This is a good activity for getting a group to think about what they can do with their own resources. It can generate a lot of fun and laughter as well as provide some useful learning. In using this exercise it is important to be sensitive to local culture and tradition.
- Ask the group to form two lines with an equal number of people in each line.
- Explain they are going to use anything they have on them to make the longest possible line (shoe laces, belts, over-shirts, jackets, etc.)
- Each person must be in contact with another person either by means of a part of the body or an article of clothing.
- The team that wins is the one that forms the longest line.
- To what lengths were people prepared to go to make the line as long as possible?
- What were the barriers to people sharing what they had?
- What does this exercise teach us about using our own resources?
Key Learning points:
- It can surprise us when we see what we can achieve only using what we have.
- Sometimes challenging situations produce natural leaders.
- Once people have a clear vision of what is needed they become motivated and energized.
- Challenging situations can produce creativity. For example, people may decide to lie down on the ground to make the line longer or find creative uses for their clothes and accessories.
- For some people this exercise may be uncomfortable. Sometimes, giving up our resources for the common good can be challenging and uncomfortable too.
What to expect at the end of this stage?
- Positive energy over identifying needs to be addressed
- Formation of a church core group to undertake practical tasks
- Recognition that the church has plenty of resources within its own membership and community
- The church has confidence in its own abilities to meet community needs
- The church undertakes some new practical projects and initiatives
- Celebrating what we have
- If it doesn’t come up in discussion, you may like to remind the church that their resources include knowledge, time and prayer.
- Once all the objects have been put down in the shape of a cross, play some music or sing a song to allow people to reflect on the range of resources, gifts and talents.
Special thanks to Potomac Park Retreat and Conference Center for sponsoring this article.