How do you avoid awkward student ministry small groups?
We all know that huge life transformations can happen in the context of small groups…but creating the right atmosphere for students to connect can be a challenge.
The last thing you want is to pour your heart and soul into hyping up small groups just for your students to show up and have the vibe totally off.
We want to help you out.
Here are the 3 things every small group needs to thrive 👇
1️⃣ Every small group needs a good playlist
Music in the background always eliminates the awkwardness that silence can bring. Especially as students are walking in the door, you want them to feel like they’re walking into something fun — a place where they want to be. Music breathes life into the space and makes students feel more comfortable.
(Don’t know what to add to your playlist? Anything from our friends over at Elevation Rhythm will be the perfect vibe for a small group playlist!)
2️⃣ Every small group needs a good icebreaker
One of the worst moments in a small group is when you bring everyone together to start the conversation, you ask the first question, and you’re met with the sound of crickets. Absolutely no one wants to chime in. The best way to get the students used to sharing in a small group context is with an icebreaker that’s guaranteed to get them to contribute. Don’t leave this moment up to spontaneity — have a plan going in so you (or your leaders) are prepared to get the room going.
(Looking for an icebreaker that’s fun, gets everyone involved, and can be used over and over again? Play a few rounds of Cards Christians Like. Your students will love it and it’s clean fun!)
3️⃣ Every small group needs a leader who’s set up for success
Your students are smart. They know when you’ve come prepared and they respect when their leaders show up to the group fully ready for the discussion at hand. Conversely, they know when their leaders are winging it. Your students deserve the best. They deserve leaders who have put time and attention into every group. Make sure your leaders are prepared with all the tools they need to lead the discussion well.
Discover More about Small Groups with Youth Pastor Co
Wondering the best way to prepare your leaders to lead small groups? Every series from Youth Pastor Co comes with corresponding small group questions so your leaders are ready to lead the group and nail home the point from your message.
Our Youth Pastor Co sermon series library has more than 100 sermon series on a comprehensive list of topics. We’re here to make sure you’re equipped to walk your students through the biblical worldview of virtually any topic in culture or in Scripture.
Every new series includes:
✅ Sermon Series Graphics
✅ Sermon Builder Curriculum
✅ Sermon Bumper Video
✅ Small Group Materials
✅ Social Media Graphics
These three things — a good playlist, a solid icebreaker, and prepared leaders — can make or break your students’ small groups. Make sure you get them right and avoid awkward student ministry small groups this semester!
Have you found any other great ways to keep students engaged in small groups? Let us know!
P.S. Here’s a bonus 4th thing that will help you win with small groups — food! The way to your students’ hearts is through their stomachs. Even if it’s as small as cookies that you peel and bake yourself, get some food on the table!