In this Valentine’s Day season, you could take your group to a deeper level of connection with a special time of sharing. Below are three possible connecting activities to consider. Get creative and think about what would be a good fit for your group!
Valentine Icebreakers. Print the following list of questions on a sheet of pink or red paper. Pass the paper around the group so each person can choose a question and respond.
- What are you passionate about?
- What is something that few people know about you?
- What do you appreciate about each person in the group?
- Who are two or three people you’ve loved most?
- Finish this sentence: “To me, God’s love is . . . “
“Unsecret Admirers.” Pass out sheets of paper* and read these instructions:
- Write your name on your paper and pass it to the person next to you.
- Write one or two things on each person’s paper that you appreciate, admire, or notice positively about that person, and then pass the paper to the next person.
- Keep the papers moving. If you’re taking longer to write, pass papers to someone who is waiting, but be sure to write on each paper before everyone leaves.
- Keep your paper as a gift.
*Creative approach: Have everyone trace one of their hands and cut it out to pass around for everyone’s written remarks.
Simple Sentences of Thankfulness. Have a time together of sharing appreciation to God for group members. You can encourage short prayers that are as simple as finishing this sentence with a group member’s name: “Thank you, God, for ________.”
Something like this third activity happened one night in our group. We were sitting around the table after having dinner and our discussion, and I suggested that we could each simply complete that “thank you” sentence as a prayer of thanks to God. (“Thank you, God, for _______.”) I assured everyone that there was no pressure to pray out loud. Everyone was open to this idea. After several prayed and there was a pause, I was just about to close our prayer time when “Sharon” grabbed my arm and the arm of the person on her other side and said,
“I’ve never done this before!”
“You can do it!” we encouraged, and then she prayed,
“I’m so thankful for this group. My husband and I have never been in a group like this before.”
What a gift to hear those simple words of appreciation and that first “out loud” prayer!
Words of appreciation about your group members may be rare for some of them. When you help your group connect more deeply and call out qualities that they admire in each other, you are building a compelling, supportive environment and helping everyone to feel God’s love in a tangible way. That is a powerful context for God’s Spirit to work as you continue to read and discuss his Word together.
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