Personal narratives are compelling, almost addictive in how they draw you in. (Ever heard of a little thing called Facebook? The National Enquirer? Twitter? Mommy Bloggers?) And when you hear a story about someone you know or are enamored by, you’re even more glued to its every detail.
The same is true for the few in your small group. As an SGL, you can take this innate hunger for knowing the story and use it to incite wonder and build relationship with your students. Anyone can repeat the Bible story, go over the verse, and ask questions about the large group video week after week. But only YOU can bring faith to life through telling them about your own personal experiences. Because they’re yours.
Getting personal and sharing your faith journey allows you to take your small group from seeing the Bible as book on a shelf—seeing God and Christians as people they might know but never be like—to a living, breathing text-to-life example of genuinely inspiring faith.
Making it personal will require a few things of you. The first is authentic faith—actively growing in your walk with Jesus. Regularly reading your Bible and learning from God’s word, memorizing it so that it falls off your tongue without a second thought, praying daily, worshiping your Lord, and not being afraid to talk about “God things”.
Your few can spot a poser. If the only way you can look up a Bible story is by using the table of contents because small group is the one time per week you ever use a Bible or if you accidentally launch into your pre-meal prayer at the end of small group because it’s the only one you ever say, they’re gonna pick up on it.
Secondly, join a small group of your peers. That way you can experience at your level what you are trying help to create on theirs–community, impact, growth, God at work in your story, and learning where you fit into His.
Finally, make it a priority to study your lesson ahead of time so you can pray and think about a personal example that might be appropriate and poignant for you to share with your group. Be intentional instead of relying on improv to get you through your 1 hour and 5 minutes of small group.
It’s amazing how much growing in your own faith will help your few grow in theirs—and visa versa! So make it a priority to make it personal. Every. Single. Day.