Change the Agenda
When every meeting looks exactly the same, the same things happen every time. And it's easy to get stuck in a rut that way. Mix up your normal agenda with one of these ideas.
Celebrate the Lord's Supper
This can work anytime, but I find it most meaningful during the seasons of Easter and Christmas. Celebrating the Lord's Supper in small groups has been done since the beginning of the church (Acts 2:46). Therefore, it would be natural for a small group to do this today. Apart from sharing the two emblems of the Lord's Supper, there are several things you can do to make it more meaningful.
- Teach about the Lord's Supper using Scripture.
- Incorporate music before or after.
- Explore the symbols of Passover.
- Share Jesus' impact in your life.
- Write sins on strips of paper and then shred or burn before celebrating the Lord's Supper.
- Spend time praying for one another's personal needs and concerns.
Introduce singing as part of your meeting, even if you don't do it at every meeting. Sing together periodically or on special occasions, and use special songs fit for the occasion. It can be a really great experience for your group.
Bring your iPod or a worship CD to your group meeting, choosing songs that are familiar to your group members, and make copies of the lyrics for everybody. Consider songs sung during weekend services or songs from Christian radio. You don't need to be a professional singer or worship leader to do this. God is not concerned about how perfect your singing voice is.
For more worship songs to use with your group, see the collection at SmallGroups.com, which includes both audio and video files.
Let Someone Else Lead
Let someone else in the group facilitate the lesson. You can make this a great experience that brings freshness to the group by asking someone who participates well in the group's discussion—sharing helpful, constructive, and thoughtful comments without cutting others down or preaching from a soapbox. Keep the agenda the same, but allow the guest leader to design the lesson and lead the discussion. Who knows? You might find a future leader through this process.
Remember that all small groups need a little shake up once in a while. Incorporating simple adjustments from time to time can help you group members grow spiritually and in their relationships with one another. Shake up your group this week. You'll see increased participation, excitement, and energy.
—Mark Ingmire is the Small Groups and Adult Education Pastor at Savannah Christian Church in Savannah, Georgia; copyright 2013 by Christianity Today.
- When was the last time you tried to shake things up in your small group? What did you do? What was the result?
- What are signs that your small group might be in a rut?
- What activities energize you that might also energize your small group?