So you want to build trust with your small group kids?  Piece of cake. Just follow this simple step-by-step guide and you’ll be Small Group Leader of the Month for sure!

  1. Show up
  2. Take attendance
  3. Listen to the storyteller
  4. Sing songs
  5. Do activities
  6. Pray

Ta-Da!  There you go!  You are now a Small Group Leader Extraordinaire!  Your kids will trust you forever, right? 

Well, maybe not.  That’s because we all know trust isn’t developed by simply going through the motions, but by engaging in real relationships! So let’s take a look at our list again and see how it can actually be used to build trust.

1.  Show up – predictably and mentally.  When kids see you coming back week after week and start to count on you being there, they begin to see that you are invested in them and want to be with them. And show up mentally. This means being prepared for the lesson, being awake (so perhaps not staying out until 2:00 the night before), and bringing your best self to them.

2.  Take attendance – and notice each child as a unique, wonderful person.  We all like to be known by name, not just another “Bud” “Squirt” or “Hon”. Notice when a child isn’t able to make it and send them a “we missed you” card.  Everyone wants to be remembered and included.

3.  Listen to the storyteller – with respect and attention—and help the kids do the same.  This can be a time where kids can become chatty or have trouble sitting still.  But set boundaries and then be consistent!  These boundaries should be reasonable for the age and maturity of the child.  A gentle reminder to stop talking might be all it takes, but it needs to consistently happen. This will show your kids that you can be trusted to do what you say you will do, but always with love and respect for them as well.

4. Sing songs – with a worshipful heart! If you show how much you love and adore God, that can be quite contagious!  Joy and a smile can show what worshiping our Creator is all about!

5.  Do activities – to apply lessons to life.  These activities are not just time fillers, but a chance to show how the things learned in church can have a direct impact in each of our lives.  This is the best time to notice each child’s gifts and personality and how they can use their talents and gifts to help others.  Show the kids that they are each important and that they matter!

6.  Pray – to show that they can trust God no matter what!  Other people in their lives might make mistakes.  Even you, the Small Group Leader Extraordinaire, probably won’t get it right all the time.  But if we can introduce kids to the One who can always be counted on, can always be relied on and will always love them, the rest is just details.

 Trust is not a given right, but a very special honor!  

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