Some have asked, “What is the definition of being missional?” While there are some great ones, one of my definitions of being missional is to “Find a need and meet that need in the name of Jesus, for His glory, while sharing His story.”
Groups have the best opportunity to be missional during the Christmas season, more so than at any other time of the year, as people are more open to accepting the gifts of others than they are at any other time of the year.
Group leaders are often looking for practical missional ideas. Maybe one of the ideas below will be workable for you and your group.
1. Find a single mom or dad and offer to let you and your small group babysit while the mother or father of the child/children spends a day shopping.
2. Find a family that is struggling financially and ask the parents to make a list of things their children would like for Christmas. Ask the group to go in together to purchase what is possible and let the parents give the gifts to their children on Christmas morning.
3. Host a Christmas meal for a few homeless people at your last group meeting before Christmas. You and your group members can ask them to join you, transport them to and from a location of their choosing, and give them appropriate Christmas gifts and enough money for the next day’s meals.
4. Throw a Christmas party with your group members for the people on the street or cul-de-sac where your group meets.
5. Go caroling with your group members at a local convalescent center. You’ll be shocked at how much this means to those who are bedridden or unable to leave the facility.
6. Go to a shut-in’s home and decorate the house for Christmas with your group members. Take a meal and spend a few hours with this not-yet-follower of Christ, showing the love of Christ through conversation. Then go back after Christmas and take the decorations down.
Rick Howerton is the Small Groups and Discipleship Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. He has authored many small group studies, is a highly sought-after trainer and speaker, and is the author of Destination Community: Small Group Ministry Manual as well as A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic. He is also the co-author of Disciples Path: A Practical Guide to Disciple Making and Countdown: Launching and Leading Transformational Groups. But Rick’s deepest passion and his goal in life is to see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.”