Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Small groups vs. Small Service

Okay, I know it shouldn't be either/or and it should be both/and. But I am getting ahead of my question so let me back up.....

I serve a medium size church as the volunteer 7-12th grade youth guy - trying to discern Jesus' ministry to students in this place and provide the foundational practices, experiences, and relationships that will give their faith legs - so they can continue to grow into the likeness of Jesus until they take their last breath.

Two things have been on my mind lately -
  • Small groups - a place for students to gather with adult leaders and go a little deeper in discussing their faith, reveal more about who they are and spend time working on being transparent and real with each other....as they ponder aspects of their faith together. The groups would be "stable" as much as possible.

  • Small service - having an opportunity for 3-5 students go and serve a group of people or charitable organization in our local community (preferably outside of their normal interactions) with 2 adult volunteers 1-2X month. They would most likely be serving together for 2-4 hours. The adults and students wouldn't be the same each week....it would be a "sign-up" type of deal - for both the leaders and students.

Yes, I believe both are good things. But if you had to pick one to start with - which would you choose? What are the questions you would ask to help come to the most wise decision?


Paul Prins said...

I guess the question is do you want them to grow up with a focus intellectualizing their faith, or one where God shows up and teaches them life lessons through there personal ministries. Hopefully my bias is quite obvious from this comment.

~paul prins

PS. at some point if you'd like to go sharing this summer (most likely timing will work the best) let me know!

Danielle said...

what a great question. i think both are invaluable. i would say where to start depends on the adults you have that are willing- and the ways that your group interacts. I think there is something deeps and connecting about serving together- for some students that is THE way they connect with others. For others- a small group scenario is just the ticket- Iwould look at the kids you think will come and begin with one and move intot he other when the timing is right!