Small groups are meeting in many forms right now.
Some have resumed meeting in person but maybe not in the typical locations or as frequently. Others are meeting only online and meeting more frequently than before. And still others meet partially in person and partially online.
What does staying connected look like in this environment? Whether you are beginning to see your group members in person again or not, we all need unique encouragement as we journey through this unusual time. Here are three creative ways to make steps in this direction.
Much occupies our time and mental space, but we can schedule interruptions. Choose a different group member for each day of the week, and then set an encouragement reminder for a specific time on your phone. Each day when you receive your reminder, text one of your group members with three things that you specifically appreciate about them and that you are praying for them that day. Using something simple like the reminder app on your phone can be a means of regular encouragement to your group members.
Sometimes the best way to receive encouragement is in the form of a challenge. In this strange season, challenge your group members to step up. Ask them to share a verse that they read that day or week with another person in the group via text or phone call. This will not only challenge group members to continue digging into the Word but will also help them focus on the truth of those verses that they might share with someone else.
Group members might be dealing with various levels of doubt, insecurity, instability, exhaustion, and more. It can become easy to give an undue amount of attention to these thoughts and feelings. But, we can fight discouragement through the truth of Scripture. To give your group encouragement, pick a passage to commit to memorizing as a group during the next month. As your group members work on remembering the verses throughout the day, this can replace the fears, doubts, and other discouraging feelings they face with the deep encouragement of the Bible.
We must commit to encouraging each other throughout this time. As you step up as the group leader and challenge others to do the same, we will all learn to love Christ more deeply and experience the encouragement found in Him.
If you need additional resources to aid your group in encouragement, check out Derwin Gray’s Bible study “The Good Life” about finding true happiness through the Beatitudes.