What comes after Valentine’s Day? Although we might only imagine the gray and cold months that wrap up winter, there’s a growing holiday gaining attention: February 17, National Random Acts of Kindness Day.
What does this mean for your group?
We often make it a group goal to be people of kindness. It’s a fruit of the Spirit after all (Galatians 5:22-23). We even say we want to be people living on compassionate mission—people who serve others outside our group, or friends who carry the burdens of those inside our small group or Sunday school.
So, if this is something we value, what if we made it a priority to intentionally and creatively engage with this holiday?
As National Random Acts of Kindness Day approaches, consider these ideas with your group:
- Try words
Our culture is saturated with words. From media to meetings and passing conversations, we have a lot of input. But, something powerful happens when we set aside the time to build others up. What if we, during Acts of Kindness Day and the entire week, were intentional to reach out to specific members of our group and tell them truth? Share the positive character traits we see in them? Point out the ways we see Christ working in their lives? Tell of the growth we’ve witnessed and the ways they have impacted our lives and contributed to the group? The impact of intention, kind words, is astounding.
- Take time
In the American culture, time can seem to be our resource in shortest supply. Busier is, after all, better. What if, during Act of Kindness Day and throughout the week, we sought to find just a little time? Time to linger slightly longer after group and ask a few more questions to some of the members. Time to pick one person to take to coffee this week. Time to babysit for some of the group members’ kids. Or, you can give time—sharing a gift certificate for the newly married couple to have a date night. We can show kindness by taking time and giving time.
- Train others
We compete sometimes more than we show care. Instead of training others in our group, we can get caught up in trying to be the best group leader as we are more concerned with having the most eloquent answers to our member’s questions than trying to train the members to find answers themselves and to even take their own steps towards leadership positions. What if we saw Act of Kindness Day and the following week as a landmark where our role shifted from being a leader to being a leader who develops leaders? Put another way, what if we focused on being a disciple using their gifts and seeking to develop other disciples to also use theirs? You might be surprised by the results you would find if you picked one group member and made a plan to equip them–to train them in how you prepare to lead group, to teach them how to use resources to better understand the Bible, to develop them in hospitality. The greatest kindness might be in training others to be people of kindness themselves.
No matter whether you already are a devoted celebrator of National Acts of Kindness Day or have never heard of the holiday, you can take action. Seeking to be kind to others is one simple way that we can follow Jesus and lead others toward him, pursuing loving God and others in any way we can (Mark 12:30-31).