Did you know small groups have seasons just like the weather? Each season represents one of the Four Cs of small groups.
Spring is the season of new beginnings. This is when you are first getting to know others in your group. Authenticity and vulnerability are just budding. Tentative green buds of connection are starting to show. In our Four Cs at Worship Center, this would be "Connect."
Summer is active with growth! There is an accelerated "Challenge to Grow" as people share goals and struggles in a more secure place. Now Stories are built as people invest in their growing relationship with God and his purposes and plans for their life.
Fall is for "Care." In the fall things are pruned or dying away. Sometimes there it's necessary to care for each other in a way that is different than the first two seasons. There has already been an investment in Connecting and even in the Challenge to Grow, but in this season perhaps there are difficult burdens for one or more people in the group and the load is shared.
Winter is a time of "Celebration." The group knows each other well and have walked with each other through some difficulties and weathered some storms. There is great value in stopping to recognize this and give thanks. It can be a season for rest and reflection as well.
At this point in a group’s life cycle, people have been meeting together for some time. It can be easy to camp out in winter, finding warmth in the friendship of being known and doing life comfortably together.
Personally, I have been part of some great groups that I didn’t want to change. We worked hard for the level of vulnerability and support we enjoyed; we knew each other’s kids, work, and life stories. We did life together. And yet, God had some new things in store for all of us. For us that involved a move, for others, it involved changing things up. And while the hardest thing is not necessarily best, opting not to change because we are comfortable may not be best either.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 talks a lot about everything having a season and implores us to consider what season we should be in.
For some groups, winter can go on too long. What if this season is a time for regrouping or even reassessing priorities and involvement? Here are some options to consider if your group is in a winter season:
Consider splitting the group in two and adding new people to both groups.
- The leader moves on and starts a new group, asking another group member to take on a new role as the leader of the group.
- One or two leaders break off to multiply and start new groups.
- Start something new with your group and adopt a refugee family.
- Choose a missions focus and intentionally invest time, prayer, and funding.
Not every group needs to reassess just because their group is working well. But how would you know if it was time for something new?
As we finish out our literal winter season and move toward the newness of spring, is there some new growth God may be calling you to?
Ask yourself, or your group, these questions:
- What season are we in as a group?
- How long has it been since there has been a change in our group?
- Is change something we should be considering at this time?
- How would we know if there was something different we should be considering?
As we finish out our literal winter season and move toward the newness of spring, is there some new growth God may be calling you to? What will be your Now Story?
If your group is considering entering a new season of connection, check out some new possibilities or brainstorm another!
Whatever season you are in, make your Now Story an adventure!