An important element of every small group is to have some snacks as part of the group. Here’s how to effectively have snacks part of your small group.
HOLD THE SNACKS
Carve out some time either at the beginning or the end of your small group for snack time.
Three Elements of Your Small Group
There are three main elements of your small group each week. Each week you need to
- do the Unifying Question,
- read the passage for the lesson (or watch the DVD session), and
- then go through he questions in your study guide.
These three elements need to be done in order each week.
In addition to those three elements you also want to have some prayer time and time for snacks in your group. Prayer time can either be done at the beginning of your small group or at the end of your small group. When you do them is not as important as making sure that you do them each week and that you are consistent in doing them each week at the same time.
Less Distractions are Better
Nothing is more distracting (and irritating) than someone getting up to grab a snack, dropping some of the floor, munching, and talking with a mouthful during the small group discussion time. Here are some thoughts on the distractions that snacks create for the people eating and the people not eating.
People Not Eating Get Distracted
When people are eating snacks in your small group it often distracts the people that are not eating the snacks.
Every time someone gets up to get more snacks or a drink it distracts the group. When people drop food on the ground or spill their drink it distracts the rest of the group.
Whenever there are a group of people eating there always is “that guy” that eats with his mouth open so that everyone can hear him.
Then there are times when someone opens up and is sharing some heartfelt feelings with the group, and in the middle of that sharing someone gets up to go grab more snacks, in effect saying, “my hunger is more important than your sharing.”
People Eating Get Distracted
The people eating snacks in your group while the group is discussing the lesson also get distracted.
Every time someone gets up to get food he takes his attention off the topic and focuses on food instead. He is thinking more about the food he is eating than he is on what the topic is that the group is discussing.
Eating snacks during the group often means people can’t hold a Bible and a study guide at the same time, so they have to choose between snacks or a Bible/guide.
Lastly, people that are eating snacks can’t share in the discussion because their mouths are full.
Why Hold the Snacks
When you limit snack time in your small group to after the discussion time, it limits distractions in your group, but it also provides a good fellowship time.
This is because your group gets to enjoy the study time of your group, then there is a reason to gather around the snacks for a little food and fellowship after the group. (This snack time can also be before your group if you choose it to be.)
If your group has snacks try to limit those snacks to only before the group begins or after the discussion has ended.