This program explores how being spontaneous benefits our mental and emotional state.
This family game, combining Pictionary and Telephone, is fun with a group of people. Check this website for the instructions on how to play. Although not necessary, a game template that you can print is available.
Getting To Know
Ask the women to write on a post-it note 4 or 5 words to describe themselves. Place the words on the wall and have everyone guess which words describe each woman.
Have You Ever?
Encourage the women to be involved in a program at the corps that they’ve never participated in before. Maybe they’ve never packed bags in the food pantry or attended a Bible study at someone’s home.
Community Care Notes
Everyone loves getting a card in the mail. On slips of paper print the names of people who no longer come to the corps or of Salvationists who are serving overseas. Invite the women to pick a name from the bowl and then write a card to that person, reminding them that someone was thinking of them and decided to let them know.
Plan a potluck and encourage the women to prepare a food dish that is unique to their heritage or perhaps something they think is different from the norm. The goal is to serve food dishes that the women may never have tried before.
We’ve Always Done It This Way
Scripture: John 21:4-6
If you’ve ever been employed somewhere for a long time or attended a church for more than a decade, chances are you’ve heard someone say, “But we’ve always done it this way!” In fact, maybe you’re the person who said it. I know I have. The bottom line is that change is hard. We all get into a familiar pattern. Things are going well, and when life is good, why change? You may even had said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The picture we’re given of the disciples in the four gospels really makes me think that we’re not too different from them. At the end of the book of John, Jesus appears face to face to the disciples in the upper room after resurrection. Thomas famously has trouble believing that it’s Jesus until he feels the nail scars in His hands.
After Jesus meets the disciples in the upper room, He appears to them again—this time while they were fishing in the Sea of Galilee. Simon Peter decides to go fishing and the rest of the disciples join him. After an entire night of labor, their nets come up empty. Early the next morning, Jesus calls out from the shore and asks them if they’ve caught anything. They tell Him “no,” without realizing that it’s Jesus. He then tells them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. When they do, they have trouble pulling their nets into the boat because of the large number of fish. Almost immediately, John realizes that the man on the shore is Jesus. Just like the disciples’ experience, sometimes it takes a big sign from God to get our attention.
I think there are two main lessons to learn from the disciples and this miraculous story recorded in the book of John.
When we try to do things in our own strength, we often come up short. We can work hard and put all our energy into something, even spend a sleepless night or two, but if we think that we are strong enough to accomplish everything on our own, we’re mistaken. The apostle Paul speaks to this in 2 Corinthians. He writes: “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 2:19 NIV).
The disciples spent all night trying, but they didn’t catch a single fish. If it had been me in that boat, no one would have been surprised at the lack of success—but the disciples? Before Jesus called them to follow Him, several were fishermen. They spent years catching fish every single day, so to come up empty handed was a big deal. When Jesus stepped in and told them to try casting their nets on the other side, we see by the result that His power is made perfect in their weakness. When we feel defeated or when we’re tempted to think more highly of ourselves than we should, may we remember this lesson.
I don’t pretend to know what the disciples were thinking when Jesus told them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. In that situation, I would probably be skeptical. I might ask myself, “Is this actually going to work? I’ve been trying to catch fish all night and it’s just not working. How is putting the net on the other side of the boat going to help?” I think that we can learn from the disciples that responding to the Lord quickly is always a good idea.
Sometimes the ways in which God asks us to be obedient may seem a little strange. Sometimes it’s hard to hear God calling us to obedience because we’re stuck doing things the way we think they should be done—the way we’ve always done them. Maybe God is calling us to something new and we need to cast our nets, so to speak, on the other side of the boat.
In our walk with the Lord, let’s remember that trusting Him is the best thing we can do with our lives. He may call us to things that seem simple or scary or even don’t seem to make sense, but He is loving and good and we can trust Him.