How do I handle group members who are often late? This is a real hindrance to ending meetings on time.
Periodically hand out the Small Group Covenant, read it out loud, ask your people if they agree with it and will do their best to follow it. You might consider having your members sign their copy and keep it.
One of the commitments is Punctuality: the group meeting begins and ends on time.
Ask the group if they value punctuality enough to make it a priority. If so, solicit suggestions from them as to how to begin/end on time.
Start the study 15 minutes or so after the time suggested to arrive, most late people will arrive during this time. Ask everyone to call the leader if they will not be attending or will be late.
Ask the group if another time would make it easier to arrive on time — maybe a ½ hour later — or another day would work for everyone.
Every small group member always has the option to drop out of a small group and try another group if the schedule or group is not a good fit. If you want to be part of this small group, please make it a priority to arrive on time.
What about YOU? Do you have any advice or techniques that promote punctuality? If so, please share your tips in the comments!