I can’t believe we’re this close to the end of the year for our student small groups! Next week will be our last week – we used to go until June, but between school finals, mission trip preparations and spring fever, our attendance dies and our leaders get burnt out (many of them are also on the mission trips). So we prefer to finish strong a bit sooner and then really allow people to shift all their focus and energy on the student mission trips.
Last Monday night we had our monthly Student Ministry Team meeting, the team of adult volunteers that make all things student ministry happen at Brandywine Valley Baptist Church. We spent some time debriefing our small groups, what worked, what can improve for next year, etc. He are some of the major points from that conversation that will influence our preparations in the coming for months for the 2011/2012 school year:
- More flexibility with the middle school small group lesson plan. This year we tried to have a schedule with all of the 6th-8th grade groups doing the same lessons every week. It was a challenge, didn’t give leaders as much freedom as they would have preferred, and ultimately I’m not sure that it served much of a purpose. Going into next year we’ll do something more like what we do with the senior high by giving the middle school leaders a binder full of lessons from the Live Curriculum and let them pick the order they use them in based on the needs of their group.
- The senior high wanted more DVD curriculum options. It was really limited this year so we’ll definitely grab some more options for the leaders going into next year. A big part of was the need to be able to change things up from month to month so it doesn’t feel like the same thing.
- Once again the leaders all affirmed how much they love the Live Curriculum. It has been a real win for our middle school and high school small groups.
- We talked about possibly merging some of our smaller groups and what that might look like.
- We also brainstormed ways we could do more ministry to the whole family, not just the student. There were definitely some great ideas for some possible events/meetings/opportunities that would involve parents and teens.
Overall there was a great sense that our small groups are really an important part of what we do. It’s fun to see these leaders talk about the kids in their groups, the things that are going on, the joys and rewards that come out of it all!