In the first post in this series, I wrote about how it's important to work with your group members to find the right frequency and direction for your summertime meetings. If you haven't read it, go check it out before reading this post.
Back? Okay. Summer is a busy time of year for most people. If you don't make accommodations, you and your group members may end up frustrated with the group's inability to maintain traction through the summer months. I mentioned in the previous post that most of the groups I lead meet only one or twice a month during summer. In some groups, we put aside doing studies and only meet socially. The challenge with that approach (even though it's dictated by the reality of everyone's schedules) is the risk that the group may begin to drift apart. So, what do you do?
This is where you can lean into one of the 8 Leader Essentials: Promote Participation. We've talked about promoting participation here and here, but it's also a great tool to use during those seasons (including summer) when your meeting schedule becomes irregular.
During those months when our groups drop back to just having social meetings once or twice per month, my wife and I ask group members to plan the socials and communicate those plans to everyone in the group. We give them guidance about what they need to do, and how and when they need to do it, but we let them run with it. We also try to identify group members who are willing to keep track of prayer requests and send them to everyone in the group by email.
Rotating some of these simple responsibilities keeps group members engaged and reminds them that they're co-owners of the group experience. It maintains momentum even when we aren't meeting on a weekly basis. And you know what? Most group members love doing these things. They're usually genuinely happy that we asked them to be involved.
What other strategies have you used to maintain momentum in the summertime?