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LIFEgroup Reflections and Resolutions. A New Tool

Tonight my LIFEgroup did something different (not original, I'm sure). We spent our time together reflecting on 2008 and then looked ahead to 2009. We didn't really finish (we never did), but it led us into a pretty good discussion about what it means to live by faith.

Here's how we did it. I created a handout to guide us through the reflection process. I folded a sheet of paper in half, and then in half again (so it was folded into quarters). Then we unfolded it one flap at a time, so no one looked ahead but instead focused on what we were discussing. Each person filled out their own handout, and then had opportunity to share whatever they wanted.

When I handed out the paper, the front looked like this:

The back looked like this:

After opening the first flap, they could see part one and part two:

I told the group it was important to think about highlights of the year, because Psalms encourages us to regularly take time to thank God for ALL He has done. It is easy to focus on the tough times, we need to remember the positives.

After opening the next flap, we could see part three and four:

We talked briefly about the scores we gave ourselves on the three relationships. At this point, we had turned the reflection into a "spiritual" discussion, and it was time to make it personal. Asking people to think about their most difficult struggle is a good way to focus on the area where God is most likely working on them.

At this point, we flipped the paper over and looked at parts five and six:

The plan was to finish up by talking about some specific goals that we could come back to from time to time and that we could pray with each other about. We didn't make it that far, so maybe we'll touch on it next week.

If you want to do something like this, it's pretty simple. Below are side one and side two of the handout. When you copy it, make sure one side is upside-down. Then just fold it in half twice. If the fold doesn't work the first time, try again, you'll figure it out. And of course, if you have questions, you can contact me!


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20 Questions to Build Group Connections

Here is a great exercise for a new group. The instructions are pretty simple. Go around the group giving each person the opportunity to choose one question and answer it honestly. Anyone can follow-up with an opinion or clarifying question (no critiquing each other's answers, though). Once a question has been answered, no one else may answer that question.

If your group is larger, you may want to alter the rule and allow each question to be answered 2 or 3 times. Ideally, each person should end up answering 3-5 questions.

As the leader, pay attention to the conversation. Let the discussion run its course as this is how people in the group build their relationships with one another. You can use these questions, modify them or create your own.