by Jay Fennell

The summer is a unique time of the year for LIFE Groups. People take vacations. Attendance fluctuates. Sometimes it’s hard to keep the momentum going through the summer. But the summer season can be a fruitful time for LIFE Groups, especially as you prepare for the fall.
Here are 6 things I recommend you consider as we enter into the summer months:

  1.  Consider inviting others to teach or facilitate.
    If you are accustomed to teaching or facilitating every week, you might want to consider taking a little time off and enlisting others who are capable to fill in. This gives you a break and it also gives others an opportunity to teach. One of our responsibilities as leaders is to develop other leaders, so give others the chance to develop by allowing them time to teach God’s Word.
  2. Consider developing and/or strengthening a leadership team.
    You know you can’t do everything. If you try, you will inevitably burn out. So utilize the summer season to develop a leadership team who can share leadership of the group. Our structure is L.I.F.E and each role has a job description. You can go to here to learn more.
  3. Consider using different teaching methods.
    If you’re more of a lecturer, try a discussion based model by asking questions and soliciting responses from the group. If your group sits in rows, try circling up the chairs. If your group struggles with connecting relationally, try sub-grouping participants to facilitate discussion and conversation. Consider bringing something that could be used as an object lesson to illustrate a main truth. Use the white board. Invite participants to read the scripture aloud. Think creatively and experiment with new teaching methods.
  4. Consider emphasizing and building community.
    How can you use the summer season to strengthen and emphasize community among group participants? Consider group picnics at a park on Sunday afternoons, organizing a mid-week Bible study, coordinating a fellowship around a television event, bringing food every week to group gathering, go to lunch together after church, or develop “Dinner for 6” type activities. The key is to strengthen relationships. Be creative!
  5. Consider combining groups to develop new relationships.
    With the decrease in attendance, it might be a great opportunity to combine LIFE Groups for a week or two for the purpose of developing new relationships with other groups. You could make it a party atmosphere by bringing food and drink and mingling with others from another group. Pray and study the Bible together. Consider partnering to be on mission together.
  6.  Consider your readiness for guests. The summer season is a popular time for families to relocate to the Nashville area. Many of these families are looking for churches. Your job is to be ready for them by ramping up hospitality and making provision for their arrival. Pray for guests, expect them to come, and be ready when they do come. How prepared are you for guests?