You may have been blindsided when you read the title of this blog post. If you grew up in a church situation where the amount of times per week you showed up for church events was the marker of a growing Christian, then I’m not surprised.
On the other hand, at least in my estimation, making mature disciples by creating a healthy Christian community is the goal of group life. With that in mind, I would suggest that the following are good reasons to cancel a group meeting:
- The group is going to go help the poor or serve in some other kind of ministry setting.
- The group needs a good dose of fun. Cancel the regular meeting and go bowling or go to a movie.
- The group has become too self-focused. Cancel the meeting and ask group members to take a pre-Christian person or couple to dinner.
- The group is at a point where they know one another well when involved in spiritual matters but haven’t really experienced one another doing something recreational. Cancel your small group meeting and do card night or a game night. Knowing only one side of someone is not knowing someone at all, especially if they come and put on their “spiritual mask” each time the group meets.
Rick Howerton is the Small Groups and Discipleship Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. He has authored many small group studies, is a highly sought-after trainer and speaker, and is the author of Destination Community: Small Group Ministry Manual as well as A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic. He is also the co-author of Disciples Path: A Practical Guide to Disciple Making and Countdown: Launching and Leading Transformational Groups. But Rick’s deepest passion and his goal in life is to see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.”