Small Group Ideas + a Contest

August 8, 2011

in the generous life

A generous wife (thanks, Esther!) wrote me to ask about a post I made about small accountability groups.

Two friends and I have also started a small group, and I was wondering, could we have the accountability questions you use?

© Suprijono Suharjoto | Dreamstime.comMy response:

Hi, Esther,
We usually start our group by sharing what is going on with our lives.  The questions come from what we share. 

For example, if I say I’m struggling to make personal time with the Lord, the gals might ask me how I can change that?  I might have an answer or we could brainstorm ideas.  Then I come up with a plan and the next week they’ll ask me how I’m doing?  Does that plan work?  Do I need to try the plan for another week or try something new?  That sort of thing.

If I’m struggling with a friendship, we might discuss how the Word says to deal with disagreements.  I might plan to talk to that friend and the group would pray for me during the week that my friend and I could hear each other and work through our difficulties.

Generally our questions revolve around time with God, family, friends, responsibilities, personal gifting and callings, personal difficulties and self care.  We share where we are and where we believe God wants us to be.  The questions help us explore that.  If we don’t have answers we pray for wisdom and look for folks who might have an answer or encouragement.

I really like your question and I think I will make it a contest later in the month.  It would be good to get ideas for small groups.

Well, it’s contest time.  So please add, as a comment to this post, your ideas for accountability questions that women could use in small groups. Your questions can be about any area of life.  I’ll leave this contest open through August 21st and then announce a winner (my husband picks a number and the poster in that spot will win the prize).

Prize?  Oh, yeah, prize.  OK, how about a copy of Scream Free Marriage by Hal Runkel?

Links may be monetized.
Image credit © Suprijono Suharjoto | Dreamstime.com

Be generous!  Lori <><

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Sonja A. August 8, 2011 at 4:19 am

What do you think is the biggest stumbling block in (insert area here) and how can we support you in growth in that area? :)

Reply

Erika August 8, 2011 at 4:43 am

We usually make sure to ask about quiet times and intimacy in marriage. Both are necessary and directly reflect your outlook on life and your perception of marital success. These questions often lead to other topics (communication, schedules, children, etc.).

Reply

Jillian August 8, 2011 at 5:04 am

We always ask “how are you being generous in your marriage?” Instead of the focus of what your groom is doing wrong, what are you doing for him. It changes the perspective a bit.

Reply

Nikkie August 8, 2011 at 5:05 am

Hi. I’m Nikkie and I struggle with pride, control and people pleasing. I love accountability. I am sure I would be divorced, isolated, and completely depressed (with a fake smile–that’s the people pleaser in me) without the love and support of my community group. It has changed the way I handle conflict, my marriage, my relationship with God…etc.

I know this is really long, but here’s a list a friend just shared with me that my group will start using this week. It’s meant to be a jumping off point and to be added to for each individual group/individual. The list is so long (sorry!) that you can’t cover everything in one meeting, so we just pick a few to answer each week. What I also love is that these questions are not gender specific. Hope it helps!

1) How have you enjoyed time talking with the Lord this week? How have you felt connected to Him or distant from Him through prayer? Lk 18:1; Jer 29:13

2) How have you been strengthened in (listening to & meditating on) God’s words to you this week? Josh 1:8; Ps 1

3) How have you sought intentional, quality time with your spouse & speaking their love language this week? Have you felt accepted & valued through your spouse’s intentional pursuit of physical intimacy with you? Eph 5:21-22, 25; 1 Pet 3:1,7; 1 Cor 7:3-5

4) How have you sought to be honest and vocal with yourself and others about insecurities and fears you may have? (body image, lust, self thoughts, envy, loneliness, etc.) How were you specifically encouraged through that? Pr 28:13; James 5:16

5) Have you experienced richness of genuine fellowship with friends this week through your intentional pursuit of them & minimizing your self interests? Rom 12:10; 1 Pet 4:8,10; 2 Pet 1:7; Eph 4:3, 32

6) In stewarding your time, have you experienced progress in prioritizing the important over the urgent or been sucked-in by busyness? Eph 5:15-16; Ps 90:12

7) Have you found joy in integrating unbelieving friends into your daily pattern of life that they might see and hear about Jesus? (inviting them to dinner at your home, to the movies, to group gatherings, to the gym, sports, mani/pedi’s (sp? :-), etc.) Mat 28:19-20; Rom 12:13; Col 4:3-6

8 ) Have you experienced progressive freedom in pursuit of purity or been crazy focused on “not lusting”? Mat 5:8; 1 Cor 6:20; Tit 1:15; 1 Jn 3:3

9) Have you delighted in our Heavenly Dad fathering and caring for your heart and life this week? Or have you found yourself resistant to His guidance and affections? Jn 16:27; 17:23; Lk 13:34

10) Have you allowed your feelings (joy, anger, excitement, loneliness, etc.) to draw you nearer to trusting the Lord or further away? Have your feelings or faith rule the day? Ps 121:1-2; 130:1; 147:1

11) Does your heart feel at rest in God’s sovereignty of your daily life and future or do feel a little anxiety or concern? Have you let yourself cast your cares & worries upon Him? Ps 139:16; Mat 6:25; 11:28; 1 Pet 5:7

12) Do you find your heart growing more passionately generous with your finances or “holding more tightly” to His provision? Acts 20:35; Heb 13:5-6; 1 Jn 3:17; 2 Cor 9:6-7

13) Have you smiled about God’s work in your heart & life this week or been a little flustered by it? Has His peace marked your heart this week? Phil 4:8-9

14) How has consistently saying Thank You for small blessings & answered prayers (to the Lord and others around you) this week encouraged you? Have you found gossip and/or grumbling decreasing in your life? Lk 17:15-18; 1 Thess 5:18 // Phil 2:14; Eph 4:29

15) Have you found freedom in intentional submission to others this week or found yourself wanting more power and control or “independence”? (with your boss, your co-worker, your spouse, your friends, your mentees) Eph 5:21; Phil 2: 5-8

16) Through the words you choose to speak and not speak, what fruit have you enjoyed from that? Pr 18:21; James 1:26; Eph 4:29

17) Has purpose and significance filled your heart in your workplace this week? Why or why not?

Reply

Gretchen from Houston August 8, 2011 at 5:12 am

What is one thing from your pastor’s message that you want to apply to your life this week? I know that is a challenge for me. I don’t want to be just a hearer of the word but a doer.

Reply

Karen August 8, 2011 at 5:42 am

Are you repecting your authority figure in your life, spouse, parents, etc?
I recently learn to ask myself “would I say this if they were in my prescence?”.
The Bible tells us to repect our husbands.

Reply

MissionaryMom August 8, 2011 at 5:55 am

We began with a study book, like “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian, and covered a chapter a week. Each chapter had a specific topic to deal with, and we found that praying over that item for our husbands caused the Holy Spirit to start moving in that area in OUR lives.

One woman in particular seemed to be “nagative by nature” (misspelling intentional), so we would always have a segment of our time set aside for “What is your husband doing that’s blessing you?” and one for “What do you love about your man?” We also always spent time on “What change does that inspire you to make in how you deal with him?”

Reply

Donna August 8, 2011 at 6:04 am

Have a “bad habit roast”….everyone writes on a piece of paper what areas of life they need to work on. Have a campfire and after each individual reads their “bad habits” they throw it into the fire as a symbol of commitment to working on it. The group can discuss in little to as much detail as possible. Follow the ceremony with some sweet S’mores!!!

Reply

Laura August 8, 2011 at 6:07 am

What is something you’ve noticed in someone else’s marriage that you think is a blessing to them? How could you incorporate that into your own?

Reply

Rachael August 8, 2011 at 7:11 am

When I’ve been accountable to someone, we generally end the time (or towards the end) with “have you lied to me about anything today? Have you hidden anything from me today?” As rather open-ended questions, it gives each one to open up about something that they’ve avoided or somesuch.

