I’m always encouraging youth workers to build into students and find ways to connect with teens. In the past week I’ve thought a lot more about how important it is for me to set staff up for success. If I don’t properly coach volunteers, and share practical ways to do ministry, I’m inevitably setting them up to fail. With that in mind, I thought I’d jot down a number of quick ideas I had for developing relationships with students and share them with leaders.
Side note: This list was written exclusively for small group leaders, but these tips also apply to anyone who is looking to connect with teenagers.
10 Quick Ideas for Connecting with Students (in Your Small Group):
1. Start a Facebook Group for your small group only
Start a Facebook Group and change the privacy settings to make it a closed group (“secret group”), which will allow you to share prayer requests, etc and it will keep things private. Just keep close watch on your group and moderate what is posted.
2. Mentor them
Each student really needs a mentor. Why not spend an hour with a student each week? (or even 30 minutes!) It’s really the best investment you could make with teens.
3. Post regularly (or even periodically) to the wall of your official Student Ministry Facebook page
Sharing a brief message on the Student Ministry Facebook wall shows the excitement you have for your group and also may appeal to other students outside your small group that you might not otherwise reach.
4. Host a “girls only” or “guys only” (whichever applies to your group) event and get them to invite friends
Hosting an event for your small group is a great way to build into your students.
5. Each lunch with students (at school, on weeekend, etc.) or meet them for coffee or ice cream after school
There is nothing like getting on their turf! Meeting up with students to grab a bite to eat or treat them goes a long way. (I’ve heard youth pastors like this too. 😉