Relegated to the couch for the past few days, I’ve been catching up on made-for-TV movies from the 80s as well as some much-needed reading. In the May/June edition of YouthWorker Journal, there is an article titled, “Size Matters: The Big Potential of Small Church Youth Ministry.” Unless otherwise noted, all quotations below come from that article.
“According to a 2003 report from The Barna Group, fewer than 2 percent of churches in the US have 1,000 or more adult attenders.”
I was surprised at that percentage. Two Rivers Church is in the top 2% in regards to church size! God has chosen to show favor on our church and our student ministry, and it is so exciting to be part of what He is doing! However, as we grow bigger, we must work even harder to maintain relational connection with our students and our leadership team.
Read this observation from the article:
“…smaller churches have a real advantage over bigger churches in the development of close relationships. If you are a youth worker in a small church, you can have everyone over to your house for dinner or take the whole group out for milkshakes without robbing a bank. If you only have a handful of students in your group, you can get out to their high school football games or concerts. You can remember everybody’s birthdays, and you can pray for each one specifically each day. You can show them how to do their own personal Bible study and you can answer specific life-related questions. You can become their friend and not just another acquaintance from church.”
That is the essence of effective, relational ministry! We are beyond the point where the “youth pastor” does it all, remembers all their names and takes them out for ice cream! Though we continue to grow bigger in size, we can still accomplish what this author is describing! We call it SMALL GROUPS!
Our 242 Groups are approaching the summer break, but I just wanted to remind you of how critical these groups are to our mission of embracing kids where they are, exposing them to the Gospel, encouraging them in their faith and equipping them to give their lives away!
Some of you have been walking so faithfully with your small groups, and you have seen fruit from your labor! If you are not plugged in to a small group with a target group of kids whose names you are learning, birthdays you are celebrating and games you are attending…be praying about jumping in this fall!
We can continue to grow big while staying small! Give kids a place where they truly connect!