Most groups take a break during the holidays. The Christmas season can be especially busy with parties, programs, and travel. Even groups that do not take a break (yes, such groups exist) experience a significant drop in the number of people present.
Even if your group is not physically meeting, you can “meet” in other ways. That’s especially important for many people, because the holidays can be stressful: extra family coming to town, the hassles of traveling, dealing with difficult relatives, or grieving because the holidays are a big reminder that a beloved family member is no longer there.
Reaching out during those times can be a great encouragement. Consider it an act of discipleship. We should never take a break from discipleship.
- Stay in touch. Use email, text, or an actual phone call. Even if they’ve traveled across country, you can still reach out. A quick contact simply communicates, “You’re important to me.”
- Pray. As you reach out, ask if there is anything you can pray for them. Since holidays can be a stressful time for some families, your prayers can make a difference.
- Encourage discipleship. If your group is reading a Bible book or another book together, encourage them to continue reading. No preaching needed—“YOU’D BETTER KEEPING 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. If some in your group have no family or travel plans, meet for coffee. This does not need to be a full-blown Bible study. Just gather to visit. Holidays can be a sad time for many people, so if “a small group from your small group” gets together for coffee, it can do wonders for someone—and for the life of your group.
I love the idea that my group is “doing life together,” and that can include “doing holidays 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.