Summer small groups. They’re almost an oxymoron. Summer is when the kids are out of school and vacations are taken. Small group attendance goes way down, and many groups take a break. Let’s be honest, I’m a small group pastor, and I’d much rather spend time outside than sit inside in a small group.
What if this year instead of either giving up on groups or guilting everyone who “isn’t spiritual enough,” you leveraged people’s natural inclination to relax and enjoy the summer to start a different kind of small group?
When I served at National Community Church, our summer small groups had a theme: Have fun. Bring a friend! We’d go out and play volleyball, train for triathlons, and watch movies in the park. We’d cookout and picnic and listen to live music.
Having fun honors God. When we enjoy His creation, when we give God gratitude for the gifts He has given us, we’re honoring Him. What parent doesn’t want to watch their kids enjoy their birthday presents and hear a sincere, “Thank you for the gift!”
And 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, people who just may play a role in their spiritual journey.
So this summer, instead of canceling small groups or trying to cram a square peg into a round hole, let’s leverage the blessing of summer fun to create opportunities for those both inside and outside of our church to build relationships that make a Kingdom impact.