Many enjoy journeying through the One Word One Year Faith Journey book in a small group. It doesn't have to be done this way, but meeting with a small group around this book will definitely add to your experience! A small group not only keeps you accountable, but it encourages you and opens your understanding to new ideas and ways to grow in your One Word. A small group offers support and friendship as you walk through the year together. You'll find enthusiasm and motivation to keep going when you do this with others. If at all possible, do this with a friend. If you don't have a friend to join you, don't stress. Just spend some time on this site every month for encouragement.
It's not hard to lead a group. You don't need to be a gifted teacher, super spiritual or extra organized, you just need to be willing. Here's how I suggest leading a small group through the One Word One Year Faith Journey book, but know that these are just suggestions. Do what makes sense to you and your group. Every group is different and there are no rules here.
First, find a friend or a few friends.
You could go through this book with one other friend or a small group of friends. I would limit the number to no more than 9 in a group. In-person or online.
Next, choose a date, time and place to meet.
I usually have my groups meet once a month. My groups meet the last Monday of every month. I personally like to meet at the end of the month, which allows everyone to have had time to finish their monthly prompts before we meet. The very beginning of a month is another good time to meet.
My groups usually run 1 1/2-2 hours, depending on if we complete a Creative Activity together, but this is optional. I prefer to meet at a home or a church, but some of my groups meet online on zoom as well.
Meeting in public spaces or restaurants could work for 2 people, but it's very difficult and not advised for small groups. You'll want a quiet space so everyone can share freely.
Then, be sure that everyone in your group has a copy of the One Word One Year Faith Journey book. Before you meet every month, send out an email reminding each member of your meeting time, place and what month you'll be talking about.
Before your meeting starts, look over the monthly prompts you'll be discussing with your group. You probably won't have time to have everyone share about every single question, so choose a few you'll want to cover. Also, look over the Optional Creative Activity for the month. Is this something your group would want to create together? If so, are you supplying the materials, or is each member bringing their own? Some groups choose not to do the Creative Activities, but in my experience, everyone ends up enjoying them. If you're not the 'crafty' type, maybe someone else in the group is? Ask that person to lead the activity. I usually serve coffee, tea and water at my in-home group meetings. Having a supply of extra pens and tissues always comes in handy as well.
OK, it's time for the first meeting--now what? An introduction is always a great place to start for your very first meeting. Do your group members know each other? If not, take some time to have each member introduce themselves. If they want to jump right into telling others their One Word, go ahead. Begin asking members to share some of their thoughts to the Monthly Journal Prompts. Sometimes it helps to have the leader share first. You as the leader, set the tone and timing. Those who share next will usually follow your example. Always thank each person for sharing and remind the group to be mindful of timing. You'll want everyone to be able to share before your time runs out. -Ask members to share if they are using the Optional Monthly Trackers. These are not for everyone, but can work well for some. Encourage your members to try these. Click here for more information on Monthly Habit Trackers. -Ask members to share their Monthly Scripture. Encourage members to make a scripture ring and add a new scripture every month. Click here for more information on the One Word Scripture Collection. (coming soon!) -Ask members to share if they are recording gratitude entries in their Give Thanks Challenge. Sometimes it's fun to have everyone share the last three they recorded. Click here for more information on the Give Thanks Challenge.
-If your group is participating in the Optional Creative Activities, save time at the end of your meeting to work on these activities together. I usually take the last 30 minutes of our meeting to work on the activities together. Click here on more information on Creative Activities.
If your group is meeting online, encourage your members to do these activities on their own. If a member completed a Creative Activity, ask them to share it during your online meeting. I ask members to take a picture of what they've created so I can share it in our email communications.
Finally, to end your meeting time together, review the next date and time you'll meet as well as what Monthly Prompts will need to be completed before you meet again. I also like to take prayer requests from each member and close with prayer.
Some groups love to do the Creative Activities in the beginning of their meeting time. The Creative Activities can often 'warm' up your members to have open conversation and sharing while they create. Do what works for you and your group.
Thank you for leading a One Word Faith Journey group. If you need more help, please reach out to me by emailing me at michellepaigeblogs.gmail.com