What makes small groups connect?

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We have been doing small groups in our kids ministry for about 8 years and they have been amazing for the most part. I love the interaction and application that takes place in a smaller setting.

Our first time guest numbers have been very high the past 8 months and this has gotten me thinking about every aspect of what we do like never before. One thing that I have been thinking a lot about is how why when where we do our small group. I love most of what we do. The one thing that I am praying/thinking about is how to boost connections with kids on a personal level with the kids in our kids ministry.

Here is what I am thinking about doing?

1. Have small group leaders be more specialized. – instead of working 1 weekend a month. I would have them serve more often.

2. Have a separate volunteer team send cards a call help the small group leaders make connections.

3. Help current small group leaders multiply themselves and have more small group leaders and assign a few kids to be their relationship connections.

These are my crazy thoughts. Let me know if they are good/stupid or in-between also if you have an idea better than mine (very possible) let me know.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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7 thoughts on “What makes small groups connect?

  1. I’m thinking more often than once a month is needed for significant connection with the kids. I’m hoping that the vision of life investment will draw volunteers to serve more often… It’s a hard sell though. Burnin hot vision– that they are serving kids indivifual growth not just groups. I hope it exites them (that’s my pitch). Agreed-Multiplying leaders is key.

  2. Jonathan,

    Yes for the last 8 years we have done once a month. I am thinking about changing it. How often do your small group leaders work.

    Mike,

    I agree once a month is not enough to foster natural connections. How often do your SG leaders serve.

  3. Right now it’s different for all leaders depending an availability but we are hoping to tighten the schedule up and connect leaders more frequently. Perhpas every other week- a big ask but we’ll see.

  4. Elementary small group leaders serve every week. We have 3 Sunday Morning services, so they have ample opportunity to attend adult services. I’ve also found that the continuity for the kids sake in leadership is wonderful.

  5. Hey Sam,

    Just wanted you to know that when my CP got here at Brookwood over 70% were rotating volunteers (once every 6 weeks) now over 70% are weekly volunteers. I know I don’t need to over the positives but it has impacted our kids in a great way.

    One thing that you might want to look at with the growth of new visitors is placing them with others from their school. I think sometimes with new kids if you put them into a new group it doesn’t foster too much excitement for what is going on. Add new kids to kids from a certain school and there is more of a sense of community.

    What we are working on for the volunteer leader part is someone who builds community with 4 or 5 small group leaders and pours into them. Talks with them and develops them and pushes them to build connections with the kids and others.

    anyway just some thoughts man…

  6. Before coming to Gateway, I never had every week volunteers in our elementary programs except for those exceptions to the rules. Then in August I moved toward small groups on Sunday mornings and demanded small group leaders serve every week. We started with 22-25 small group leaders. We were still 10-12 short, so we combined some age groups and paired several every-other week volunteers together to lead groups. It wasn’t easy, but within the next few weeks, every age and gender group will have an every week small group leaders. My every-other week volunteers will serve primarily as subs and assistants. It’s been amazing. Like I said, it wasn’t easy, but you can get there bit by bit. As long as you have two services, volunteers have the option of attending another service. My next challenge? Seeing this happen in early childhood. That will be the big one.