I just got back a few minutes ago from my weekly jr. high small group. And it was…AWESOME! It’s such a huge blessing to get the chance to disciple a group of teenagers through their journey of understanding who Jesus is and how they can live for Him. And let’s be honest…it’s just plain FUN to hang out with jr. high students. Here is a list of “5 Great Ideas To Try With Your Jr. High Small Group!”
1) The overnighter! Every jr. high kid loves a good overnighter. Stay at your church, have one of your student’s parents host it at their home, go camping…anything will work! Never underestimate the power of a good overnighter. The reality is that you as the youth worker will hate every minute of being awake all night with stinky jr. high kids, but the relationships that will be built will be well worth it!
2) Have the students lead! We are trying this out in my jr. high group right now. Each week instead of me preparing a typical small group study for my jr. high guys, one of them is assigned to plan a Bible study on their own to lead the group in the following week. You will be surprised how awesome the conversations will go when you let your students lead.
3) Stop studying and start playing! Every now and then you just need to break up the monotony of studying together and just have fun! Tonight my small group and I went and spent about 45 minutes just playing soccer in the park next to the house where we meet. It was a great time! My students said it was the best small group yet!
4) Challenge your jr. high small group in big ways! Sometimes in jr. high ministry when we try to get students to engage in Bible study it can seem like pulling teeth. But recently I decided to challenge my students to “step it up” in our group and I had all of them read a book on their own (Refuel by Doug Fields) and we have been discussing it for the past three weeks. The result? Every student has been reading the book and they have been actively involved in the discussions! Jr. High students CAN take a challenge. They are just waiting for their leader to throw down the gauntlet.
5) Give the students in your small group a job! Assign your jr. high students to bring snacks, have them come up with a game to play at your group, have them pick the next fun night out. Students LOVE to be in charge of things. We just need to empower our jr. high students to be leaders.
Leave a comment below and let the community know of some tips & tricks that you use to strengthen your jr. high small group!