We do a thing in our ministry called Life Group Meet N Greet. Picture something like a Back To School Night for a high school, but for small groups. It is a night where we organize all of the small group leaders, all of the students, and all of the parents for a night where all of them can interact for a night (a lot of the times this will be the first time they do) and get the year started off right.
Here is just a short list of why we do certain things and what is available the night of just in case you might want to do a similar thing.
Leaders get their official roster this night. We don’t let students or leaders know who exactly is going to be in their group until this night, otherwise we will get a thousand phone calls and emails about this person is not with me and so on.
All changes for groups happens that night. Each staff member is in charge of putting together a grade/gender group. So we have tables set up so if there is a problem they go directly to the person who put that group together.
Leaders come and decorate their tables in a fun way to break the ice with their students. Some people get creative. Last year I had a Chipotle table and wrapped everything in foil and had Chipotle burritos for everyone.
Leaders get a chance to meet their students and parents for the first time. This year a majority of our leaders are brand new to us and their students. It’s a great night for them to actually make face to face contact with parents otherwise they would be dropped off at group or they can drive themselves.
We let the students hang out with the leaders for a while and we pull the parents into a meeting where the staff gets to share our hearts for small groups and we share how we want to partner with them to see their students small spiritual lives can grow this year.
It’s only 90 minutes. We make it come anytime within that 90 minutes to meet everyone. We do this just get to get a face to a name and then the next week, all groups will meet in our students building to kick off the year together and then they will be in their host homes for the rest of the year.
Meet N Greet is a great way to get everyone together all at once to meet parents, students and leaders and is a great way to mass fix any problems with any groups in a way that wont make me want to pull out my hair. It is always a great hit with everyone involved and is a huge win for us as a ministry.