I don’t know about you, but earlier on in my ministry I would have done just about anything to get my hands on a very practical series concerning small groups (or Sunday school) specifically for student ministry. I’m putting this resource out there for everyone in case it might be a help and a blessing to your youth ministry…wherever you are. These mp3s are the teaching sessions of our annual small group leaders retreat.
I love to take our Small Group Leaders on an annual retreat. We pick a retreat center with a comfortable conference room and cozy hotel rooms. This allows us to get together and collaborate on the same page of why we do what we do. It gives me an opportunity to show them how much I love and appreciate their compassionate ministry to our students for the glory of Christ! It also is a chance for our new small group leaders to hear our overall vision and mission of what our small groups are supposed to accomplish.
And let me tell you, we do have the most loving, compassionate, gifted, faithful, and humble staff of small group leaders than I’ve ever seen anywhere else. As God has given me the ministry of preaching, teaching, and explaining His Word, He has given them the ministry of facilitating the students to discuss how His Word specifically applies in their lives.
I will tell you just like I tell our small group leaders…our small groups are not for teachers! God has called me to do the specific teaching and preaching. Rather, our small group one-hour sessions on Sunday mornings are for our students to think through the passage I preached on the previous Wednesday night. Teens today are constantly preached to and talked to at home, at school, at church, in sports, etc. They need an opportunity to be heard, to process what God is doing in their lives, to think out-loud about how Scripture applies to their life, and to express their thoughts in a safe environment where faithful adults will correct error. So the purpose of our small groups if for our small group leaders to ask questions to the students through the passages of Scripture that we cover on the previous Wednesday nights, and for our students to answer honestly, thoughtfully, and Christ-centeredly.