by Steve Gladen
Looking for ways to help your small groups achieve health and balance? Here are a few suggestions that you can pass along to them.
FELLOWSHIP – Have members of the group write and mail encouraging notes to each other. Give everyone 3×5 or 4×6 index cards. Help group members get started by writing on one side of the card the beginning of a sentence, something like – “You are an important part of our group because…” Address the cards and mail them the following week.
DISCIPLESHIP – At least once a year, spend an entire meeting giving members the opportunity to assess their own spiritual health. Encourage honesty and authenticity. Ask each other, “Where are you strong and where do you need to grow?” Allow some time for members to work on an individual health plan and to map out a strategy for their spiritual growth.
MINISTRY – Talk about the difference between consumers and contributors. Then ask group members, “What evidence of a consumer mindset do you find in the church in general today – and why is this mindset an appealing option?” In contrast to that consumerism, point out some people in your church who are servant-contributors to God’s kingdom work. Close by asking people to prayerfully consider the ways in which they are consumers at church and ways they could be more effective (not busier!) servant-contributors.
EVANGELISM – Volunteer to build homes for the needy and the homeless. Do this in your area on Saturdays, or coordinate vacations with one another and take a week to build a home together. Contact Habitat for Humanity for project sites near you. www.habitat.org
WORSHIP – Find the words to Amazing Grace and print out a copy for each group member. At a group meeting, either sing the song together, or read the lyrics aloud. Ask the people in your group which verse of the song means the most to them and why.