My Hows for Small Groups

You’ve probably heard it said, Your presence is my present. YES! I’m so thankful for your presence here. And I have a present for you too! …  make sure you read to the bottom, but for now back to my hows for small groups.

It’s the one year celebration of moving to its new platform and the seven year anniversary of its inception. So this week’s post is part three of a thread that started in 2010. Living INside the Box was the beginning. You might want to refresh your memory with those two posts.

One way I live inside my God-created box is by facilitating small groups. One year ago I shared some principles I follow when leading groups. As I continue to grow in this area I’m realizing that it’s not so much what I do as how I do it that contributes to the success of the group. So here are my three big hows

1. Relate to your friends as God relates to them. Paul penned 13 letters to his friends that are shared in the New Testament. In nine of the thirteen in his opening words he calls his friends holy. If you know Jesus as your savior, that describes you as well. You are holy!

This challenges me. I am not the facilitator because I am more holy. I am the facilitator because of gifting. Others have gifts of research, hospitality, communication, technology and more. We are grouped together with purpose, for the whole body to be built up. We are all holy.
Bonnie Gray in her recent book, Whispers of Rest, says, “The more you are able to rest in who God made you to be (holy), the more others will experience God’s presence through you.” P. 338.

2. Lead with questions that lead to understanding. Yes, do get the facts out, but let those facts be the springboard for 2017 applications.

For example …
If you were busy serving dinner, how might you have responded to others who seemed totally unaware of your chores?
When you read this narrative, which piece stood out to you? Why?
If you had an unexpected encounter with Jesus, what emotions would surface?

3. Respond with affirmations to everyone’s contributions.

Wow, great insight. I’d not thought of that.

Your illustration is so helpful. Thank you for sharing that piece of your story. I’m amazed at how often “me too” surfaces when people share vulnerably.

Or when you’re not sure the text has been understood correctly you might say, Have you ever thought about it this way? This allows them to reconsider without saying, you didn’t get it.

I hope these are helpful. Now back to the anniversary celebration.

Yes, I have a present for ALL who post a comment on any of
the blogs during September.

You will receive it via snail mail in October.
Everyone (who comments) will receive a small gift with a special message.
A few will receive a book as well!
Each time you post (either on the blog, on Facebook, or in response to my personal note), your name will go in a drawing. The more you comment, the better your chances of having your name drawn for one of the books.

So, check in each week, let me know you were there, and your chances for one of the books increases.

Do you not know about my personal note??? Send me your email address and I’m glad to add you to my friends who receive it.

My next two posts will answer my FAQ about what it was like for me when Bill went through his severe depression.

11 thoughts on “My Hows for Small Groups

  1. Jennnifer Beckham says:

    Great post I especially like this: Whispers of Rest, says, “The more you are able to rest in who God made you to be (holy), the more others will experience God’s presence through you.” If this quote came out of this book Whispers of Rest, I can well imagine this book would be a good one to read, right?

    I encouraging you to keep writing. Love your blog site and what you share as well as others.

    • says:

      Thank you Jennifer.

      Whispers of Rest is a 40 day devotional book. I used it over the summer and always heard God speak. I think it took me something like 97 days to get through it. Hint … don’t tell! It’s one of the books I’ll be giving away. love,sue

  2. Caroline says:

    Just has my first meeting of my women’s growth group this morning- great ideas going forward for the semester- thanks Sue!

    • says:

      Oh Sandy,

      I’m excited about what I’m learning about rest. I find myself asking with each new situation, What does rest look like now? I think I’m hearing a consistent answer. I’ll be writing about it for my last post in September and again later this fall. And I have a feeling that it’s going to be a big theme for me. I’m thinking my key verse is Matthew 11:28-30. Hmmmm, how long have we had that memorized?!

      I’m in NJ with my sisters and Mom. Mom had a pace maker installed at 97 years old on Tuesday, my latest “rest” challenge.

      love, sue

  3. Jo Smith says:

    Thanks so much for these “hows” for small groups. Now if I can just remember them when I need them!
    In anticipation of reading your insights on rest!

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