7 Fun After-Church Activities for Your Study Group
Small study groups are a great way to extend Christian fellowship beyond the Sunday morning service. As believers, we are called to spend time in prayer and worship and also with each other. Many Bible study groups choose to meet on a weeknight, but overlook the opportunity to extend their time together by occasionally hanging out after church.
Sunday afternoons and evenings are the perfect time to come together and worship, study, serve, or simply enjoy each other’s company. May these seven activity ideas be a springboard for more conviviality.
1. Share a meal
Do you have a group member with the spiritual gift of hospitality? On a Sunday, accept their offer to host a lunch or dinner. Other members could help by bringing a salad, rolls and dessert to complement the main course. If you want to make Sunday meals a tradition, everyone can take turns leading the group.
Going out to restaurants is also an option. It’s not about the setting – just sit down and break bread together. Swap stories from your week and encourage each other. Let the food and the conversation flow as you open up to each other.
2. Do a service project
A service project may not initially seem like a “fun” article, but never overlook improving mood from doing something good for the others. God calls his people to serve one another as Jesus did for his disciples and God’s chosen children.
Your Bible study group could help members of their community with seasonal tasks such as mowing, raking leaves, and snow removal. Any local charity service would also appreciate help if it is open on Sundays. Look around for ways your group’s gifts could bless others.
3. Play a sport
There is a sports option for all size groups and in every season. Use your church facilities if you have them, or head to a local park. Chasing a ball is an effective way to get rid of pent-up energy from sitting while serving, especially for band members who have trouble sitting still.
Is there a particular sport that you can’t stop playing? Talk to your church about opening your games to the congregation or community. You’ll never know how God could take the opportunity to bring home a sheep.
4. Go for a hike
The hike gives you a fantastic opportunity to appreciate God’s creation. He designed every rock, tree and animal you encounter. It even gave you the ability to walk long distances and survive the elements. The very air in your lungs is a gracious gift.
Get in the habit of going out regularly for hikes and exploring the trails in your area. Bring your Bibles and share some of your favorite passages in a quiet, hidden place. If you are new to hiking, make sure someone in the group has already gone out and is familiar with basic supplies and some common etiquette.
5. Spend time in prayer
Nothing says after church activities have to take a lot of time or planning. One option for post-service Communion is to stay behind for an extended prayer. You can choose to pray aloud collectively, share your praise and prayer requests. Pray for leadership at all levels and the salvation of God’s chosen ones.
If your group is getting to know each other and is not yet comfortable with group prayer, try meeting in the same room to pray quietly and perhaps end with a time of sharing. Ask a bold member to pray for all shared concerns and praise.
6. Visit a zoo
If you are on the east coast, you have many options when choosing an activity after church. You might want to visit Elmwood Park Zoo, for example, because it’s a great way to explore God’s creation. He created every animal, from the smallest rodent to the mighty elephant. He knows every one of them, even thousands that we have never discovered.
A day at the zoo is especially fun for groups that have couples with children. Bring the whole family for a bonding experience no one will forget. Take the opportunity to teach children about God’s incredible love and attention to detail for all his creatures.
7. Start a book club
The Sunday book club could be ideal for people who like to read. You can use it as an extension of your weekly Bible study by working on a group study book and answering questions. Christian self-help books are also a great choice.
Alternatively, you can choose a Christian fiction or even a secular book that you think everyone would enjoy and that everyone could benefit from. Keep the conversation centered on Christ. The best books will be help your group grow in faith and strengthen relationships with each other.
Almost any activity will do
Just being open with other Christians is a blessing. We are blessed to live in a country where we can publicly meet and worship. Remember that the community is watching you as you engage in fellowship with your Bible study group. Be sure to set a godly example as you enjoy your Sunday fun.