Getting Youth Small Groups Started

Adolescence is an incredibly exciting and incredibly stressful period of life. Having the support of a spiritual small group can provide a safe place for important conversations to happen.

We recommend starting Meeting Jesus with a pre-existing youth group, although if your church does not have one, this might be an excellent opportunity to have a short-term partnership with another local church that could create lasting faith-based relationships for youth.

There are some considerations for getting a teen group started:

  • Pray about whether you are called to use the SSJE Lenten program. Will your existing youth group, confirmation class or teen Sunday school benefit from this Lenten small group experience?
  • Include your teens in the decision making process to get buy-in. Top-down approaches don’t tend to work with this age cohort.
  • Will your group be inviting other teens to join them? This should be a group decision. Small group ministry creates room for trust and faith exploration – if your teens are not comfortable inviting friends, don’t push them.
  • Will your group have a social media presence, in addition to meeting in person? (You can find more information about starting small groups online here.)
  • Be very clear from the outset about the commitment to be present for each session for seven weeks. Success in small group is contingent on the quality of the relationships; relationships need face time in order to grow.
  • Set a time and a place. You can follow the timeline found here.
  • Order your prayer journals or download them here.
  • Start preparing for your sessions!