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Weigh In — Volume 8: Moving to In-Home Small Groups

 —  May 19, 2011 — 3 Comments

From time to time I post a youth ministry question that I’ve received and leave it to you, the MTDB youth ministry community, to answer it. This one from a youth worker in Pennsylvania, but it could be from anyone since it applies to so many. Chime in with your wisdom, response and best practices. Go!

I’m a youth pastor that is considering a move from Sunday School to in-home small groups. I wanted some advice on how to make the transition, and if it was the right decision at all. It seems like a good move for us, but there are so many variables. Would appreciate any help – thanks!


Josh Griffin


3 responses to Weigh In — Volume 8: Moving to In-Home Small Groups

  1. Trent Jenkins May 19, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Small groups will help you develop richer relationships with your students and give them a chance to go deeper in God’s word but Sundays are a essential to capture new students that happen to come on the weekend. Without a Sunday morning session its like going fishing at a stocked lake without a pole.

    We lik to use the statement “the power of And”. How much more potential do you have to grow your kids with Sunday morning AND in home small groups. Does it have to be an either or, can it be an AND?

  2. Jon Greenhill May 19, 2011 at 6:37 am

    I would probably think through a couple of things.

    1. What Trent said above along with the questions, “what is your purpose for Sunday School and Small Groups? Do they have the same purpose? Do you feel that small groups accomplishes the same purpose better than SS? If they have different purposes would it be better to do both like Trent was saying.

    2. I would spend a good amount of time finding out if SS is a sacred cow at your church….that should probably be first. If it is, tread carefully. If it isn’t, move to the questions above.

    Just some thoughts. Our small groups are part of our Wed night program. I’d love to have them in homes on other nights of the week but moving them off that day would pretty much mean cancelling them.

  3. I think that sounds ambitious and exciting! I’m actually a bit envious, because I’ve wanted to do something similar for years, only to find out that Sunday School really is a sort of “sacred cow” at my church like Jon said, and that neither parents nor others in the congregation want to shift away from Sunday School (in spite of attendance being inconsistent).

    What I have learned, though, is exactly what Trent was saying: Sunday School is a good opportunity for new students on a Sunday morning, and it’s significantly harder to attract visitors to something that already seems exclusive. Where I am right now is realizing that Sunday School has its place, but also looking for an “AND” solution as well, like Trent suggested. Having deeper, more discipleship-oriented meetings held in homes in *addition* to Sunday School, which is a little more fellowship-y and held at the church building, might be the most effective solution.

    That’s just my two cents, though.

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