5 TEAM-BUILDING IDEAS FOR STAFF MEETINGS, BOARDS, OR SMALL GROUPS

If you lead a group of Christ-followers, you’re on a safari for ways to enhance the relational atmosphere, even when it’s a task-oriented venue.  Occasionally I utilize a structured but creative activity that provides a social lubricant and increases bonding among participants.  Here are a few of my favorite team-building tools.  The best time to use them are when a group first forms, though I sometimes employ one as a respite from the routine of our meetings.
 
1. NAME ACROSTIC
Distribute name tags or note cards.  Tell everyone to write his first name vertically on the left side of the tag or card.  Instruct each person to use each letter of his name as the first letter of a single word that tells something about his personality, hobbies, past experience—you name it!
“P” could stand for a recent promotion at work.  “E” could represent  “exercise” and refer to a jogging regimen or gym membership, and so on.  Then everyone can explain his acrostic to the group. 
 
2. ARTISTIC  NAME  TAG
Distribute blank name tags.  Instruct participants to write or print their names in the shape of something that describes them:  a symbol that captures a trait, hobby, interest, or current circumstance.  Provide examples as a catalyst to their thinking.
A basketball fan could put her name in the form of a circle.  Someone facing an important decision or uncertainty about the future could arrange the letters in the form of a question mark.  Then let everyone display and explain her creation.  Others can ask about the experience or sphere of interest captured in the design.
 
3.PLEASANT EXPERIENCE
Give everyone a note card. Have each person describe on the card a pleasant experience from recent months, something other group members aren’t likely to know.  Collect the cards, scramble them, and have every participant pick a card.  When everyone has received a card other than his own, instruct group members to find the person whose experience is recorded on the card.  Then everyone can describe for the whole group the pleasant experience.
 
4. ITEM FROM WALLET OR PURSE Ask  team members to select one item from their wallet or purse that they can use to introduce themselves or to disclose personal information:  a photo, receipt, business or discount card, etc.  Give each person a couple minutes to display and explain the item.  Encourage others to react by asking probing questions that elicit even more information.
 
5. PRAISING GOD’S FAITHFULNESS
Use a laptop to show a video of a congregation or soloist singing the hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”  Then explain this biblical principle:
The faith needed to face current trails or stressors is rooted in our past.  When we look back at our pilgrimage as Christians, we can identify answers to prayer, ways the Lord has sustained us through affliction, or guidance He has provided for an important decision.  Cultivating memories of His past faithfulness enables us to trust Him more in the present.
Next, give group members an opportunity to share a concrete way God has demonstrated His faithfulness to them or to their families.  Close with brief prayers of praise for His past deeds on behalf of group members.
 
*These group ideas come from Terry’s book, Now That’s A Good Question!  How To Lead Quality Bible Discussions (Updated and Expanded Version), available at Amazon Books.
Amazon books link: http://www.amazon.com/Now-Thats-Good-Question-Discussions/dp/0997179600/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1460736365&sr=8-2&keywords=now+that%27s+a+good+question