The power of unity

Physical activity

Stand in a circle and try not to break hand-holds with your partners as you play this cooperative game.

Discussion point: When we don’t cooperate, we break our family unity.

This game can be played indoors or out. To play, stand in a circle and have everyone, including the leader, hold hands. The leader then calls out different “hand to hand” combinations. For example, if the leader calls “Ben and Amy,” then Ben and Amy try to raise their joined hands in the air before the other players can all kneel on one knee. Raising hands or kneeling without breaking a hand-hold requires a cooperative effort. If a hand-hold is broken, or if the wrong hand-hold combination is raised, everyone who notices calls out “Oops!”

To add interest, share the leadership role, allowing everyone to take a turn calling out names. As people catch on to the game, you can also start calling out names more rapidly, giving less time for players to comply.

After you have played the game, take time to discuss each person’s reaction to this cooperative exercise. (You may want to postpone your discussion until you are travelling in your vehicle or having a meal together.)

Questions for discussion
  • When a hand-hold combination was broken, did we still have a circle?
  • Did you ever stop someone from raising their hand?
  • Did you help someone find the correct hand to raise?
  • What part of the game did you enjoy the most?
  • Was there any part of the game you did not enjoy?
  • How was the game similar to living in a family?
  • What things do you do that break the unity in our family?
Key concepts

When we stand in a circle holding hands, we create a complete circle. However, if one person lets go of another person’s hand, it breaks the continuity of the circle. Family life is like a circle in that we all play an important part in maintaining unity. For example, have you ever waited your turn to tell a story, only to have another family member interrupt you just as you finally get started? It only takes one person to create potential discord. The good news is that you can choose to maintain unity. The key is how you react to someone else’s thoughtless actions.

God wants us to live in unity to let others know that God sent Jesus into the world and that He loves them (John 17:23). We show God that we revere Him when we submit to others, putting our own wishes and preferences aside in order to maintain peace (Ephesians 5:21). This is not always easy to do, but with God’s help it is possible (Romans 15:5, 2 Chronicles 30:12).

Relevant Scripture

Romans 15:5 “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus . . .

Philippians 2:1-2 “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Colossians 3:14 “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.