Small Group thankfulness

Small Group thankfulness

To cultivate thankfulness among your group members, take a look at the ancient yet effective method found in Psalm 136. In this psalm, which recounts God's mighty acts on Israel's behalf, each verse is followed by the refrain "His love endures forever."

Your group can write its own version of Psalm 136, using the original as a pattern.

1. Read the psalm aloud, or ask members to read silently. Explain that verses one to three encourage thanks for God Himself; four to nine for His acts in creation. The rest of the poem cites ways He cared for Israel.

2. Ask members to write down one way God worked to bring them to faith in Christ, using verses 10 to 25 as a guide. Point out themes in the original: God's deliverance, intercession, provision, defeat of Satan, and gift of a new life.

3. Choose a narrator to lead in a responsive reading of verses one to nine. Group members repeat the refrain after each verse. Next, ask members to read what they've written. They may say things such as "I thank God who allowed me to go broke so I'd reach out to Him."

4. After each, the group responds, "His love endures forever." Close with verse 26.

Through this activity, your group will create a corporate, capsulated history of God's goodness. Repeat the process on other occasions with fresh reasons to praise, including the ways God has blessed your church and families, helped during trials, or deepened relationships with Him.

Urge members to use this pattern for praise by writing a personal version in their private worship. In the small group, with families, or alone, this can be a powerful reminder that God's love indeed endures forever.

Marion Duckworth - Copyright © 2009, Discipleship Journal, a publication of NavPress and The Navigators. All Rights Reserved.