Incorporating Fellowship in your small group is easy, isn’t it? Your group enjoys being together, there’s laughter and great food. Fellowship is happening every time you get together, right? Not necessarily. True fellowship is more than getting together, sharing some laughs, and talking about your favorite sports team. Genuine fellowship creates a safe environment where we can be transparent with one another.
There are several small things you can do each time your group meets to help build fellowship. Make sure you are meeting in a comfortable environment and that the seats are in a circle, not in rows. When new people are visiting your group, make sure you introduce them to all the members. If you have a large group, consider name tags until everyone knows each other well. Remind everyone to silence their cell phones and eliminate any other distractions.
If your group is new and getting to know each other consider these options:
- Share phone numbers, email, birthday and anniversaries with the group.
- Recognize/celebrate milestones – birthdays, anniversaries, graduations – throughout the year.
- Icebreaker questions – while these can seem superficial, icebreak questions can help get everyone engaged in conversation before you start your group discussion and maybe give each person some insight into the other group members. Questions like:
- How many siblings do you have? What is your birth order?
- What’s something you won and how did you win it?
- What is something you intended to do today, but didn’t? Why or why not?
- What’s something you should throw away but can’t? Explain.
- What’s the wackiest belief you held as a child?
- What books (other than the Bible) have made a big impact on you?
- Are you a rule breaker or a rule keeper? Explain.
- Use email, group texts, GroupMe or other apps to stay in touch during the week.
If your group has gotten to know each other already, consider some of these ideas for fellowship:
- Call/text members who are absent from your group. Let them know they were missed.
- Talk about New Year’s resolutions or reflect on the passing year
- Recognize God working in your life and share with the group
- Family photo night – bring a photo of your family and tell about each person in it
If your group has been up and running for a while, here are some ideas you may want to try:
- Plan activities outside your group time: picnics, to go a movie, vacation together, have a game night
- Bring an item to your group that represents how God has proven Himself able in your life recently; explain how he did it.
- Look for fun ways to share life together – camping trip, ghost tours, trip to the zoo, weekend trips, etc.
- Invite members that are wanting to start a small group to one of your meetings. Share with them the benefits your members have gained from being in a small group. Help them learn how to incorporate the Five Purposes into their new group.
Other ideas to consider:
- At the end of the year, many groups like to get together and have a game night. While this may not be possible right now, there are ways to play games while on Zoom or other video platforms. Check out online games on websites like Kahoot.com or jackboxgames.com.
- Spend 15 minutes during your group meeting for everyone in the group to unmute themselves and answer a fun icebreaker question. Examples: What is your favorite movie? What is your dream vacation spot? Who is the most interesting person you ever met? More icebreaker tips: https://museumhack.com/list-icebreakers-questions/#awkwardquestions
- Build a small group calendar on paper or online (like gmail.com) to keep important dates like birthdates, group meetings, and anniversaries.