It’s great to get together with your youth ministry team at the beginning of the year. Gather for an evening, an afternoon, a day or even get away overnight to team build, to pray and to plan the first term (or the whole year).
Here are some exercises you can use to help build and bond your team:
One at a time, members place themselves on the following continuums
|Up Front||—————— Small Group —————–||One on One|
|Long Term, Big Picture||—————————————————–||Right Here, Right Now|
Afterwards discuss how well balanced the team looks:
- are there people with different strengths/preferences?
- are there gaps?
- is everyone contributing where they are best suited?
- how can we encourage each others’ strengths and develop an all round team?
Give everyone a set of cards numbered 1-5 (You can just use a deck of cards).
Read through the three areas of team participation listed below. Then go through each one again, with team members rating how they experience being part of the team on each aspect, by holding up a card. (1/Ace = yes, totally; 2 = mostly; 3 = a little; 4 = struggling; 5 = not at all).
- AFFECTION: I like this team, I enjoy working with each of the leaders.
- POWER: I contribute to this team, my ideas are heard and I get to influence the decisions we make.
- INCLUSION: I feel accepted by this team, I feel part of it and like I belong in this team.
If any concerns are identified, discuss together ways forward in an accepting and constructive manner, always thinking to ‘make the team stronger’.
Consider the different aspects of your role / ministry at the moment. Which parts fit in which zones below?
Comfort Zone (I’m all good – this is easy)
Challenge Zone (I’m pushed a little – but I’m growing; I’m developing new skills, knowledge, character and understanding)
Danger Zone (I’m struggling, losing energy, getting discouraged, or being counter-productive)
Each Team member shares their answers to the following…
- What emotion drives your youth ministry; what do you feel for the young people?
- What do you understand about young people that motivates you to want to be involved in their lives?
- What do you personally enjoy about working with young people? What do they give to you? What kick do you get out of it?
- What do you most want them to ‘get’ about God?
Team members reflect on their walk with God using the well known prayer of St. Richard of Chichester (1197-1253):
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother,
May I know thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
And follow thee more nearly:
For ever and ever.
The prayer covers three different aspects of our walk with Christ:
- Know thee more clearly i.e. Knowing the mind of Christ & knowing the Word of God
- Love thee more dearly i.e. our relationship with God our adoration, worship, intimacy with God
- Follow thee more nearly i.e. our lifestyle, as a daily follower of Christ, committed to kingdom living
- Which of these three parts of your walk with God is strongest?
- How do you nurture these?
- How can you nurture the parts which need special attention?
- How can we help each other to walk stronger in Christ?
Close the time with prayer for one another – covering the key things that have come out from the activities used.
You can download a PDF version of this training resource here. Feel free to print and hand out these notes to your youth leaders.