one 2 pounds and one 5 pounds and pail of water or anything that will hold water. Groups each need several straws and a long strip of masking tape.
Number of Participants: At least two groups
How: Object is for group to use the straws and tape to build a device that will support the weight in the bucket of water.
Setting: Space large enough for group to move around freely
Number of Participants: At least 5, yet more is better
How: Each participant should be given an inflated balloon. The group should form a single file line with a balloon in between each person in a chest to back formation. The line should travel a challenging path while attempting to keep the balloons from falling to the ground, yet no hands are allowed.
Spiritual Application: The group must move as a unit or body to carry out this initiative. If a single person does not cooperate the group cannot function. Ephesians 4:4 says, “There is one body and one Spirit, ….” While we all have different abilities and gifts we still are a part of the body of Christ.
Setting: Open area at least 25 yards long
Props: Boundary markers
Number: At least 10
How: Object is to move the group across the designated space. This is done by carrying one another across. Only the last person may travel across unassisted. After a person transports someone across, he/she must return and be carried by someone else. This should be done as quickly as possible and in as few trips as possible.
Spiritual Application: Think of the poem “Footprints in the Sand” and the portion where there is only one set of prints in the sand. The person asks Jesus where He was during the tough times, and Jesus says, “I was carrying you.” We should remember to cast our burdens on God and he will sustain us.
Setting: Need an open area that allows groups to move 20-25 feet
Props: Boundary Markers
Number: Need at least 7
How: The object is to move a group of seven people across an open area of ground 20-25 feet wide. Only four points of contact with the ground may be used for the entire group.
Spiritual Application: Often the path a Christian must travel is difficult. At times we require the support of others as they “carry” us along. By learning from our difficulties we are able to lift and support others in similar circumstances.
Setting: An area large enough for the group to form a circle
Props: A tennis ball or other light throwable object for every person in the group
Number: At least 10
How: One person tosses an object to another person. The object is then thrown from person to person establishing a pattern. Once the object has been to each person and is back to the start, the pattern is repeated and more and more objects are added. Reverse directions to add a greater challenge.
Spiritual Application: Proverbs 16:20 states, “He who gives attention to the Word shall find good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.” We have many distractions that can keep us from studying God’s Word, as we should. These diversions can lead us to mistakes where we “Drop the Ball” spiritually.
Number: At least 8, more than 20 is very difficult
How: Group faces one another in a tight circle. Each person grabs right hands with someone else, then left hands with different person. Without letting go of hands, the object is to untangle the knot.
Spiritual Application: We must work together to solve problems and to reach the world with the message of Jesus Christ.
Group Jump Rope
Setting: Area large enough for a group to twirl a jump rope
Props: One large rope that can used as a jump rope
Number: Even 5 people can find this difficult, more than 25 almost impossible
How: Ask group to line up and get ready to jump rope. The object is for the group to simultaneously jump the rope two times. If this is accomplished quickly increase the challenge and go for a “World Record.”
Spiritual Application: Often jumping rope is seen as a child’s activity. Those who did it frequently as a child are usually more comfortable with this activity. In our relationship with God, we are to have a childlike faith and trust in Him. Matthew 19:14 informs us that the kingdom of God belongs to those like little children. Another application can be that we appear foolish doing this initiative. Paul stated in I Corinthians 4:10, “We are fools for Christ’s sake…”
Setting: Open area with room for a circle and preferably level
Number: At least 10, an entire group of 1500 has been done
How: Group forms a circle and moves to a shoulder to shoulder position. Then the participants turn to face in same direction; example: everyone has left shoulder on inside of circle. They should then move in closely. The leader directs the group to sit on the lap of the person behind them. Each person is supporting the person in front of him/her. Sing “Row, row, row your boat ” or other short song when complete. To add another challenge, ask the group to walk in the circle. Another possibility is to ask group member to give a back rub to the person in front!!
Spiritual Application: Paul instructed us to work together and encourage each other as well as forgive differences. In Colossians 3:12-14 he emphasized a love and common purpose that unifies believers. This activity symbolizes the spirit of cooperation and concern that should exist among fellow Christians.
Setting: An area free from obstacles
Props: Blindfolds for each participant
Number: At least 5, the more the merrier
How: Each participant should be blindfolded. The group should be asked to line up from tallest to shortest.
