5. I will be open to new ideas and not be afraid to ask questions. If you’re doing a Bible study, don’t just ask questions so you can give the group the answer. Ask questions you don’t know the answers to. Ask about something you’re struggling with. Make people think about what they believe and why. Let people wrestle. God is bigger than any questions or doubts that arise in your group.
6. I will not force it. Fun is not fun when it’s forced. If your group doesn’t do goofy icebreakers, don’t do them. Find things your group likes and do them. But don’t be afraid to experiment. A couple of Sundays back, we had a makeshift prayer path set up for service; some people thought it was lame until they did it and loved it and now want to do it again (whew!). Chances are your group is together because of some common interests. Be who you are. It’s like communitas–you can’t manufacture fun, but you can put your group in position to have fun.
7. I will have a Kingdom cause. If you put together a sci-fi movie-watching group for fun, go for it! But do more. Be missional. Find others outside the church who like sci-fi, and invite them to come and talk about it. Camping, rebuilding cars, poetry–there’s all sorts of “themed” small groups out there that are begging for outreach to happen. Do something you love, and expand the kingdom through building relationships with others who are unchurched, quit going to church, or attend another church.
Small group ministry isn’t easy. It’s foreign to many people. And yet, in a society where we have global information at our fingertips, we don’t even know the people next door or the ones who sit next to us in service. Although it seems as if small groups are against the social norm, there is a tremendous heart-cry for people who long to be connected. They long to be real with others.
I know these breadcrumbs of information are hardly a meal, but it’s my prayer that some of these resolutions stick with you. There’s never a guarantee that a small group will work, but I know this: God commanded us to love Him and love others. I hope these items, at the very least, point us in the right direction to do that. Have a blessed year!