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Tony Brooks: Sunday School/Small Groups – Developing Community through Fellowship Events

Posted: 8/8/17 at 10:00am. Post by Tony Brooks.

Bob Dale has said many times that “Mission without morale leads to burnout.” Besides reaching people for your Bible study group and working together on service projects, groups must have time for fellowship as well. Every class/group should have a fellowship event at least once a quarter. (Designate two to three people to plan these events.) Here are some ideas:

Preschoolers/Children and their Parents

  • Call the event: Color My World
  • Invite parents and their children for an evening together. Ask them to bring their favorite family dish/casserole to share for dinner.
  • Provide plenty of crayons, pictures to color about creation, paper, and finger paint for the event.
  • Enjoy dinner together and then share a devotional from Genesis 1.

Afterwards encourage parents and children to color or finger paint children’s handprints or a picture about creation. Pictures can be taken home or shared with the church staff and deacons to take to persons in the hospital, in a nursing home, or who are homebound. The family may want to do the same. This would be a great quarterly fellowship event. Invite Sunday School teachers of the parents’ classes to join you and build fellowship for parents in classes or prospects of classes.

Youth & Parents: Back to the Future

  • Announce an event where parents and youth will have a fellowship event together. Ideas for planning include:
  • Have each family bring a covered dish to share.
  • Youth are to dress as their parents did in high school, and parents dress as youth today.
  • Bring high school photo annuals from both groups along with any memorabilia from their high school days: letterman jackets, items from extracurricular activities, and more.
  • Bring music from both generations appropriate for a church function to share as people come into the event and after the devotional while they eat.
  • A month before the event, produce a survey for parents (to answer when they were in high school) and their youth to answer. Ask questions like:
  • Where is your favorite hangout with friends?
  • What are the three biggest behavioral issues at school?
  • What is your favorite church youth activity?
  • Where is your favorite vacation spot?
  • Divide the group in two or more teams for a competition. Set up a Family Feud as part of the event based on their answers.
  • Provide a charades relay event from the answers as well for teams to compete.
  • If you need more details on the games, give me a call 804-921-5033.

Use the games first, and during the meal share a devotional about how times may have changed, but God is still the same and loves each one, while they encourage one another. It is important for us to encourage each other to follow God. Provide some discussion questions for parents and youth to take home. Please be aware that some youth may not have parents who are willing to come. Let the youth know that they are welcome even if their parents do not come. This activity will provide opportunities for youth and parent classes to converse even more.

Adult Classes/Groups

  • Survey members about their favorite activities, and get creative in ways for persons to communicate at the event.

Whatever you do, just remember, Sunday School/Small Groups are about community (morale) and not just mission.

Brooks-TonyTony Brooks is our Sunday School/Discipleship Specialist and Field Strategist for the Southside Region. You may email him at tony.brooks@bgav.org.Follow Tony on Twitter: @TonyBrooks7