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A common trend that many churches follow these days is diving into focused small groups. These can range from a wide variety of topics including new moms, women, men, new/senior couples, empty nesters, college and career, etc.
While all the above small groups are great places to start, many churches are finding success in focusing on small groups around specific hobbies. Why is this? Because people love to gather together to talk about their hobbies and passions. Don’t you find it easier to talk to your friends about things you love to do in your free time? Me too!
Yes, being in a women’s group is a great way to connect with other women, but when you add on your favorite hobby, you’ve immediately built a group people look forward to scheduling and attending each time together.
Let’s explore further!
Small groups around hobbies builds community.
Have you ever been invited to a small group then felt nervous when the first meeting comes up because you didn’t know anyone? “Will I know anyone?” “What if no one talks to me?” “I have nothing interesting to talk about.” “I hate being the new person.” All questions and thoughts that happen to everyone. Especially people when the reason for gathering is broad.
However, when attending a small group for the first time that is focused around a hobby you love. It’s incredibly easy to talk to anyone. For example, I love all things all things tech. Especially website related. When I am with like-minded people, we can talk for hours. New people can chime right in and join the conversation with welcomed insight.
For you, it may be other hobbies like scrapbooking. Scrapbookers have a wealth of tips, tricks, and ideas to make each scrapbooking project amazing and love to share their knowledge with others.
In short, small groups around hobbies builds community by being having a natural “icebreaker” build right into the reason for coming together.
Focused small groups give the chance to witness.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been to church every Sunday of your life or never! We all need to hear God’s Word regularly. “But wait! I don’t want to be preached to when talking about my favorite quilting techniques!”
You may not have ever said this, but someone who doesn’t go to church has thought it. Let’s be honest, you’ve probably thought it at some point too. That’s perfectly fine. Every gathering doesn’t have to be 100% “message” if it’s built on the Solid Foundation.
You’ve heard the sayings, “Look at your five closest friends, and that is who you are too” or “You are who you hand out with.” or these bible verses.
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NKJV)
He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed. – Proverbs 13:20 (NKJV)
I think it’s safe to say the Bible and good old common sense tells us that we should surround ourselves with other Christians. And to take it a step further, inviting our non-Christians friends will encourage them over time as they observe the life, struggles, and accomplishments of their newfound Christian friends through a hobby focused small group.
Use your time together to reflect on Christ in your lives. Schedule a small break during your hobby and have someone informally share their testimony or how Christ came through for them in a time of struggle.
Join together in a community project that helps others outside of your small group. That way you can share with others through your Christian walk. This also helps new converts or even non-believers within your small group see that living a Christian example isn’t taboo, but exciting and encouraging.
How does this relate to Christian camps and retreats?
A few ways actually! Step one is to bring in the lost. How do we do that? By creating an environment that welcomes them, and one of the best ways to create a welcoming environment is to focus on hobbies that has Jesus as its foundation.
As your members enjoy hanging out and talking, they will begin to want to do more. You may consider finding a Christian retreat facility in your area where you all can get away and spend more time together. During these times you can focus more on your community or individual hobby projects and schedule times to share God’s Word to each other.
In the coming weeks, we will be sharing a few ideas for specific hobbies. Do you have a hobby you enjoy and would like to see covered? Let us know on our Facebook page. Also, be sure to enter your email address below to receive stay updated!
Special thanks to Eagle Rock Retreat Center for making this article possible.