If you only had two days this year to disciple your students, what would you do? What things would immediately be removed from your ministry plan and what things would stay? It is an interesting question, and on the topic of small groups it isn’t too far from reality.
Consider this thought with me. On average your students spend an hour a week in a small group. For some this is a Sunday school class, others it is a community group, and others use many names to describe basically the same ministry environment. If these groups meet 48 times per year, taking away group meetings for holidays, it means your students will spend 48 hours per year in small group discipleship. That is without considering vacations, extracurricular activities, or special events. So, when you think through it the frightening reality is that you only have two days this year to disciple your students through small groups.
I will readily admit that discipleship in student ministry occurs in other environments outside of small group ministry. But this reality should bring into focus the importance of this part of your student ministry. For many, small group ministry is done because the pastor expects it, or because you need to fill the time slot with something while the majority of creative energy and attention goes into a Wednesday night service or event planning.
Your small group ministry shouldn’t receive the leftovers of your energy and attention. Time is short. And each of those minutes is too important to be handled haphazardly. How will you make the most of your two days?
Ben Trueblood serves as the Director of Student Ministry for Lifeway Christian Resources and has served the local church as a student pastor for thirteen years.