Variation: Without blindfolds, ask group to line up in order of birthdays without speaking or spelling with actual sign language.
Spiritual Application: When participants are not allowed to use certain senses, new forms of communication are necessary. Different people communicate in different ways. Think of Pentecost. We must search for new ways to share the message of Jesus Christ.
Props: One single piece of tarp
Number: Between 8-15, depending on size of tarp
How: The object is to turn the Magic Carpet over, without touching the ground surrounding the Magic Carpet
Spiritual Application: We all face down times in our spiritual life. We need to focus on God and turn over a new leaf, developing good habits and Godly characteristics
Setting: A large room or field that allows for freedom of movement
Props: Boundary markers, blindfolds for each participant, obstacles on the floor such as paper plates
Number: At least 8, 20, 30, 70, 140 are possible
How: The object is to walk through the minefield without touching the mines (the obstacles). Partners guide walkers, who are blindfolded, through the field across the area, only communicating by voice. If a mine is touched, walkers are disqualified.
Spiritual Application: Through all the noise of everyday life, we should take the time to listen to God and that still, small voice that leads us.
Setting: A large field or room that allows for freedom of movement
Props: One beach ball
Number: At least 10; 25, 40, 70 are possible
How: The object is to keep a beach ball aloft by hitting it as many times as possible. No one is allowed to hit the ball twice in a row. Everyone must be involved. Counting out loud is encouraged.
Spiritual Application: The goal of this activity is to get everyone involved. This should be our goal in Christianity: tell everybody so they can be involved in the joy of Christ.
Pass the Can
Setting: Space appropriate for group to sit in a circle
Props: 1 large coffee can
Number: 8 or more
How: Ask group to sit in a circle. They should be instructed to pass the can around the circle using only their feet. If the can is dropped, it must be returned to the starting point. This is a great timed activity. Give time to plan and ask questions and be ready to jump in and stop any unsafe ideas. With larger groups more cans may be added.
Spiritual Applications: Timed activities lend a sense of urgency. As Christians, we should feel a sense of urgency in our task of sharing Christ with a lost world. I Thessalonians 5:2 tells us Jesus will come “like a thief in the night.” Just like passing the can, each person must do his/her share. This must be done carefully yet with a sense of urgency.
Setting: An open, flat, soft, grassy area is needed.
Number: At least 4
How: Groups of four people should attempt to do a push-up with no one’s feet on the ground. The push-up is done simultaneously.
Spiritual Application: This is an initiative in which groups may fail. Many people may not have sufficient arm strength to be able to support others’ weight. Just as we may fail in this activity, we often fail in our spiritual life. God has promised never to leave or forsake us. He knows that we will fail; yet His love is constant and enduring. This confidence enables us to continue even when we do fail in various aspects of our lives.
Setting: Outdoors on a warm day
Props: A large barrel or trash can (55 gallon plastic or rubber can acceptable) with holes drilled or punched. These holes should be small enough that a person placing her finger over the hole can stop one. There should be 10 holes per person in the group. The group will also need 2 smaller buckets or containers and will need access to a large water source like a stream, lake or pool.
Number: No more than 15 participants are best
How: The objective is to fill the large barrel to overflowing with water. Place a light object, such as a Ping-Pong ball inside the barrel, and ask the group to fill the barrel until the ball floats out the top. Participants may use any body part to attempt to plug the holes and contain the water.
Spiritual Application: To be successful in this activity the participants must fill the gaps. As Christians we can “stand in the gap” in a world in which Christian principles often seem nonexistent.
Setting: Any size room or area without obstacles
Props: Some way to mark off 9 separate interconnected areas by using tape, chalk or Frisbees
Number: Need 8 participants, but more can help solve the problem
How: Set up the area like this Spaces designated with , people designated by *
* * * * * * * *
This diagram is the manner in which participants are lined up. Notice, there are 9 total spaces with the participants lined up in groups of four, with a space in between the two groups of four. The two groups then attempt to switch positions following these rules:
1. No one may pass a teammate from his/her group of four. When the problem is competed, each foursome will be in the order in which they began.
