Yesterday’s post gave five good reasons why you SHOULDN’T offer Small Groups. I’m sure it was confusing as you probably know by now that I LOVE small groups. I think you totally SHOULD offer Small Groups, but there are challenges associated with offering Small Groups. It’s important to know what you’re getting into. I tried to offer five compelling reasons to not do group. However, the very reasons to not offer groups are also reasons to do groups. Let’s take another look at the reasons:
GROUPS ARE NOT A CONTROLLED EXPERIENCE
Of course they’re not you control freak! Offering groups means relinquishing control to someone else. The perfectionist in us hates this idea, but think about when Jesus first sent out his disciples two by two. How was that first experience? Not perfect. Jesus had to coach them through their failures. They didn’t do it as well as Jesus did. What if Jesus hadn’t sent them out because he could have done it better. Wouldn’t you agree that the disciples ended up doing much better? It’s good that Jesus turned over his ministry to people who were much less qualified. Maybe controlled experiences aren’t the goal. Maybe the best thing for everyone is delegated authority.
GROUPS ARE INCREDIBLY TIME CONSUMING
This is absolutely true. You’ll need to recruit at least one group leader for every 8-12 kids in your ministry/department. You’ll need to recruit coaches, You’ll need to recruit subs. You’ll need to train, equip and care for a small army of volunteers that wouldn’t exist if you didn’t do groups. But this isn’t really a reason not to offer groups. Here’s a different way of looking at it. Offering individual and personal care for every kid in your ministry is incredibly time-consuming. If you have more than 10-15 kids in your ministry, it’s really impossible. There’s no way you can truly know and pastor every kid. However, having groups allows you to provide that kind of care and love. All you have to do is invest in the group of people who will do this. Offering groups is time-consuming, but it’s honestly the most efficient way to care of the kids in your ministry.
GROUPS CAN BE A DISTRACTION
Yes they can be, but that’s not a bad thing at all. With amazingly short attention spans, breaking into groups is exactly the distraction kids need. The very act of getting up and marching down the hall to a different space gets the blood flowing and shifts their attention. It is true that some of your small group leaders will be disorganized and unprepared. That’s not a reason against groups, but a great reason for training and accountability. I can say with a certain amount of certainty that for every unprepared small group leader, you have another small group leader that is absolutely CRUSHING it! Your greatest task will be to find, rally and train more small group leaders to be like that.
GROUPS REQUIRE SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT
Whoever said that kids weren’t expensive? Sure, you can buy a prop or two for the stage and design a multi-media experience that doesn’t cost very much. But giving every child something to hold in their hand that connects to the Bible story is better. They’re less likely to forget what they learned. Allowing kids to play a game that connects to a critical idea is better than just watching a video, even if it means buying 500 ping pong balls and 2000 pipe cleaners. We have to be mindful of our resources, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because parents will sit in a chair for 60 minutes that their kids will too, or that they even should.
GROUPS REQUIRE SIGNIFICANT RISK
The word “significant” is a little over the top. Good screening and training should bring the risk down to something manageable. Isn’t this the best part, though? There are some AMAZING people that you need to put in a circle with your kids. Your kids and your ministry will be better because of it. In the quest of finding these unicorns, you’ll come across some duds. There will be some disappointments. However, finding the game-changing leaders is worth it. They’re risks worth taking. Remember when someone to a chance on you? You ended up being a gift to your church and to the world of kidmin. Offering groups is all about extending the same opportunity to someone else who needs a chance.
One may see these as reasons not to offer groups where someone else sees these as the very reasons why groups should be offered. It’s worth it. Take the risk and invest the time and energy that will impact your kids in a way that nothing else can.
Join the Daily Dispatch!
If you're a kidmin content junky... submit your name and email and you will get the following:
• Daily updates from the blog
• Weekly blog summaries with exclusive content
• Access to amazing resources
ALL DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX!