It’s been a awesome week leading and teaching on Orange Tour this fall. I love being a part of the Lead Small conversation because small groups matter to students. Providing safe and consistent small groups can be the most important thing churches can do for kids. They give kids someone who knows them and loves them and somewhere to belong.
My first small group was one that I was a part of as a 15 year old at a summer camp in Kansas.
It was in that small group that I could be safe in my failures and honest about my sin. I could tell my small group leader Cherry that I was hurting and it gave her an opportunity to share God’s love for me.
I had been stuck in a lot of ways. Stuck in a cycle of unbelief.
I didn’t think the God of the church could love a girl outside of the church.
I was stuck in making poor choices. And, I was stuck in a relationship with a guy that wasn’t very healthy for me. But I couldn’t see it. I didn’t see how I could win. I didn’t know what I could do to change and grow.
Cherry gave me the push I needed, showed me how I was made in the image of God, loved by his Son, and gave me a reason to believe that I had something significant to offer to the world.
A youth pastor drove us 15 hours to a camp to get us at picnic tables with small group leaders.
It changed my life dramatically.
It’s why it’s so important to me today, getting in a room and letting the messes be okay so we can move beyond them.
Tonight I’ll be leading a panel on the topic of “Moving Them Out” when kids get stuck. Because the truth is, every student gets stuck at some point. Stuck in their faith, stuck in their decision making, stuck in their relationships and every small group leader can help push them, motivate them, coach them as they move to deeper faith, wiser choices, and even better relationships.
We’ll be offering a lot of practical help for coaching kids along but I’d love to hear from some of you what ideas you have to move them when they are stuck.
Cherry’s approach was giving us consistent time every day to be heard. She made one-on-one time within group time a priority to help us see how God might be working in our lives uniquely.
What are your best practices for moving kids on in their faith and in their relationships?
I’d love to hear from you.
Leading small is great. Leading small together is even better.