by Jared Musgrove
It can be commonly accepted in our groups world that there are times of year that are just not good time to launch a group. Spring Break is one. After a late Easter going into Summer is another one all together. I understand the tension point. And while it’s true that these may not be optimal times, they’re not impossible times. It might even be part of the plan.
For years we’ve been trying to whiteboard our way out of the alleged conundrum of starting a group during one of these periods. We will probably keep trying. Because if you have one group, you have one group. They are all unique.
So as we head into the months when our people’s vacation, sports, and fireworks schedules reign over weekday evenings, don’t abandon the basics. I propose to you that we stick to what it time-tested in group life season after season, even if that season is after Easter.
Why Does This Group Exist and Meet?
A group that meets after Easter should have the same rhyme and reason (even if the rhythm of meeting is different) as a group that starts any other time of the year. Can this new group answer why the group exists and meets? What is the compelling biblical reason you are giving them all year round? That will be what carries a group through the dog days of Summer.
Who Is the Leader(s)?
An identified leader or leaders is essential to the success of a group, in season or out. Are these leaders committed, calendared, and have conviction about the group’s purpose and time together?
When and Where Do We Meet?
“Even if three people come, we are still having group.” Let this be the resonating resolve regardless of the season. Have that place and time set. Don’t decide to have group or not by consensus. Even if three people come, have group. This builds expectation and solidifies group time as a calendared constant.
What Do We Follow and Submit To?
In season and out, God is still at work in your group. Even if three people come, the Scriptures can be opened, read, considered, prayed through, members prayed over, and spiritual fellowship can be had. Because the group submits to the Lordship of Jesus Christ unity may be had, Christian practice and partnership deepened, and the biblical purpose of your groups furthered.
How Do I Participate?
Is the connection to group life in your church as clear after Easter as it is the rest of the year? This also shouldn’t change. If there are system considerations, get creative and still capitalize on the fact that people are coming and want(!) to be in a group. Make sure their pathway is straight as it would be any other time of the year.
Sometimes a smaller group can be a blessing of warmth and intimacy for a season. And even if numbers are down in your group for a month or so, who knows what the LORD has in store to grow you in gospel partnership together. He put these people in your group for this time in this Summer season. He has work to do. This group that begins after Easter was His plan all along for the spiritual growth of those in it. Including you.