Thursday, July 29, 2010

Got the Summertime Small Group Blues?

How’s your group handling the summer? Getting together regularly? I didn’t think so. How about every other week? Or maybe monthly?

Typically, summer is prime time for T-Ball, camping trips, and big travel plans. These things are great and necessary, but they can wreck havoc on a small group.

For many groups, consistent participation in your small group during the summer months goes the way of your favorite TV shows—on hiatus until the fall. How you handle this time apart can make or break your small group moving forward. I’m serious!

As with any relationship—marital, dating, or small group community—time apart can be approached in two very different ways: with intentionality or with apathy.

Intentionality – Effort to maintain and strengthen a relationship when there isn’t consistent face-to-face contact.
Apathy – Lack of effort or interest to connect with any form of consistency across the obstacles of summer.

If your group members are intentional about staying in touch, encouraging one another, and praying for each other—the time will go quickly. You’ll truly be excited to re-connect once the T-Ball gear has been packed away!

If your group members went apathetic with each other over the summer months, and didn’t bother to pursue one another, the tone of your meeting in the fall will likely be similar to what you practiced all summer—more apathy.

Here are five tips on how you can be intentional with your group members in spite of everyone’s crazy summer schedule.

1. Call – I know it’s old school, but it’s quick. It’s easy. It’s highly personal. And it shows that you value interaction and true communication about what’s taking place in their life—and in sharing a bit about your own.
2. Text – It’s the ultra quick way to say you’re thinking about someone and being intentional about staying connected.
3. Facebook – Most of us are on Facebook at least a couple of times during the week anyway, so why not take a few moments and post something on the wall of your small group members?
4. Email – Send your group an update on your life this summer, share a prayer request, etc.
5. BBQ – Schedule something fun! It doesn’t have to be structured, just something outdoors that will bring everyone together at least once during the summer.

Don’t let the summertime small group blues get to you. Use this time to be intentional in developing your relationships and staying connected. You’ll see your group grow even closer when the fall TV season rolls around!

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