Let me tell you about my small group. I belong to the BEST small group at my church! It consists of adult men and women, married and single, who meet on a regular basis to study the Bible and share prayer requests. Our group of about fifteen has been together for around ten years. Some folks have moved out of state, but our number remains the same as new people continue to be added. The nicest compliment is when a new person or couple decide to become a part of "US" and make a return visit. This just happened again during our last meeting.
Our meetings take place in individual homes. Several in the group volunteer their houses on a regular basis.
One person keeps up with celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries with a card from the group. It's a source of pleasure when a card comes through the mail demonstrating group love. Whenever anyone in our group is in need, help is rained down upon them--in prayer and in more tangible ways.
We always begin with food; isn't that the BEST way to begin? One lady is the coordinator, and she does an excellent job of asking for volunteers to bring whatever fancys them. We tend to have fruit, cheese and crackers, and desserts, although we have had corned beef and cabbage for Saint Patrick's Day. Everyone takes part; no one is overloaded. The host/hostess provides the coffee, paper goods, and cuttlery. Everyone sets up the goodies and all pitch in to clean up. We've never run short of good things to eat because my group is truly a generous group.
Then we have our Bible study. It usually applies to our lives and how we can better serve God. We read the Bible, have a few questions and illustrations, and discuss it. Oftentimes, someone will make the remark "I needed that!"
We have fabulous discussions; anyone who wants to sit quietly may, although I've yet to see that happen! Even a first-time visitor will share; it's amazing. The acceptance that my group presents is something to experience. All are welcome; no one ever seems to feel uncomfortable.
We end with prayer requests. One person types the list up and makes enough copies so that everyone has one. We work down the list and update previous prayer requests. This keeps all informed as to the happy/not-so-happy experiences. The main idea of the list is so that each person can carry it with him/her and pray on a daily basis. We have seen many things that cause us to praise God for His goodness because of this prayer list. Finally, one person leads us in prayer.
Then, we linger as long as we like. Some need to leave and do so; some choose to remain and visit.
Do you attend a small group? Is it like mine?