Last weekend our High School Ministry at Saddleback Church hosted a “Small Group Overnighter”. The event was held at a hotel near Disneyland. After a short program with all the groups in attendance, and a prayer to send us off into the night, the groups were free to just hang out, go eat and spend some quality time together. It was a great opportunity and a chance to bond your student small group closer to each other.
One of the things my guys had asked was if we could do a really deep Bible study session that night. Okay, I thought. If you want a really deep Bible study session, you’ll get one. I have a huge advantage in that Steven has been adopted by my group and was going with us that night and since he is a Biblical and Theological Studies major at Biola University, I took full advantage of that and asked him to help me put together a lesson for the night. We chose the topic, “What it means to be a disciple”.
Steven’s lesson was off the charts and the participation that night was amazing, the guys in my group are at a very deep spiritual level, and the participation level that night was incredible. And as pleased as I was that night, and made sure to take time to thank God that night for this small group, the big payoff for me came the next day when I got the following text from one of the guys:
“Hey, so I’m pretty sure I came out of that retreat last night a different person.”
It was a reminder to me of a few things:
- This is God’s group, and he is working and growing this group in ways I still can’t comprehend.
- If you open yourself up, God will use you as a leader.
- There are students in your group that you can reach, but you might need to find other ways to get to them. Once you do, it’s a life changing event.
- Teaching about God’s love, grace, forgiveness and salvation is the most important thing we can pass on to the next generation.
- Find the leaders in your student small group and work on developing them.
- Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray for your group by name, for each thing you know is going on in their life. This student who sent me that text has asked me before to pray for God to help him “come out of his shell”. It happened at this overnighter and God has helped change him. I can’t wait to see where this student goes from here.