Setting it to music
I’ve talked a lot about helping our participants make the transition from their “everyday lives” to the learning that will take place during the group. We’ve practiced utilizing warm-up activities that foster safety and intimate sharing between members.
Another way we can “warm up” the group is to sing together. During the session when we used inductive study of the Bible (which is what we did when we compared different versions of one of Jesus’ parables) the leader opened the group by singing for us “Bless This Seed.” I have to admit, it’s pretty great having a leader with a fabulous voice; however, if you lack willing volunteers, all you need is the equipment to play a song–your phone or computer hooked up to a set of speakers is perfect. By selecting a simple hymn or song that highlights the main point of the lesson, participants will “see” the concepts with new eyes. Remember the 3 learning styles? [A,V,K] Singing brings the kinesthetic style to life!
A word of caution: remember that the focus of the small group is spiritual formation. When a facilitator begins to use a lot of nifty tricks and toys, we run the risk of making a show out of the learning time. Additionally, technology can “fail.” Ensure your warm up or activity can be easily duplicated in the event technology fails us.
To conclude the session, our leader once again sang the song. But this time, she led the whole group in singing along with her. That was a very effective and brought the learning to task.
If you’d like to hear the song we used, it can be played here.