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We just joined a small group and my family is excited for the year ahead. We have never participated in something like this. We would like to help our hosts out. What are some meaningful ways to do that?

Thank you, Hope Houseguest

Dear Hope,

Having been a part of small groups in some fashion for years now, I have observed that a little consideration goes a long way when attending a weekly gathering in someone else’s home. First off, contribute whenever you can. Sign up for food and honor that commitment. Bags of Oreos are always welcomed but so is food that takes a smidge more effort and planning. It keeps things interesting. A gift of paper plates, plastic cups/utensils, K-cups, and even TP would probably be welcomed from time to time. Look to meet practical, obvious needs your hosts may have.

Next, ask yourself if you were hosting, in what condition would you want your home to be left?  And then help do that. Can you help put away seating or sweep the kitchen floor? Your kids can consistently help clean up the basement. Can someone commit to run the vacuum each week if possible? Your host may decline your offers, but permission is not needed to be considerate, so go ahead and jump in where you see something you can do :)

Finally, take advantage of opportunities to serve and pray for each other. These actions gel a group together and strengthen the bonds of Christian fellowship. So be on the look-out for ways to serve and pray for one another in love.

Have a blessed year!


Dear Hattie,

Before March of 2020 I was a Sunday School teacher, I was in a large Women’s Study, and I went to every church event I could. It was in these times that I ministered and felt useful. With things paired back right now, I am struggling to know where I am needed and how I can still be useful. I would appreciate any ideas you can offer.

Sincerely, Miss Misty Normal

Dear Miss Misty,

Have you heard about the Lasagna Lady? She was recently in the news for what she did with her stimulus money during quarantine. After losing her retail job, she was motivated, one pan at a time, to start making her grandmother’s lasagna to give to others–offering free, homemade pans to anyone who would like it. Using her stimulus check she made over 1200 lasagnas to give to front line workers and others, and she says it changed her life.

So this is an extreme example of kind generosity, and it never says in the articles I read that she was motivated by Christ, but what an example she is, despite that. Even a smaller scale effort than what the Lasagna Lady did would go a long way! Perhaps it is her others-focused generosity that we can learn from. For those of use who know Christ, we can do good works in faith which go even further as they have a lasting impact. Being part of no “ministry” or formal event, Lasagna Lady used her means to bless others and of course, was blessed in turn. 

What creative ways could we all do something in that vein? What about a card-writing ministry? Or could you host a brunch/devotional for some tween girls from church? Do you make things with your hands you could give away? Also see the small group question above. :) Wherever we go, we can do good to others and we should do good especially to the household of faith:

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:10

Even though life looks different, how can we continue to do good outside of our normal parameters? Seek God in prayer to show you how he wants to use you right where you are, and especially among the family of God.

Kindly, Hattie