By Bill Search
Now we want to spend time talking about how you can help people in your group connect with one another even outside of the group time.
Attend a church service together.
Sitting with each other during worship, before service, or after service gives you a lot of time to chat and to connect and keep up with each other's lives.
Whether your serve together in church, or do a service project outside of church, if you're shoulder-to-shoulder with each other, you will build some connections that will help you feel more bonded with the members of your group.
Go out to dinner, dessert or coffee with each other.
The key is to not have a member of your group play host, but to let an outside party serve. Let the restaurant play host. They’ll make the food, bring it to your table, and then take it away to clean up when you’re done. That will allow you the chance to sit and chat, and get to know each other on a deeper level, absent of any distracting responsibilities.
Get in the car and go someplace together, and maybe that’s a day trip, or just some interesting destination. But the key? Carpool. You've got to actually be in the car with each other, because that's where some of the memories are made as you’re chatting and driving down the road.
If a day trip is way too easy for you, then do a retreat. Go for a couple nights, stay at a bed and breakfast or something, but the key here is to stay up a little bit later than you normally do, telling stories and laughing together and making those memories together.
Go on a mission trip together.
If all these other things come naturally to your group, then don’t miss out on what’s really the top of the relational pattern with each other, and that is a mission trip. Whether it's across the state or across an ocean, if you go and serve together in a significant way, you will feel much more connected to the members of your group.
All of these are ways that will help make that relational bridge strong enough to hold the weight of truth with each other.
*This is the twelfth 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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