Launch your small group into Summer

06/07/2012 .
Ron Wilbur

Now that summer is here, make this the best summer yet for your small group with these great ideas:

  1. Meet at the beach, a lake or a park a couple times this summer on your normal meeting day. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or well planned. Just meet at your regular time at an agreed upon location, have everyone bring some food and do your study. If someone plays guitar, great. Or, bring a digital music player and speakers. Play your favorite music, eat, enjoy each other’s company, and have one person in the group share a devotion. This is perfect for inviting friends to check out your group by participating in a fun activity.
  2. Schedule BBQs at different members’ homes during the summer. Instead of the usual backyard barbeque have front yard barbeques – have everyone bring food to grill and also lawn chairs. Then bring a grill to the front yard, cook up some great food, and invite the curious neighbors to come join the party.
  3. Ladies in the group, have a “girls night out” for dinner, coffee, tea or whatever the girls like to do.
  4. Guys, do the same with a “guys night out” for Indoor Kart Racing, Bowling, Golf, Coffee, Paintball, or whatever the guys like to do. Food fits in there somewhere!
  5. Mix up what you study:
    1. Use the “Talk it Over” sermon discussion notes and new video clips for really lively conversations.
    2. Get Pastor Buddy’s new study “Finding God in the Desert of The Soul” and enjoy the sweeping visuals and insightful thoughts.
    3. Read through particular chapters in the bible as a group (see 9 below).
    4. Share each week from a daily devotional or Pastor Tom’s daily DriveTime Devotions.
    5. Call the small group office (949.609.8701) and ask about the small group curriculum Lending Library. We may have just the study you have been wanting.
  6. If a lot of group members will be out of town one week, suggest that whoever is still in town go to a movie together and then have coffee or dinner afterward and discuss the biblical themes in the film.
  7. Do a serving project together. What a great time to help out at your campus, fix up a group member’s house or apartment, do some yard work for someone who is not doing well, or serve one Sunday morning at the motel ministry. See our list of three easy ways for groups to serve here. Or, for a huge list of ideas, go here.
  8. Commit to have your regular meeting even if it’s just one person. Rotate leadership and homes. Hosts, if you’re going to be out of town, ask someone to have the group meeting at their house. This is a great way to start sharing leadership, if you aren’t already.
  9. Pick a book of the Bible and have everyone read a chapter a week and come ready with at least one question for the group to answer. Bring a commentary, a Serendipity Bible (available at the Pavilion), or other study materials to help.
  10. Grab your group and head for the outdoors. How about an overnight retreat together? Find a campground, plan an overnight or two-day outing, meet up around a campfire at night and eat, sing, and have a devotional. Oh yeah!

Okay, here are five bonus ideas for groups with lots of kids - grab all the kids in the group and everyone goes for picnics at the park with games, a day at a water park, a day at the beach, or even a hike around Newport’s Back Bay , kayak the Back Bay, or a group bike ride on the many trails of Orange County and the Inland Empire. End with a picnic and have one member of the group share a quick devotion.

And, the two final words on the subjectice cream! Summer is the perfect time for ice cream so have sundae night, banana split night, best ice cream dessert contest, root beer float night, and after trying all of those have a Daniel Plan night!

Check out this verse. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

So, keep going and have fun this summer. Together.