I always start a group the same way–with what I call a life exposure question. The life exposure question does not have to do with the Bible; it has to do with life. It opens the window of each person’s life and let’s us peer in. Here are some examples from some recent lessons I have written for Good Questions Have Groups Talking
- Let’s each share our name and one favorite fruit. No one gets to repeat a fruit. (The question relates to that day’s study and this verse: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” John 15:16 (NIV)
- Let’s each share our name and how many Christians you work with, or how the people you work with feel about Christians. (The lesson that day had to do with being persecuted. This verse sets the stage for that discussion.)
- Share your name and one time you have been robbed. (The lesson included John 10.10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV)
As you can see, I try to relate the life exposure question to the lesson of the day. This allows the life exposure to do double duty. The life exposure question can fulfill two purposes at the same time–it exposes a bit of the group’s life to each other, and it helps to teach the lesson itself. (Another example of double duty is using biblical illustrations to make a point. By using a biblical illustration from another place in the Bible, you illustrate your point, while at the same time reminding the group of a biblical story.)
From Good Questions Have Small Groups Talking: the book.