Spring is probably my favorite time of year. Temperatures are starting to get warmer. Grass is starting to turn green again. Trees, shrubs, and flowers are in bloom, and birds are chirping. It’s almost as if God is begging us to come outside and explore the beauty He created. Unfortunately for many, those blooming trees, shrubs, and flowers create pollen that makes time outside miserable. Nonetheless, spending time outdoors is worth the misery. Maybe that’s why it’s affectionately referred to as “spring fever.”
So what happens when spring fever hits your small group? It’s going to happen. You know it will. Families will travel for spring break. Baseball and soccer seasons start. Cheer camps. Dance recitals. Saturday hikes and picnics. Spring brings with it business. That means your small group is likely to be a bit less engaged than during the winter months. Do what you can to keep this from happening. Here are a few ways to do that.
- Be flexible. If the day or time you currently meet won’t work during the spring, consider moving it to accommodate your group. For example, if you normally meet during the week, try a time right before or after church on Sunday.
- Develop new leaders. If the group leader is going to be out for a few weeks during the spring or will miss a few sessions, train a substitute. This new leader will then cover the gaps throughout the spring (and summer) and be better prepared to start a new group of their own in the future.
- Find a mission. Get the group more involved in the missional aspect of discipleship. Volunteer to do a service project: serve at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen, clean up the trash on a neighborhood’s streets, plant a garden in an underprivileged community, help single moms with yard work, etc. The spring season offers many opportunities to serve.
Some people will miss a session or two because of vacations. That’s okay. In fact, it may be beneficial. When the most talkative people in your group are absent, it gives the quiet ones a better chance to speak. When the host home is not an option, it gives someone else a chance to show hospitality. These little challenges offer big opportunities for disciples to develop.
Spring is a season of growth. Do all you can to keep your group on the right track, developing and maturing as disciples of Christ.
Matt Morris is a Brand Manager at Lifeway Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee. He has served in ministry for over 11 years. Matt is married to Carmen and they have twins, Hudson and Harper. Matt and his family are members of First Baptist Church Mount Juliet, where he serves as a deacon.