August is upon us. School days are fast approaching, along with fall and winter (already?). Vacations and savings have been spent, and plans are being made for the holidays—"Who's family is it this year, dear?"
Gasp! It's time for church to "start up" again after the summer break! But wait, we don't have enough time to prepare! It's way too soon!
Is this how you are feeling right about now? Are you looking at your calendar—that same calendar that was so busy from the summer activities—and wondering how and when you can get the group back together and up-and-running again?
First, the issue. There is usually a break, a period of relaxed schedules and social events. This is a reality of the large and small church, and new group churches or old-hand small group churches, since people are mentally taking a break during the summer months and/or looking for a defined "ending" and "beginning" to their activities for the year. This often includes their small group.
Many churches are very intentional in setting and acknowledging that break. Others, like myself, like to believe that the church will not "shut down" during the summer and we must keep events and activities going no matter what! Well, the church did not "shut down" but it did relax and it was harder to get people to commit to a consistent or regular schedule for the church and for group.
Our small group on Tuesday evenings tried switching to weekends, tried more casual events, tried meeting every-other-week … We eventually resorted to an occasional study and prayer time, with less formal "connections" during the summer: picnics, ice cream for the families, sitting outdoors and visiting instead of Bible study. We also resorted to (and I strongly ...