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Small Group Holiday Survival Guide

As your life group approaches the holidays, there are several things you can do to help your group survive.

Now, you might be thinking, “That sounds pretty serious!  Survive the holidays?  Isn’t that being a little dramatic?”

I don’t think it’s overly dramatic at all.

Why?  It’s just too easy to finish a study right before Thanksgiving and say to each other, “See you in January!”  You wouldn’t think it…but the holidays (from Thanksgiving through New Year’s) are 4 or 5 pretty precarious weeks.  In my experience, this period is second only to the summer in group life mortality.

4 Keys to Surviving the Holidays

There is a solution.  And it’s not to just keep meeting!  After all, people are traveling.  There are family commitments and office parties.  There is just a lot going on.  But there are four things you can do to help your group survive.  Here they are:

  1. Choose the study you will do next before you break…and try to do at least 1 or 2 sessions by December 8th or so.  For example, this year Thanksgiving is on November 24th.  Assuming you don’t meet the week of Thanksgiving, you could meet the following week, and that would make a big difference.  I’ve listed several options right here.
  2. Plan a Christmas party for your group! Rather than breaking before Thanksgiving, why not have a potluck dinner or a Christmas dessert night?  Do an ornament exchange or a White Elephant Gift Exchange.  Whatever you do, find a fun reason to meet.
  3. Figure out a way to serve together in December! Whether your group serves Thanksgiving dinner at a local homeless shelter, sings Christmas carols at a nearby retirement home, or serves as greeters or ushers for a Christmas Eve service, there is something about stepping up to do something for someone else that brings a group together.
  4. Pull out your calendars and schedule your first January meeting.  This might seem like overkill, but if you’ll all agree on the date of your first meeting in January, your group is much more likely to survive!
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Mark Howell serves as Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV. He founded SmallGroupResources.net, offering consulting and coaching services to help churches across North America launch, build and sustain healthy small group ministries. He spent four years on the consulting staff at Lifetogether and often contributes to ministry periodicals such as the Pastor's Ministry Toolbox and ChurchCentral.com.