Help Your Groups Survive the Holidays

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Few things are more deadly to a small group than a break in the action.  Why?  Because absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder, especially for a new group.  Many times a break, for example from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, is just the ticket to destroy the growing sense of connection among group members.  When it’s time to start up again, it’s way too easy to put it off (or stop meeting altogether).

What do you do?   How can you help your group make it through the holidays?   Here are four ideas that will help your group not only survive…but thrive!

First, look at the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s as a unit. This year it is almost 6 weeks.  And that’s if you start meeting again on January 3rd! For that reason it is very important to encourage your group to pick up a new curriculum and meet at least a couple times before breaking for the holiday.

Second, plan an activity that will give your members a chance to connect “offline”. Serving together at a local homeless shelter, blessing a family with food and clothing, or volunteering to usher at the Christmas Eve service are just a few of a long list of ways that a group can serve together.  A significant truth about small group ministry is that members often find serving opportunities that are a little outside their comfort zone to be more memorable and connective than any Bible study they ever do.

Third, suggest that your group have a Christmas party. Take your foot off the gas pedal and just relax together.  Have everyone bring their favorite dish or dessert and enjoy each other’s company. Bring a wrapped ornament and do a gift exchange. Maybe share stories of the most memorable Christmas from their childhood.

Fourth, be sure and have everyone pull out their calendar and agree on the date of their first meeting in January.  Confirming that date now will enable your group to get started earlier in the month and that will help get your group off to a good start in 2009.

It’s not too late! Put a plan in motion to help your group stay connected during the holiday season.

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