Whether you’re starting a new group, spicing up connections that have been together for years or helping newcomers feel comfortable in an already established group, one essential way to bond is by sharing each other’s stories.
Have you ever considered all the ways we could share our stories in our group?
Some of the challenges that group leaders have faced when inviting storytelling is that we like to talk about ourselves and we appreciate being heard! So given the chance, group members might tend to share their entire life’s story. This can end up dominating your entire meeting time and drain your group members rather than inspire them.
In this post, we’re highlighting a unique approach NorthPoint Community Church used for years when launching their new community groups.
Instead of each member taking 20-40 minutes to share their complete story one at a time over a period of a few group sessions, in this method, everyone takes about two to five minutes to share a piece of his or her story each session, across six sessions.
Here’s how to share your group participants stories over 6 weeks:
Sessions One and Two: Background
Share a few details about childhood, adolescence, high school, college, and early adulthood.
Session Three: Defining Moments
Tell the group about important moments that have shaped who you are. This includes life events and decisions you’ve made that have brought you to where you currently are in life.
Session Four: Defining Relationships
Talk about some of the people who have influenced and contributed to who you are. Explain their importance during specific seasons in your life.
Sessions Five and Six: Faith
Share a few crucial details about your journey toward a relationship with Jesus. Include specifics that point to God pursuing you throughout your life and how you have ended up where you are today in your relationship with him.
Pretty simple, right?
This approach to storytelling has a few big benefits:
- Each week, everyone in the group gets to listen and talk. No one is put on the spot. No one dominates the whole discussion. And everyone tends to feel more fully engaged.
- It created anticipation to hear each other’s stories. However, if someone can’t make a group meeting, he or she only misses a portion of everyone’s stories instead of missing a member or couple’s entire story.
- In this style, storytelling is less likely to stretch on weeks longer than is helpful for the momentum of the group.
Looking for a new way to share stories in your group? This approach might be worth a try.
For alternative story-telling ideas in groups, check out Building Connection Through Sharing Our Stories in Groups or Healthy Storytelling in Groups.