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At the beginning of this season, I wrote about Ways to Rally Your Small Group for Fall. Now as we near then end of the year, it’s time to discuss ending the season well. Regardless of whether your group is seasonal or on-going, most groups will take some sort of a winter break, even if it’s just a week or two for Christmas. With that in mind, we can either end the season incidentally or on purpose. Here are three ideas to give the end of the season purpose and give your group momentum for the season ahead:
Many groups have some sort of Christmas party with ugly sweaters, hot chocolate, and gift exchanges. These are fun times for your group to connect, but what does it look like to give them purpose? You have just experienced an entire season together, and God has been moving in your midst. Give your group an opportunity to share how God has been speaking to them, challenging them, or blessing them during the Fall season, and then celebrate together. If you’ve been doing a single study or message series, this is a great chance to debrief and hear what everyone’s big take-aways have been.
There are so many opportunities to serve together during the holiday season. If your church participates in a church-wide ministry like Operation Christmas Child or Advent Conspiracy, talk about what it would be like to participate together. There may even be opportunities to serve together during Christmas services. Last year, one group from our church decided they would be in charge of hot chocolate for our guests and served together during every service. Other groups have greeted or ushered together. If you don’t have opportunities within your church, there are likely opportunities with local organizations to serve meals or distribute clothing together. Someone in your group may have a need or know of someone with a need that your group can meet together. Serving together can help your group get out of your normal rhythm and interact with one another in new ways.
Does your group know what the plan is for next season? Do you? With a little bit of forward thinking and group ownership, you can prepare your group to jump right back in after the new year. While you are still meeting together regularly, set your start date for the winter season and discuss what you’d like to study, how you’d like to serve, and what you’d like to do for fun. This builds excitement for the upcoming season, and—if your group is open—gives your group members something substantial to invite people to while you’re on break.
These ideas are simply a starting point for thinking about how you can build excitement as the season ends rather than letting it fade. By building excitement through celebrating, serving, and dreaming together, the hope is that you won’t need to rally your group again after the new year. Rather, you can pick up where you left off and see what God has in store.
For more ideas on being purposeful during the holiday season, check out chapter 15 of Leading Small Groups by Chris Surratt.
Related Article: 5 December Ideas for Your Group