Fall officially begins on September 23, 2015. The Autumnal Equinox signals the beginning of cooler weather and incredible explosions of color as leaves begin to turn bright orange, red, and yellow. For many people, fall is their favorite time of year. I teach a Bible study group weekly, and I want to take full advantage of this time of the year. Fall is a great time to kickstart fellowships that may have been infrequent during the summer months.
If you begin planning events now, you can make the most of this time of the year and create some memorable fellowships for your group members, guests, prospects, and associate members to enjoy.
- Have a bonfire. Chances are good that someone in your group owns a piece of land large enough to accommodate a bonfire. Cook hotdogs, S’mores, marshmallows, and you’ve got a recipe for outdoor fun. If you have a musically inclined person in your group who plays guitar, add some sing-a-longs, too.
- Go to a state or county fair, Admission prices are low for these events, so it’s an affordable outing for your group members. It’s hard to beat the smells of popcorn, cotton candy, roasted corn, and of course, turkey legs. Fairs have free exhibits and attractions, and they are designed for every member of the family.
- Attend a local festival. I took my group to the Banana Pudding Festival last year (no kidding), and we had a great time. Look around your area. Many smaller towns host obscure festivals that are fun to attend. A quick internet search has turned up the Moon Pie Festival and an RC Cola Festival within an hour’s drive of my church. Oh, and did I mention the Donkey Festival that’s pretty close, too?
- Go to a football game. Fall is for football, so grab a stadium seat and go to your local high school’s homecoming game. Or if you live close to the home stadium of an NFL team, that’s a great option. But if NFL prices are too high, there’s always the college team from your area. Just pick a venue, get outdoors, and enjoy some football. Want to really add to the fellowship experience? Host a tailgate party a couple of hours prior to the game and increase the linger factor.
- Go hiking. Cooler weather and crisp Autumn mornings just call out to the outdoorsman in us. Many lakes and state parks have hiking trails of varying difficulty. And the price is right…usually free.
- Camp out. Really want to enjoy the outdoors this fall? Go camping with your group. I guarantee that someone in your group is an experienced camper and knows all the best spots.
- Go on a retreat. Rent a cabin (or two) and head to the mountains or other location where you and your group members can relax, play games, have Bible study, and enjoy unplugging close to the great outdoors. A group of us are heading to the Gatlinburg, TN., area in October for a weekend retreat. Let’s hope the leaves are still changing colors!
Any of these fellowships can help your group build great memories and re-group after a busy summer. But here’s the deal: if you don’t plan now, you will quickly run out of time and a fall fellowship simply won’t happen. It’s time to get out the calendar and put something down in pen.