Every week before my junior high small group, my co-leader and I like to do 2-on-1 dinners with one of our students. We rotate them through every week, so every few months we’ve gotten through our entire group. We treat the guys to dinner the first time, then every time after that they pay their own way. This is a fantastic way for us to connect with them individually, get to know them a bit better (especially in the beginning of a new group) and offer specific challenges to them that we can’t really do in a small group setting.
As we’re getting ready to start this pre-group dinner back up again, my co-leader Kyle came up with a good idea for the order of students we take out. We’ll start with the 3 most disruptive first, then hit the guys that are the more wallflower-types. After just 2 weeks of group we can already tell who these guys are going to be.
This order is for a couple reasons:
- We want to make sure the more disruptive guys know our expectations of them. We also think that connecting with someone personally is a way to help them be more comfortable, and then they don’t use their disruption as a comfort mechanism.
- We want to make sure to make the quiet ones more comfortable and connect with them to show that we’re safe.
I think bonding over food is one of the best ways to connect with someone, and it’s one of my favorite parts of doing ministry. Hopefully this new order of students will be successful like we’re hoping!