10 Team Building Ideas to Use With Your Volunteers

When you meet with your volunteer team, it's beneficial to do a team building activity.  It brings you closer together and strengthens your unity.

Here are 10 ideas you can use for upcoming meetings.

2 Truths and a Lie 
Have everyone secretly write down two truths about themselves and one lie on a small piece of paper.  Go around and have people read their 3 statements.  Have everyone try to guess which one is the lie.  This activity encourages better communication and helps you get to know each other better.

Egg Drop
Split the group into teams.  Teams work together to build an egg holder that can sustain an eight foot drop.  Provide a variety of materials such as paper towels, tape, cardboard, yarn, etc.  Give teams 10-15 minutes to build their holder.  Have groups take turns dropping their egg and see if it survives the fall.  This activity teaches team members to work together and communicate.  You can follow up with some debrief questions like:

  • How is protecting the egg like protecting our vision?
  • What did you learn about teamwork? 
  • You worked together to keep the egg from cracking when it was dropped.  How can we work together to see kids faith not crack when they grow up?
Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower
Prepare 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti, 1 roll of masking tape, 1 yard of string and 1 marshmallow for every team.  Using these supplies, see which team can build the tallest tower.  The challenge?  The marshmallow has to be at the very top of the spaghetti tower, and the whole structure has to stand on its own.  You can follow up with some debrief questions like:
  • How did you work together to build your tower?  
  • How is this like working together to build our children's ministry?
  • How can we work together to see kids' faith stand strong?
  • What are some of the elements of a faith that stands strong?
Back-to-Back Drawing
Have everyone pair up.  Working in pairs, one person must describe a shape without naming it, while their partner must try to draw the shape they are describing and get as close the original shape as possible.  This activity helps foster better listening and communication between volunteers. 

Puzzle Race
Purchase several of the same identical puzzle.  Puzzle should contain 60 pieces or less.  Teams race to see who can complete their puzzle the fastest.  This activity promotes teamwork and communication.  Here are some debrief questions you can ask.
  • What did you do to see the big picture come together?  
  • How this like what we do in children's ministry?
  • Why is every piece of the puzzle important?  
  • How is this like everyone's role in our ministry?
Turn Over a New Leaf
Have everyone stand on a sheet of plastic.  The group has to slowly flip the sheet to the other side without anyone stepping off it.  This activity helps promote cooperation, trust and communication.  Here are some debrief questions you can ask. 
  • What did it take to turn over the plastic?  
  • How is this like making needed changes in our ministry?
Finish the Sentence
Gather everyone in a circle.  Have someone finish the sentence.  Below are some examples.  This is a great way for volunteers to get to know each other better and build their relationships.  If you'd like to initiate deeper conversations, ask them to explain their answer in more detail.
  • I am…
  • I have never…
  • I love to…
  • I would never…
  • The best way for me to relax is…
  • The funniest thing that ever happened to me was…
  • The most important decision I ever made in my life was…
  • If you could choose your age forever, what age would you choose and why?
  • If you could be in the movie of your choice, what movie would you choose and what character would you play?
  • If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
  • If you were a candy bar, which candy bar would you be? Share why.
  • Are you spring, summer, fall, or winter?  Please share why.
  • If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you want to have with you?
  • The most unbelievable thing…
  • What favorite color are you and how does being that color make you feel?
  • If you could choose an imaginary friend, who would you choose and why?
  • If you could sit on a bench in a beautiful woods, who would you like sitting next to you on the bench and why?
  • Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight, or night?  Please share why you picked your time of day?
  • The thing that makes me laugh is…
  • There is nothing I enjoy more than…
  • I would love to visit...
  • If I had a time machine, I would go back to visit...
  • The best present I ever received was...
  • My favorite place to eat is...
  • My favorite holiday is...
Human Knot
Have everyone stand in a circle facing each other, shoulder to shoulder.  Instruct everyone to put their right hand out and grab a random hand of someone across from them.  Then, tell them to put their left hand out and grab another random hand from a different person across the circle.  Within a set time limit, the group needs to untangle the knot of arms without releasing their hands.  If the group is too large, make multiple smaller circles and have the separate groups compete.  This activity relies heavily on good communication and teamwork.  Here are some debrief questions you can ask. 
  • How did you work together to get untangled?  
  • How is this like working together on our team?
Grab Bag Skits
Make a goodie bag for each team filled with five to six random objects.  Each group will create a three minute skit using all the objects in their goodie bag.  At the end, have groups vote for the funniest, most creative skit.

Group Juggle
Have everyone stand in an inward facing circle.  Ask the group to toss a ball among themselves in a specific order.  As the activity develops, more balls are introduced and the pressure to work well as a group increases.  Here are some debrief questions you can ask.
  • How did it feel when more balls were added?  
  • How is this like what can happen in our ministry?  
  • What did it take to keep the balls going?  
  • What does it take to keep our ministry going?
Your turn.  What are some of your favorite games, activities and icebreakers to use in meetings?  Share them with everyone in the comment section below.