Reply

- August 8, 2011 at 8:23 am

here’s a list I found years ago…
(c) 1987 Keith Drury May be copied for accountability use, provided these lines are included.
1. Have you had daily time alone with God since we last met?
2. How many days alone with God have you taken?
3. Have your thoughts been pure and free from lust?
4. Have you dated your spouse each week?
5. Have you taken a day off each week?
6. Have you had a daily debriefing time with your spouse?
7. Is there anyone against whom you are holding a grudge?
8. Is there any emotional attachment with someone of the opposite sex which could develop dangerously?
9. With whom could such an attachment develop in the future?
10. Have you given unselfishly to your mate’s needs?
11. Are there any unresolved conflicts with your mate?
12. Have you been harsh or unkind in the use of your tongue?
13. How often have you had family altar since we last met?
14. How often have you shared your faith? When? What happened?
15. How much time have you spent with your children? Doing what?
16. Have you spread falsehoods about another – slander?
17. Have you spread hurtful truth about another – gossip?
18. Do you have any unmade restitutions?
19. Are you discipling your child? Mate? How? When?
20. Is your practice of journaling up to date?
21. How much have you fasted since we last met?
22. Have you had nightly prayers with your spouse?
23. Report on your memorizing and meditating on scripture.
24. How are you improving in your relationship with your mate?
25. Is there a brother you should try to restore from sin?
26. When did you last give a thoughtful gift to your mate?
27. In what ways have you been tempted to be proud?
28. How have you given to the needy since we last met?
29. How much time have you wasted watching TV?
30. What about questionable movies, magazines, or videos?
31. Are you completely out of installment debt?
32. How are you avoiding materialism?
33. Have you exaggerated or lied since we last met?
34. Have you been able to ignore carnal, complaining, petty people?
35. What spiritual growth books have you read since we met?
36. Of what are you afraid? How will you defy this fear?
37. How have you played “Team Ball” with others since we last met?
38. Have you had a critical spirit since we last met?
39. In what special ways have you shown love to your mate?
40. Have you been fully submissive to authority?
41. Who is it that you are tempted to envy, or be jealous of?
42. Is there any believer with whom you are out of harmony?
43. Who are you discipling and mentoring? How?
44. Was there a time when your love for God was hotter?
45. How have you attempted to make peace between others?
46. Have you taken anything not belonging to you, large or small?
47. What sexual sin have you been most tempted to commit?
48. Have you a practice which may be a stumbling block to others?
49. Have you avoided outbursts of anger or rage?
50. About what have you been inclined to boast?
51. Have you been tempted to give up? How? Why?
52. How have you clarified your life’s mission since we last met?
53. Have you avoided fighting, quarreling, dissension, and factions?
54. How have you shown enduring patience since we last met?
55. Have you avoided obscenity, foolish talk, and course jokes?
56. In what ways have you been tempted to greed?
57. Have you selfish ambition? How pure is your desire to achieve?
58. Is there hate, malice, or ill will in your heart for anyone?
59. Is there any sin, inward or outward, which has dominion over you so that you are habitually falling in this area?
60. How have you expressed thanksgiving to God and others?
61. How have you shown submission and respect to your husband?
62. How have you shown love and tenderness to your wife?
63. Have you frivolously wasted words since we last met?
64. Have you participated in fruitless arguments?
65. Do you have a teachable spirit?
66. Have you shown favoritism toward the rich or powerful? How?
67. In what way have you launched out in faith since we last met?
68. Have you abused your power over others? How?
69. Have you deceitfully manipulated people for your own benefit?
70. Have you been guilty of worry, anxiety, or distrust of God?
71. In what ways have you shown brotherly kindness?
72. Is there any sin of another which you have come to tolerate?
73. How have you sought opportunities to serve, listen, and help?
74. How have you cared for the needy since we last met?
75. To whom did you show Christ’s love since we last met? How?

Reply

Breila August 8, 2011 at 9:41 am

In the Bible, over & over, God emphasizes that being thankful is an important place to be before we ask for things. Not because it makes God feel good, but because it makes our problems easier to desk with. It’s good for US. So, when friends come to me with anything that needs to be taken to God, I always start with, “what are you thankful for.” it makes it so much easier to find a solution, hear from God, & get your mind in the right perspective.

Reply

Julie August 8, 2011 at 10:23 am

We ask eachother what has been a high from the week, a low from the week, and what the Lord is teaching us? We also ask how is intimacy and dating our husbands?

Reply

Judy August 8, 2011 at 11:43 am

A question I’ve been asking myself each day lately, that might be useful in a group accountability setting as well: what attitude, thought or trait is most shaping my personality, actions and reactions today/this week? Is it negative or positive? What can I do to work on the negative and increase the positive?

Reply

Pamela August 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm

What are some of the ways you have shown God’s love to someone or ministered to someone else’s needs this week. I am trying to start a daily log in my weekly calendar to make sure that I am focused on others at least a portion of my time each day.
It doesn’t have to always be a big thing, but just some way to give of myself. For example, giving money to a person on the street holding a sign, donating food for Salvation army meal, calling a friend and praying with her, driving a shut-in to the hospital to visit her spouse, emailing an encouragement to a young mom with a house full of children, dropping a note to my pastor and saying I appreciate you…just a few ideas.

