There are a ton of different ways to do small groups. They might be on curriculum, you might write your own, you might always partner with your adult ministries and all small groups sort of go through the same thing, you might even be working towards starting small groups right now. Every year at Saddleback Church we do a campaign. It’s something the whole church, from the children to the seniors, go through together. All of the series, the sermons, the small groups have the same messages but just communicated in a way each age group needs it to be communicated. Saddleback is first church I have been a part of where I have been a part of a church-wide campaign and I really like it. I think it is a great opportunity for our ministry, our leaders, our students, their parents to all be going through the same thing at the same time.
Here are some reasons I really enjoy letting our small groups join “big church” for a few months of the year:
Our team gets to work with other ministries.
For the most part during the year, HSM is pretty self-sustainable. We put our heads down and go. But during the campaign, I need to get materials from a ton of the other ministries. In order for me to get all of the small group material that our leaders needs for their students, I need to rub shoulders with people I don’t normally get to. I love it. It’s just building bridges with some great people and ministries.
Student and parents go through the same thing.
We let our parents know that their students are going through the exact same small group materials as they are. We don’t change it because it’s really good. I love this because if parents know that their students are going through the same material, hearing the same messages as they are it can create conversations at home between parents and students. This is huge and this is our goal of helping partner with parents so they realize they are the #1 resource for their students faith.
It makes it easy.
Besides organizing and getting all the material from the adult ministries to give to our leaders for their groups, it makes my life easy. I love that! I just hand out the materials and let them go and do it. I’m all for great stuff being handed out and me sitting back sometimes! I looked at the material because we were going to re-write it for students, but I thought it was so good as is I didn’t think we needed to. So we just took all the materials the adults are using. HA!
Our students see our senior pastor.
I think this is one of the greatest wins. Our students get to see Rick on Worship Together Weekends (where we cancel our services for the weekend and students go up to service with their parents). The DVD’s that come with each small group pack has Rick teaching our students and then we have discussions about the teaching after. Even though it might not be the most entertaining thing for students it’s always solid content and they get to see their senior pastor teach them. They see his face, they know who he is and they realize he is the one leading our church forward and he is teaching them. I think that is huge because once they are out of high school they will have a better idea who Rick is and will help assimilate them into main services better.I don’t know if your church does a huge campaign or not, but I love some of the benefits that come with a church-wide series and allowing our students to join “big church” on some of the things that they do.
I don’t know if your church does a church-wide campaign or not, but I think there are some great benefit fo letting your students join some things “big church” is doing. Give it a try.