by Dan Lentz
Have one person hold the end of a long ball of string, and then toss the ball of string to another person in the group. Whoever catches the ball of string should mention a freedom he or she cherishes, then loop the string around his or her hand and toss it to another person. Keep tossing, sharing, and holding the string until everyone has spoken. You now have something that resembles a spider web of string held together by the group members. While everyone is holding the string loosely, take a pair of scissors and cut the string in one place. The web should fall to the floor, illustrating how one break in the relational network can bring the whole thing down.
Read Joshua 7:1, 10-12, 22-26.
(1) “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Do you think that old maxim aligns with today’s passage? Why?
(2) In general, how effective are we as a small group or as a church at dealing with sinful or divisive behavior?
(3) Many group or community problems start with unclear or unrealistic group expectations. Healthy small groups need to occasionally review their group guidelines and expectations. A group agreement includes:
• Why we exist (life-change, Bible study, task group, fellowship).
• What we do (socials, service projects, outreaches, retreats, eat snacks).
• How we relate (expectations about the priority of participation and attendance, confidentiality about group discussions, accessibility of members to each other, accountability between members, and openness of the group to new members).
• When we meet (frequency, time, and the scheduling of breaks).
• Where we meet (location, how we handle childcare).
As much as possible, agree as a group on each of the above items. Close in prayer.
T. Daniel Lentz works for the Small Group Network in Whitestown, Indiana.