The question is “How can we minister to youth through the Small Groups System?”
When it comes to youth and semester-based Activate small groups I’ve seen it work effectively in two ways:
1 – Run the youth small groups like the adult small groups.
Have them age-based – but let the youth sign up for them on Sundays and on-line just like the adults do.
2 – What I’ve a lot of churches do – because most suburban or rural churches do continue to have a Wednesday night or Sunday night big youth event – is still have the large event for the youth and have a beginning worship/group time.
Then after that, break into different age specific small groups that might have different topics.
One church has a large Sunday night youth event – and then has small groups at different homes throughout the week.
So – you do have some options.
***Whatever you decide – it’s important to connect being a part of the small groups and youth events to attendance in your church.
That’s why having a Small Group Covenant is so important. Because the semester-based groups only last 10-12 weeks – it’s important to ask those who are in the group to sign a covenant saying they will take the commitment seriously.
Part of that commitment is that they will attend services over the length of the group. It doesn’t mean that they are there every week. But if it helps a kid who is disconnected from church to at least check out the church over the course of the life of the group – that’s a good thing.
Then if you ask your small groups to serve at least once or twice over the course of the semester at a Sunday service, you help get those kids connected into the church instead of just the small group or the youth event.
I hope these ideas help!
P.S. If you’re ready to activate your Small Groups, involve more than 100% of your church in groups, and see radical life change, check out The Small Groups Intensive.
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