Summer is the perfect time to change things up with your small group. Since groups don’t formally meet, the summer is intended to provide a break while giving flexibility to each group. The key is connecting with your group in new and creative ways. It’s true–absence makes the heart grow fonder. This is especially true in the life and ministry of small groups. Rest allows your soul to catch up to your body. We need rhythms of rest.
Rather than meeting every week throughout the year, taking a break builds anticipation and increases momentum. When you take a break, you have more to discuss when you get back together. Time apart motivates people to be more committed and engaged when your group gathers together.
You’re not a machine. God created you to need regular rhythms of rest to stay healthy. This is true physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and relationally. You are wired in a way that rest helps you recharge. This is why we take one week off each month. This is why we stop for six weeks over the holidays. And yes, this is why we take a break during the summer. We are committed to maintaining rhythms of rest in small groups.
DISCIPLESHIP IS HOLISITICUse the summer to connect in new ways and share experiences with your small group. Getting outside of the living room and engaging in new activities can pave the way for God to work in new ways. Summer is also a great way to engage families and involve the children in your small group.
SET MINIMUM GOALSInstead of trying to do too many things with your small group over the summer, make minimum goals that are specific and attainable. Consider meeting with your whole group once a month for a cookout. Or consider meeting one-on-one with one person in your group or getting together with just the guys or ladies.
RELATIONSHIPS DON’T STOPAs your group meets less frequently, you can’t rely on group meetings to communicate prayer requests and important information. This means you will need to use other forms of communication to stay connected with your group. Send a group text, email prayer requests or download an app to help you stay connected with your group. This is especially helpful when people are traveling.
ENCOURAGE MUTUAL MINISTRYEncourage every person in your small group to connect with one person or one couple from the group. Don’t try to force this by pairing people up, let your group gravitate toward one another and cultivate their own relationships.