If you didn’t know yet, I’m making a transition within HSM to take over overseeing al of our high school small groups. The last year I have been focusing on running our weekend services (which I still get to be part of the process, I’m just not the one making it happen now), but now I get to do what I feel my heart is truly passionate about. Small groups.
You’re probably asking, “Really? Small Groups? They are messy. They need way too much care. You need way to many leaders to have it even seem like it somewhat under control. Do small groups work and are they really worth all the effort?”
Yes, I believe they are. Here is why:
Everyone has a name: On the weekend or midweek programs students can show up, not talk to anyone, listen, leave and never be known. And maybe that is what they want. But in smal groups, it’s impossible. You will be known. You will be loved on by a leader. You will have a name.
Bringing new people easy: Maybe this is just my personal small group, but my guys are bringing their friends who do not know Jesus to small group. Their friends say that is was the closeness and family type atmosphere they always talked about at school that prompted their friends to ask if they can check it out. 2 of the 3 guys who have joined just this year accepted Jesus. Praise God! Sometimes it is the smaller groups that attract some students even though we focus on the big weekend/midweek services.
Students have a place to vent: What I am finding out is there are more and more students who don’t have anyone or anywhere to just let it all out. To be real with. To talk out frustrations, struggles and hang ups. Small groups provide a safe group and a leader to help them through whatever it is they are going trough. Students need a safe place to vent, and small groups can be that place because they will be surrounded by people who will love, care and pray for them.
They will produce (hopefully) authentic followers: I truly believe that true life change comes through small groups. Small groups allows a place for when a student decides to follow Jesus, they can talk about, think about, and learn about what it means to truly follow Jesus. Small groups provides a place to ask questions, to live it out, and to be there with them when they mess up and want to try again. You can see the transformation in front of your eyes and this is my favorite part.
Small groups train leaders: Most of the leaders we have are because they were too once in a small group and they saw what it did in their life. They want to be a part of life change and helping those younger than them grow in the Lord. By doing this, they are too growing closer to God by learning how to lead effectively. Us on staff are there, pouring into them, as they are pouring into our students and it is so fun to see amazing young leaders come out of it.
Small groups are messy but they are so worth it.