Ahh, the weather is getting better. It’s not just tolerable; it is downright enjoyable to be outside. And so we take advantage of it. We get outside. We work in the yard that has been neglected for months. Go to the park. Go to the lake or beach. Attend kids’ soccer and baseball games. We have so many reasons to be outside.
Even on Sunday.
If your group meets on the weekend, you know the challenge that hits groups this time of year: spring fever. I don’t fault people for wanting to enjoy this time of year, nor do I think people need to be at church every time the doors are open. At the same time, our churches are facing a cultural shift that makes church and group involvement just another one of many options on the weekend. “Sure, we’ll be there—unless we get the change to go to the lake … my kid has a Sunday game … my yard demands my attention.”
Here are four ways you can still disciple your group during this season.
- Get in touch. Use email, text, or an actual phone call. Even if they’ve traveled to the beach, you can still reach out. A quick contact simply communicates, “You’re important to me.”
- Get them reading. If your group is reading a Bible book or another book together, encourage them to continue reading. No preaching needed—“YOU’D BETTER KEEP READING!” The best encouragement can come from a short text or email sharing an insight you gained in your own reading or personal study.
- Get together. Since many in your groups are already grilling outside and going to games or the park, why not do it together? Plan a group cookout or get group tickets for a baseball game. This is a great way to build and strengthen relationships.
- Get out. Meet outside for your Bible study. If you’re at church, haul chairs outside. Use the outdoor seating at the coffee shop where you meet. Sit on the back porch. Group members get a double dose: it meets their need for discipleship and their desire to enjoy the weather.
Promote these approaches in your group. You could even see attendance and group participation increase. And it’s a great way to get guests plugged in. I love the idea that my group is “doing life together,” and that can include “doing spring together.”
Lynn Pryor is a team leader for adult resources at Lifeway. He and his wife, Mary, lead a Bible study group for young adults and have survived raising two sons to adulthood. A graduate of Southwestern Seminary, Lynn has previously pastored and served churches in Texas. Follow him on his blog at lynnhpryor.com.