Team building helps the group going on your mission trip to become a team. This is important because successful mission trips start with groups that not only know what they’re working toward, but how to work together to reach it.
To get your group ready to be a team:
- Start team-building two to four months before your trip.
- Meet at least monthly with your team before the trip. Make these meetings a priority, or even a requirement.
- Emphasize that this trip is not a vacation. Prepare your team to work hard, build relationships, and be spiritually challenged.
- Form prayer partnerships within your team. Have team members draw names from a hat at your first meeting to pick their prayer partners. Encourage them to pray for their partners before, during, and after the trip. Set aside some time at meetings for partners to pray together as well.
- Assign team members specific roles/jobs for the trip to distribute the work and use your team’s gifts. (Examples: carrying the team money, preparing team devotions, or carrying the first aid kit.)
TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES
- Cook a meal together. Choose something simple that can involve many people. This activity includes washing the dishes at the end!
- Play a name game. Stand in a circle and have everyone say their name and an animal name that starts with the same letter. Challenge people to repeat every person’s name and animal.
- Build marshmallow castles. Give teams of five or six people marshmallows, toothpicks, and straws. Challenge them to build a castle within a certain time limit.
- Take a trust walk. Divide people into groups of five or six. Blindfold all but one member of each group. Direct the blindfolded people to hold hands. Tell the people who can see to take their groups on a walk.
- Pack the team luggage and prepare vacation Bible school activities together.
- Do show and tell. Ask each person to bring an item that tells you something about them and share how/why it describes who they are.
- Take a spatial personality test. State two personality characteristics. Have people go to one side of the room or the other based on what characteristic fits them best.
- Roleplay situations where things could go wrong on the trip. Talk about the emotions that can arise and how those can be handled. Also discuss how to handle homesickness, bad attitudes, and inappropriate language.
- Reflect together on what it means to be a team player.
- Share expectations and fears for the trip.
- Learn about working as a team by studying God’s Word together. This works best when it is done in small groups. You can recap what you discuss in your small groups with the whole group afterward.
- Read a Bible passage and answer these questions:
1. What do the verses say about teamwork?
2. What do the verses say creates effective and purposeful teamwork?
3. What do the verses say can have a negative impact on teamwork?
- Suggested verses: 1 Corinthians 12:14-26; Matthew 18:15-17; Philippians 2:1-4; Galatians 5:22-23, 26; James 2:1-9.
- Share with each other how we all have strengths, weaknesses, talents, and communication styles to contribute to the team.
- Pray as a group for God to help you form a team that works together and stays together.
- Encourage each other through prayer.
- Ask group members if they have specific prayer requests for the trip. Most people will be nervous or concerned about something.