It’s the time of the year when we find ourselves all over the place– in family reunions, village parties, campus hangouts, church gatherings. And if you’re part of or leading a discipleship group, you must also feel the burden of coming up with your own party before you take a break for the holidays.

But because the season is busy that you might also feel a bit dry on the creative side of things. However, we also know that Christmas is a season ripe with the general atmosphere of openness, cheerfulness, and also a posture of deep thought. Now as people who want to honor God, we surely don’t want to miss this discipleship opportunity, do we? If this is how you feel, here are a few suggestions that could possibly make the most out of your small group’s Christmas party. 

Do a Christmas crossover.

Why don’t you find another group that would be willing to do the party with your group? Why not approach another leader who moves around your circle and is someone you trust enough to co-lead a party for the people within your groups? Pitch the idea of a Christmas crossover, where you can celebrate with those you know, plus new ones you names and faces. If he or she agrees, then it means that you are in for a widening of your group’s reach and also a deepening of your value for community. This is a very good way to hit two birds with one stone: every individual will grow in their network of fellow believers, and so will the church grow in strength and unity.

Best Lesson of the Year?

Ever heard of the Top Ten tradition? For as long as I can remember, leaders from Every Nation usually ask everyone in their groups for a list of their top ten highlights, grateful for, and faith goals, in every year-ender meeting. While this activity never fails, another discussion prompt could be, “What has been your best lesson for the year?” Aside from hearing very interesting answers, the activity is also one to encourage others to value personal reflection, humility, spiritual growth, change, and learning.

Sing a Christmas Carol together!

Anyone in the group can play the guitar? How about the piano? Why not sing a deeply reflective Christmas carol together? This is actually nothing new, but only a decision to pause the merriment for a solemn and reflective time of worship. And as songs unify, do expect the knitting of hearts as you together praise God using melodies.

Read and reflect on the Christmas story together.

Have everyone read the Christmas story from Luke 2 by distributing verses to every person present. Then, discuss what each found to be personally meaningful and why. To further the reflection good prompts can be, “What do you think Mary and Joseph felt when she saw Jesus for the first time? What were the shepherds thinking? How about the angels?” God’s word always inspires, and to read and reflect on it together, out loud, is to spur one another in the awe, honor, and wonder of His wisdom.

Exchange prayers.

Instead of exchanging gifts, why not exchange prayers? Have everyone write their top three prayer requests and draw lots. Don’t say the name you drew until an agreed time, but just commit to pray daily for that person and his or her requests in secret until then.

When the time has come, you can get in touch to schedule a meet-up during the break. By then, you can take the time to go over the list, pray together, and give a word of encouragement that God has maybe already spoken to you beforehand. You may also even write your personal prayer and give it to him/her as a gift. This is a more thoughtful present than something you randomly pick out of a store, don’t you think?

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There are many other ways to make a party more meaningful, but the ones listed here are suggested with this end in mind: faith, relationship, and community building. We do these things not because we just want to have a savvy party we can rave about on our social networks, but because we want to build ourselves up in the faith and in love with one another. May you have such a blessed gathering this year that it surely overflows to the next!