Thanksgiving causes most of us to take an inventory of our lives. We acknowledge the relationships that mean the most to us. We get a bit nostalgic about the highs—and even some of the lows—of the last year. We get together for a meal with family and friends and typically begin by giving thanks to God for his graciousness to us.
Have you done the same with your small group?
Have you acknowledged the significance of the friendships you’ve established in your small group? Have you discussed the highs and lows that you’ve traveled together during the last year? Have you enjoyed a meal together where you’ve been intentional about giving thanks to God for his blessing upon your lives? There’s no better time than Thanksgiving to be intentional about this type of small group experience!
Last week, a small group I have the privilege of being a part of took time to celebrate each person by speaking words of affirmation. It was a humbling, goose-bump creating, God-honoring, praise-inducing time of blessing each other.
Our leader handed out a piece of notebook paper. We wrote out the names of each person in our group. Then the leader encouraged us to write down all the gifts and talents that come to mind when we think of the person he named. We did this focusing on each person for about a minute as we worked our way around the room. Once everyone’s name had been read aloud and all their attributes had been written down we turned our papers into the leader.
Then the blessings flowed! Our leader read each person’s name and followed it by reading all of the things people wrote down about them. He acknowledged verbally all of the gifts that others see in us. Then he said these powerful words, “This is how God has blessed you. We’re glad you’re here.” It was a rich time of blessing for each person in our group.
As you get together with your small group community around Thanksgiving, be intentional to bless each other and communicate how thankful your are for the role that each person plays in each other’s lives. Very few of us ever receive such a gift!