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Summer time and Life Groups

The weather is getting nicer, people are tired of being in their offices and homes, ball games are being played, and the church can seem to be...empty.

One of the struggles that churches face is dealing with what is often called the "summer slump."  Attendance seems to wane, giving is not as strong, and there even seems to be some church members that totally check out for the summer.

So how should Life Groups respond to this proactively?

1. Recognize people need breaks.  If you stay in a constant push of ministry, it will take a toil on your worker base and your Life Group.  It is ok to recognize that your leaders and group members need to catch their breath, just make sure their exhale is not too long.  One of the great things that we do with our Life Group leaders is to intentionally ask them not to teach once a month, even if they are there.  This free's the teacher and other leaders to know that it is ok to gain rest and that this can be coordinated with the group.  Having a strong ministry focus in your group will cover your summer slumps as members are being consistently contacted, this will encourage their attendance even during the summer time.

2. Build up leaders.  Just as in battle, there come rallying points, where leaders gather their troops together at certain points, they check ammo, they reassure of what the ultimate mission is, and then they start to make progress again.  It's like the wood-cutter that took a break to sharpen his blade, versus the one that constantly tried to cut as the blade got dull.  This is a time during the summer to sharpen blades, rally troops, or whatever other type of leadership development needs to occur.  Check the organization of your group and ask the question if all your positions are filled for teaching, outreach, ministry, and fellowship.  If they are, then make sure what tools they need.  If not, then start intentionally searching in the group of people that you can enlist to do this work.  Pray and then ask individually.  The focus should be once again to build up your leaders, encourage them, and prepare them for times of focused ministry.

3. Have fun!  Because it is summer, this is a great time to build community with one another and deepen relationships better than other times of the year.  Every group should try to have a social function as a group that encourages biblical fellowship.  It may mean that you have a cookout, yard game party, or go to a ball game together.  Whatever it is, do it!  Also this can be a catalyst to get more families in your church as you always want to invite guests to these events.  You will see that often times new guests are prone to attend a fellowship before coming to church.

These are just three simple things that a Life Group should do to prepare for summer!  Your church leadership should understand these things and will help guide you through this, but let this be a time of refreshment and preparation for ministry intensive times during the fall and spring!

God bless

Joseph

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