Now that the school year is almost over, baseball is in full swing, and pools are open for business, your church’s small groups are starting to calculate whether to continue meeting over the next three months. Figuring out summer is especially tricky for family groups. If they continue meeting every week, attendance will be spotty at best. If they stop meeting, it will be difficult to gain momentum again in the fall.
So…should groups take the summer off? Yes and no. It might be best for a group to stop weekly meetings through the summer but not stop meeting as a group. Now is the time to provide your groups with ideas to fill out their summer calendar. Here is how it could look for your small groups.
- June: Have groups plan one social event and one serving opportunity. June is a great month to get together for a picnic or a baseball game. It’s also ideal for pulling small groups together on a Saturday to go out and serve the city. Get both of these events on the calendar now before schedules are completely locked in.
- July: Encourage groups to take in the fireworks together on the 4th and serve a different Sunday ministry in the church. You can give your kids ministry workers a much needed break by helping groups volunteer for one or two Sundays in July.
- August: Organize groups to help a local school with back-to-school supplies for underprivileged students. They will also want to schedule their first “official” meeting back in late August. This meeting can be more social to acclimate any new members into the groups.
- September: Kick off weekly meetings again with a six-week all-church campaign. Smallgroup.com is a great resource for building the studies for that campaign. You can now preview it for free for 30 days!
If groups have a plan going into summer, they will not only continue as a group, but also have momentum for the fall.
Chris Surratt is a ministry consultant and coach with over 22 years of experience serving the local church. Chris served on the Executive Team at Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, and was on staff at Seacoast Church in Charleston, SC, for 15 years. He also manages SmallGroup.com for LifeWay Christian Resources. Chris’s first book, Small Groups For The Rest Of Us: How to Design Your Small Groups System to Reach the Fringes, was just released by Thomas Nelson. You can follow his blog at chrissurratt.com or follow him on Twitter @chrissurratt.