Archives For small groups

Survey Says…

March 27, 2012 — Leave a comment


One of the most beneficial practices that we have in our preteen ministry is the use of surveys or questionnaires. Following each unit, we pass out a questionnaire that usually includes 10-12 short-answer questions. The purpose of the survey is to think how they will apply what they learned in the previous unit and to get them thinking about the next unit’s topic. These surveys have created an effective evaluation process for what we teach and how we teach.

Here are a few ways the surveys have helped:

    Surveys show us the “felt needs” of preteens that need to be addressed from a Biblical perspective in our teaching

    Surveys give insight to what teaching methods are most effective for the group and what methods are “duds”

    Surveys provide encouragement for our small group leaders as they see proof that their students are “getting it”

    Surveys give preteens a chance to communicate what they’re learning and give input into the direction of the ministry

    Surveys give preteens an opportunity to think through the life application of what the Bible is teaching them

What method(s) do you use to evaluate your ministry?

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A team of leaders and myself have been dreaming and planning for the future of preteen ministry (5th & 6th Grade) at our church. Many of them have felt God leading us to make some changes, and He has paved the way for some exciting ministry in the near future.

We are currently in the planning and writing stages of the process. We have put together a service schedule and a 2 year curriculum track that will become the future of our 5th and 6th Grade ministry. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” In addition to the team of leaders around me, I want to gather the input from others who are ministering to preteens.

Here is a link to the draft of our preteen service schedule and 2 year curriculum. We’d love to have your input and hear about your experiences in working with preteens:

Download the Service Schedule & 2 Year Curriculum

You can also help by leaving a comment to answer these questions:
1) What are the cores lessons every preteen needs to learn?
2) What do your preteen small groups look like? Number of students? Leaders? How much time?
3) How do you partner with the parents of your preteens? (family services, email, text, newsletter)
4) What is the most effective special event you’ve done with preteens?

In honor of the week that I’m spending on campus at seminary, I wanted to post this video for all the “Big Bible”-carrying ladies out there.

I think Sir Mix-a-Lot would be proud.

 

One of the most difficult parts of preteen ministry is keeping your leaders fresh and equipped for the task at hand. We kick-off the year with a huge training event, and we host periodic training events throughout the year. But I always wish we could do more.

When I read a great article or blog on preteen ministry, I want to pass that on to volunteers to encourage them.  When I read a great book that deals directly with the series we’re doing, I want to pass that book to the leaders to equip them.

But how?

This year, we launched The Library. It is basically just a bookshelf in our preteen area, but on it are books, articles, and other pieces that are designed to encourage and equip our preteen leadership team. We look for resources that will help leaders to grow spiritually, help leaders understand preteens, or help leaders develop skills as a leaders/teacher. We don’t require them to use these resources, but we strongly encourage them to check out at least one resource during the year. The resources are there for their use…at their convenience. They can take any resource and keep it for as long as they need to When they’re done with it, they return it and take another resource. They can also add resources to share with other leaders. . If they read a good book or see an interesting article, they know that putting it in The Library is the best way to share it with others.

The Library has been a great help for our ministry. Our goal is not just to fill the volunteer spots that we have in ministry. We want to build up leaders and equip them to serve at church and at home. That’s a really hard task when people are so busy and can’t make it to tons of meetings. These resources in The Library are helping us meet the challenge.