Small Groups are the most effective form of ministry out there today in my opinion. God is using churches through the area of small groups to challenge and strengthen individuals. I think small groups are the most effective ways to connect, strengthen, and challenge students. We do small groups each week during our Wednesday evening program. I want to share a few thoughts (nothing new) with you to remind you about why you do small group ministry? What is the purpose of small group ministry?
- Create Spiritual discussions – We use our small group time to create discussions about the lesson that was just taught from the Word to them. We ask our small group leaders to create discussion about each student and their quiet time with God. This should not just be a time for small talk, but deep talk as well.
- Build Relationships – This is a no brainer. Yeah, we want you to create spiritual discussions, but we also want you to build relationships with these students. We have about 70 students in our ministry, and it is impossible for me to build a strong one and one relationship with each of these students. That is why we have small group leaders to build strong relationships with each student! Each student must have a good relationship with a small group leader. Ask them about sports, relationships, school, friends, hobbies, video games, etc. Students are into something, and it is the small group leader’s responsibility to find what they are into, and use this as a way to build relationships with them.
- Challenge them – We challenge them from the teaching, but I have learned that many students are challenged deeper from a small group leader in a smaller setting. Set spiritual goals for them and help find ways to help your students achieve them.
- Build a relationship with the students’ parents – This is where student ministry struggles the most. I recently wrote an article about building relationships with the students’ parents (you can read it here), but we must improve in this area. Each small group must take the time and make the effort to get to know the students parents. Parents are the avenue for the most successful ministry, and we are majorly failing across the board in our relationships with parents. If you are a small group leader, take the time to get to know your students’ parents.
- Accountability – This is a time where each student is held accountable of their relationship with Jesus, their decisions, and their goals. This is not a time to make the student feel guilty for messing up or not falling through. It is a time to challenge and encourage them to keep on going in these areas.