Everybody knows the importance of good communication, healthy personal relationships and respect for one another when it comes to excelling in team sports. Knowing your teammates well is a key component of being able to trust them and work efficiently together as a team.
The same is true on a short-term mission team. That’s why our Best Practices Tip – for the GearUp #1 phase of your trip is focused on developing greater Team Talk. One of the first steps to building good communication is getting to know one another.
Using the “Comment” widget in the GearUp phase is a simple way to get the conversations started. Use it to get your team talking about something of interest. Ask about their biggest fears, why they want to be on the team, who has traveled abroad before, or what they are most excited about learning or seeing.
During your first team meeting take time to get to know one another and then build time in to each training session to get to know a different person better each time. Sharing your personal testimony to the team is another way to learn about each other and prepare to tell others about Jesus.
There are lots of books on team building exercises. We found that Tom Heck’s, Duct Tape Teambuilding Games is one of the best. Remember, helping your team learn to talk and serve together is one of the most important steps in preparing for an effective short-term mission trip. Be creative. Be interactive. Be more together than you could apart.