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To Group or Not to Group in the Summer

There’s much debate concerning whether or not small groups should continue through the summer. Some small group pastors are vehement that groups should never take a break. Others are just as passionate that small groups breaking in the summer months makes for stronger groups when they get back together in the Fall.




I’m beginning to wonder… Have we over-simplified our responses?


Maybe we ought to evaluate each group individually and come to a conclusion concerning this issue.



Groups that should not take a break might be…


·      A group with a new believer/believers or multiple young Christ followers who have just committed to a disciple’s lifestyle.


·      A group that has a couple in it considering divorce but willing to work toward making their marriage whole.


·      A group that is very missional and the mission God has given them is best accomplished in the summer months.


·      A group that has added new members in the last couple of months.


·      A group that has someone in the group struggling with an addiction and that person has asked the group to help them as they journey toward freedom.



Group that should take a break might be…


·      A group made up of parents with children deeply involved in summer sports.


·      A group made up of people who commute long distances to and from work. These people need family time and the summer is the best time to be with family.


·      A group that, after evaluating people’s summer plans, realizes that many people in the group will be out of town much of the summer.


·      A group with a leader who hasn’t had a break from leading for many years and needs a Sabbath from leadership long enough to regain a passion for it.

·      A group made up of people who have grown tired and simply need to breathe for a period and regain their energy.

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Rick has one passion… To see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.” He is presently pursuing this passion as the Small Group and Discipleship Specialist at LifeWay Church Resources. Rick has authored or co-authored multiple books, studies, and leader training resources including A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic, Destination Community: Small Group Ministry Manual, The Gospel and the Truth: Living the Message of Jesus, Small Group Life Ministry Manual: A New Approach to Small Groups, Redeeming the Tears: a Journey Through Grief and Loss, Small Group Life: Kingdom, Small Group Kickoff Retreat: Experiential Training for Small Group Leaders, and Great Beginnings: Your First Small Group Study, Disciples Path: A Practical Guide to Disciple Making. Rick’s varied ministry experiences as an collegiate minister, small group pastor, teaching pastor, elder, full-time trainer and church consultant, as well as having been a successful church planter gives him a perspective of church life that is all-encompassing and multi-dimensional. Rick is a highly sought after communicator and trainer.