At our church, Community Groups meet together regularly for a season, then take a break, then meet again. This rhythm allows us to implement strategic on-and off-ramps, as well as give our leaders intentional breaks. If your group is approaching the end of a season, here are some practical tips to finishing strong:
Celebrate wins. A great way to finish the group season is to take time in your next gathering for everyone to share one way they have experienced life change together over this last year though a specific circumstance, relationship, discipline, ministry, or helpful teaching.
Share a meal. Is it possible to have a party without food? Go all out for your last night of group with the biggest feast you have had all year. Make it a celebration your group won’t forget.
Get feedback. Your group members may have some great insights to help your group continue to be an environment where people are loved, cared for, and are excited to share life together. So ask them!
Identify future leaders. Do you have couples in your group that show the character, chemistry, and commitment to lead? They may be great future co-leaders in your group or a future group. Discuss them with your co-leaders, pray for them, and invite them to pray with you about how God might use them in leadership next season.
Talk about multiplication. Whether your group recently multiplied or you’ve been together for a while, start planning now for multiplication and keep reminding your group of our mission to make more people more like Jesus. You might even say something like, “At one point someone made room in their Community Group for us to experience community and we want to do the same for others.”
Plan a few social events for the break. Don’t feel like you need to fill up the calendar, but brainstorm with your group about how you might get together over the break time. If you don’t schedule it, it probably won’t happen!
Stay in touch. Community Groups wind down during these seasonal breaks but relationships never end. As leaders, you can be an example of this, but keep it simple! It may be a Facebook post, a text, or a coffee or lunch with one or two people in your group.
Enjoy the break. We plan breaks from group for a reason. Enjoy some time to rest, hang out with your family or friends, have an extra night in, or travel. It is okay to say no to an invite and not have to feel guilty about it. Use this break to recharge and grow more in love with Jesus.