White elephant? Nah, everybody’s already seen your awful Christmas sweater, smelled your industrial-sized drum of cheap perfume, and heard your Chipmunks’ Christmas carol CD. They’re just not that funny anymore.
Creative gifts? That can work, but finding the perfect gift for your closest small group friend(s) can be a major stresser! It can bring an awful lot of un-needed emotional pressure this time of year. And what if you swing and miss?
Here’s a different idea: How about getting your small group a group gift? Kinda like a gift for your whole family. But this one’s for your spiritual family.
The idea is for you to give a gift to each other that will be a blessing to everyone in your group. Something that will minister to each person/couple at a deep spiritual level. Something that someone outside of your community couldn’t give to each other.
Here are a few ideas:
1. Daily Prayer – Give the gift of committing to prayer for each other every day for a month. Let’s be honest, we often talk about praying for each other—and some of us do—but many times our prayers for our group members are less-than-consistent. This ratchets things up a notch!
2. Bible Reading Accountability – Here’s a way that you can truly help each other get closer to God. Employ a reading plan that encourages and helps each other read the Bible daily. A couple of our small groups are using a new Bible product called The Books of the Bible: New Testament by Biblica (www.biblica.com/thebooks). It’s an NIV translation of the New Testament that reads like a story—as they have removed all verses, chapters and chapter headings. The Bible reading plan is very doable, covering 10 pages of reading, five days each week. This will get you through the entirety of the New Testament in eight weeks!
3. Serve Everybody Once – Each person/couple likely has some project (i.e., taking down Christmas decorations after the holidays) that needs attention. Pick something that your group can do as a community. Then bang it out in far less time than the person/couple could do themselves? This is the sort of gift that goes beyond what a mere ‘thank you’ will ever cover.
Just a few ideas to help your group become a true faith family this holiday season.