Provoke Action, Transparency, and Growth

We must not keep speaking into the lives of people who do not act on what they have heard. The result of hearing over and over is a hardened heart. I, for one, do not want to help in the hardening process! When people take our small group-based training called “Fire For the Nations,” if they are not taking action in at least some area, they are not allowed to continue. I value their hearts too highly.

So how can we encourage and provoke action and transparency in a safe, yet challenging way? I find creativity really helps, and we try to give people the chance to think about application and then to share it. The following examples may be of help:

First Example:

  • Give everyone (adults, children/teens) time to write a response on paper about how they were impacted from the message, what action needs to be taken, how they felt about what they heard, and so forth.
  • Then let them read their responses directly from the paper, before going into pairs to share more deeply.

Second Example:

  • Give everyone (adults, children/teens) a stone and a marker pen. Ask them to write on the stone one thing that is hindering them receiving the teaching.
  • Have each member of the small group stand and hold their own stone, then ask them to state what is written on it. Exchange stones. Ask each member to take home the stone they have received and pray over that issue each day.
  • The following week, hand the stones back to the “owner” and share how they got on with the issue stated. Only when someone feels that victory is gained do they bury the stone in the ground. Keep exchanging the stones until none are left.
  • This keeps the small group focused until victory - too often we rush on and don’t persist.

Third Example:

  1. Place a paper cross on the floor in the middle of the small group.
  2. Give everyone (adults, children/teens) a heart shaped paper and ask them to write one issue that is causing them pain (presuming this was in the sermon).
  3. Share in pairs.
  4. Ask the small group to kneel with their paper hearts held to their chests and ask each person to ask God to heal/deal with/take it.
  5. Place the hearts on the cross.
  6. Sing a relevant worship song over the cross and hearts.
  7. Take home the paper hearts and bring them to the next small group meeting.
  8. Lay the cross in the middle again with the hearts on it.
  9. Ask the members how their hearts have handled this week, etc.

These are just three of hundreds of creative ways that are suitable for every age group - children, teens, or adults. Remember to focus on creativity, meditation on what has been learned, sharing, accountability, and follow-up. All those elements are in the above ideas.


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