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It Pays To Play: Team Building 101

Why creating space for play will move your ministry forward

You set a big goal, started a new ministry, developed a new system. Whatever the mountain was that you recently climbed, it was a lot of work and you invested a lot to climb it. But you did it. Either the deadline has passed or the work is done and the view is astounding. Look at how far you have come!

So now what? Do you look around for another mountain to climb? If this were a real mountain, before you even thought about the descent you would celebrate the mountain top. 

Everyone is designed to work hard. But if our focus remains working hard and continuously climbing mountains, it’s too easy to miss out on the rest and restoration that fuels the hard work. Without a healthy rhythm of work and rest, we (and our team) end up burnt out with broken relationships and misaligned priorities. 

If your team has climbed a big mountain and/or is feeling exhausted, you need to pay yourself and your team back for their investment. When you invest into your team, the investment multiples as they are encouraged, motivated and equipped to invest in the people and projects around them.

That’s where a team-building retreat comes into play. Your Team Building activity doesn’t have to be deep or lengthy. It may be as simple as “what was something fun you did this weekend?”

Here are five benefits of team building:

1. Team Building Builds Trust

“The only relationships in this world that have ever been worthwhile and enduring have been those in which one person could trust another.” – Samuel Smile, British author and biographer

Trust is one of the most valuable assets your church could have. Trust is currency, and it will make or break your team. However, you cannot build trust without time. In every mention of trust, it’s followed by a verb; “build trust, “earn trust” “lose trust” “gain trust”. Trust is an asset that is developed, over time, with intention. 

2. Team Building Reduces Conflict

When your team builds trust with one another, they are less likely to fill a gap of information with suspicion and more likely to fill it with trust. Fewer assumptions are made, less judgment is given, and your team can come to conflict resolutions more quickly. 

While time together does not guarantee trust, it does help facilitate it.

3. Team Building Increases Collaboration

When you schedule team-building activities into your annual calendar, you are not only paying your team back for their investment, but you are investing in them so they can turn around and invest in others around them.

4. Team Building Improves Morale

When people make a commitment to spend time together, it can change the way they relate to each other and work together. A retreat centered on relationships communicates that your team is important enough to invest a significant amount of time and energy into. This factor alone contributes to a boost in morale and overall employee satisfaction.

5. Team Building Provides Insight 

Time together does not guarantee trust. When you gather your team together for team-building, it is a great opportunity as a leader to observe who works well together, who avoids others, who leads, and who follows. A team-building retreat will give you an extended length of time to observe the relationship dynamics of your team in a way that work-focused activities will not.

If thoughtfully structured, Team Building Retreats can clarify roles and expectations, ease tensions and identify the unique contributions of each staff member. 

If you continue to build into your team, your team will be more productive and available to build into the people around them. 

Investment multiplies.

And remember, team-building isn’t an activity you do to get it out of the way but something you do to actually develop relationships. 

That requires time, patience, and opportunities to step out of your comfort zone.

From bowling to a ropes course to the movie theatre, there are tons of activities that are fun, will spark people’s imaginations, and (hopefully) invoke a lot of laughter. Consider what your local area has to offer; while you may not have a ropes course, you might have a racetrack or an amusement park. 

Whatever you do, have FUN!