Labor Day weekend is just six weeks away, and so is the start of college and professional football! Once we experience the first holiday that kicks off Fall, people tend to move back into more normal routines. Summer will have ended, school will have started, and Bible study groups will find a new groove in the days following summer vacations. Group leaders who want to lead their groups well should consider a few key goals that will help their groups continue to be successful during this time of year. It’s not too early to begin thinking about how you and your Bible study group will make the most of the upcoming months.
Goal 1: Reclaim inactive members. Members of groups tend to go AWOL during summer months. Vacation travel, family gatherings, and outdoor activities sometimes drain groups of even the most committed group members. Emails, phone calls, or home visits can help absentees feel more comfortable about re-engaging with your group.
Goal 2: Add new members. Most churches experience growth from September through December. Be on the lookout for guests in your church’s worship services. Also, be sensitive to people in your relationship circles who are not connected to a Bible study group and invite them to yours. A Bible study group averaging 15 people in attendance could easily set an attainable goal of growing 20%.
Goal 3: Engage in a ministry project (or projects). Adult Bible study groups should consider serving in their church’s Fall Festival (it’s fun to man a booth together!), and reaching out to the community by spending a Saturday or two serving in a local ministry (crisis pregnancy center, clothes closet, homeless shelter, etc). Not only will you meet needs, but you will create camaraderie among your group members.
Goal 4: Plan regular fellowships through January 1. Because temperatures begin to cool down, people are more likely to engage in outdoor activities. Attending a Friday night football game, having a corn roast, or cooking out around a fire pit are inexpensive ways to enjoy the outdoors. A short road trip to a local festival (in my area there are numerous festivals such as the Moon Pie Festival, Tomato Festival, Pet Festival, Donkey Festival, Banana Pudding Festival, and many more) on a Saturday afternoon can be a fun way to create a fellowship opportunity for your group. And don’t forget to take in a drive-in movie – those are always fun when the temperatures cool off. Whatever you do, get these events on your group’s calendar in August! “Save the date” is a good idea so that people can plan ahead for these simple but special days of fellowship.
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Don’t forget to order your copy of my new book, Breathing Life Into Sunday School. It presents 12 essentials for helping your most important ministry regain strength and vitality. You can now buy it in bundles of 10 at a substantially reduced rate! Buy enough copies for all of your group leaders!