It's a new year. The old calendar has been removed and a new one has taken its place. For many, the crisp, clean, dated boxes of January communicate the freshness of a new beginning. But for others the thought of a new year can be overwhelming due to an illness, an unplanned pregnancy, a divorce, a financial disaster or the death of a loved one. These circumstances alone are painful, but to experience them without a personal relationship with Christ can be devastating.
Each person sitting in your group touches the lives of many people each week. Their sphere of influence may include co-workers, fellow students, teammates, neighbors or family members. Ask your group if they personally know of an individual or family enduring a particularly difficult situation. After selecting a person or family in need request that your group bring items such as candy, baked treats, packets of hot chocolate or small gifts to your next meeting. Take some time that meeting to write personal notes of encouragement, Scripture and/or written prayers. Surround the gifts with the notes in a large basket, then pray for the people and their situation. Determine when the basket will be delivered and by whom. If more than one situation was discussed, your group can make two smaller baskets at the same time or commit to blessing one individual or family each month in this manner. Make sure that your group follows this activity up with continued prayer and notes of encouragement to those enduring the difficult situation. When appropriate offer them an invitation to visit your group.