Small Group Journal Entry #8
One of the great ways to build momentum in a group is to fellowship outside of the normal church and small group meeting environments. Last Sunday we had a calendar conflict because the Annual Church Business meeting fell on the same night as our small group (bad planning on my part). Obviously I had to be at the Business meeting, but my Assistant Leader and myself saw it as an opportunity to connect with our group a different way.
We ended up canceling the Sunday night small group, but planned a Fellowship Activity the Friday night before instead. It ended up being a fun night together, but there were some simple keys that made it happen…
1. Communication – A week before the group activity, my Assistant Leader and myself divided up the list of contact info and called everyone in the group to let them know about the cancellation of the next meeting as well as the planned activity. The phone calls were effective because when you do get a hold of people you can ask them how their week is going also. That same night I sent out a group email confirming the same information.
Half-way through the week I sent out one more email reminder but asked people to RSVP this time so I could get a head count. Then I sent a friendly reminder text on the day of. In my opinion, there’s no such thing as over-communicating.
2. Know Your Group – There were several places we were considering having the fellowship activity but ended up deciding on a local ice cream parlor. The reason we decided that was because we had several people in the group with kids of various ages who wouldn’t be able to attend unless they could bring them (this ruled out any coffee shop options in our mind). Having it at the ice cream parlor probably resulted in 4 specific people participating who might not of if we had it at another location (also, my wife and I could both be there with our 8-month old son). In Small Group ministry, having 4 more people is having a lot more people
3. Get There Early As the Leader – we actually picked the worst time to hang out at an ice cream place: Friday night. The place was packed and we had a group of 15 people considering all the adults and kids. Luckily, we got there 15 minutes early to put our name in. It took them 30 minutes to have our tables ready, but most of the people in our group only had to wait 5-10 minutes to be seated after they arrived.
When it was all said and done, we had a great turn out and a great time together. Even though we had to cancel our Bible study and prayer, we still got to connect as a group. ‘Til the next entry…
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Photo Credit: Boetter