3 Simple Ways to Make Small Groups Thrive This Summer

Make sure your small groups thrive this summer.
Make sure your small groups thrive this summer. (Flickr/steven_jamesP)

Over a month ago we launched our summer term of small groups and have seen many unconnected people get connected into community. We've seen new friendships being made, families growing deeper in faith and lots of fun being had. We've seen many new leaders rise up to use their God-given gifts in leading and facilitating these groups. Praise God!

Summer doesn't have to be a time to hit cruise and watch your small group ministry fade. By using the three keys below, your summer small groups can soar.

#1 Think Outside the Box

In the fall and winter terms, all of our groups gather in homes, but in the summer we do a hybrid of both home groups and interest based groups that gather outside. Yes, many people are traveling during the summer, but I've found they are not all out of town at the same time. Therefore, think outside the box for ways to gather people into community. Hint: outdoors, fitness, BBQ's, etc.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

"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 and 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 and an intro to music group—all of which incorporate a quick time of prayer. Our home groups are video driven and 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 and 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 

What else are you doing to cause your summer small groups to soar?

Derek Olson serves as Small Groups Pastor at Fairbanks First Assembly and is the Communications Director of the Small Group Network.

For the original article, visit smallgroupnetwork.com.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.

The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.

Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders