Get Your Group to Loosen Up

Humor can help bring your group closer, and reveal biblical truths.

Is your group dry and boring? Would you like to bring some fun and lightness into the group? Solomon had some advice for what ails many groups: "A cheerful heart is good medicine" (Proverbs 17:22).

Humor can help people learn. It breaks down defenses we may build up to hard truths in Scripture. We learn and apply those truths without realizing what just hit us—"A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." Humor is also a great attention getter. If your group is nodding off, maybe they need an injection of laughter to wake them up to participate. Also, laughter can help facilitate more self-disclosure. When people can laugh together, they usually can share more openly together too. Laughter breaks down the walls we build around ourselves. It can help people who are burdened with life's demands to release pent-up emotions in a positive way. A good belly laugh just feels good, especially when you can forget about yourself and your troubles for a while.

You don't have to be Whoopi Goldberg to bring humor into your group. It helps though if you show the rest of your group that laughter is acceptable in a meeting. Some folks, unfortunately, think the church is no place to laugh, but perhaps they need to read Ecclesiastes again: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: … a time to weep and a time to laugh" (3:1-4). Maybe you can study passages that reveal the humor of Jesus or the apostle Paul. Be willing to laugh at yourself and demonstrate a playful attitude when appropriate.

History-sharing icebreakers can be a great way to get the group laughing together. For instance, ask everyone to bring a photo of himself or herself in elementary or high school. Out-of-date clothing ...

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