Small groups are not the end of ministry; they are the beginning. Many youth workers believe that if they can get kids into small groups, their job is done. But the real job has just begun. Ministry is about life change, and for this to happen, there needs to be an intentional ap- proach to HOW small groups will nurture and shape students’ lives.
I'm going to be honest; there are times in youth ministry when having a large number of students is better. I wrote this article while on a mission trip in Mexico and the work we had been asked to help with required many hands. One night while walking on the beach, an impromptu game of “Red Rover” became one of our evening activities. It might not have been as fun if it was with just a few people. In our weekend services, I love singing and worshiping with a large group of people. It sounds better than I ever could sing by myself. The more the better! However, while there are times where more is better, there are times when smaller is even better, and healthier. Growing deeper, sharing life together, becoming more intimate, real, honest and open really comes from the power of small groups. Again, I will be honest and say I want our ministry to grow as we reach more students, but I don't want us just to steer a herd. I want us to be healthy and connected. Small groups have been an effective tool in helping us achieve this. Here is how small groups have helped us become healthier: