OC16 Notes: The 9 Habits Of A Small Group Culture

The following are notes from Jeremy Holbrook from EJ Swanson’s OC16 Presentation

Habit #1—Organize to be organic

  • When you get in the habit of thinking steps not programs, kids are more likely to end up where you want them to be.
  • The structure that we have needs to build on relationships growing in an organic way.
  • The goal isn’t structure,  it’s relationships.
  • If you’re organized in the structure, you’ll become more organic for growing relationships.
Habit #2—Think Steps Not Programs
  • Sometimes you have to stop doing something that works if you want something more important to work better.
  • When you get into the habit of thinking steps not programs, kids are more likely to end up where you want them to be.
Habit #3—Move to the rhythm
  • When you make faith a part of the rhythms of life, it becomes more fluid, more natural, and more about their day-to-day life.
  • Empower the Leader: Because the scope of your influence is determined by the success of your leaders.
Habit #4—Expect more not less
  • Why do ministries take the summer off?  It’s when kids/students have the absolute most free time.
  • We need more out of volunteers, not less.
  • When you get in the habit of expecting more from your small group leaders, your small group leaders will lead in ways you never expected.
Habit #5—Play Favorites
  • If you want your small group leaders to give kids a place to belong, then maybe you should go first by giving SGLs a place to belong.
  • Playing favorites doesn’t work in overall  ministry, but it sure makes sense for Small Group Leaders.
Habit #6—Win before you begin
  • When your best leaders recruit your best leaders
  • Your SGLs are some of the biggest cheerleaders of your ministry
  • When recruiting leaders is a process, not an event
  • When leaders practice leading before they lead
  • When you create a place where leaders want to be
Habit #7—Have imaginary conversations
  • You know that what you say in the moment can be said better if you anticipate what you area going to say (or not say)
  • Will kids in the group process what they’re learning…how can we guide them will our words?
  • If you want kids to know they belong when they are in group, make sure they feel like they belong before they get to group.
Habit #8—Control the climate
  • You don’t always see your environment the say way a first time guest sees it.
Habit #9—Measure what seems unmeasurable
  • What if I can get the 1 time per month kid to start coming 2 times per month?
  • A kid will feel known when someone knows them.

Jeremy Holbrook is the pastor for children’s ministries at Wildwood Church in Ashland, Kentucky.

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