Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Feeling stretched to the edge of my (limited) creative powers...

...Trying to come up with some discussion points on "God Is Enough" for our Book Chat this Saturday. I don't know how many people are coming, I didn't want this to be a stressful thing (just a few women chatting about a book that was pretty enjoyable to read), yet I feel a bit anxious about how it will go. Just needing a couple of thoughts in case the discussion stops or gets off track.

Then I have to prepare an RE lesson for Jesus Club (the group of kids at the local special school) next week on the message of Easter. Not a difficult topic, but the audience need it simplified to younger child level without it looking too much like a preschool activity.

My creative ability isn't much good at the best of times. Give me something already prepared and I can organise it and run it, but having to invent things on my own isn't a strength.

But maybe these are challenges that God is using to extend me beyond my comfort zone.


Deb L said...

I had the same experience with my Book Chat. I thought maybe three women would reply but lots more did and then suddenly I was managing a much bigger event than I'd planned. And such a diverse group too - women I never dreamed would be interested wanted to be involved!

Anyway, for what it's worth, I email out a discussion starter question about a week before the night. That gives everyone time to prepare something and by the time we go around the group, with lots of in between discussions, we have chatted the evening away.

For example, I asked each woman to decide on just one sentence in the book that sums up the rest of the book for her - good or bad. Then to explain why. By the time everyone shares their sentences, we've covered most of the heart of the book.

Another time, we read a book that turned out to be quite controversial. I asked everyone to turn up in a top that expressed the way they felt about the book and explain why. Someone wore a patch-work style because they'd loved some bits and hated others. Someone wore a top with a picture of a vine on it because she felt she'd grown from reading the book. I wore my top inside out. Someone else wore bright red. It was a cheesy concept but it actually worked really well with that kind of book.

Any question that allows for a broad range of opinions and that asked them to sum up what they thought of the book works well. I've found that was enough in terms of time (depending on the size of the group) and it also keeps things more informal as I didn't want to be "running" a study-type night.

Don't know if that's at all helpful. Anyway, I hope it's a really, really great night. Looking forward to hearing how it all goes.

Karen said...

That's really helpful Deb. Thanks so much for the tips.

Numbers are starting to drop off a little for Saturday afternoon so now I'm feeling a bit's the end of a long school term and I think people are tired. But we will get off to some kind of start and see how we go. That discussion starter question idea might be a way to get people's interest back up again for future books (I think it may have flagged a bit because it's been a while since the book went on our church bookstall). My other theory on the drop-outs is that they haven't actually finished reading the book....although I would be happy for them to still come along and chat about where they got up to....