Summer of the invisible small group.

My people. They are gone.

My Tuesday nights have gotten so quiet now that the gals have all gone home for the summer. No more recipes, no more small group snoozle parties, no more crying and laughing at the same time.

[Yes, we did that. Often.]

One of the hard parts of leading a college small group is that you spend lots of time together for months and then in a span of about 33 hours, they all disappear.

Because we are planning to continue meeting when they get back in the fall, I’ve racked my brain trying to figure out how we embrace the summer break while also staying in each other’s lives. I want this summer time to continue to build our relationships, not be a full on break from them.

[Also, let me remind you, I haven’t led a small group of college women in a decade. So…. I am no professional, that is for sure. Every step of this is a new step for me.]

Here’s what we are doing so far:

1. Facebook 

Man, for all the ways that I think facebook is slowly killing our world [and I think it may be], it has sure come in helpful for our group. We have one of those secret group things where we post videos and comments and jokes and whatever else we want.

2. Letters

At our spend the night party at the end of the semester, everyone wrote their address on five envelopes and then I collected them up and randomly passed them back out so that each girl has five pre-addressed envelopes. All they have to do is write a note to that girl and mail it sometime in the summer.

3. Book study

For those who wanted to, we decided to read Empty Promises by Pete Wilson together. So each week of the summer, we are reading one chapter. Not the most strenuous schedule, but it’s summer, y’all! Sheesh. On our facebook page, we have running commentary on our thoughts on each chapter.

4. Social media chatter

I’m seeing lots of talks between the girls on social media, not involving me at all. I think that’s good because I want them to feel connected to each other independent of me. Mama like.

5. Enjoying the break

I think there is always something to be said for a bit of absence making the heart grow fonder. And with my writing work picking up, it’s good to have the extra time for a few months. I do miss having the girls pop around, but I know I will blink and it will be August and they will be swarming around my house like a happy little bee’s nest.

. . . . .

I know there are lots of you small group leaders out there. I would love to hear your thoughts on how to connect a small group when they are all living scattered across the continent. 

Also- know any good books about doing ministry with college age students? 

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