Almost every church and every Bible study group will experience a slight downturn in attendance between Mother’s Day and August. It’s the time of year when school comes to a close, families take several weeks of vacation, kids go to grandma and grandpa’s house, and kids’ ball teams travel and participate in weekend tournaments. In addition to all that, beaches and amusement parks tend to attract people for the weekend, and our Bible study groups are left feeling rather empty compared to spring attendance levels. Some churches have even begun canceling groups for the summer, giving people a break and recognizing that attendance is going to be sporadic anyway.
Whether your group meets year-round or it’s one of the groups that take the summer off, here are three ways to make the most of the summer slumps.
- Serve together – summer presents plenty of opportunities for entire Bible study groups to serve together. Sharing an experience like Vacation Bible School or another community-centered ministry activity (soccer camp, day camp, etc) is a great way to build the bond between your group members. Would you consider asking your people to invest a week of vacation in serving kids from your community, knowing they will grow in their relationships between one another, too?
- Play together – it’s important for adults to enjoy fellowship and party opportunities, and summer is a great time to head to outdoor concerts (often free), baseball games, or the lake. Make sure that your group has a fun monthly activity in June, July, and August. And be sure to invite all of the prospects for your group, plus every associate member who is serving as a group leader for kids or students!
- Study together – summer months are a good time for your group to go deeper – so don’t waste those 90 days! Host a Bible study on a weeknight at a group member’s home. Have a meal together (or at least some hefty snacks!) and pick a topic to study that interests your group. It’s one that you might not normally tackle on Sunday, but it can be covered in 8-12 weeks at someone’s home. These kinds of short-term studies often have homework in between sessions, but that’s a great way to invest time during the summer.
If you do these three things, you’ll be well on your way to re-launching your group in August when everyone’s back from summer travels and activities. Summer is a fun time, so make those days and months work for your group, and make the most of the summer slumps!
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