As people created in the image of God, we have a longing for meaningful relationships. These relationships can be such a blessing of love, joy, and encouragement to one another. But because of sin, different factors such as pride, fear, and distraction hinder going deep in the relationships we have. And so, while we have a longing for intimacy, we are often isolated and lonely. The Lord wants so much more for us as His children. So how can we grow in significant relationships?
One way is to join one of the many small groups we have in our church. These groups designed to help us grow in significant relationships so that we can fulfill the “one-anothers” of God’s word: love one another, encourage one another, teach one another, bear one another’s burdens, and serve one another.
And when you are in that small group, meeting one on one with another believer, or gathering together over a meal, look for opportunities to cultivate deeper and stronger relationships. Don’t be satisfied with staying on a superficial level. Proverbs 20:5 says, “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” Insightful questions can draw out a person’s heart, leading to significant discussion and more significant relationships.
Here are some questions that we put in a basket and passed around that made our Thanksgiving a very special time. Each person would pick out a question, and decide to answer it or draw another question. With a little preparation, you can print off these questions and have them ready for Thanksgiving, and see what the Lord does in using you to cultivate deeper relationships with one another!
- Who is a friend you are thankful for and why?
- What is something that happened this past year for which you are grateful?
- What is an opportunity you had to do something this year for someone else for which you are thankful?
- Tell us about something that someone has done for you for which you are grateful.
- What’s one experience for which you are most thankful this year?
- If you could share Thanksgiving with someone from your past who is not here who would it be and for what would you thank this person?
- Tell us about a great time of joy in your life for which you are grateful.
- What are some personality traits and character qualities in others for which you are thankful?
- Tell us about a turning point in your life and why you are thankful for it.
- If you could thank one person today—near or far, living or dead—for their influence on your life, who would that person be?
- Tell us about a lesson you learned in the past for which you are thankful.
- What’s the one book, article, or sermon you read or heard this year for which you are most thankful this year?
- For what do you feel most grateful to God today?
Afterward, look for an opportunity to conclude the discussion with a prayer of gratitude.