Here is a sample session typical of what you might experience in Small Group Ministry.
1. Chalice Lighting/Opening Words: 2 minutes
2. Check-in/Sharing: up to 30 minutes
(Divide the time by number of participants, allowing for short interval of silence in between sharing.) Invite people to check in by sharing: How is it with your spirit? –or– What has stirred your passion this week? –and/or– Did you have any further thoughts about last week’s topic?
3. Topic: Total time 60 minutes
A. Introduction to Topic and Questions: 5 min.
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.
– Meister Eckhart
Jane Kenyon wrote the poem, “Otherwise”, upon hearing her husband’s cancer diagnosis.
Ironically, it was Kenyon, not her husband, who died a year later from a fierce and swift onslaught of leukemia.
This is the gift—to have the wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again,
freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy.
– Abraham Maslow
The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.
– Oprah Winfrey
Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence,
and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.
– Helen Keller
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought;
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
– GK Chesterton
(Distribute questions, last page, & read out loud):
B. Silence for Reflection / Writing / Drawing: 10 min.
Invite group into 5-10 minutes of silence during which they are asked to reflect on the questions. Participants are invited to use this time for writing and drawing their responses if they wish.
C. Sharing: 50 min.
Invite each person to share their response as they feel moved, rather than clockwise. Give each person equal time to share. If time after each person has shared, invite people into a more free-flowing discussion of the theme. Coaches may need to direct the conversation back to the questions.
4. Check-out: 10 minutes
Encourage people to check out with a final thought or reflection about the theme (or any other thoughts about the session) and how the session might shape or impact their life in any way in the week ahead.
5. Introduction of Next Week’s Topic 1 min.
6. Closing Words: 1 min.
7. Blessing: 1 min.