For a lot of us, summer means more time with family. Kids are home from school and family vacations are the norm. We also tend to have a bit more margin than during the other seasons. As small group leaders, that extra time spent with family should also include our group members. Your small group should be looked at as a family, not a function. With a function, we can take breaks and come back to it when we feel like it. With family, there is no such thing as extended breaks.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take a break from hosting weekly group meetings. Hosting a Bible study every week (or even bi-weekly) can be grueling, so you deserve to take a breather for a couple of months. However, there are many ways to stay connected to our “family” during the summer months without gathering as consistently for a study.
1. Have fun!
Go to a ballgame. Celebrate the Fourth of July fireworks together. Get together for a picnic. Race cars at an amusement park. We can sometimes suck all of the fun out of group life, and summer is a great time to put it back in.
2. Go on a short-term missions trip together.
Nothing bonds a group better than being on mission together. The trip does not have to be international—there are massive needs in communities all around us. Partner with an organization that is already making a difference and take your group on a weekend mission trip.
3. Serve a local missions organization.
There are food pantries, youth centers, and other missional organizations in almost every community. Pick out a Saturday in June or July to serve as a group. If it’s a great experience with an organization making a real difference, commit to an ongoing relationship.
4. Do an online study.
Choose a video-enhanced study on smallgroup.com. But instead of meeting together every week for the discussion, set up a Facebook group page to go through it online. Your group members can watch the video on their own, and then post comments on the page. A great study to try this summer would be “Making Space” by Jeff Vanderstelt.
By getting creative and thinking outside of the box, your group family can still stay engaged in community this summer.