There are two popular types of trust-building exercises often used for team-building activities: the trust lean and the trust fall. The trust lean involves two people, a faller and a catcher. Additionally, there are rules that govern the success of the fall to ensure that the faller does not get hurt. The faller must stand upright with their body stiff, feet together, and both arms folded across their chest, touching both shoulders. The catcher stands ready with one leg in front of the other and arms extended to receive the faller – taking most of the weight in the legs. There is also prescribed communication that must take place between the faller and the catcher, which typically includes the following dialogue:
Faller: “I am ready to fall. Are you ready to catch me?”
Catcher: “I am ready to catch you. Fall away.”
Meanwhile, in a slightly different format, the trust fall requires more than two participants, still one faller, but several catchers. There is also the addition of elevation, where the faller makes their fall from an elevated platform. The interaction between the catchers is also different. Catchers stand at the base of elevation, face each other, and inter-lock hands to create a human net to receive the faller. The same dialogue remains in place. The faller then stands backward from the platform with the same stance as the trust lean, closes their eyes and falls back into the inter-locked hands of the catchers.
There is a level of fear that accompanies even the most adventurous of trust fall and trust lean participants, which is one of the reasons why the activity is repeated multiple times during team-building activities. There is also a debriefing between fallers and catchers after each occurrence to process the experience.
Jesus, our Almighty Father with all power is ever waiting as our catcher during our trust leans and employs His Heavenly hosts to join hands to receive us during our trust falls. But obstacles of worry, fear, and doubt, keep us in the upright positions way too long and we cannot lean and fall back. Have we set ourselves up for the lean or the fall? Have we listened to the rules provided by the team-building leader? Do we have the posture? Do we know the dialogue?
It’s important to note that the posture is one of rigidity and not a relaxed one that one would likely imagine that an experienced, unfearful trust-leaner or faller would have. The firm stance is employed to prevent buckling. If we enter into situations that require trust and faith nonchalantly we will be prone to buckling under the pressures of anxiety, doubt, and fear of the unknown, of falling back into what may end up in extreme hurt if our catcher doesn’t come through.
We have to also attune ourselves to the voice of God, so that when we make the request, “I am ready to fall. Are you ready to catch me?” we will be able to hear His voice say, “I am ready to catch you, fall away.” This comes from daily meditation and communication with God through reading of the word and through prayer. His Word is littered with promises that assure us that He is ready to catch us. Promises like Romans 8:28: “and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.”
But we can’t just stop at accepting the invitation to fall, we actually have to fall. There is complete and utter assurance that He will be there to break our leans and falls and He doesn’t have to brace for them. He doesn’t have to stand with one leg in front of the other with arms outstretched. He cannot break. He cannot buckle. No matter how heavy we’ve become under the pressures of our burdens, He can catch us and hold us. Like Paul, we should say, “for I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 8: 38-39.
So, start by leaning. Keep your feet on the ground and fall back into God’s arms. Do it in small trials, in everyday decisions, listening for His voice to receive you. Then get bolder, stand up on a ledge, teeter to the edge backward with your eyes closed, maintain your rigid posture, do not buckle, place your hands across your chest and trust fall into the net of hands of God and His Almighty army. Then do it again, and again, and again.