I’m very passionate about small groups for kids. It’s probably become my number one ministry priority. Almost everything I do (almost every program or ministry initiative) points to the small group experience. For ten years, small groups have been my answer to ministry challenges.
- How do we help kids connect on the weekend?
- How do we recognize birthdays and special days for a kid on the weekend?
- How do we talk about money and collect the offering on the weekend?
- How do we unpack a salvation message and take steps toward baptism?
- How do we group kids at camp?
- How do we connect with parents and resource them?
Small groups. We can do all of these things through small groups. Sometimes it requires a little extra creativity, but I feel that doing all these things through small groups does a few different things:
It narrows the focus: Ministry can easily get complicated. Churches do a lot of things (sometimes too many things). However, even choosing to do some of these things THROUGH the context of a small group elevates the priority of groups.
It creates a personal touch: When everything is done therough the context of the small group, everything becomes relational. Whether your ministry has 30 kids or 300 kids, it will never really be relational and personal for every kid unless you truly utilize small groups.
It scales the ministry: Too many churches consist of one or two people doing all the work. They organize the events, contact/communicate with all the parents and everything else that has to be done. When you utilize small groups, you can decentralize the responsibilities. Rather than one person being responsible for doing something for 100 kids/families, you can empower 10 small group leaders to each do that for 10 kids/families.
It creates stability: I find that small group leaders stick around longer than most volunteers. They become really connected to their group of kids, especially when they promote with them each year. When a church goes through a challenging situation or when a ministry transitions leadership, small groups provide stability when everything else seems chaotic. Families will often endure a challenging season at their church if they feel their kids are relationally and spiritually connected in a small group.
If your children’s ministry is not equipped with small groups, I really think you should look into it. Getting groups up and going isn’t easy. Moving volunteers to a weekly serving commitment can be daunting. However, the most difficult work is on the front end. Once you have it set up, ministry gets WAY easier and far more rewarding (I’m speaking from personal experience).
Perhaps you already have small groups, but they’re just one thing among many other things you already do. They receive some of your attention, but so do a lot of other things.
Maybe small groups are your ministry priority. However, you’re facing challenges to this model. Maybe you’re just looking for tips, tricks or ministry hacks to make groups better than they currently are.
Well, good news. Here at childrensministryonline.com, August 2017 is Small Group Month! All month long, we’re going to explore the benefits, challenges, and tips to leading effective groups for kids. Let’s go!
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