Small groups sound simple, but they can be very messy. It takes work to build a program, recruit leaders and get buy in. But, once you have that you need to keep them healthy.
Small groups are messy because they are relational. But, that isn’t an excuse for them to have structure and systems. If anything your small groups need guidelines so that they can grow stronger and go deeper. To keep them healthy:
I struggled with our small group program at first. I thought they were too messy to deal with. The problem is that I was looking for a silver bullet. I also didn’t know what a dynamic small group should look like.
Dynamic groups are ones that will not only change the lives of students but the life of your ministry. It gives a large youth ministry the opportunity to be intimate. It gives a small one the opportunity to go deeper. To create dynamic groups for your ministry you need to make sure they:
When teenagers come consistently it builds momentum for growth and deeper discipleship. The problem is cultivating that consistency. That’s why small groups are so important.
Small groups bring the consistency and create growth because of one piece. When it comes to small groups it’s all about the:
You know small groups have a huge impact on your ministry. The idea of starting a program is daunting. But, the real hurdles come when you lead one.
When you oversee the program it’s about a strong strategy, vision and mission. When you get into the trenches it gets really messy. And the reason leading a group can get messy is because:
There’s only a few weeks left with my senior guys small group. It’s sad because I’ve met with them at least once a week, every week for the last 4 years and next year they’ll be away at college. We’ve gone deep as a group, and the relationships I have with them extends past our weekly meeting.
If I’m totally honest it’s been a struggle to keep them together these past four years. We’ve faced a lot of challenges with schedules and life change. But, we’ve persevered and overall I feel like the group has been successful.
Successful small groups are healthy small groups. Healthy small groups are key to a healthy youth ministry. Teenagers will go deeper in their faith and your community will grow stronger. To keep these groups together despite all the challenges you need to make sure they have the right qualities. That means each of your small groups needs: