What's your group doing for the next three months?
Most groups do one of two things over the summer: either stop meeting until September, or keep going even if attendance is inconsistent. Both options may be unhealthy, however.
Among the primary purposes of small groups are the building of relationships, caring for one another, and reaching out to unbelievers. None of these purposes cease to be important from June through August. One of the best descriptions of a small group is that it is like family. A family does not stop being a family over the summer.
But some small group participants point to reasons not to meet. Many people go on vacations or fill their schedules with activities through the summer months, and so attendance can be shaky. Some weeks it doesn't even seem worth meeting. Besides, as the leader of the group, you need a rest—and there are lots of other things you'd like to be doing when it's warm outside.
So what do you do? You can still use the summer months productively. Use any or a combination of the following ideas.
- Get a large calendar for June, July, and August and put it on a wall or easel. Look at your regular meeting nights each week and cross out any dates that most of the people in the group will be on vacation or out of town. Plan to meet the rest of the time.
- Suspend the Bible study. Plan fun summertime activities together to which you can easily invite neighbors. Here are a few ideas our group came up with. You can brainstorm some of your own with your group.
- Have picnics in the backyard.
- Play games such as Pictionary on a white board.
- Go to baseball games together and invite neighbors.
- Go to open-air concerts in the park and invite neighbors.
- Go to a July 4 fireworks show together with neighbors.
- Later in summer, invite neighbors to a Christian concert such as Michael W. Smith or Amy Grant.