Your Group May Need A Vacation When . . .

Sometimes a vacation is the perfect solution to a small-group problem.

I have not always been a fan of groups taking vacations. However, the longer I am in ministry with groups, the more I relax and understand the benefit of groups taking short or extended breaks. The more I understanding the benefits of groups taking a vacation, the more I am willing to encourage groups to take a break under specific situations.

Your group may need a vacation during seasons of the year when group members have difficulty in attending group meetings. The summer months and the month of December are some of the more common months during which groups take a hiatus. Taking a break during the month of December takes much of the pressure off the holiday season when there are so many other demands and activities that take place in our churches and communities. During summer months many folks take their vacations, need to spend time doing yard work, and desire to spend time with recreation activities that can only happen during summer. During these times you may see group members' attendance become sporadic, and rather than making people feel guilty, a vacation may be just what's needed.

Your group may need a vacation to provide a distinct break in the purpose or function of your group. Groups can lose their focus and purpose. The purpose of a group determined by the leadership of a church can change – even when the group doesn't want it to. Taking a break can assist in giving the old purpose some closure and provide space between the memory of the old and the memories to be experienced by the new.

Your group may need a vacation to keep the group fresh. Vacations can take a variety of shapes and forms. It's easy for groups to get in a rut. One of the best ways to get out of those ruts is to change things up a little bit even if it's for a short while. It doesn't mean you take a break from the group meeting altogether; it may just mean taking a break from your normal meeting time and normal meeting agenda. You may consider meeting once or twice a month for fun and fellowship instead of meeting as you normally would. The idea with this type of vacation is to provide something away from the norm. Go camping, go to a sporting event, gather in someone's home for games, share a meal together, do an outreach project. The ideas for fun and fellowship are endless.

Not every group needs to take a vacation. If group attendance is strong and growing, and has momentum behind it, then a vacation may be counter-productive for the group. The group leader simply needs to be sensitive to the collective attitude of the group and the level of commitment in attendance the members are placing with the group.

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