As church leaders, we tend to be tentative about starting new groups when the weather is warm. We’re not proud of it, but it’s true. We think… School is out… Our people are at the (beach, mountains, grandparents’ house)… No one will make time for discipleship in the summer.
But, churches are finding it’s not only possible, but logical and powerful, to start new groups and help people discover biblical community, even in the late spring and summer.
One of our Rooted Network pastors, Andy Mullikin, of 2|42 Community Church, shares three reasons your church should move forward with starting new groups this summer…
One of my favorite Rooted semesters was the first time we tried a summer session. There were lots of naysayers from the church, but I was determined to have an onramp into groups for the months between Easter and the fall launch. There was a list of reasons why this wasn’t going to work, but I knew that we could do something for those who were interested.
I kept hearing, “What does the church have to offer in the summer?” and Rooted was my answer. We promoted Rooted right after Easter so interested folks could plan their vacations and decide if the summer or the fall cycle would be the best fit. There was less going on from a stage promotion perspective that time of year, so it wasn’t difficult to get the word out about this new summer semester.
What I found was:
Planning: Most people go on vacation 1 or 2 times in a summer so their calendars are better planned out. They know in advance what weeks they cannot commit to. They can plan around those weeks and stay connected with their group via chat and staying up on the daily readings.
Serving: There were far more serving opportunities for these Rooted groups in the summer that in other seasons of the year.
- Retaining: Though it was a smaller semester, there was a better buy-in and lower attrition because folks had the opportunity to weigh the costs and plan around their schedules. The people who were interested but couldn’t commit to the summer term, began to create our fall waitlist.
All in all, we saw 8 new groups form, 96 participants, 5 baptisms, and we began to build momentum all year round for discipleship and group formation. I was blown away by the response. My final thoughts to any church not experimenting starting new groups for the summer is this…
We spend lots of time, energy, and money on getting folks to attend on Easter. The best next step is discipleship in a group setting. Try out a post-Easter Rooted semester and see what God does.
As you consider starting new groups this summer, click here for more information.