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Pastors & community leaders: Why use team building to build relationships?

There is nothing like standing on a platform thirty feet off the forest floor while the rest of your team is telling you to jump! I remember the first time I experienced this. I felt my harness to make sure it was snug, tugged on the rope to make myself feel better, and hollered back at my team asking, “Are you ready?”

Once I was assured that the rest of my group was going to make sure I stayed air born, I jumped. As soon as my feet left the platform my heart sank. My hands grabbed onto the trapeze bar with no intention of letting go. Then it happened. The group leader told me to do the one thing I had no intentions of doing. Let go. So I did, and I was suspended off of the forest floor. After being slowly lowered to the ground, I was ready for round two!

Little did I realize, this was the beginning of a lifelong bond not easily broken. Do you have friends who will go through hell and high water for you? I know I do. Those friendships started with a day of team building.

It’s been a little over ten years since my first team building experience. Just the other day, one of the gentlemen from my group randomly showed up at my house to say, “hi.” I haven’t seen him in five years. But we have a connection that is not easily broken. We talked, laughed, and ate together. I can tell you with certainty that I trust him far more than many others I see daily.

So, why? Why put your youth or community group through a team building experience? Here is what I can tell you: team building invests in friendships. I have found, through my 10 years experience in team building and 12 years in youth ministry, that relationships are often developed and strengthened through team building experiences, and these friendship can last a lifetime!

I can’t tell you the number of times a team building friend has stopped by my home or asked me to catch up over a cup of coffee. Little did I know those friendships started with a silly high five and funny handshake during team building activities.

-Spencer McDowell
Challenge Course & Recreational Activities Manager
Warm Beach Camp & Conference Center

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