By Steve Gladen
Pass these suggestions along to your Small Group Leaders to promote health and balance in your small group.
FELLOWSHIP – Give each person a list of all of the group members. Ask them to take the list home, spend some time in prayer, and then finish the sentence: “What you bring to the group is…” for each person listed. Remind the group members to bring the list with them to the next meeting. At that meeting, go around the circle and have each of the group members read what they wrote about a particular person. Then go around the circle again for the next person listed. Repeat until everyone has been read to. It will be a great encouragement for each person to hear what a blessing he or she is to the other group members.
DISCIPLESHIP – Hebrews 3:13 (NIV) tells us, “Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by deceitfulness.” Read this verse to your group, emphasizing the phrase “encourage one another daily”. Then challenge the people in your group to find a day in the coming week when they can encourage twenty different people. Talk about the experience at your next meeting.
MINISTRY – Use connections in your small group or the larger church family to find the name and address of someone serving in the military. Then be creative as you put together a care package to send to that person. Be sure to include a note letting that person know that you are praying for him or her. Also, if that person is separated from family, consider serving the family in some way as well.
EVANGELISM – The football season is a great time to start a men’s seeker group. Enjoy the games together and then, when the season is over, keep meeting, but for a different purpose (In the aftermath of the season, depending on your team, you may find yourself leading a grief recovery group!). Build on the bonds formed during football games and continue to meet and nurture these relationships. Even before the football season is over, you might invite the wives to join the meetings. If they join during the season, they may want to watch the game, or they may want to do something else with the other wives until after the play-offs. This might be a chance for the women to get together to do some Christmas shopping. After the season the women could form a group that meets at the same time as the men’s group.
WORSHIP – Before moving into your prayer time, set the mood of the room by dimming the lights or softly playing some instrumental music in the background. These small acts can help the people in your small group quiet their hearts and focus on the Lord.