A Team Exercise – Defining and Discussing Unity and Diversity of Thought
It is not uncommon for ministry leaders to forget that every person has a different way of processing and thinking about the different areas of the same ministry. Each individual brings their own philosophies and ideas to the table as well as a varying degree of perception based on past and current experiences. Identifying some of these variables and talking about them can be very enlightening and healthy.
Gather your ministry team for a discussion and work through the following exercise.
- Give each individual a pencil and sheet of paper or index card.
- Have each ministry area identified around the room by representative, and written down by each individual. (example – children’s, adults, small groups, volunteers, etc.) Also be sure to list any and all areas which are not represented by a leader.
- Now have each person silently write down a color that they believe most represents the ministry area next to each of the ministry areas listed. Have everyone make a best effort to not use the same color more than once during the exercise. Using a color, and not adjectives, is a safe way for an individual to express thoughts and feelings in a group context.
- When everyone has assigned a color to each ministry area then reveal the answer to the group either one at a time by ministry area (my favorite for discovering diversity of thought) or as a commonality amongst the team by color. Warm colors tend to express comfort and cold or harsh colors can sometimes express stress.
- Now discuss each perspective and have each team member give a reason for their color association for each ministry area. How did they decide on that color? What about that color is a good match? What other things come to mind when thinking of the color they have chosen? Was their choice based on mood, emotion, experience, etc?
As the activity Coach look for emotional descriptors that could indicate anxieties, negative or positive perception, or support of a particular area, especially within areas that a person is directly connected.
This exercise will help facilitate a healthy discussion of unity and diversity of thought and perception. The conversation about reasons for connecting a particular color to a particular ministry area can be very educational and helpful in bringing about a common or shared perspective. It is recommended to explore this component of the exercise as much as possible. Seeing how everyone in the room perceives each ministry area can be a eye opening and fun conversation.
What would you expect to learn from this exercise as a leader?