2. A person may move into an open space immediately in front of him/her.
3. Backward moves are not allowed.
4. A person may step around someone from the opposite foursome to move into an open space.
5. Only one person out of entire eight should be moving at a time.
6. Stepping around a group of two or more people from the opposite foursome to reach an open space is not allowed.
Spiritual Application: Many voices tend to create confusion., causing difficulty in solving the problem. Many worldly influences can confuse and disrupt our communication with God. Often, Satan seeks to tempt and distort our relationship with the Father even as he tempted Jesus as told to us in Matthew 4. We must keep our concentration on Jesus and He will keep us in His care.
Reach for the Sky
Setting: A clean, reasonably soft surface is needed with access to a wall
Props: A piece of masking or duct tape
Number: At least 8
How: The idea is for the group to place a piece of masking tape as high as possible on a wall. Obviously this is dangerous. Spotting is required.
Spiritual Application: I Corinthians 12 speaks about the need for both strong and weak body parts. In this initiative the small light person is as essential as the bigger, stronger person is. The group must function as a body with some serving as spotters and stronger members lifting the light, agile ones. Working together, the group can attain a height much greater than anyone could alone. This is true in the body of Chris as well. We must use our different gifts to lift and support one another and jointly achieve results, which could not be attained by a single person.
Setting: An open area with room to move
Props: One blindfold for each participant and a long length of rope tied together
Number: At least 8
How: The goal is to arrange the rope into geometric designs while blindfolded. Group members are instructed to put on blindfolds and then grasp the rope. They are then instructed to arrange the rope into a specific shape. When they believe the shape is complete, they remove blindfolds to observe their shape.
Spiritual Application: Often, some group members will strive for perfection, while others are content with just getting close. We are instructed to strive for perfection in our lives in Matthew 5:48.
Setting: Preferably outside in a large area
Props: Each participant needs a writing utensil and paper
How: Group spreads out individually, and records something they might not see in a group setting.
Spiritual Application: Sometimes we have to look closely, and get away from the distractions to see where God wants us to go.
Setting: Need a soft, grassy surface
Number: Need at least 10 people
How: The objective is to form a ten-man pyramid in a symmetrical shape. After completion, instruct participants to do this another way, then another way and as many ways as the group can devise.
Spiritual Application: At first, this activity goes a little slow with few ideas, yet eventually speeds up. Sometimes the group does not heed a suggestion. In the race to do this in as many ways as possible, often the group becomes vocal and misses some ideas. We must listen to God. Scripture tells us “Be still and know that I am God.”
Setting: An open area with no obstacles
Props: One or two Frisbees
Number: Any size
How: The purpose is to move a group holding hands in a circle rotating 360 degrees clockwise, then 360 degrees counterclockwise in as brief a time as possible. The group starts in a seated position, holding hands and on the “go” signal, stands up and begins the rotation. Several attempts are best to give opportunities to change the manner the activity is done. Group members may not let go of hands or the effort is nullified.
Spiritual Application: Breaking hand grips with other group members leads to failure. The connection between individuals is essential if the group is to complete the initiative successfully. The essential connection for the Christian is between him/herself and God. Reading and studying the Bible and communicating with God through prayer enable the Christian to maintain that connection. When sin or indifference breaks the connection with God, the individual will find that he/she struggles and is unable to deal successfully with life’s problems and challenges.
Touch the Can
Props: One soft drink can
Number: Up to 15 participants
How: Two volunteers hold the can by placing it between their noses. Tell the remainder of the group that they are to find a way for every person to touch the can. As they do so, they may not touch any other person in the group, including those with the can between their noses. Once the group has successfully achieved this, ask them to move a given distance, continuing to maintain contact with the can and not touching one another.
Spiritual Application: We all need a touch from God in our lives, and from our friends. We see this often throughout the New Testament as Jesus heals many people as they touched Him. In the same way a handshake, hug or other touch from a caring friend can do much to heal the hurts that occur in life.
Setting: An area large enough for the group to form a circle.
Number: Minimum of 8, an even number is needed, could be a huge group
How: Instruct the group to form a circle with arms outstretched and joined hands or wrists. Direct everyone to take one small step toward the center. The leader should move in or out of the circle to maintain an even number of participants. Ask group members to count off and remember whether they are even or odd numbers. The goal is to allow half of the group to lean in, and the other half to lean out. This should be done with caution. Each person is supporting the two people on either side of him/her. This may take several attempts.
Spiritual Applications: People in any grouping have different gifts. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. This is true with our spiritual gifts also. By encouraging individual gifts, the service and ministry of the church may become more completely balanced.