team building

8) Working on a Multi-cultural Mission Team? This is a Must-Read

The Lausanne Movement has released an article, “Becoming a Healthy Multi-Cultural Team: How to Reach the Effective Synergy Phase,” by Scott Moreau. Learn about the phases of team development and how to deal with the ever-changing team composition in this free article in the March, 2019, edition of Lausanne Global Analysis.


(Thanks for the tip on this one, Jenny!)


5) 5 Languages Of Appreciation In The Work Place —

With subtitle, “Empowering Organizations By Encouraging People,” author Gary Chapman and psychologist Dr. Paul White have teamed up to write this newly released book to help supervisors and managers effectively communicate appreciation and encouragement to their employees, resulting in higher levels of job satisfaction, healthier relationships between managers and staff, and decreased cases of burnout. Ideal for both the profit and non-profit sectors, the principles presented in this book have a proven history of success in businesses, schools, medical offices, churches, and industry. The book contains an access code for the reader to take a comprehensive online MBA Inventory (Motivating By Appreciation). The inventory is designed to provide a clearer picture of an individual’s primary language of appreciation and motivation as experienced in a work-related setting. Understanding an individual’s primary and secondary languages of appreciation can assist managers and supervisors in communicating effectively to their team members. To find out more about the book and the accompanying assessment tool for teams go to

1) Free Five-Lesson Team-building Course Seems Top-Notch —

I love it when God reveals quality coursework from quality writers for a quality purpose. “Training for Team Resiliency” is a five-lesson course that does exactly that. To top it all off, this course is free. What’s more, it’s an online course that you and your team can tackle from any location in the world, from Afghanistan or Zanzibar. Developed by Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell, Member Care Associates, this course will take you through Team Characteristics, Health/Dysfunction, Team Leaders, Team Building/Conflict, and Summary-Applications. Find it at…


You’ll have to register at if you haven’t already. By the way, in case you’re wondering, the Chronicle of Higher Education recently did a big review on Nixty (July 23, 2010) and found it to be a great help as a “do it yourself” website for online course construction. So, once again, we’re grateful to Kelly and Michèle!

12) The BackPage: Keeping the Team in Team on your Next Mission Trip —

Two weeks ago, I had the good fortune to accompany a short-term mission team to Haiti. Prior to the trip, I attempted to collect some resources that would help facilitate a daily group processing time. My goal was to focus the debriefing time in four major areas:


a) brief worship and prayer


b) logistical recap/planning — That’s where we’d review the schedule, what’s getting accomplished, what do we need to tweak, etc….


c) “What are we learning about…” — This isn’t so much team building as it is trying to catch the cross-cultural near-misses, the lessons learned about working with local people, and what that is teaching us about ourselves, etc.


d) Body life — This is where we planned to extinguish possible brushfires. We would invite the “feelers” to speak up… evoking the things we need to consider. If necessary, we’d call for folks to talk one on one (if they hadn’t already).


Several people pitched in. Jenny, a Member Care specialist in our office at Team Expansion, reminded me of these resources:


Reentry After Short Term Missionary Service


Sorting It Out: Simple Questions for Debriefing Short-termers – Various Articles


Reentry Exercises



We had used the “Round Trip” curriculum — all 5 weeks of it prior to the trip. (It was originally recommended to us by a Missions Pastor in Evansville by the name of Pat; Thanks Pat; it worked *great*!)


There were several others who fed me questions to ask, discussions to lead, etc. In the end, the debriefing time each night turned out to be the highlight of the trip. The short-term missions team developed into a kind of “virtual family” that would experience things out in the community by day, then share them with each other at night — so the overall group picked up on everybody’s joint over all experience. Furthermore, the evening sessions really helped everybody process the day, pick up on what we were learning, avoid duplicating mistakes, etc. Several participants told me, 6 and 7 days after the trip, that they were missing those evening meetings. They had formed a kind of community through those sessions, yet, that community didn’t cause them to “ghetto” during the day. In fact, just the opposite: the community experiences at night seem to fuel their fire to be more and more adventurous and outward-focused during the day.


Are there particular resources you’ve used for meetings like those? Is there a book or study workbook you’d recommend? Feel free to remind us of past Brigada references… and thanks in advance to anyone willing to post your best suggestion.




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5) What are You Reading about Team Building? —

Here’s how Kelly and Michele O’Donnell answered:

Project Management Memory Jogger: Pocket Guide for Project Teams (2010, rev.), Martin/Tate

The One Minute Manager Builds High Performing Teams (2009, revised edition), Ken Blanchard

Working Virtually: Managing People for Successful Virtual Teams/Organizations (2003), Hoefling

Teamwork: How to Build Relationships (2003), Gordon Jones and Rosemary Jones

Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (2002), Patrick Lencioni

The Discipline of Teams: A Workbook… (2001), Katzenbach/Smith

The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork (2001), John Maxwell

Building Credible Multicultural Teams (2000), Leanne Roembke

(Thanks Kelly and Michele!)

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