Tips for Partnering with your Kid’s Small Group Leader

by | Sep 4, 2018 |

*Adapted from TheParentCue.com

Parents, you have 936 weeks with your child from the day they’re born till the day they graduate High School.

 With the help of the Parent Cue app, I can quickly see that I only have 672 weeks left with my 7 year old.  They go by quickly. As a parent, this is a reminder to me to be intentional with the time that I have with my children.

 “When you see how much time you have left you tend to do more with the time you have now.” – Reggie Joiner

 This countdown can be a source of anxiety for us or we can use it as motivation to learn how to maximize the weeks we have left.

 One of ways we consistently encourage parents to maximize this time here at WMBC is to help them “Widen the Circle.”

Widen the Circle

While parents are the  primary spiritual leaders of their children, they were never meant to carry the burden alone. At WMBC, our goal is to help parents create a community of support around them, their marriage, and their kids or teens.  We want to create a team of people who are investing in their kids while raising up and equipping parents to be the team leaders.

One of the key people that we want to place within that wider circle is a Small Group Leader (SGL).  This is a person who knows your kid’s name, who is listening to their story, and who is making Jesus visible to them every single week. On top of all that, they are seeking to honour you as a parent and to partner with you in influencing your child with the good news of Jesus.

They attempt to do this by communicating with you and keeping you informed, by giving you resources to continue the conversation at home through our Parent Cue material, by honouring you in their conversations with your child, and by committing to show up weekly to build a relationship with them and share God’s story with them.

But when this partnership really begins to shine is when you as a parent become intentional with your half of the relationship.

It happened to be the perfect place for me to be – I came broken, tired and needing something to help me keep going.  There was a moment where we were all invited to seek the presence of God.  Just to stand in His presence and I did!  I saw myself throw a cloak off of myself that represented “Staff”, threw off another cloak that represented “Mom”, and stood just as myself, Colleen, before God.  And the words “You are enough” flowed through me.  It was like the air cleared and I revelled in peace.  My soul was so very hungry, and I soaked in all that the Spirit had prepared for me that weekend.  I walked away free from shame last weekend, and with a fresh, true perspective on who I am in Christ.”

 

Partnering with your Kid’s SGL

Here are just a few tips on how you can begin to connect with your child or teen’s Small Group Leader as we begin this new school year:

1.      Introduce Yourself. Start small and let your SGL know who you are when dropping them off at our weekly programming.  Get to know their name and find out what their preferred form of communication is. If your child is a teen, don’t hesitate to pop your head in the door on a Monday or Wednesday night and say hi (a few minutes after your teen goes in by themselves, of course.  No need to mortify them with the thought of being seen with their parent, right?).

2.      Communication. If you have questions or concerns about your child, the phase they’re in, or details about our programming, don’t hesitate to reach out!

3.    Trust them. In order for them to build a relationship with your child or teen (especially your teen), they need to establish a level of trsut, and even a certain level of confidentiality, with them. This means you probably don’t want to be asking the SGL for all the details on exactly what your child is saying within the group. Your teen needs to know that they’re not talking directly to you when they share something with their SGL. Having another safe person to confide in is exactly what you want for your teen as you seek to widen the circle around them.

4.      Help. What are some ways that you can support and help out with what’s happening in their small group? Perhaps they need someone to host an event (or at least provide snacks for an event).  Opening your home or helping the group in some practical way is a great way to get to know the group as well as support the leader.

5.    Encourage and Say Thank You. Being an SGL is the biggest ask we make of someone at our church and it doesn’t exactly pay well. Find ways to encourage and support the SGL throughout the year with a note, a text, or a gift card.  You’d be amazed at how motivating this is as a leader.

6.      Pray. Your child’s SGL signed on for this because they have a sincere desire to do something significant in the life of your child.  They want them to discover who they were created to be and to know how much they are loved.  This is a big goal and it’s not always easy to know how to do it well or if you’re winning at all (sounds a bit like parenting, no?). Pray that God will give them the wisdom to speak the right words into your child’s life and that He will empower them to be the visible presence of Jesus for your kid.

When parents and the church partner in their efforts to influence the younger generation, we make it more likely for them to experience a lifelong relationship with Jesus. Because:

“Two combined influences are more powerful than just two influences.” Think Orange

What step will you take this Fall to partner with your kid’s Small Group Leader?

If you’d like to print off this list and keep it some place visible in your home, download the free pdf here!