The kids in your small group might love going to church—but do they know how to be the Church? When they put action to their faith, they can change the world!
Watch this video and read the article below. You’ll get tips on how to show the kids in your small group they can start doing big things for God right now, instead of waiting until they are older.
Two Ways to Give Kids Permission to Be the Church
Move them to serve.
Pay attention to the kids in your small group and see what they’re really good at doing. Help them hone that talent so they can put their faith into action to express Jesus’ love to others. Here are a few ideas of ways kids can serve others during their experience time.
- Greeting: Everyone who enters the room needs to feel welcome! If a kid has a knack for it, let them stand alongside you to say hi to everyone.
- Worship: When a kid is great at participating in worship and following your room’s worship leader, let them stand up front and lead alongside them.
- Prayer: Help the kids in your small group grow their prayer life by not just praying over them yourself, but asking them to pray over others.
- Peer Partnership: When there is a new kid in your group, choose one of your kids to stick with them to help them feel accepted and comfortable.
Move them to what’s next.
You will only be a child’s small group leader for a short time—but your influence will extend for far longer. Here are ways your influence can encourage a kid in your small group to continue having an active faith.
- Mentor kids through their next steps while they’re with you. Their next step could be asking Jesus into their heart, baptism, or serving. Or it may be more consistent engagement with the Bible, learning to forgive their sibling, or stepping up to help others at school. Listen to what the kids in your small group are saying, take notes, and pray over them to ask God how you can help them grow. Ask their parents, too, to see what they have to say!
- Prepare them for what’s coming after they leave your group. When a kid is going to age out of your group, move away, or you have to move on, talk about the new environment they’ll be in and ask them how they think they can continue to serve others within it. Don’t wait until the last minute—keep this as part of an ongoing conversation in your small group so your kids are ready to move up and move out.
Talk through these discussion questions with your fellow leaders and LifeKids team.
- What do you do (or what do you think you could do) to give the kids in your small group more permission to help each other, lead each other, and support each other?
- What are some opportunities for your small group kids to serve in the room alongside you?
- What would you like to see the kids in your small group do to show they’re being the church instead of just going to church?
- What do you think is the point of “moving kids out” and giving kids permission to “be the Church”?
A special thank you to Orange and the reThink Group for their ideas and research on their “lead small” philosophy referenced in this guide.