Discipling students doesn’t happen from a stage—it happens in the context of relationships. That’s why creating a healthy small groups culture is such a vital part of youth ministry—but one that takes a lot of hard work. On this episode, youth leaders and small group leaders chat about the ins and outs of what it takes to create, sustain, and grow a healthy, relationship-based small groups culture in your youth ministry.
- What ‘creating a lead small culture’ means (1:23)
- Qualities you should look for in a volunteer (4:31)
- How to create and sustain small groups culture during the initial shift from the church’s old model (12:31)
- The job description for a small group leader (23:18)
- How to sustain—not just create—a small group culture (28:11)
- How to handle first-time student visitors (37:34)
- The role of parents in a small groups culture (42:06)
- How a small groups culture affects programming (46:07)
- How a small groups culture looks different between middle school and high school ministries (52:30)
QUOTES FROM THIS EPISODE
You will rarely see culture change; you’ll just realize the culture has changed one day when you experience it. —Tom Shefchunas Click To TweetWhen people begin to see God work, not just among their students but with their leaders as well, it changes lives. —Charlie Conder Click To TweetWhen you create a small group culture, you’re playing the long game. Sometimes the big wins are years away. —Sarah Anderson Click To TweetConsidering the people you put in the room is the number one thing you can do for your small group culture. —Tom Shefchunas Click To TweetRelationship-based discipleship is what you’re doing in small groups. —Brett Talley Click To Tweet
RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE
- Book: Lead Small: Five Big Ideas Every Small Group Leader Needs to Know
- Book: When Relationships Matter: Make Your Church A Place Where Kids & Teenagers Belong
- Book: Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication
- Resource: XP3 Middle School curriculum Resource: XP3 High School curriculum
- FREE Resource: Small group leader On-Boarding Kit
VOICES IN THIS EPISODE
Sarah is a writer and communicator who has been involved in ministry since 2003. In 2007, she joined the XP3 high school team where she now works as a lead writer and content creator. She also a contributing writer to the Parent Cue blog. Sarah lives in Roswell, Georgia, and is a big fan of her husband, her two boys, Asher and Pace, and, in her weaker moments, McDonald’s french fries.
Tom Shefchunas is the Executive Director of Student Strategy at Orange. In this role, he leads the development and strategy for XP3 Middle School and High School curriculum. Previously, Tom was North Point Ministries’ Multi-Campus Director of Transit, their middle school ministry, for 12 years. And before that, he spent 10 years as a high school teacher, coach, and principal. Additionally, he is the co-author of Lead Small with Reggie Joiner. Tom and his wife, Julie, live in Cumming, Georgia, with their three children, Mac, Joey, and Cooper.
Charlie is an XP3 Orange Specialist at Orange after spending the past 20 years working with students in educational and ministry settings. Most recently, Charlie spent 12 years as the middle school youth pastor in a thriving Methodist church in the Metro Atlanta area. Charlie grew up in rural Illinois but has been living in metro Atlanta, GA for the past 14 years. She lives with her husband Eric, her sometimes snarky but lovable daughter, and their three pups.
Brett is an XP3 Orange Specialist with Orange after spending 11 years in full time ministry. He’s been married to his amazing wife since 2004. They have three amazing and hilarious kids who constantly keep them busy and laughing. He loves baseball, golf and makes amazing turkey melt sandwiches (if he has the time and ingredients, otherwise they’re just average).
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