The process of leading a small group can sometimes take all of the fun out of it. After all, think about all of the administration details you have to deal with.
- Where will the group meet?
- What day of the week will it meet?
- Who will be invited?
- Who will bring the food?
- How many members are gluten-free?
- What will the study be?
I happen to enjoy putting those details together, but most people don’t. If you’re not careful, your group can quickly become a list of tasks to complete, not a community to be enjoyed. I believe that your group can and should be fun, and here are three reasons why.
1. Everyone likes fun!
Quickly think through your top five memories in life. I bet they all involved something fun. We were designed by God to enjoy life and the people around us. Why would we not include it in a weekly gathering of friends at our home?
2. Fun will make them come back.
Most people will not return to a boring group–no matter how great the study is. I always judge how healthy a small group is by how much laughter there is during a group meeting. If you want people to go from visitors to members, make sure there’s something to enjoy at the meeting.
3. Biblical community is supposed to be fun.
You can see fun and laughter throughout the Bible. They were constantly throwing feasts to celebrate something God had done for them! That’s another reason to always have good food at your group. Nothing brings people together faster than a great meal. 🙂
So, now that we know there should be fun in our groups, how do we go about making that happen. Here are a three tips to get the fun back in.
1. Set the expectation for fun.
You can kick off the group by planning something fun at the beginning. Meet at a restaurant or a TopGolf for your first meeting. That will let the group know that this group is not just about the study. You can also spell it out in your group covenant at one of your first meetings. A line item can be something like, “This group will value having fun together.”
2. Plan for fun.
Go ahead and set aside at least one meeting a quarter for just having fun. This could be going to a ballgame, having a picnic, going river rafting, or having a game night. A healthy amount of competition can bond a group for a long time! You will also want to build time into the weekly meeting for fun. The first and last 20 minutes of the group time should be for just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company.
3. Be a fun person to be around.
The tone of fun starts with the leader. If you are too tied up in the details of pulling a group off every week, the group members will follow your lead. The fun starts with the hospitality displayed. Are you a smiling face at the door, or a stressed out group host? That attitude will set the atmosphere for the entire night.
Chris Surratt is a ministry consultant and coach with over 23 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 recently released by Thomas Nelson. You can follow his blog at chrissurratt.com or follow him on Twitter @chrissurratt.