This article was featured in the 2015 Saints Alive in the August edition of ‘The Lutheran’.
Before ten enthusiastic young people headed off to Malaysia in September last year, they needed to do one important thing—grow together as a team. So the SHWALLY team (Spring Head, Woodside and Lobethal Lutheran Youth) asked Grassroots Training to lead them through a series of team-building activities to prepare them for the mission ahead.
Supported and encouraged by LCA Mission International, the SHWALLY team has been partnering with Lutheran Youth of Malaysia for some years, especially in their work with the Orang Asli (indigenous Malaysian) people. While there were some old hands, most members of the 2014 team were new to overseas ministry.
‘We invited Grassroots Training to conduct the team building because we knew that it would be professional’, SHWALLY mission team leader Erin Kerber said. ‘Also, because it is a training organisation within the Lutheran Church, we could trust them to have theological integrity.’
The training included: building up and supporting the team, personality types, effective communication, how to deal with stress, and spending time with God while away.
‘We enjoyed [Grassroots training coordinator] Emma’s relaxed approach to the training, which suited the members of our group’, Erin said. ‘She showed a genuine interest in each of us and what we were going to do. For me as team leader, it was especially good to have more of an idea about people’s personalities, how they coped with stress and what their love language is. This allowed me to increase their enjoyment while in Malaysia and deal with any tension immediately when it arose.’
The mission group also asked Grassroots Training back to do a debrief of their trip when they returned to Australia. This allowed the participants to reflect on their time away and speak openly with each other about their experience.
‘The training set us up for good team cohesion and communication during the trip’, Erin said. ‘It helped us immensely to have a professional, external to the group, demonstrate to us the importance of team work, backed up by the team's willingness to cooperate and put Emma's suggestions into practice while in Malaysia.
‘I highly recommend the training to other ministry groups; in fact, all groups within the church. It helped us to understand potential issues that may come up in a group environment when travelling together and gave everyone a chance to find out more about their fellow group members in a very structured way, while also having a lot of fun. It was very relevant to our situation.’
To find out more about how Grassroots Training can assist with your training needs, please visit our Customised Training page.
Our friendly team would love to help you!