Easter has come and gone, and now the countdown is on for summer vacations and activities to kick in. The temptation for a lot of leaders at this point would be to mail in these last few weeks and let the group slide into June. You can avoid that natural slump by doing these four things before Memorial Day.
1. Choose a 6-week study that follows up on Easter.
Easter is always a wonderful time to celebrate the death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Now is the perfect time to follow that celebration with a study that takes a deeper look at the impact Jesus has in our world and lives today. My small group is starting the study, Jesus Among Secular Gods, by Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale. The Forgotten Jesus by Robby Gallaty would be another great study to check out.
2. Start planning fun group activities for the summer.
Just because your group may not meet every week during the summer months does not mean that you should stop meeting as a group. Take a portion of an upcoming group meeting to discuss fun things for the group to do each month during the summer. Go to a baseball game. Meet for a picnic. Go whitewater rafting. Take in the 4th of July fireworks together. The summer is a perfect time for your group to laugh and play together!
3. Start researching a summer missions opportunity for the group.
Ask one of the group members to start looking for an organization to partner with on a weekend during the summer. Your church may already have opportunities or a list of organizations you can start with. For example, volunteering to help build a house with Habitat for Humanity is a great way for your group to bond and serve your community at the same time.
4. Choose an online study to do during the summer.
Choose a study on smallgroup.com. But instead of meeting together every week for the discussion, set up a Facebook group page to go through it online. Your group members can watch the video on their own, and then post comments on the page. This will allow the group members to do the study at their own pace, but still participate in the discussion. A great study to check out is Onward, by Russell Moore. All of the videos and study guides are available at smallgroup.com.
Let’s take these last few weeks of spring and prepare our groups for a strong summer!
Chris Surratt is a ministry consultant and coach with over 23 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 is also the Small Group Specialist 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 recently released by Thomas Nelson. You can follow his blog at chrissurratt.com or follow him on Twitter @chrissurratt.