The purpose of the activity is to create a new and powerful level of energy for the workshop environment or youth ministry night and for the group of participants. The activity intends to disappear the experience of awkwardness/shyness around meeting or being with new people. If facilitated correctly, the activity should allow for the participants to express themselves fully with aliveness, fun, presence, and energy.
The role of the facilitator is to have the participants understand that operating at a low or closed energy level would have the experience of the workshop be awkward or mediocre. If participants were to operate with high energy, the experience of the workshop could be more exciting and powerful.
- All of the participants stand shoulder to shoulder in a closed circle.
- First, the facilitator shares about what it is like to experience the world operating at level 1 energy. “People are coming from new places. Not everyone knows each other. It may be a bit awkward. You do not make eye contact with people. You avoiding meeting people at all cost”. The facilitator would demonstrate what it would look like in the middle of the circle.
- The facilitator would then invite participants to mingle about the space in front of them re-enacting level 1 energy. For about thirty seconds, the participants mingle at level 1 energy and the facilitator invites them to return back to the original circle.
- Next, the facilitator asks the participants to mingle at a level 3 energy level. “People are still hesitant about meeting new friends, but are curious. They might wave to someone new from afar. One might smile or make eye contact with a stranger. There is a sense of friendliness in the space”.
- The facilitator continues to jump levels and invites the participants to raise their level of participation with every reenactment. The facilitator can jump to any level he/she wishes and can creatively express what each level might look like. Level seven for example might be very exciting and moving. “You haven’t seen your best friend in a year. You know he’s coming to the workshop and you just can’t wait to see him. All you want to do is to hug everyone in sight because you are so pumped to make new friends and reconnect with old ones. You express love, gratitude, and warmth.”
- Level 10 might be the most important step in the activity because it is the final energy level and it should exemplify the amount of energy participants should bring to the workshop. By this point, the facilitator has another participant working under cover and is ready to act out level 10. “Level 10 is like the experience of discovering that you have had a long lost twin your entire life and you’re meeting him/her for the first time.” “You haven’t seen your best friend in ten years, and it is killing you to wait any longer.” Abruptly, the facilitator runs towards the under cover participant with extreme energy, Usually laughter, screaming, wrestling, falling, flying, flailing and any sort of hilarious acts ensue. The goal of level 10 is to get people out of their comfort zones. Participants who were strangers prior to the activity would be hugging and laughing together by this point.
- Finally, the facilitator wraps up the activity with an invitation for the group to continue bringing level 10 energy to the workshop or youth group event. Level 10 energy might not always looks like screaming and flailing, but it could look like having intentional conversations, being present, and listening powerfully.
- After the activity is finished, participants should experience a new found freedom to express themselves with their peers, and should be operating at a higher level of participation for whatever kind of workshop is being created. Participants will feel at home!
Submitted by Sam Orman and the Bridgeport Youth Ministry