1.Use a Hymn. Go online and find a high-quality choir rendition of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”
2.Distribute the Lyrics and Play the Song. Ask group members to follow along on the sheet as you show the choir singing. I’m told by music professionals that it’s legal to make copies of the sheet music and lyrics for group distribution when there’s no profit-making involved or if the group is associated with a church or school which purchases the music for choir or class usage.
3.Discuss the Song Lyrics. Ask: Which words or phrases in the song mean most to you right now? Why? Words special to me include “Thy compassions they fail not,” “Morning by morning new mercies I see,” “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,” and “All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.”
4.Devotional. Give a 10-12 minute devotional from God’s Word on the theme of God’s faithfulness, and the Bible’s call to remember His past deeds. The following Bible texts provide fuel for your thinking:
*Lamentations 3:22-25 Words from this passage apparently inspired the writer of “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
*Psalm 145 This Psalm teems with commands to share God’s mighty deeds with others, to tell them how He has acted on our behalf. Especially see verses 4-7 and 11-12.
*Psalm 106 God links Israel’s rebellion and moral erosion to forgetfulness of God’s past deeds. In verses 7-8, 13, 21-22 he lamented their short memories.
*”I am the God Who…” Often in Old Testament books, this phrase is used and followed by mention of a particular thing God did for His people throughout the history of the nation.
*Psalm 136 This Psalm of thanksgiving, used in public gatherings of God’s people, continually cites a specific thing God did or a particular way He had intervened for His people (such as “led His people through the wilderness” and “divided the Red Sea”). Then each recitation from history is followed by this refrain: “For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Clearly, God wanted them to recall His past performances and celebrate corporately.
*Articulate this principle: Faith for current trials and stressors is rooted in the past. Reciting God’s past deeds (answered prayers, material provisions, sustenance during trials) provides examples of God’s goodness and deepens trust for current dilemmas we face.
5. Testimonies Ask several volunteers in the group to share brief stories of God’s past faithfulness, which they’ve observed or personally experienced.
6. Prayers of Gratitude and Praise Once again play the “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” song with which you launched this session. As they listen, ask members to offer silent prayers of gratitude for past blessings they’ve received. When the song finishes, pray together as you invite individuals to finish this sentence aloud: “Father I thank You for….”
I’ve experienced this process with a group. Those 35-40 minutes became one of the most meaningful small group experiences I’ve ever witnessed.
In what specific ways has the Lord demonstrated His faithfulness to you? With whom or in what venue does He want you to “eagerly utter the memory of His abundant goodness” (Psalm 145:6-7)?