Jr High Small Groups

Sweet! I just finished planning out this year’s middle school small group curriculum and had to take a moment to enjoy it!  In the past, we’ve let leaders basically do whatever they wanted and put the responsibility on them to find something for their group.  One of the things that I came away from this last year (I’m a couple weeks away from finishing my first year on staff here) is that the leaders would prefer for me to go ahead and give them something and let them work with that.  I’m kinda wired the same way, and I also like the idea of all our middle school students studying the same topics, even if it’s in different rooms, with different leaders and different spins.  It also makes it a lot easier to communicate what’s going on to parents, which is also a plus!  I settled on a combination of resources from Simply Youth Ministry for a couple reasons; the first being that they are excellent small group materials, and secondly (this was a big one), they come with permission to reproduce the heck out of them so I only had to buy one copy of each and now we’ll just used the included cd-roms to reproduce the handouts and leader guides, as well as make copies of the dvd sessions for all the leaders.  Very, very cool.

Throughout the year we’ll be using the 20 studies in the Active Bible Studies book.  It’s specifically written for middle schoolers and has a LOT of great ideas.  During the busiest parts of the year (the weeks before Christmas and graduation), we’ll be using two different five week dvd curriculums; the first is Jr High Bible Stuff Vol. 2, the second one is Jr High Tuff Stuff.  I’ve been impressed with all three resources and can’t wait to see how it goes this year!

All told, we’ll have 31 weeks of middle school small groups; the last night is a fun night, but between the above resources and a couple lessons from the Skit Guys’ You Teach Vol. 4 dvd, we’ll spend 18 weeks in study lessons, and 12 weeks with video based lessons.  We’re set for the year!  Definitely feels good to be able to say that!  Now I just have to tackle senior high small groups …

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