The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to isolate and distance ourselves from one another for the last six months. Although this has been very helpful in preventing the spread of the virus, it goes against our natural inclination to gather and be with people. We are made for relationship and communion. Fall is typically a time for reconnecting with people through our shared interests as school begins, sports teams kick into gear, and community programs start a new season.
This year, fall looks a little different, so you may need to be more intentional in connecting with others. One way to do this is to form a small faith-sharing group. This is a great opportunity to try something new, strengthen your connection with others and share faith.
Participants in small groups attest to the many blessings that come from walking the journey of faith with others. Small groups provide a safe place, not only to develop authentic friendships and honest sharing but also for a personal encounter with Jesus. Those in the group share life together—praying and encouraging each other to uphold Gospel values while exploring shared challenges and experiences in life. As members of the small group grow closer to Jesus and each other, they tend to support and minister to one another through the ups and downs of life. What a great opportunity to grow this kind of connection with those you interact with already.
You may be wondering: Who would I ask? What would we talk about? An easy place to start is to gather with those who you already socialize with or see regularly. Consider some of these ideas:
- Do you gather with friends to watch Monday Night Football? Meet earlier for dinner and reflect on a passage from sacred Scripture.
- Do you have a little time after putting the kids to bed? Connect online with a few parents from your children’s school for a 6-week series on parenting through the lens of faith.
- Are your kids involved in extracurricular activities? Do you want to build faith-based relationships with some of the parents? Use the “Take Time to Chat” questions from 52 Sundays each week to host a discussion online or while your kids are participating in these activities.
- Do you have family members who share a passion for reading? Ask them to join you for a book study.
To begin, decide on the audience that your small group will be for—adults, families, moms, dads, etc. Think of a few people to invite (about six to eight), when you will meet and what your group will discuss/study. Download these guides for more details, including considerations for groups meeting digitally:
- Guide to Hosting an Adult Small Group
- Guide to Hosting a Family Small Group
- Small Group Leader Guide
- Small Group Participant Guide
Jesus reminds us, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) As programs and activities kick into gear this fall, let us take time to recognize Christ in the midst of each gathering as we grow closer to him and one another.