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Generosity Cycle Group Activities and Ideas

Generosity Cycle Group Activities and Ideas

Here are some creative ideas for group activities designed to enhance discussions about gratitude and generosity.

Thankful Statements

Many congregations have a Sharing and Caring or Prayer Needs time before or during their worship experience. One simple idea is to ask members to also share statements of thanks or to collect praise reports during this time. 

Gratitude Tree 

  • Arrange tree branches in a colorful planter.
  • Cut out paper leaves in different colors, shapes, and sizes.
  • Hand out leaves and pens or markers to all participants. (Note this can also be done with post it notes).
  • Have everyone write down something that they’re grateful for.
  • Attach the leaves to the tree branches.

Gratitude Quilt

  • Have a large space on a wall available or a large bulletin board.
  • Give each person a colored square piece of paper.
  • Ask them to draw something they are thankful for.
  • Mount each square on the wall or bulletin board to create a gratitude quilt.

Gratitude Rocks

  • Hand out rocks to each participant
  • Provide these instructions:
    • Carry this rock around in your pocket or leave it a place where you will see it throughout the day.
    • Whenever you see it or touch it, pause to think about at least one thing you are grateful for. 
    • When you take the stone out of your pocket or at the end of the day, take a moment to remember the things that you were grateful for throughout the day. 
    • When you put it on or in your pocket again in the morning, repeat this process to remember what you were grateful for yesterday. 

Gratitude Prompts 

These prompts provide a way to begin a gratitude statement, with infinite possibilities for completion. They cover multiple senses, colors, people, and things. The goal is for people to identify at least three things in each category that they are thankful for.  Add your own ideas to this list.

  • I’m grateful for three things I hear
  • I’m grateful for three things I see
  • I’m grateful for three things I smell 
  • I’m grateful for three things I touch/feel
  • I’m grateful for these three things I taste 
  • I’m grateful for these three blue things
  • I’m grateful for these three friend
  • I’m grateful for these three family members 

Gratitude Reflection 

Reflection is an important part of mindfulness and the cultivation of a sense of self awareness. Ask participants to follow these instructions:

  1. Settle yourself in a relaxed posture. 
  2. Take a few deep, calming breaths to relax and center. 
  3. Let your awareness move to your immediate environment: all the things you can smell, taste, touch, see, hear. 
  4. Say to yourself: “Thank you God for these things.” 
  5. Bring to mind those people in your life to whom you are close: your friends, family, spouse or partner.
  6. Say to yourself: “Thank you God for these people.” 
  7. Turn your attention to yourself: you are a unique individual, blessed with imagination, the ability to communicate, to learn from the past and plan for the future.
  8. Say to yourself: “Thank you God for who I am.” 
  9. Rest in the realization that life is a precious gift from God. 
  10. Say to yourself: “Thank you God for all your many blessings.”

Object Lesson - Donuts

Hold up a donut and share these thoughts:

“If I gave you a donut, I bet you’d be pretty happy. Wouldn’t it be sad if you focused your attention on the hole in the middle? If you did that, you’d be drawing your attention to what isn’t there rather than what is there. Sadly, some people go through life noticing what they are missing and they never really notice the good things they do have. There’s a little saying or poem we can recite to remind us of this.”

“As you go through life make this your goal – look at the donut and not the hole.”

Object Lesson - Bubbles and Balloons

Blow some bubbles.

“Sometimes the things we want are like bubbles. They shoot out into the air and look very fun and beautiful.”

Blow some bubbles.

“However, when we forget what we already have, our feelings start to sink.”

Blow some bubbles 

“When we forget to be grateful, our desires burst. Most of our desires are short term. We often buy the things we want and then stop caring about them because there’s something else we want.”

Blow some bubbles.

“Sometimes, we can enjoy these other things for a while too.”

Catch a bubble on your bubble blower.

“Bubbles are fun for a while. But they always break.”

“But there are other things in life that we often take for granted, that we forget to be grateful for, that fill our lives and bring lasting happiness.”

Blow a little into a balloon, then pinch it.

“Like our freedom.”

Blow into the balloon, and pinch it again.

“Like the people who love us.” 

Blow into the balloon, then pinch again.

“Like our health.”

Blow into the balloon, then pinch again.

“And most importantly, for a God who loves and blesses us beyond measure.”

Tie a knot in the balloon and toss it into the air.