build team unity, mission trip team, youth ministry

5 Tips to Build Team Unity

By Tristen Davis March 5, 2018

Team unity, what is it good for?

Well, actually quite a bit.

We know from our jobs, past experiences, and even just watching C-SPAN for one minute that a lack of unity leads to a mountain of difficulties.

So how do we seek after that unity with our students before we head off onto a mission trip or a LeaderTreks Trip?

Check out these five tips to build camaraderie, cultivate vulnerability, and prepare a team for their trip:

1.Schedule mandatory meetings.

Building team unity won’t happen overnight. Set aside a specific time at least once a month prior to your trip, and require the attendance of every team member. Have these trainings in various places. Meet at the church, grab dinner together, or plan a bonfire with games.

2. Facilitate fun team building games.

Find games that are both fun and challenging. If you’re feeling adventurous (and you have the budget), try an outdoor obstacle course or something similar. Draw out themes like communication, leadership, problem solving, flexibility, and patience. These games create fun memories with each other while giving students training in how to work together.

Two sturdy objects and a string is all you need to set up this team building initiative. For the students, however, the task gets a little more challenging. Their mission? Get their entire team under the “Electric Wire” without touching it. If the wire is touched, the entire team must go back to the beginning. With a few additional rules to make things more interesting, students will love taking on this challenge and learn leadership principles in the process.

Use this activity to help your students grow in their ability to work together to accomplish a goal and communicate effectively. Take some time at the end to work through the provided debrief questions to link principles and experience to life altering application.

3. Take a strengths or spiritual gifts assessment.

Assessments are great discovery tools. Students learn their own gifts, but they also get to see how their teammates thrive. Check out several assessments that LeaderTreks offers.

4. Mix it up.

Whenever you lead a training session or an activity, be intentional to mix students up. Have students partner up with someone different. You’ll encourage vulnerability and see walls begin to break down.

5. Utilize a curriculum.

Look for pre-trip, on-trip, and post-trip resources.  Use the pre-trip studies to generate discussions during your team meetings. You’ll create a space for students to share some of their fears and concerns about the trip, and you’ll set the tone for on-trip conversations. Then on-trip and post-trip resources will help you maintain the unity that’s developing. Once again, LeaderTreks has got you covered on this aspect as well. Check out their mission trip resources.

Team unity may seem like something that is foreign and elusive, but it can be accomplished and your trip and team will be better for it.

About the Author

Tristen Davis

Tristen Davis graduated from Taylor University studying Social Studies Education and Youth Ministry. For several years he’s worked as both a teacher and youth worker, giving him a unique perspective of how to serve students today. He is always excited to see how God uses him and loves the opportunity to share with others. You…  Read More