Your First MeetingNew Every Morning | August 11, 2022
A great way to facilitate depth is to begin the first meeting with a relaxed activity in an effort to get to know something about each person in the group. Common icebreaker games like sharing favorite colors or embarrassing moments and “forced fun” games that require movement often have the opposite effect. Instead, try to begin with an activity that lets each person engage authentically without being required to share too much personal information too quickly. A great option for small groups is to ask everyone to be prepared to share something about their spiritual journey for up to five minutes. Each person can choose whether to give a short version of their whole faith journey or describe a current devotional or prayer practice.
—Angela D. Schaffner, Gather Us In: Leading Transformational Small Groups (Upper Room Books, 2020)
What is your favorite question or activity that helps group members get to know each other?
Join the conversation.
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
—Romans 14:19 (NIV)
Prayer for the Week
Thank you, God, for the opportunity to grow closer to you and to one another. We ask you to be present in our small-group meetings and to help us become more Christlike. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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Our basic need for belonging and connection to other people is magnified during times we have to be apart from others. Licensed psychologist and author of Gather Us In Dr. Angela D. Schaffner offers 10 helpful tips for running a quality Zoom group. Read more here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
I’m not so familiar with questions or techniques to help people get to know each other. The one technique the railroad historical society uses is to tell where you are from and your connection to the railroad. We’ve been doing this every convention for all the years I’ve been a member
Our pastor-parish committee unanimously and enthusiastically supported the certified lay pastor candidacy of the committee’s chair to the church council in a meeting with the district superintendent. If all goes as planned she will be our lay pastor as she completes her training. Worship is planned from now to mid- October. She will need support from pastor parish, the worship team, church council,, and the community of faith. This church is moving forward. Thank You, Lord. Thank you NEM for your prayers.
Need to finish and share this week’s message with the worship team, this is a new practice we hope will help us improve messages. Feedback helps us all improve.
Quite. a week here at CCUMC. Thank You, Lord.
Usually in a small group setting we are just asked to introduce ourselves. Sometimes we are asked to share what we hope to achieve through attendance at the group.
The rheumatologist appointment went well. He does not belive I have CREST but is seeing me agian in three months and has asked me to have some bloodwork beforehand. H has been quite argumentative today. Some day are very challenging.
Prayers for Ally as she deals with sick kitties and a slowly recovering husband and financial issues as well as her own health issues. Prayers for Jill and her family. Prayers of joy for Robert’s church accepting the certified lay leader plan.
I find that dividing the group into twos and asking each person to share something with their partner, then each person shares about their partner when the group comes back together. The question could be something like, “where have you seen God work this week?” Or “what is something you would like the group to know about you?”.
David and I are working some issues out and he is trying to do what he can for himself, asking for help in a nice way if he needs help. He agreed to try some things differently that will be of benefit to both of us. He had home health PT yesterday and the therapist was pleased with his progress. She stressed to him the importance of walking at least every hour to help strengthen his muscles and circulation. Yesterday was a better day. Good news in that our Lucy comes home today. We are so glad. Jeremy is really glad, as they are best of friends and he has missed her. Thankful!
Robert, praise God your SPRC is supportive and enthusiastic about your member pursuing lay pastor training and serving as your pastor. Julie, praise that your appointment went well. Wonderful news. Praying for you as you as you deal with the challenges of caring for H. Jill, prayers for your progress in tennis and for your family vacation. Thanks to all for your prayers for us. Blessings to all.
Leading others is an important skill for Christians. Often the leading is by example rather than by formal group gatherings. Having said that, if you are the leader, you are leading all the time as in whenever a member of the group sees you.
Although the topic of the group meetings is publicized and the expectation is that all that come would participate 100%, I find that I attend the first meeting to “get the feel” as well as learn about how the meetings will proceed. I find that I like being given a choice of questions as an ice breaker, a favorite color or sharing an experience. And I find that the first person to respond often sets the pattern for which question is asked. When I lead groups, I give the choice of 2 questions and then circle back at future meetings to see if people would like to share their answers to the question not chosen on the first meeting.
I shared at the ice breaker for our support group I attend online that a mindfulness activity I do is to look up at the sky every morning and look at the color of the clouds and sky. Even if the clouds are gray and I can’t see the blue sky, I feel good about looking up from the ground and my current location to something/someone higher than myself. The leader of the group interpreted this as my having expansive thoughts. I like that idea a lot and will continue to do. It is very easy to do as I get up early to water the plants for our neighbors who are away on vacation.
Thank you all for your prayers for me and my loved one. Caregiving has evolved from mostly hands-on care to reinforcing self-care such as nutrition, ambulation, mental stimulation with computer programs, and follow-up appointments. We will be changing meds next week and a new schedule for administration. I pray that we will not have any adverse reactions to the meds and that strength will continue to return.
I pray for the NEM family as we care for others. As we share, we are leading each other as the hands and feet of Jesus. May we all be blessed with the love of Jesus that is shining down upon us. Shalom/Peace.
Father, God, continue to be with the caregivers who freely share here and support each other. May they find the strength You supply sufficient for the moment and wait expectantly on You. Strengthen their resolve, their courage and their patience.
I’m not a fan of ice-breakers. But, they do serve their purpose. Initially, I am very quiet in a group setting, comfortable to sit back and observe. I try to mind my mind, striving to be non-judgmental and open to learning from others.
Dad and I had a pleasant day of golf, and his cousin joined us. The temperature was comfortable and dad got to ride along in his cousin’s golf cart and catch up.
Our team got together to hit, one last time before our big day tomorrow. I am to ride up with the captain tomorrow. She is in the Carolinas, vacationing with her family. Her flight out this evening is delayed, but I believe she has a long enough layover to make the second leg of her flight. She gets in after midnight and we will likely be on the road around 7:30 tomorrow, heading to Toledo. Should be a fun day. Would be really exciting if both teams advanced!