Over a month ago we launched our summer term of small groups and have seen many unconnected people get connected into community. We've seen new friendships being made, families growing deeper in faith and lots of fun being had. We've seen many new leaders rise up to use their God-given gifts in leading and facilitating these groups. Praise God!
Summer doesn't have to be a time to hit cruise and watch your small group ministry fade. By using the three keys below, your summer small groups can soar.
#1 Think Outside the Box
In the fall and winter terms, all of our groups gather in homes, but in the summer we do a hybrid of both home groups and interest based groups that gather outside. Yes, many people are traveling during the summer, but I've found they are not all out of town at the same time. Therefore, think outside the box for ways to gather people into community. Hint: outdoors, fitness, BBQ's, etc.
"A church must grow larger and smaller at the same time. Larger through worship and smaller through small groups." – Rick Warren
#2 Recruit Leaders Who Are Hiding in the Shadows
Due to travel, several of our key hosts were unavailable to lead home groups this summer. Yet, because we had already been thinking outside" the box, it was easy to start identifying and recruiting leaders who were hiding in the shadows that might have been previously overlooked. Most of these leaders had experience in or a passion for one of our special interest groups or home group curriculums.
"Raising up new leaders is an intentional process, rooted in Biblical discipleship, that deepens peoples' commitment to Christ and His kingdom." – Andrew Mason
#3 Promote Groups With an Appeal to People's Summer Interests
Our special interest groups include: a geo-caching expedition group, a couple of softball groups, a mommies group, a bicycling group, a baking group, a motorcycle group, a mountain biking group, a couple of fitness groups and an intro to music group—all of which incorporate a quick time of prayer. Our home groups are video driven and topical based. If asked, I think most people would be very interested in this type of community. The focus is not so much promoting summer small groups, but promoting community, the outdoors and discipleship.
"When we have fun, we can invite people along who might not be ready to attend a Bible study or go to church, giving them an opportunity to begin building relationships with other people who are followers of Jesus." – Will Johnston
What else are you doing to cause your summer small groups to soar?
Derek Olson serves as Small Groups Pastor at Fairbanks First Assembly and is the Communications Director of the Small Group Network.
For the original article, visit smallgroupnetwork.com.
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