Alternative Small Group Worship: The God Box

I belong to a small group within my church, consisting of about 8-12 people.  (I have hard these groups called cell groups, fellowship groups, house groups, bible study groups – but they all seem to be much the same thing in practice). We take it in turns to present from the Bible or to lead worship.

I am not exactly musical, but who said that worship has to be a musical experience? The idea is to get people to express themselves to God. So here is one idea that I have used a couple of times with great success. I call it “The God Box”.

Materials

Bibles, pens, paper, worship CDs.

The Activity

First, I explained to the group that some people keep a special box or drawer or place for keepsakes: things that remind them of special events in their lives. Then, I said that we were going to imagine that we each had a box like this in which we could place 3 items to remind us of the important things that God had done for us. We would each spend a few minute thinking about our 3 items, and what they meant to us. Afterwards, people could share with the group what they had in their box and the reason why. I gave a few examples:

  • A nail, as a reminder of the cross.
  • A stone, as a reminder of Jesus words to the woman caught in adultary.

Whilst people were thinking, I put on a worship CD.

Rules

I was keen to promote creativity, and at the same time to reduce pressure on people to perform, so:

  • There are no right or wrong answers. Your box is your box.
  • People could write down or draw their 3 items if they wanted to do so.
  • The box can be any size, shape, style etc.
  • There are no rules as to what is allowed: you can put in whatever you like. For example, if you want the night skyin your box, that is OK.
  • If people didn’t want to play, they did not have to. Some people just may not be able to think in this way. In that case, quietly listening to the music is fine.
  • People do not have to present if they do not want to do so.
  • The things people put in the box should be as personal as possible (but, if people want to present, then the items should not be rude!)

Results

The excersise has been remarkably effective on the occasions when I have tried it. People found each other’s ideas inspiring, and were keen to share. I will repeat the activity again when I get the chance.

Stupid idea? Tried it? Success? Disaster? Got another idea? Your comments are welcome!

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5 Responses to Alternative Small Group Worship: The God Box

  1. Ed R says:

    I might have to “embrace” this idea for my own cell group 🙂
    Thanks.

  2. kramii says:

    Ed,

    I would be delighted to hear how it goes if you do try something like this.

  3. Ed R says:

    I tried this out this week at cell. It had to be a bit different due to the location of our cell – we couldn’t have the music, but everything else was mostly the same. I think it worked quite well really. We had come to the end of quite an intense discussion at cell, and we could either stop then, or go on with the worship, which I thought we should do, and I think it was the right activity for the time.
    Thanks again for the tip.

  4. kramii says:

    Ed,

    That’s great!

    Out of interest, (and without naming names) what kinds of things did people put in their boxes?

  5. Ed R says:

    There was a lot of “easy” ones, like “Making me a Christian/saving me” (which I did – ‘cos hey, it is a good thing!) Also I included my family – having heard some people talk about their family history, I’m amazed at how blessed I have been with my family. They have always supported me every step of my way. I can’t think of a time where I’ve wanted to get away from them. So that was another one of mine.
    Unfortunately we did this over a week ago now, so I can’t remember much of what the others said now. I think people’s spouses came up as an example though.
    Speaking of memory: I guess I must be getting old (25 next month): Today I stood up with a piece of paper to go photocopy. by the time I had taken two steps, I had forgotten why I was walking – even though I’d been going through the same process for the whole day!

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