Over the years our small group program has grown tremendously. Most of it has to do with the men and women who come in each week to love on teens and help them go deeper with Christ.
While our program has grown the journey it has taken was not always smooth. Early on their was turnover with our leaders and it was difficult to build momentum. Our problem?
Small groups work. They are where life change happens. Small groups are the place where teens form life long relationships. Small groups are the reason teenager will come back. That’s if you do them right.
While there is a lot of great small group content available it’s not always clear how to build the program. If you are looking to start or adjust a current small group ministry you need to make sure you:
I remember my predecessor showing me his youth ministry calendar. Without thinking I remarked, “How is your wife still married to you?” Every single weekend was booked with lock-ins, laser tag and other youth events. It was insane.
When Jesus commissioned the disciples to go into the world he didn’t say, “Go, and plan the most epic game of dodgeball.” He said, “Go and make disciples.” We know that, but the pressure to plan events is a reality for so many youth ministers.
Something we say a lot around Church of the Nativity is that life change happens in circles. We believe that small groups at the adult, teen and kid level are a powerful way of helping people grow in their relationship with Christ.
But, small groups is more than just rounding up teenagers in a circle. To make them truly life changing you need to invest in them by:
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: