Why You Don’t Need Small Group Leaders In Your Children’s Ministry

Why You Don’t Need Small Group Leaders In Your Children’s Ministry

small groupsSmall groups, connect groups, growth groups?- these?pairings of leaders with kids form a critical component of the discipleship strategy for any?children?s ministry.

As a result, our ministries are most often driven around the need to invite, inspire and equip individuals to fill a role we are all familiar with ? the role of ?Small Group Leader.

But what if what we?re looking for isn?t Small Group Leaders at all? Here are three reasons why you don?t need Small Group Leaders in your ministry:

The job title doesn?t fit the job

When we think of small group, we primarily think of the time in our programming when kids sit in tight-knit circles with one or two adults, exploring Scripture and unpacking what they?ve heard taught that day.

So, when we invite someone to join our ministry as a Small Group Leader, do we tell them, ?Your role will be to lead a small group in discussion and prayer. Don?t worry about everything else!??

Of course not!

?In my ministry context, we look for our leaders to be fully engaged in every aspect of our programming ? whether it?s leading their group to participate in worship, playing games alongside them, or engaging them in discussion.

I avoid using the term Small Group Leader, because there?s a world of difference between being a Small Group Leader (whose scope is inherently limited by the title) and leading a small group!

It elevates small groups above all else

There?s no doubt that relationship-building is critical in children?s ministry, and small groups are an effective approach to building those relationships. However, there is a range of other areas in our ministries that are as equally important to accomplishing our mission.

By emphasizing the importance of the role of Small Group Leader in relationship building, we often unintentionally downplay the significance of these other roles in our ministry, such as in worship, teaching and security. Our volunteers who fill these roles play an equally essential part in enabling us to move toward the accomplishment of our mission.

Don?t get me wrong ? I love small groups! Children need healthy, supportive adults who can lead, nurture and develop them in these settings. But we also need our volunteers, regardless of role, to see the interconnectedness of everything we do, and their part in it.

Being a Small Group Leader is too easy

In children?s ministry, we often make a critical error ? we assume our volunteers don?t want to be challenged.

Even as we invite people to join us on this awesome journey of ministry, we assume that they only want a simple task ? one with minimal prep and maximum ease. While we think saying, ?Oh, being a Small Group Leader is really easy. You?ll pick it up in no time!? is enticing people to join us, we?re actually communicating that their role will be boring, uninspiring and that commitment to it is entirely optional.? Why would I adjust my calendar, cancel plans or get up early in the morning for something that you?ve just told me a monkey could do?

Children?s ministry can be tough, demanding, and even heart-wrenching at times. It requires sacrifice, determination, and the fruits of the Spirit by the basketful! But the reward of building relationships that last with kids, of seeing kids unashamedly and boldly declaring the name of Jesus, and watching them grow as Christ-followers ? that?s worthy of our time, our talents and our utmost effort.

And it?s about so much more than being a Small Group Leader!

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Greg Baird
Founder of Children's Ministry Leader at Children's Ministry Leader
My passion is seeing the lives of children transformed. I believe the best way to do that is to equip leaders in the local church to serve children, volunteers and parents to invest in the lives of children at church and in the home. That?s what we do here at Children?s Ministry Leader ? equip leaders to create healthy Children?s & Family Ministry.
I serve as the Vice President of Global Resources in the Global Mission department at David C. Cook.

I love what I do as it is the outflow of 25 years of ministry experience as Children?s, Family & Administrative Pastor, consultant, trainer, speaker and short-term missions leader.

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Here’s a great resource to offer your families, created by our friends Sweet Sleep. And it’s free!

Check it out!

#VBS #SweetSleepWelcome to the Sweet Sleep Family Experience!
Join us this summer as we explore what life is like for children and families in Uganda. The program is designed to help families have fun experiences together, while learning some important truths about how God provides True Rest, and how we can learn to love and serve others as He calls us to do.

Check out our website for access to all of these FREE activities 🎉
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Fun is not a 4-letter word. 🙂

#kidmin #youthmin #stumin #fammin #childrensministry #childrensministryleader #kidsministry #pastors #church #ministry
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Stop begging trying to fill the needs in your ministry! IF people respond, it will likely be only short term. Obligatory service doesn’t inspire people to stick around.

Instead, understand the grand vision we are pursuing by investing in children’s lives for eternity!

Practice articulating that vision and start sharing it in every conversation. It’s a privilege and honor to be part of such important service, so INVITE people into that opportunity.

And, of course, never forget the foundation for building our team, found in Luke 10:2: “These were his [Jesus’] instructions to them: ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.’”

#KidMin #YouthMin #StuMin #FamMin #ChildrensMinistry #ChildrensMinistryLeader #KidsMinistry #Pastors #Church #Ministry
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As the kids run to their waiting parents after church on Sunday morning, is that where the impact ends?

Or does the conversation continue at home throughout the week?

Hopefully the answer is the latter. If it’s not, it’s probably because we aren’t engaging and equipping parents to continue the conversation.

And that’s a problem.

Parents are the primary spiritual investors in a child’s life. Good or bad, this is almost always true.

As Children’s Ministry Leaders, our primary role ought to be to “equip God’s people” (Ephesians 4:12). In our case, I believe that means equip our team to invest in the children of our ministry, and to equip the parents of those children to continue the conversations at home.

If you aren’t engaging & equipping parents to continue the conversations that begin at church, then your ministry is incomplete.

If you are engaging and equipping parents, share an example in the comments of how you do that so the rest of us can learn from you.

#KidMin #YouthMin #StuMin #FamMin #ChildrensMinistry #Pastors #Church #Ministry
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We always hear that children and youth are the church of tomorrow.

Yes, they are.

But they are also part of the church of today.

They are the group most receptive to the Gospel. They are the group most responsive to discipleship.

They also typically represent the largest group in the church, and the one with the most peripheral impact (volunteers, parents, etc).

They are the most vulnerable, physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

Why on earth would we ever think we could “babysit” this group while “real ministry” happens with adults?

The truth is, many (most?) churches are not as healthy or strong as they could be because they lack a thriving focus on perhaps the very group that should receive the greatest focus.

You cannot have a healthy church without a healthy ministry to children and families.


#KidMin #YouthMin #StuMin #ChildrensMinistry #FamMin #Pastors #Church #Ministry
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