Don't Waste Your December

December can often be a tough month for a small group. Group members are busy with the hustle and bustle of Christmas cheer and since this only comes around once a year, they feel OK knocking group life down a few notches on the calendar totem pole for the month. Can I make a suggestion for you this week? Plan your group’s month RIGHT NOW if you haven’t already and communicate it to them THIS WEEK!  And as you plan, here are a couple of suggestions for rolling with the christmas cheer instead of going all scrooge and fighting it:

  • Celebrate Christmas with your group. your group members can get a Christmas party anywhere, but there may be no better group to reflect on the Incarnation & its importance than with your group. Let your group know that December ____ will be your group’s christmas celebration. Yankee swap? sure. but more importantly, come up with a way to remember Christ as a group. Here is a great resource to help you begin that brainstorm.
  • Serve together. Every community has people in need and this is a common season to see increased volunteer opportunities to serve the needy open up. I hope this isn’t the only time you serve together, but may be a very good one.
  • Plan for weeks you know the group wont meet, and ask the group for input. My group meets on Sunday nights. it will not meet December 26th. I know everyone will be traveling & knee deep in wrapping paper. No need to fight it. Depending on everyone else, we may take a couple of more Sundays off. We will find out this sunday when they bring their calendars & we talk about it.
  • EVALUATE GROUP HEALTH – this is a great month to step back and see how your group is doing. Use the grid your church has given you for what a healthy group looks like to see how your group is doing. Poll group members. Pray & ask God for conviction for where you are leading them. Do a serious gut check of where your group is heading in the commission to make disciples. Ask yourself “are the people in my group stronger or weaker disciples as a result of the time spent in my group?” The answer may be painful, but the trajectory that will put you on going into January will be good.
  • Plan for the New Year. You have a blank calendar for 2011 right now as far as your group goes. Make the most of it! Plan for group health in 2011. you can do it! I’m planning for my group to plant a new group in August 2011. want to join me?

How do you make the most of your December as a small group leader?

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Spence is the Small Groups Pastor at the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Wonder what that involves? Too much to put here, but he loves it! You can read more from Spence on his blog.