Small Groups have been a key part of our ministry for the past number of years. We think one of the best things our students can do is to meet consistently with a group of students and adult leaders to connect, study scripture, pray together, serve together and support each other. I am continually grateful for the small group leaders we have who meet regularly with our students to build trust, encourage and model what it means to follow Jesus.
One thing that I have become convinced of is the need to celebrate the “wins” that happen in student ministry. When you have students for 7 years (6th – 12th grade), it is important to celebrate when good things take place. Much of the fruit of student ministry doesn’t show up sometimes til years later and discouragement can easily set in.
This weekend I saw where our small groups are developing fruit. There are a few wins we celebrate.
We celebrate when we see growth. I talked with one of our junior high small group leaders and he shared how he has seen growth in his group. They are starting to ask more questions and they have volunteered to lead the group. For the next few weeks, each of the guys in the group will prepare and lead a devotion for the group. It’s a great chance for them to get into the Word to read it, understand it and prepare to share it with a group of peers.
We celebrate when we see service. In just the past 10 days, I’ve seen where our groups are serving together. Several members of two of our high school girls groups showed up on a Saturday to serve at our concession stand that will benefit our 1MISSION project. Most of them couldn’t say for the whole event, but they came and served alongside their small group leaders.
One of our high school guys group is serving in our Upward program. Almost every member of that group is either helping with the technical side of the games (running lights, clock, etc.) or serving as referees for the games.
I know that our students are growing and serving in other ways that we don’t always see, but it is encouraging to see specific examples of how our students are growing and serving.
We continue to look for ways to make our small groups better, to equip our leaders more and add additional leaders. While we do that, I think it is worth to time to stop and celebrate the wins.