Making Groups Fun

Making Groups Fun

Sometimes small groups aren't fun. Sometimes they're boring, actually. Sometimes people only come because they feel like they are supposed to. So here's why I think it's a big deal when fun and humour are missing from a small group:

1. If it's not fun, people (eventually) won't come back.

2. If there's no fun, it's not reflective of real life. If your group is intensely serious, it can drain the life right out of people.

3. If there's no laughter, people are missing out on great medicine. "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones" (Proverbs 17:22).

4. Laughter builds community. Laughing together can help your group bond in a rich way very quickly.

How to Focus on Fun:

1. Don't plan to start on time. Plan on a casual start to your group each week. My group builds in 30 minutes (at least) each week before we start the study.

2. Include food!

3. End on time, but don't end on time. When you finish with the study questions and close in prayer, make sure to be done in time for group members to hang around and enjoy each other's company each week.

4. Plan for some fun. Maybe your group needs to put down the book one night and just do a good old fashioned pot luck. Or game night. Or go bowling. Or go hang out at the park. Or grill out. Or have a chili cook-off.

5. Plan extra-group activities. Pick a random Friday night and have a girls' night out. If you have children, have the dads gather to offer childcare for the night. Then switch for the next week. Or go on a camping trip. Or go to the lake. Or go out to eat on Sunday after church.

If you truly desire to build a community of people who love and care for each other, will go to bat for each other, and consistently encourage each other—find a way to have some fun. You'll find yourself eagerly anticipating your meeting time together each week. You'll be less likely to burn out. And your group will find a renewed energy each week.

Ben Reed is a regular blogger at www.benreed.net and pastor of community groups at Grace Community Church. Note: This article is excerpted from the SmallGroups.com training resource Making Small Groups Fun!


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