Free Bible Study recommendations :
Devotionals with scripture, personal story and questions would be entry level. We have ten devotions with questions at the end on our website about Embracing, written by women in our territory.
Same for Everyday Offering
Designed for Young Adults
Bible Study advice tips resources:
Flourish in Generosity & Giving
“Through Sponsorship, children overseas are given a chance to overcome poverty, illness, and many other factors that first brought them into the Sponsorship Program. Every year, thousands of disabled, abandoned and impoverished children are given the gift of health, learning, activity and love. The Sponsorship Program coordinates funds and relationships between donors in the mid-west and Salvation Army children’s homes, schools and centers around the world.”
There are a number of ways to collect funds for this effort:
- Multiple scheduled, offerings at women’s events throughout the year
- Bake sale
- Rummage sale
- Craft sale
- Clothing swap event with cover charge
- Hot cocoa mix sale around the holidays
- Vendor Event (charge vendors a fee to have a table selling their product as an event)
Tips for Laeding Small Groups
Over the years I have found the following guidelines and tips to be helpful in creating intimacy and comfort in the small group setting.
Be in prayer. Don’t try to do this on your own. Bring your people, your preparations and you fears before the Lord.
Be prepared. If you’re leading a group that is doing a study together, have it done ahead of time. Know the material well enough to have some supplement questions prepared in case conversation falls flat. If you’re leading an Embrace group have your questions printed out, cut and on the table ready to go before your group arrives.
Demonstrate vulnerability. If you as the leader are not willing to show some growing pains and weaknesses in your life no one in your group will either. Set the standard.
Learn the art of silence as you lead – Don’t occupy the time with your voice. Give the group a chance to process the questions, and the open quiet space to get brave enough to speak up. After reading a question, I challenge you to slowly count (in your head) to 10 -15 seconds before speaking. Scary I know! But if you rush into the silent moment with commentary or answers doing so may deliver a message to group members that this isn’t their time to share, and it’s just for the leader to teach. Typically small groups aren’t supposed to be that way. Leaders should truly facilitate, create the environment and guide the group through the time, not teach the entire time.
Be faithful and honoring to who does show up. Sometimes we want to cancel when we know many group members can’t come. But canceling should be avoided as it may deliver a message to those that are available, a message that says meeting together is only worth it if so-and-so is there. Honor those that are available, demonstrating that you value your time with them. Also remember, that not everyone will be able to be there every time, but it’s still important to meet.
Don’t force it. If the conversation is just not taking off, don’t push it and don’t insist everyone answers every question. When things just aren’t working that day, just casually say, “well let’s move onto something else.” This is where being prepared comes into play. This could be an opportunity to try another community creating activity. One I suggest is using out prayers of intercession resource. Again, just casually say, “well let’s move onto something else. I’ve been wanting to share this unique prayer technique with your guys.” Hand out the forms and give instructions. See the link above for instructions and the print out (print out ahead of time just in case!). After everyone gets their original form back, invite anyone to share about their request. Again, practice the art of silence and give space for someone to share. Count to 15! One brave soul may be the one that leads your group into a special and tender time of sharing.
A few minor but significant things to keep in mind!
- Keep the group no larger than 8, any larger people will get lost in the group.
- Sit in a way where everyone is facing each other, whether in a circle or around a table. If there is a ‘second row’ because there are so many people it’s probably time to split and create two groups.
- Don’t become discouraged when there aren’t any ‘wow’ moments that day. Sometimes there will be awkward moments or days when it’s just two or three of you, or days when you didn’t feel the group connecting – but don’t give up, that is not a reason to declare ‘this isn’t working.’
- Keep trying, praying and trusting. If you’re pursuing Him and acting in obedience, He’s got you right where He wants you. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”Philippians 1:6
That Makes Two of Us book on “Lifestyle Mentoring for Women” gives the Ten Commandments of mentoring:
1) You must be Authentic – Be what and who you are. Don’t fake it, they’ll see right through it and letting your faults be seen will make you more real.
2) Listen and Learn – You won’t always have the answers, and that’s ok. Just be a listening ear and know when to seek the appropriate help if needed.
3) Maintain Confidentiality – Trust in a friendship is everything. Don’t violate that, you might not get it back. If you feel you must share something between you two, ask your mentee if you can ask your mentor or friend for advice.
4) Ask the Right Questions – Don’t ask yes or no questions, ask questions that require explanation. People enjoy talking about themselves, get the right conversation door open and let them talk and dig in and ask the right questions – without sounding nosey, be genuine.
5) Follow up and Follow Through – Again, be real. If you say you’re praying for her – do it! Find ways to remind yourself, calendar notifications, text yourself, notes on the mirror, whatever it takes. If you say, “let’s get together soon!” mean it and do it! Don’t be another flake in their lives.
6) Encouragement is Key – “Don’t judge her. love her. You can disapprove of what she does without disapproving her. So love her through it all…good and bad.”
7) Pick Your Battles – By being genuine, following up, listening and knowing her; you’ve invested in her life. You have earned the right to speak into her life. Pick your battles, know when it’s worth risking things for.
8) Look for the God Moments – If you’re living life together you’ll laugh, cry, shop, and study together. Know when you testify and acknowledge God. When you screw up in front of her acknowledge it and talk about it.
9) Be the Initiator – Watch for who God puts in your path, don’t wait for someone to come to you, take them under your wing, approach them. Isaiah 38:19 “Only the living can praise you as I do today. Each generation tells of your faithfulness to the next.”
10) Keep Your Own Walk Fresh – Have your own quiet time, be in a Bible Study. Your mentee will mentor you but make sure you are also being mentored or lead by the generation before you.
You don’t need a bunch of tools to enter into a mentorship, but they can certainly help! You just need to practice these commandments and be genuine, loving and make time.
www.moretobe.com is a great mentoring site with resources to help understand mentor relationships and how to start a mentorship program.
More free downloadable resources on mentoring groups:
Prayer Journaling— This prayer resource can be used during a four-fold worship program. Print out enough journals and calendars for all attending take time in the meeting to put them together. Read scriptures on prayer, watch videos on prayer, use the “Prayers of Intercession” form. Make enough copies for everyone so they are able to record the prayer requests of those who are willing to share.