Reply

Becky M. August 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm

since my area of struggle is reacting without thinking, I would suggest this as an accountability question: Describe situations where you were reactive this week – and situations where you chose to listen and reflect before responding?

Reply

Karen H. August 8, 2011 at 9:51 pm

1. What is something you learned about your husband this week?
2. What are 3-5 things you really appreciate about your husband? What have you done to let him know this or to show your appreciation?
3. What do you do to refresh, regroup, adjust attitude, etc., so that you are ready to interact with your husband (children, etc.) daily?
4. How do you show your husband that you respect him?
5. What Scripture verse/s helps you get through a day? week? month? What story in the Bible do you most relate to when you think of your marriage?

Reply

Gina D. August 9, 2011 at 5:55 am

In our small group, we have been studying The Power of the Praying Wife and we ask each other “How can we pray for you and your marriage this week?” We have been discussing areas where we want to see God work through our marriages. It helps us to focus on seeing our husbands through God’s eyes.

Reply

Julie Hatch August 10, 2011 at 5:03 am

What have you been doing to be generous to your husband, kids, friends, and others? What kind of compassionate service can we give to others?

Reply

Lauren Lamoreaux August 11, 2011 at 9:21 am

I had an accountability group in college. We asked 3 questions to each other. How is your prayer life? How is your thought life? And how is your relationship life? They are great to spin in every direction.

Reply

Sarah Koenig August 12, 2011 at 1:25 pm

1. how much time have you spent reading your Bible and talking to God this week?
2. are you being truly honest with your husband? with how you’re doing, with what you need, with everything.

Reply

Kara August 19, 2011 at 3:27 am

I am reading the book God speaks your love language by Gary Chapman so I think a good question could be “What do you think your primary love language is and why?”

Reply

Caroline August 19, 2011 at 4:02 am

Here is the questions I ask myself and friends a lot…”Are you allowing space for God to enlarge your territory?” sometimes we get so busy with our current lifestyle that we don’t let God show us more of what he wants us to do.

Reply

Annette Mueller August 19, 2011 at 8:06 am

“Plans are strange things,” said Dr. Tom Hufty.“You think you have everything scheduled and your life planned out, and all of a sudden God throws you a curve and redirects those plans.”
Question: How are you handling life’s curve balls? and are you remembering that God is in control of them?

Reply

Amy Ellsworth August 19, 2011 at 8:59 am

Some years ago (maybe 10 now?), a group of my friends (from church) started a “play group”. This group began with 3 or 4 women and blossomed through the years. I joined the group in 2003 which had morphed into an accountability group. This wonderful group of women has changed through the years and in 2005 we added a once a month prayer meeting at one of the parents house of one of the members. The parents, as well as other volunteers, watch and play with all of of our children so that our small group of 6 or 7 women can sit down and pray (the 3 S’s) for our children, husbands and families. What a blessing!

Now, we have a set schedule of parks that we meet at every week instead of having a mom pick a different park every week; and the toddlers are 10 years old now, but some of us are still having babies! Below is our mission statement from 2004.

Mission Statement:

Accountability Group

Who are we? (Our Mission)
A small group of Christian women dealing with the pressures of toddlers and babies, who are committed to attending a weekly meeting to minister to one another’s needs, hold each other accountable to the Lord, and support each other through prayer.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17

What do we do?
Every Monday night, we pray for the Lord to bless the Tuesday meeting and the group.
Every Tuesday morning at 11am, we meet for 2-3 hours.
Every Tuesday night, we pray for all of our kids’ 3S’s – Safety, Salvation & Spouses.
We attend church regularly for teaching and fellowship.
We raise our children to follow the Lord.
We encourage one another to read the Word daily and to memorize and apply Scripture.
Every month, we teach our children to memorize a new Scripture verse.

How are we organized?
We keep a roster with names (including husbands & kids), addresses, phone numbers, and birthdays of moms and kids.
We rotate turns picking our meeting place and calling the others to advise them by Monday, reminding them to pray for God’s blessing on the meeting!
We meet at locations that are good for babies and toddlers.
We welcome women to join us who feel called to our mission.
We celebrate our moms’ & kids’ birthdays!

Reply

Sue August 8, 2013 at 4:39 am

Are you taking good care of yourself? Eating well? Getting enough rest?

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: