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When and how to do small groups is a big issue for any of us leading a student ministry! This is another one of those big issues that I really struggled to work through when we launched our weekly gathering. We thought about doing home groups that met a different night but worried we could not find the right night. We fearfully launched groups that met following our gathering for teens. We were scared this approach would scare kids away but after three years we can clearly share why we keep doing small groups on the same night of our student gathering…

  • Its makes community REAL at our weekly gathering. Every kid who comes is known by a adult who has the potential to be come a mentor! Not sure if you know this yet but teens want to be known, missed, celebrated, and cared for.
  • Every student has a chance to express what God is doing in their heart. We feel if kids do not have a time to talk about the night and process we have failed them.
  • It allows our volunteer leaders to move into “ministry” roles as they care for kids at our weekly gathering! Our volunteers are making a real difference week in and week out.
  • We have time where we can take what was talked about on stage to a deeper level with each age group and gender as needed. 12th graders process differently than 9th graders!
  • When teens get to block out one time a week and GATHER AND COMMIT to small group it makes the life of mom and dad more simple! One night is always better than 2 for parents.
  • Teens don’t just come to a big crowd experience and leave. We are trying not to be a spiritual pep rally. By doing groups connected with the gathering we hope to give teens a safe place to rethink faith, move forward in their journey with Christ, and discover community!

There you have it! It was a hard choice to make and this plan might not work for you. We do know that God is using small groups in a big way in our student ministry. Thanks to all our amazing small group leaders!