Who doesn’t love the fall season? College and pro football games are back. The air is a little more crisp in the morning. Sweaters and boots can finally come out of the boxes in the attic. It’s a great time of the year! Fall can also be a productive season for your group, where group members have settled back into a normal routine after the chaos of summer and are ready to engage in community. Here are few things that you can do as a leader to build on the momentum fall naturally brings.
1. Choose a Bible study on community.
One of the primary purposes for having a small group is to create community, and people are naturally pulled toward building relationships during this season. This is a great time to take a few weeks to study what biblical community looks like. You can easily choose a study from smallgroup.com, or get ideas from the options on this list.
2. Add life by adding people to your community.
You’ve probably heard the Benjamin Franklin quote: “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” While that’s not always true (the guest part), it is true that groups can go bad after too much time together. The dynamic of a small group can become stale after a few years together unless new life is introduced into the group. This fall is the perfect time to reinvigorate the conversations by inviting that neighbor to your small group.
3. Practice community through service.
This season offers many natural opportunities to serve as a group. You can serve Thanksgiving meals at local shelter. You can organize a back-to-school drive to help an under resourced elementary school. You can pull together as a group to support a mission like Operation Christmas Child. Don’t let this fall pass without giving your members the chance to serve someone else.
4. Build community through having fun.
The fall season is fun! Lean into it by planning fun activities to do as a group. Take a hayride at a local county fair. Build a bonfire and sing silly camp songs as you roast s’mores. Have a pumpkin carving contest and award the best one with a gift card. Host an ugly sweater contest for a group meeting in December. Almost nothing bonds a group quicker than laughter!
Chris Surratt is a ministry consultant and coach with over 22 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 just released by Thomas Nelson. You can follow his blog at chrissurratt.com or follow him on Twitter @chrissurratt.