- Be there for the right reasons– Students know if you are there for any other reason than to love them. If you are there watching your own kids, or you feel guilty for not being involved in a ministry of the local church, or if you are doing it out of routine. Students can pick up on it from a mile away so be there for the right reasons.
- Genuinely Love your Students– Once again, students will know if you are forcing or faking your love for them. They will know so make sure it is genuine.
- Contact your kids weekly outside of your small group time– Students might act like they are annoyed by this, or they might act like they do not care if you contact them or not, but THEY DO. They remember these things. The best small groups are the ones that have relationships with their leaders outside of youth group.
- Attend large group events as much as possible– I understand that we have families, and it is difficult to find a baby sitter, etc, but try to attend events with your students. Once again, the best small groups are usually because the students have a strong relationship with their leader. One of the best ways to build this relationship is through youth group events.
- Have a balance of discipleship and relationship– Relationships are the bridge to discipleship. You will never disciple a student if you do not have a relationship with them, but too many leaders have relationships, but are not discipling their students. Make sure that you are having a balance.
- Get to know their parents– Parent ministry is not just something for the youth pastor. It is equally the responsibility of the small group leaders to minister to the parents as well. If you have a small group, one of the first things that you must do is meet their parents. If you have had a small group, and you have not met your parents, make that your next top priority!