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:
EQUIPPING THEM WITH LOVING AND COMMITTED LEADERS
Your small groups need to be lead by two adults who love teenagers and are willing to commit to the:
Drama that comes with teenagers.
Journey of spiritual highs and lows.
Vision that leads your ministry.
To find these adults you need to make yourself present on the weekend. Invest in people and cast the vision. People who grasp onto the vision are people who will commit to the long haul.
PLACING EMPHASIS ON COMMUNITY BUILDING
To continuously strengthen the group encourage your leaders to connect with teens during the week. Encourage them to:
- Coordinate fun activities like bowling and deepening experiences like serving.
- Attend after school activities and connect with parents.
- Touch base with encouragement via text, email or social media.
Continue the community outside of the youth room walls by being present in their lives.
GOING BEYOND TEENS AND CONNECTING WITH PARENTS
Stronger small groups are ones that connect with the family. That means small group leaders know the names of the parents. It also means parents understand the role of a small group leader.
When you can provide clarity you build trust and it encourages parents to invest more in your ministry. By connecting with parents you tell them, “We want to come alongside and serve you too.”
CHALLENGING PARTICIPANTS TO BE A LITTLE UNCOMFORTABLE
When a small group gets too comfortable that’s when things fall apart. Some of the ways groups get too comfortable is when they:
- Never invite anyone new.
- Always talk about the same topics.
- Keep it casual.
Communicate early on that groups are supposed to grow. Make sure that they are open to inviting new people and don’t be afraid to create high standards for the leaders.
The small groups that last have a solid structure and committed individuals. It’s where your big ministry can feel intimate. It’s where every teen is known. It’s where community is formed and lives are changed.
Question: What other characteristics of strong small groups would you add? You can leave a comment by clicking here.