What is a church small group anyway (besides obviously being a gathering with fewer people)? Chances are, your church has a number of small groups. Church small groups can gather for many different reasons and can be an important part of a children’s ministry. But do we really need small groups as a part of children’s ministry? First, we need to look at the purpose of church small groups.
THE PURPOSE OF SMALL GROUPS
What are small groups and why would children need them? Small groups are about gathering more intimate groups of children to:
- Connect for a purpose
- Meet at regularly scheduled times
- Help children grow in practicing spiritual habits
Small group ministry can be a helpful way to supplement children’s godly lessons and to encourage them as they develop Christian friendships. These children’s small groups have several benefits.
BENEFITS OF HAVING SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FOR CHILDREN
We don’t always think of having small groups for children, but they are no less important than small groups for adults. There are several benefits to children’s small groups:
When fewer children are in a small group, they have a chance to develop deeper friendships with other Christian children and build a trusted community. These connections will help them experience Christ-like behaviors and examples of appropriate relationships.
Learning to Care
A children’s small group can work together to care for others. As they learn how other children or adults in their community have needs, they can work on activities or go on outings in order to share faith and hope and bring joy.
Participating in a small group can help children learn to live out their faith. This is an opportunity for them to show and share what they have been learning in church and Sunday School. Teachers can set examples of what it looks like to live faithfully.
Prayer in a children’s small group can be more focused. A more intimate setting can make it easier for children to take turns praying out loud, helping them grow in their confidence and develop good prayer habits.
Small groups are less scary. Not only do all children feel a bit safer in a small group, but this also gives shy children the opportunity to speak up and share without worrying. Participating in a church small group can help children build confidence.
In a small group study setting, children can learn how to help each other and the group as a whole. It’s a great opportunity to let them take turns being helpers and to grow and develop servant’s hearts.
Let’s be real – crowd control is much easier with a smaller group of children! By being better able to get children to settle and listen, they will be learning more and retaining more of the lessons you’re teaching.
Children may be natural leaders or be able to develop leadership skills. In a small group setting, it will be more apparent who is exhibiting leadership traits and could use some honing and some encouragement in these skills as they grow.
If your church hasn’t started children’s small groups as a part of their ministry, maybe it’s time! There are so many long-term benefits for children who have the small group experience and they will grow up to be more confident in their faith. Grow Curriculum can help make it easier to start or continue your children’s small group efforts.
Grow Curriculum can ease the burden of children’s small group leadership, by providing:
- Small group questions for every week
- Volunteer meeting outlines for training on specific topics
- Monthly tip videos on how to be a better small group leader
- A volunteer handbook to help you understand your role