It helps when the commitment to community is a part of your church’s DNA. If it’s not, then you need to find a way to change that. Otherwise your effectiveness to reach kids, specifically in student ministry will be severely limited. Fortunately for me, my church has small groups as a core part of the DNA. However, when I arrived almost 2 years ago, there had never been small groups in the children’s ministry. Now I’ve known a lot of childrens ministries have have existed without small groups, but not when there are small groups in every other aspect of the church. Needless to say, the leadership was begging me to launch small groups.Two years later, our elementary kids are more connected than ever. Because small groups are valued the same way in middle school, the 5th graders will promote right into a 6th grade small group. It’s too easy.

However, what we’re working on right now is taking is getting this DNA for community all the way down the line. What do I mean? Let me ask this question. What would community look like for a 1 year old? How about a 3 year old? We’re currently working on opportunities to create community environments for those very kids. Sure, the value of community is most realized when they’re older, but every kid needs community and we’re exploring what would look like for the youngest of those in our church.