One of the best ways to bring health to your small groups is to bring balance to your small groups. One way to do that is to focus on fun ways to bring the biblical purposes into your meetings. Pass these suggestions along to your Small Group Leaders!
Fellowship – Sometimes it is difficult to get everyone in the small group to share. This is a fun way of making sure that happens. Cut straws into different lengths. Hold them in your hand so they look about the same length. Then have group members draw straws. As the person with the shortest straw to respond to the sharing question first. The person with the next shortest straw will go next, and you’ll end with the person with the longest straw. Another option to this plan is to let the person with the shortest straw decide who will answer the question next.
Discipleship – Pass out piece of paper to each person. Then have everyone read Psalm 96 individually. In the New Living Translation, verse 3 tells us, “Publish His glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does.” Now have each person in the group write out a paper thanking God for the “glorious deeds” he has done in their lives and the “amazing things” he does for them regularly. Ask for volunteers to read their prayers aloud.
Ministry – Read the story in Mark 2:1-5 about the men who lowered their friend through the roof in order to get him to Jesus. Put a mat or towel in the middle of the circle. Ask anyone who has a need to kneel on the mat so that other group members can pray for him or her. In this way you can symbolically carry your friends to the feet of Jesus to receive healing and hope.
Evangelism – Who will follow you to heaven because you were the only Bible they read? By God’s grace, that can and does happen! As your group members the following questions: So who in your life comes to mind when you hear that question? For whom might you be a living Bible? Pray for the people whose name group members share.
Worship – For a different approach to prayer, try praising God by naming His attributes in alphabetical order. The first person, for instance, will praise God because He is A-all powerful. The second person might say B – Beautiful. The third person might add C – compassionate. Etc.
For more tips like these read, 250 Big Ideas for Purpose Driven Small Groups.
Steve Gladen is the Pastor of Small Group Community at Saddleback Church. He oversees the strategic development of over 3500 small groups. His book, Small Groups With Purpose will be available June 1st.