Over a month ago we launched our summer term of small groups & have seen many un-connected people get connected into community! We’ve seen new friendships being made, families growing deeper in faith & lots of fun being had! We’ve seen many new leaders rise up to use their God-given gifts in leading & facilitating these groups! Praise God!
Summer doesn’t have to be a time to hit cruise & watch your small group ministry fade! By using the 3 keys below, your summer small groups can soar!
#1 Think “Outside” the Box
In the fall & winter terms, all of our groups gather in homes, but in the summer we do a hybrid of both home groups & interest based groups that gather outside! Yes, many people are traveling during the summer, however I’ve found most are not all out-of-town at the same time! Therefore, think outside the box of ways to gather people into community! Hint: Outdoors, fitness, BBQ’s, etc
“A church must grow larger and smaller at the same time. Larger through worship and smaller through small groups.” – Rick Warren
#2 Recruit Leaders Who are Hiding in the Shadows
Due to travel, several of our key hosts were unavailable to lead home groups this summer. Yet, because we had already been thinking “Outside” the box, it was easy to start identifying & recruiting leaders who were hiding in the shadows that might have been previously overlooked. Most of these leaders had experience in or a passion for one of our special interest groups or home group curriculums.
“Raising up new leaders is an intentional process, rooted in Biblical discipleship, that deepens peoples’ commitment to Christ and His kingdom.” – Andrew Mason
#3 Promote Groups With an Appeal to People’s Summer Interests
Our special interest groups include: a geo-caching expedition group, a couple of softball groups, a mommies group, a bicycling group, a baking group, a motorcycle group, a mountain biking group, a couple of fitness groups & an intro to music group – all of which incorporate a quick time of prayer! Our home groups are video driven & topical based. If asked, I think most people would be very interested in this type of community! The focus is not so much promoting summer small groups, but promoting community, the outdoors & discipleship!
“When we have fun, we can invite people along who might not be ready to attend a Bible study or go to church, giving them an opportunity to begin building relationships with other people who are followers of Jesus.” – Will Johnston
Q What else are you doing to cause your summer small groups to soar?
Derek loves espresso, the outdoors and is passionate about building biblical community! He has been active in small group ministry since 2004 & is honored to serve as Pastor of Small Group Network Development at Saddleback Church.