Steven: Something we’ve been talking about lately is the subject of change. Both Matt and I have a lot of change happening in our lives right now, one of those changes being our junior high and high school small groups. This year, Matt will be getting a brand new group of 9th graders (most of them I had as junior highers), and I will be getting a group of 7th graders. Both of these groups are new to our ministries, and there are a few things we can do to prepare for them. Here’s what I’ve been doing and will be doing in the next few weeks:
- Pray for God to place the right students in my group. I know that the group I have now must have been handpicked by God because of how they’ve related to my co-leader and me, so I want to do everything I can to let God work.
- Think through some of what we want to teach them. 7th graders usually come in to our ministry having a lot of Bible knowledge, but not much in the practical side of things. Our junior high ministry supplies curriculum, but I always want to be thinking about how to serve my students best as well.
- Prepare myself spiritually. I know it’s old school, but I love the illustration of a glass that fills up with water. If I dig into God’s Word and spend a ton of time this summer preparing myself spiritually, I know that my cup will overflow into the students I’ll be getting in the fall.
Matt: Next year I have a group of incoming freshmen guys. Freshmen! Yikes! What a difference from the group of high school seniors I currently have. I’ve joked about getting a group of freshmen but actually I’m pretty excited about it for a few reasons.
First I know the junior high leaders that most of them had, and they had two really Godly men who set excellent examples for them. Second, I think freshman year is such an important year in teens–especially guys. It’s when they really start to take on the who they are going to be and I’m excited to be a part of that.
I’ve already started praying for them and for the group. I don’t really know any of them but I do know that God picked these guys for my group and I want to do all I can to help them on their spiritual journey. I’m also excited to see the spiritual growth in each of them. I have some lesson plans in mind and I’m excited about where God is going to lead this new group.
It also dawned on me that as I’m getting these new students, in their minds they are getting a new leader. I want to do all that I can to be an excellent example to them as well as leading and teaching them.