Children are social beings. They love to talk to one another – even if it is during your lesson! You can offset this sometimes-troublesome characteristic by utilizing small groups in your Bible study times.
Small groups incorporate kids’ need to be social while engaging them in the Bible truths you are presenting. A win, win situation for everyone!
Consider the following benefits of using small groups to teach preteens:
- Cliques among groups are broken down.
- New truths are discovered when children work together.
- The need to socialize is met.
- Teachers experience fewer behavioral problems.
- A positive environment for teaching biblical truths is established.
- A wider range of learning opportunities can be offered.
- Children are encouraged to build relationships.
- Visitors, unchurched kids, and low achievers gain encouragement and confidence from the group.
Tips for Establishing Small Groups
Now that you see some of the benefits of using small groups, you may be wondering how to set up the groups. These tips will help you establish small groups within your Bible study room:
- Create groups with no more than six children.
- Establish clear goals and set boundaries such as: time limits, role responsibilities, and so forth.
- Assign each group member a specific role or task.
- Create groups with at least two boys and two girls if possible.
- Promote interaction by arranging groups into circles.
Tips for Enhancing Small Group Time
Get the most out of group time with these tips:
- Encourage children to listen to and respect the opinions of others.
- Praise teamwork and cooperation.
- Facilitate during small group time. This is not a time for lecture format.
- Ask groups to mix up everyday.
- Distribute handouts with directions to each activity to each group.
Small groups provide great opportunity for children to discover new truths by working together. Plus, in a small group, you are able to customize the experience to meet the learning style needs of the children in the group. Take advantage of using small groups in your Bible study time as an effective teaching method.