Social time happens at the beginning of every group meeting, usually for 15-30 minutes.
The goal is to create an informal environment where group members can unwind, connect, and laugh. It might be as casual as hanging out and eating snacks, or as structured as an organized game or ice-breaker. Here are four tips for a great social time:
- Start light. Social time often provides a chance for group members to decompress and shift their focus towards others.
Maintain predictability. While social time is critical early in a group when relationships are new, over time some groups can spend too much time connecting socially at the beginning of group meetings. Use the Group Agreement as a tool to establish expectations on the amount of social time in group and revisit those expectations if needed.
Connect outside of group. Don’t limit your social time to group meeting time. Community can happen as much between group meetings as it does within them.
Make it fun. Social time in group provides a great opportunity to incorporate fun.
If you want to learn more about the value of social time in your group and how it sets the stage for more dynamic spiritual growth, check out the leader training Cultivate Relationships. It includes a short video as well as some simple ways you can put what you learn into practice in your group.
Play a game like Would You Rather? or The Maturing Game.
Try a new ice-breaker question.
Relax. Sometimes unstructured time creates the best connection.
Involve others. Ask group members to take turns bringing snacks. Find someone in the group who loves social time and ask them to lead it.
Want to learn more about group leadership? Check out these eight leader essentials. You think these are needed?