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Showing posts from April, 2011

5 Prayer Lists Your Small Group Already Has

The other day, I came across a blog post about 7 Prayer Lists You Already Have. Since I love lists, I took the time to read it, and really enjoyed it. Although the post itself is actually aimed at pastors, I thought we could modify it just a bit and make it quite relevant for small groups. So if your group is looking for more resources to help you pray together, think about these 5 Prayer Lists You Already Have:
 Your Calendars. Have everyone look at one event in their coming week for which they'd like the group to pray.Your Group List. Pray for every person that is a part of your group who is absent at your current meeting. If everyone is there, assign each person a name for whom they will pray this coming week.Church Ministries. Have someone go to on-line and pray for each of the ministries that are listed on your church's web-site.Your Church Staff. You can probably get this list from the church web-site or someone else. Spend time praying not just for your pastors, but for …

The 10 Most Influential People in the Bible (a discussion guide)

I recently came across a list of the 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived. It's interesting to think about how these fictional characters have impacted our lives. Here are 10 of the people from the list (not necessarily in order):

1. The Marlboro Man
2. Big Brother
3. King Arthur
4. Santa Claus (St. Nick)
5. Hamlet
6. Dr. Frankenstein's Monster
7. Siegfried
8. Sherlock Holmes
9. Romeo and Juliet
10. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Reading this list gave me an idea for a fun activity a small group could do. You could use this as a simple relationship building opportunity, or if your group really made the investment, it could be a powerful time of spiritual examination.

Even though the characters in the Bible are most certainly NOT FICTIONAL, a list similar to the one above might be beneficial. As a group, make a lit of the 10 Most Influential People in the Bible (after Jesus). Once your list is complete use the following questions to discuss your list:

Which one of these people do you most …

3 Steps to Relieving Relational Tension

Sadly, we sometimes find ourselves in situations laden with relational tension. This can even happen in a church small group. Sometimes, you may be called upon to help two different people work through their differences, or you may need to work through a disagreement with someone else. Remember, the LOVE of Christ should always drive us, but here are three helpful reminders for working through relational tension.

1. Don't ASSUME you know the whole story. Be open to learning something that might change your opinion about a situation or a person. Be a good listener.

2. Don't ASSIGN evil motives to someone else. It's good to talk about what you have observed and how you feel, but be careful not to judge another person's motives. They may have accidentally offended you, even though they had the best intentions.

3. Don't ABSOLVE yourself of guilt. Most relational breakdowns have more than one contributor. While you may not share equal blame, be open to hearing what faul…

How GENEROUS Is Your Group?

Generosity is a character trait that is praised and encouraged throughout the Bible. Christians should be generous, churches should be generous, and healthy small groups should be generous.  A while back, I threw together in my mind a list for evaluating the generosity of a group. Here it is:
Are the needs of members met? A generous group does not have members who are homeless, starving, or destitute. (that initially feels like a strong statement, but I'm gonna stick with it)Are the needs of the community met? The manner in which a group stewards its resources (money, talents, time, energy, etc.), particularly in regards to the external community, says a lot about its generosity level.What's the EQ? - Every group has an "entitlement quotient" that mirrors the generosity level of the individuals. One way to gauge EQ is to measure how often "I", "my", and "mine" appear in conversations.In most churches, the pastors are making regular invest…

Helping Group Members Get to Know One Another

This is a list created by Rick Howerton designed to help people in a small group get to know one another. You can pick and choose which of these questions to use, but having each person in the group answer one of these questions ever week will help your group build life-sharing relaitonships!
HISTORY: Where have you lived in your lifetime? How old were you when you lived in each of those places? Why did you move each time?
If you attended college and/or graduate school, where did you attend and what degrees did you get (or work on)?
What jobs have you had in the past?
What is your favorite sports team? When did you become passionate about that team?
What are your hobbies? On a scale of 1 to 10, how passionate are you about each of them?
If you were choosing a book to read just for the fun of it, what would the theme of the book be?  PARENTS:
Where were you born and how long did you live there?
What did your parents do?
What were your parents like? Describe what they were passionate about…