Matt: Some student small groups take the summer off. We do that at Saddleback Church but I want to continue to keep my group connected during the summer. Last summer, even though not every student was able to be there each week, I still had a weekly meeting. I simply told my students to be there when they could. I tried to keep the subject matter light and not do multi-week lessons. I didn’t want a student to miss a week and feel like when he returned he wouldn’t know what we were talking about so each week was a different lesson. Summer can be filled with distractions for students and for some they probably need their small group as much if not more during the summer as they do during the school year.
This year is a little different. I have high school seniors who will be moving on next year so we plan to meet over the summer but with the intent of them forming their own young adult small group. I’ve begun to decrease my involvement with the lesson and with the meeting each week so that they can become more reliant on each other for their group. My current group has some natural leaders and I want them to step up during this time. We’ve also planned some fun outings over the summer, a time to just get together and hang out with each other. I want to keep the unity they have formed with each others and not let it slow down over the summer. I also want them to realize the importance of a small group not just during their junior and senior high school years but for life. I want them to have a group of Christian brothers who will always be there for each other.
Steven: Staying connected this summer is going to be more important than ever for my small group boys. They are moving into a new season of ministry, from junior high to high school. This means they will be making a transition, and there is plenty of opportunity for some of the guys to drop off and not make the jump. To avoid this, we’re doing everything we can to make sure they stay connected with each other so they have a seamless transition.
- We’re ending our “official” small group meeting time (which normally parallels the school year) with one of the guys’ favorite events–a sleepover in our student building. This will be the 4th time we’ve done it with this group, but we have a few extra things planned to cap off the year.
- We’ll be meeting through the summer on our normal meeting day. Some of the guys have already started asking if we’ll be continuing after school ends, and we don’t see any reason to end it! If they want to keep meeting, we’re game. We’ll do this up until the guys leave for high school camp.
- Because some of the guys in our group weren’t able to make it to the sleepover, we wanted to make sure they got to celebrate their time with us too. We’re taking a 24-hour trip to one of our local parks, which is something we’ve never done with them before. It’s close enough that we don’t have to drive far, but far enough away to feel like a total getaway.
This is just an example of some of the stuff we’ll be doing to keep our students connected. In this vital time, we want to give them as good a chance as possible so they start their time off right in high school.
Question: What are you doing to keep your students connected to each other over the summer? Let us know here.