Summertime Blues…

Hey Small Group Leaders!

 
I wanted to send you guys and gals a message to shoot you some encouragement as we head into the summer months when small groups can sometimes get hectic and it can become hard to be consistent. For those of you who have led through a summer before you know exactly what I am talking about and it can leave you completely frustrated and wanting to just give up until the fall rolls around. 

The truth is, summer is a tough time of year to maintain group cohesion and continue to grow relationships because everyone’s schedules kind of explode. Vacations,  holidays, sports seasons, and children with a lot more free time can make it hard for groups to continue to meet on a weekly basis.

The important thing to know is that there isn’t a “ONE SIZE FITS ALL” solution for navigating the summer months.
 
Here are  4 tips that I have learned from other church leaders who have dealt with these struggles for years and hopefully they can help you guys with your groups over the summer!

 

 





1. MAKE A PLAN. WRITE IT DOWN.

We have all had good intentions in different categories, but sometimes it can be hard to follow through. All of us that have said we were going to get in shape, (whatever that means) know the power of effective follow through vs. apathetic half-hearted attempts. As you are preparing to decide what to do over the summer, talk with your group openly about it. Send your group a text to tell them to bring their calendars to the next meeting so that you guys can sort out when, and where you are going to get together.

Then write it down!

Put it in a group message, or email for your whole group to have access to so everyone is on the same page.



2. SWITCH UP YOUR MEETING TIME.
 
While it may seem weird at first, we all have heard the phrase that sometimes “less is more,” and with groups this can be an effective way to maintain some momentum with your group over the summer months. You can drop to twice-a-month meetings, or even meet only once each month for a little social interaction to help stay connected, yet lessen the strain of scheduling around everyones summer stuff. 

3. PRAY & PLAY.

Continuing to meet consistently over the summer is a hurdle in and of itself, so to maintain a bible study in that chaos is mostly easier said than done. This is the one time of year where it is ok to have a few social gatherings to stay connected and catch up with your group in between all the craziness. You definitely should still talk to everyone, and keep up with how you can be praying for everyone in your group, but to do a bible study can be tough. For some of you it is going to be more beneficial to your group to gather together, hang out, and do something fun together rather than try to keep a study going. 

At the end of the day you would rather have your whole group connecting together, than to try to keep a weekly study going and leave people out of the loop and disconnected.

4. Whatever you do, DON’T BE DISCOURAGED.

Sometimes no matter what you do, you are going to have frustrations over the summer with one or more of your group members, and the temptation is going to be to just get upset and ultimately discouraged.

Don’t do that.

This is not something you are dealing with by yourself, and is in no way a reflection of you as a leader. This is something the best and worst small group leaders deal with equally. The big thing to remember is to keep going and keeping loving your group members knowing that they are human and will let you down sometimes.

 



Some of you will not have any of these issues I have mentioned which is awesome! Different groups are going to have different challenges at different times of the year, so don’t take these tips and act on them just because of this post. Take what helps your group and leave the rest!