If you are looking for an energizing ritual for your small group, try spiritual aerobics! During a recent Bible study, our ladies’ group formed this habit at the opening of each session and found the practice to be invigorating and encouraging. Here’s how it works.
1) Members stand in a circle.
2) Leader instructs members to close their eyes and slowly stretch their arms over their heads.
3) Leader then instructs members to slowly breathe in deeply through their noses while rising on their toes.
4) Leader instructs members to hold their breath to the count of seven, then asks members to slowly exhale the air through their mouths.
5) Leader says: “And all together we say, I choose to praise the Lord. I choose to rejoice in Him. I choose His peace.”
6) Leader closes aerobic session with a simple “Amen” and proceeds with the study.
The above technique lends itself especially well to a study on Philippians, chapter four, which focuses on joy, peace, and contentment in a believer’s life. However, the exercise can be used with any study and statements changed to reinforce the theme. For instance, a study focusing on Ephesians, chapter one has a wealth of rich “I am” statements from which to draw. The leader might instruct members to say together, I am chosen in Christ. Because of Him, I am holy. I am blameless. I am the praise of His glory. I am redeemed through His blood. I am forgiven. I am sealed by the Holy Spirit. I am an heir of the King. Using key words and phrases from a Scripture passage aids Bible memory and can be used in conjunction with the group’s memorization program.
As a group leader, I encourage members to practice this spiritual exercise at home during the week. One new believer who works as a geriatric aid took the admonition a step further. She reported back to our group that she tried the routine with her elderly patients with positive results.
Since God designed us as complete beings—body, mind, soul and spirit—this exercise works well for ministering to the total person. What we tell ourselves everyday is what we will believe. And belief leads to action. What better practice for us as Christians than to actively participate in hiding God’s truth in our minds, so that we can truly live for Him!
Eileen Rife, author of Second Chance (OakTara), speaks to women’s groups, encouraging them to discover who they are in Christ and what part they play in His grand story. www.eileenrife.com, www.eileen-rife.blogspot.com.