Trustfall Game

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Trustfall Game
Topic Trust
Group Size 10-40
Prep Time 0-20 min
Setting Outdoor or Indoor
Age Group
The Point To trust other people or to illustrate our faith and trust in God

Back to Experiential Learning

Supplies Needed

Some form of a platform to fall off of. Must be sturdy and about 4-6 feet off the ground. Cannot fall over or collapse for any weight you might be expecting

How to Set Up

The most important preparation you need to do is preparing the group mentally and physically so that this activity is safe. The group needs to be mentally prepared to take the task seriously so that the risk is minimized. If a group is laughing or distracted then you should consider doing some other activities to warm them up and get them into the proper mindset before doing the trust fall.

You will also want to prepare your group physically for the trust fall by having them practice the stance they will use to catch the participants. Have each person face you and put 1 foot towards you and 1 foot away from you. Have them hold out their hands as if they are trying to push against a wall. Go around and show them the sturdiness of this stance as opposed to standing normally with their feet together by pushing against them. Then have each person put their hands palms up and fully stretched out parallel with the ground. This is the stance they will use in the trust fall.

Make sure to establish good communication so that everyone knows exactly what's happening when it happens. A good system is for the participant to ask "am i safe" and the team replies, "yes you're safe" and the participant replies, "falling?" and the team replies, "Fall away"

What Happens Then

Have the team arranged into 2 parallel rows away from the platform so that the 2 rows are facing each other and that when the participant falls they will land in between the 2 rows. Have the 2 rows spaced about 2-3 feet apart from each other. Have each person assume the "stance" discussed previously and stick their hands palms up in the center without grabbing any other persons hand. Also have each person lean their head away from the center so that they will not get hit in the head by the falling participant. The hands should rotate every other hand from each row (a hand from row 1, row 2, row 1 etc). You should have a minimum of 9 people with 4 in each row and the participant. If the group is weak, then you might consider putting up to 6 on each row

After the leader and the participant are satisfied with the spacing and stability of the "net" your team has created have them climb up onto the platform and face away from the team so that when they fall it will land on their back. Have the participant hug themselves with both hands so that their hands will not flail in the air and hit another team member. Also have the team member remember to fall as stiff as a board. You do not want them to sit, which will cause them to wedge through 1 part of the "net" thus falling and hitting the ground. A good way to encourage this is to not mention the word "sit" instead repeat the idea of falling like a board. Another way is to tell them to pinch a penny with their butt. It's crude but it works.

Have the participant at their discretion say the words discussed earlier and then fall backwards and into the arms of the team. Gently lay the person on the ground or allow them to stand up on their own.

When the group is done it is helpful to ask them questions about how they felt, what they learned, and what they thought of the experience. You should expect a wide range of possible answers including some negative responses. The responses from the individual team members are a great jumping off point for a message on trust. Why don't we trust people or God, what does it feel like to genuinely trust someone with our safety, or what are risks and benefits spiritually or otherwise?

Possible Problems

You can hurt people significantly with this exercise! You must take all possible precautions to minimize the risk, especially with the platform (pick something you have no doubt will be stable) and the human net (focusing on proper stance and tight placing of the hands to make a dense net). The leader assumes all risk and responsibility with this exercise and should not do it if he/she feels it might present too much risk.

The only truly negative thing that can happen with this exercise is if someone gets hurt. So take every precaution to make it a positive learning experience.

Other Ideas that use this Topic

God Trusted UsGod shows he trusts people with Jesus' birthMessage Idea
How to Fall DownSatan plants seeds of mistrust to take us from God, the cross invites us to trust again.Message Idea
The King who Conquers by DyingJesus does not save us how we want Him to, but how we need Him to.Message Idea
Trying Templates OutxcMessage Idea