So you just signed up to be a small group leader. You got a little training, probably from someone who is just a little older than your children – and the first meeting of your small group is next week. This might help get you thinking about the kids God has trusted to you in this next season. I want to highlight a way of connecting with students – Doug Fields has always called it the 5-3-1 Rule. Here’s my take on it:

Care for all
You’ve been given somewhere between 5 and 12 students — and we’re asking you to care for all of them. Simple stuff really, just know their names, be involved in their life and connect with them on a weekly basis. We divide up the large group into small groups so all can be cared for. This is where you come in – be a minister, think of yourself as the pastor of this little church within a church.

Pour into a few
There’s a few of the students in your small group you immediately connect with. Maybe it is a share interest or a similar story — either way, you just click with them. So pour into them a little more than the others. When you’re running an errand, ask one of them to join you so you can turn the mundane into ministry. When you happen on a day you can sneak away from the office, try to sneak by and catch the end of their swim meet or pick them up for a life conversation over a Coke.

Mentor one
After a few weeks, ask God to show you the student who you believe He is calling you to mentor. Pray for them, give them extra challenges, ask them to step up and lead the group one night when you’re gone. Connect with them outside of group, meet regularly and share what God is teaching you. Allow God to speak through you to shape them into a great minister and future small group leader. Maybe it’ll be the church kid who needs you, maybe it’ll be the unexpected fringe kid. You’ll know!

Blessing as you serve students in your small group!