Small study groups are a great way to extend Christian fellowship beyond Sunday morning service. As believers, we’re called to spend time in prayer and worship and also with one another. Many Bible study groups choose to meet on a weeknight but neglect the opportunity to extend their time together by occasionally hanging out after church.
Sunday afternoons and evenings provide the perfect time to gather and worship, study, minister or simply enjoy each other’s company. Let these seven activity ideas be a springboard for further togetherness.
1. Share a Meal
Do you have a group member with the spiritual gift of hospitality? One Sunday, take them up on their offer to host a lunch or supper. Other members could help by bringing a salad, rolls and dessert to complement the main course. If you want to make Sunday meals more of a tradition, everyone willing can take a turn hosting the group.
Going out to a restaurant is also an option. The important part isn’t the setting — just sit down and break bread together. Swap stories from your week and give each other encouragement. Let the food and conversation flow as you open up with one another.
2. Do a Service Project
A service project may not initially seem to fit in a post about “fun” activities, but never discount the mood boost of doing something good for 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 people in their community with seasonal chores like mowing, raking leaves and snow removal. Any local charitable service would also appreciate help if they’re open on Sundays. Look around your neighborhood to find ways your group’s gifts could be a blessing to others.
3. Play a Sport
There’s a sporting option for any size group and in every season. Use your church’s facilities if you have them, or head to a local park. Chasing a ball around is an effective way to get rid of the pent-up energy from sitting through service, especially for those group members who have difficulty sitting still.
Is there a particular sport you just can’t stop playing? Talk to your church about opening your games to the congregation or community. You’ll never know how God might use the occasion to bring a sheep home.
4. Go for a Hike
Hiking gives you a fantastic opportunity to appreciate God’s creation. He designed every rock and tree and animal you encounter. He even gave you the ability to walk for long distances and survive in the elements. The very air in your lungs is a gracious gift.
Make a regular habit of getting out for hikes and exploring trails in your area. Bring your Bibles and share some of your favorite passages in a quiet, tucked-away spot. If hiking is new to you, ensure someone in the group has been out before and is familiar with basic supplies and some common etiquette.
5. Spend Time in Prayer
Nothing says after-church activities must take a lot of time or planning. One option for post-service fellowship is to remain behind for extended prayer. You can choose to pray aloud corporately, sharing your praises and prayer requests. Pray for leadership at all levels and the salvation of God’s chosen.
If your group is still getting to know each other and not yet comfortable with group prayer, try meeting in the same room to pray quietly and maybe end with a time of sharing. Have one bold member pray for any shared concerns and praises.
6. Visit a Zoo
If you’re on the east coast, you have plenty of options when choosing an after-church activity. You might want to visit the Elmwood Park Zoo, for example, as it’s a great way to explore God’s creation. He made each animal, from the smallest rodent to the mighty elephant. He knows each one, even thousands we’ve never discovered.
A zoo day is especially fun for groups that have couples with children. Take the whole family for a bonding experience no one will forget. Use the opportunity to teach the kids about God’s amazing love and attention to detail for all his creatures.
7. Start a Book Club
Sunday book club could be ideal for people who love to read. You can use it as an extension of your weekly Bible study by working through a group study book and answering questions. Christian self-help books are also a great choice.
Alternatively, you can choose Christian fiction or even a secular book you think everyone would enjoy and benefit from. Keep the conversation Christ-focused. The best books will help your group grow in faith and strengthen relationships with each other.
Almost Any Activity Will Do
Just openly being together with other Christians is a blessing. We’re fortunate 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.