For any small group, bringing closure at the end of a topical discussion or study guide or season is important. Celebrating your time together, bringing it to a conclusion, and wrapping it up enables acknowledgment of the good things that have happened and helps the group move on to what is next. While ending a group may be sad, the things you have given and received and the ways you have grown will continue with you. Keep these recommendations in mind as you think ahead toward what your group may do for closure.
4 "Good Closure" Tips
1. Share food!
Few things build community like eating together. A potluck, festive treats for the season, going out to eat—whatever makes this celebration special will work.
2. Use unique icebreakers.
You could choose an icebreaker that centers on your experiences as a group:
- What was a funny thing that happened?
- Which of our discussions stands out to you?
- What are four or five words you would use to describe this group?
Or an icebreaker could focus on each person’s future:
- What is one thing you’re looking forward to this summer (or in the next year)?
- What is one thing you are not looking forward to?
3. Reflect together.
Ask everyone to think about the group and its impact on their lives with questions like: “What has this group meant to you personally?” or “What would you like to study or learn more about?”
4. Pray together.
Always ask permission and be sure to gear the time of prayer to your group’s comfort level. Some ideas:
- After sharing the good things your group has experienced together, ask people who are comfortable doing so to finish the sentence, “Thank you, God, for ______________.”
- Give everyone 3x5 cards and have them write their name, email, phone number, and two or three prayer requests. Mix the cards up and have group members choose one to pray for regularly. Encourage people to contact each other during the group’s break or the next month or two to see how it’s going.
- As a group, spend a minute when each person is silently praying for the person on his or her right, followed by one person concluding in prayer aloud.
Bonus Tip: It often works best to plan your wrap-up event at your usual meeting time. Otherwise, people may have a hard time finding a good time for everyone to meet.
Just as it’s satisfying to read a good conclusion to a book, a time of group closure can be immensely fulfilling, giving you new insights into how God has been at work and giving the group the gratification of knowing this time together has been of great value!
For more ideas, check out Bringing Closure to Your Group.