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student ministry, youth ministry, youth worker

Summer Check-up for Small Groups

By Doug Franklin June 23, 2010

This summer spend some time giving your small groups a check-up. Check these three critical areas.

1. Focus of group – social vs. spiritual. If the focus is social, what can be done to move the group towards more of a spiritual focus?

2. Content – is the Bible study relevant to the students’ lives that are in the group? To often youth pastors use the same curriculum for all their groups. Its hard for freshman boys and senior gals to have a lot in common. Be creative, use curriculum that will engage with students where they are at in life.

3. Attendance – students will always go to something that is great. If attendance has dipped over the year, start asking students why they are not coming. This feedback will really help your small group leader.

Idea: Develop a Rescue Team
After you’ve given your small groups a check-up, have a rescue team ready if you need one. This may be you or other youth ministry vets from your staff (It’s good to have a male and female on this team). The rescue team may need to change leaders, meeting times, group focus, or may need to change the student mix in the group. Tip: be quick to respond because once you lose a group, the damage is done.

To keep from ever using a rescue team, give your staff tools that help them develop relationships with students. Seminars and training materials can be effective. In fact here at LeaderTreks, we spend a lot of time offering seminars and trainings that can help. But more importantly, I think small group leaders need goals. Sit down with each leader and give them a vision for their small group and how it supports the goals of the whole ministry. Write the goals down and keep staff accountable to the mission of their small group.

Don’t do small groups if it’s just something you are going to put on your resume and don’t do it because the other guys in town are doing it. Do it because you believe that it’s the best tool you have to bring the truth of Jesus into the hearts of your students.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More