I’m helping my current church launch small groups in their student ministry. I learned a lot about small groups when I was a student pastor and love the relationships that small groups foster. I’ve even helped launch a small group model in the current school I teach at. Launching small groups can be tough. There are leaders to find, sign ups to happen, contacts to be made. Transitioning a student ministry from a program emphasis to a small group/relational emphasis is tough. It changes the goals, the wins, and the measures for your ministry. Yet, it is completely worth it.
One of the small group leaders (SGL) had ten girls originally signed up for her group. For her groups launch four showed up. I celebrated, people wondered why I was so excited. I explained how four girls connecting to a leader in an intimate setting, growing relationally, is a HUGE deal. I told the story of how I had a group of two kids that over time grew to be a home group of over twenty consistently. I talked about celebrating those four girls and praying for them daily. That those four girls connecting with a leader and with each other helps to connect even more girls. We are laying the foundation for something great.
We can get caught up in the numbers. I’ve learned from a good friend that numbers are important, but they should not be sole factor in your ministry. Numbers help us to see trends in our ministry, help us to be strategic with plans and they help us to see where God is leading the ministry. Numbers are not relationships though. You could have a student ministry with hundreds of kids, but if community is not a central aspect of that ministry students may miss out on discovering and developing an authentic faith.
There is a vision of huge number of students connecting through small groups. Right now we are laying that foundation. We are connecting leaders to students. Even if it is a few, we party.