Here’s a powerful exercise you can do with your student small group. I did this with my high school small group last night and judging from the text messages I got from almost all of them today, last night’s exercise really sent a message to them. Here’s how it goes:
Give your students a pen and a piece of blank paper. You need to be in a room that has a light switch that is close to you, and if the lights were turned off the room would be completely dark. (This will make sense to you later)
Tell them they have five minutes to live, so here is there chance to tell the important people in their life how they feel about them. Tell them to use to pen and paper to write a letter to parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends, whoever is really important in their life, and tell them how important they are to them and that they love them. Use either a stop watch or a stop watch app on your smart phone. Let them know when the five minutes begins.
After one minute, in a loud voice let them know one minute has gone by and they now have four minutes to live. You will notice they start writing a little faster. Wait about another 30 seconds and then turn off the lights in the room, making the room completely dark. When you do that you’re going to hear your students say things like, “Hey, I wasn’t finished!”. That’s when you say, in a loud voice, “That’s because you don’t get a five minute notice, you usually don’t get any warning! At anytime you can be gone, or someone you love can be gone! If you haven’t taken the time before to let the important people in your life know you care about them, they might never know so what are you waiting for??”
In my group, and I’m sure in yours at this point you can hear a pin drop, and I had a few guys in tears. It’s a powerful lesson in life but it works. It opens the door to a lot of discussion afterwards.
I’d love to hear comments back how this works in your group.