By Bill Search
All groups come to an end. It's not the sign of failure, it's not the sign of bad leadership, it's just the normal life cycle of a group. Schedules change. People get involved in other activities. People move away. Groups come to an end.
If it's time for your group to come to an end, let me give you some advice on how to end your group well.
1. Confirm with everybody that it's time to end the group.
Have a conversation within your group that you are thinking it might be time for the group to end. If the majority of people agree, then you know it's time to end the group. For the few people that want to stay together, you can hook them up with your small group coach or your pastor and let them take it from there.
2. Once you've established that it's time to end, plan the end date.
Say it's the middle of the fall, maybe you plan the end for the first week of December. The idea is to set it a least a few weeks out so that there’s enough time to properly wrap up.
Then plan a party. Don't end in a whimper; end in a bang. Have a blast! Have a big party where you can share stories and swap all those funny and exciting times you had together. You're going to laugh and some will cry. That's a normal way to have that last meeting.
3. Finally, conclude with prayer.
At this last meeting, have everyone circle up, join hands and then have a few people close in prayer, thanking God for all that he's done through your group. Make sure you tell your small group coach or pastor that your group has come to a close.
And that is how you successfully end a group!
*This is the tenth post in a series of 27 Tips for Small Group Leaders
BILL SEARCH is the author of Simple Small Groups. He has served in ministry for nearly 20 years. Bill loves spending time with his family, drinking great coffee, listening to jazz, and enjoying the great outdoors.
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