In this crazy year of COVID and quarantine, our mission hasn’t changed. We’re still all about prayer and community. Maybe you, too, are experiencing this desire for deeper friendship and relationship with the Lord after a long socially-distanced season.
We’re here to help.
As always, we’ve spent the last year praying through and preparing this year’s Advent devotional just for you. Maranatha means both, “Our Lord has come,” and, “Come, O Lord.”
This same Savior Who was born in time wants to come again and be born in your heart, and the hearts of your sisters and friends this Advent season.
Advent Small Groups
In a special way, this year’s devotional is designed to help you share it with others. I’ve written questions to help you engage with the week’s themes, highlighted in the Scripture selections, to give you an opportunity to engage with the Word and encounter Jesus in it.
We don’t just want you to read the devotional, we want you to pray with it. So even if you don’t love to journal, don’t skip the questions! These journal questions can double as discussion questions. Consider them conversation starters with the Lord and the gals in your small group.
So who are these lucky ladies? It’s up to you!
Why not start by praying for your soon-to-be-small group and then open up your phone and text a friend (or ten)?
You could also scroll through your Facebook profile and message some women there. Who knows? A simple invitation could be the encouragement someone needs to come back to the Church or meet Jesus for the very first time, all over again.
Want to broaden your horizons and make new friends? We would love to introduce you to some of the other fabulous women in our community. Join one of our Maranatha small groups and meet women from all over the country (and around the world!).
How to Do a Small Group with Maranatha
Now that you know who you’ll be walking with this Advent, we want to help you feel confident with the how.
Nell O’Leary created a gorgeous Leader Guide for any woman who’s willing to help organize a group of gals and share your hearts as you read and pray through the devotional. You don’t need any special training—we’re simply here to encourage you to meet up and chat with other women who want to welcome Jesus anew this Advent season.
We want this devotional to help you gather in whatever way works best for you and yours. Meet in person (at your home or parish, at a local park, or coffeeshop) or meet virtually (I love Google Meet or Zoom)! You can also check in via text or email to share prayer intentions.
Wondering when you should meet? I would encourage you to get together weekly! There are only four weeks of Advent, and we want you to savor each of the themes in Maranatha.
I hope that this devotional will help you to love Jesus more deeply and receive His love more fully. And I want that for all of the other beautiful women in your life and our #bissisterhood, too.
Tips for Facilitating a Small Group
- Invite the Holy Spirit. // It’s not all up to you. The Lord wants to help you listen and learn from one another. So be sure to start with a prayer when you meet up, and invite the Holy Spirit to guide and direct the conversation and your hearts.
- Be yourself! // Remember, you’re not here as theologian, counselor, or teacher. You’re free to be your wonderful self! So share your own insights and intentions with the group, too.
- Make it special. // Find a coffee shop with cozy chairs and yummy drinks, or bring a box a donuts to the church basement. No matter where you meet, consider how you can make your time together feel set apart through the environment you create.
How the Advent Devotional Can Help Your Small Group Go Deeper
- Don’t just read the author’s reflections, share your own stories with each other.
- Read the Scriptures more than once—both on your own and in the group.
- Pray together! Share intentions and then pray for one another.
As you work your way through the devotional on your own during the week, take note of which questions tugged at your heart most. Use those questions to get the conversation started the next time you meet, and don’t feel any pressure to get through them all. Trust that what God is doing in your heart will bless and affirm what the Lord is doing for the other ladies in your group.
Are you praying through the Advent devotional with a small group?
Small Group Tips to Use for Maranatha #BISblog // Click To Tweet