At Re:Group on Sunday night we talked about cultivating relationships. One of the ideas we encouraged groups to do to start the Winter Trimester, would be to take some time in the first several weeks to have everyone in group share their story.
It can be easy to show up to group every week, discuss the Bible, share prayer requests, talk about your week, but not really know the people in your group. One of the best ways to cultivate relationships in your group is to share your stories. You can do this in addition to discussing the sermon, abbreviate sermon discussion, or take a break from sermon discussion for a few weeks while everyone shares their story.
But, what does it look like to share your story in group? How can we share our stories in a way that everyone in group can participate, even if they don't like talking in front of others?
Here are 6 ideas groups have used to effectively share their stories:
1. Show and Tell
Remember doing this in elementary school? It's great for adults too! Have everyone in group bring 5 or so items that will help us get to know a bit of their story. (Pictures, sporting equipment, an instrument, a record album, clothing, a book, a school or work ID, etc.) All they need to do is show the item, pass it around, and tell the group how that item relates to their life.
2. Story Cards
Story Cards feature photos of everyday life, helping kick off conversation by giving everyone in group an easy way to talk about their lives. You can have group members select 3 cards and share how they remind them of important people, places, or moments that have shaped their life.
3. People, Place, Event
A simple way to share your story is to have each group member share 3 people, 3 places, and 3 events/moments that have shaped their life. If time is limited, they could share about 1 or 2 people, places, and events.
Each group members is provided with a list of 30+ questions. They can select the top 8-12 questions they want to answer and then share their answers with the group. Group members can ask a few additional follow up questions as time allows.
This 4-part video curriculum was designed specifically for groups to learn how to connect relationally and grow spiritually as you share your stories with each other. Each week includes a 7-9 minute video discussing why community matters, what loving people has to do with loving God, debunking the myth that chemistry is necessary for community, and inviting your group members to be contributors to (not consumers of) community.
6. Snack Share
As your group members share their stories each week, you can have group members bring a snack or meal that holds special importance to them. (It's their grandmas recipe, it is their favorite movie snack, it's what they always make for birthdays, it was their go to college meal, etc.)
I'm looking forward to a new trimester in group and getting to know my group members better!
Community Groups Pastor
Life is better connected!