Celyce and I spoke in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, recently. On the way back to our hotel each night, we noticed blocks and blocks of open-air bars and restaurants with young people filling entire streets with drinking, partying and have a good time. People are wired to have fun! Of course, worldly fun and pleasure without Christ leads to destruction and death. But shouldn’t Christian fellowship be a joyous experience? Shouldn’t it be an exciting Spirit-filled time with a loving heavenly Father who calls us by his name into an eternal family?
When is the last time your group had wholesome fun together? I mean laughed together, ate together and just had a good time together. Sometimes groups can do everything right: excellent cell lessons, everyone showing up on time, orderly schedules, great cell reporting and precise multiplication goals. But one thing is missing: fun. The group is boring, dry and uninviting. The leader is so serious (and sometimes controlling) that people don’t feel relaxed, free and alive. The members attend out of duty, rather than delight.
Psalm 126: 2 says, “Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’” Is your group filled with laughter? What emotions characterize your group? Notice what Proverbs 17:22 says, ”A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Many people today are medicated to dull the pain of depression, bitterness and injury. The best remedy for many hurting people is a small group of joyful people who hold, hug, laugh and love, warmth, and a family atmosphere.
Take a moment to reflect on the “fun level” of your small group? What can you do to lighten the atmosphere? Here are some suggestions:
- Start with a meal together
- Have an ice-breaker cell group—several members shares an ice-breaker. Invite non-Christians. Recently my group went out to an inexpensive restaurant and each of us brought an icebreaker. We laughed and had a good time.
- Watch a periodic Christian movie at someone’s home. And perhaps you could even start with a barbecue?
Many people in the small group come from a serious day at work, and they’ve felt pressure, insecurity and frustration. Give them a chance to warm up with an interesting, fun-filled icebreaker. Don’t move on too quickly.
For March, let’s blog about having fun in the small group. If you’d like to receive this blog in your email, click here. We’ll write 15 blogs this month on the following topics:
- Week 1 (March 11-17): The biblical base for having fun. How God uses fun fellowship to build community.
- Week 2 (March 18-24): How to have fun. What are some practical suggestions to have fun together?
- Week 3 (March 25-31): Maintaining a balance. The cell group is not primarily a social gathering. And God gives joy when a group is making disciples who make disciples who are hungry for God’s Word, evangelism and prayer. So while going forward in cell ministry, it’s always a good idea tt check the joy level and at times to stop and have fun together.
Share the level of fun in your group here.
This article originally appeared here.