Posts Tagged social

How Social Events Strengthen Your LIFE Group and Attract Guests

by Susan Hill

As a LIFE Group Leader, I am amazed at how effective social activities are for building relationships within the group. A few years back, the LIFE Group that had been meeting at my home on Wednesday nights moved to Sunday mornings on campus. I didn’t anticipate any changes in the group, but I was in for a rude awakening. Longtime group members who had spoken freely in my home were now virtually silent in the classroom on campus. As new members joined our group, longtime members shared less and less. As this trend continued, I was dumbfounded.
Despite the awkward transition, we started to plan social events outside of group. One Sunday, we had a picnic in the park. Another time, we attended a play at a local college. We got together and painted canvases on a Saturday afternoon. I immediately noticed that group members were talking and sharing more in social settings than they were during class. Slowly, relationships were building. This carried over to Sunday morning group time. My longtime members started speaking up on Sunday mornings like they had in my home group. Newcomers began sharing sooner than before. Before long, group members were getting together on their own during the week.
At Christmas, we decided to have our party at a local restaurant on a Saturday afternoon. I encouraged group members to invite people who weren’t connected to a LIFE Group. Honestly, I wasn’t overly optimistic that many newcomers would attend a Christmas party. To my surprise, six new people came to the party and three of them came to our LIFE Group the following Sunday morning.
This group transition taught me that social activities strengthen relationships in LIFE Groups and are evangelistic in nature. There are countless people who might not be willing to come to church but will gladly meet a group of friends at a local restaurant. After they meet new friends, they are far more willing to visit church.
As you consider ways to serve those you lead in your LIFE Group, don’t underestimate the value of getting together for social activities. People join a LIFE Group because they want to be a part of biblical community that extends outside group time. This describes the New Testament church that Paul describes in Acts 2:42, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship, the breaking of bread and the prayers.”