How Do You Minister to Youth through Your Small Groups?

This is Kerrick Thomas – Executive Pastor at The Journey Church and co-author of “Activate” with Nelson.  Nelson asked me to address a common small group question today on the blog.

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!

God bless…

Kerrick

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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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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