Summer: A Blast Not a Bump

Between vacations, sports camps, and visiting relatives, many churches see a drop in attendance during the summer months.  This makes the time you may spend with your few even less than usual.  So what can you do to make this summer special?

Make vacations and camps a part of your summer décor!  You can make an “Our Summer Map” of places your few will be visiting.  Place a picture of each child on the map in your room at church.  Let them know, both before they go and when they return, that you missed them and were praying for them while they were gone.  Be sure to put your picture on there, as well, so your few can pray for you when you are away.

When you are away, you can Instagram or text a picture of yourself in your vacation spot to another leader or sub in your room.  Let them share that with your few while you are gone.  You could even send a video message or Facetime during service.  This will let you few know that you are thinking of them even though you aren’t with them for the day.

Be sensitive to children who may not be able to go away for camps or vacations.  Finances may keep many families close to home and a child can feel left out if he doesn’t have a “place” on the map.  You can include summertime church events, VBS, Family Fun Days, any event that the child can participate in, so that everyone has a place.  This can be an excellent opportunity for you to “show up randomly” and have ice cream with the family of one of your few.  Snap a picture on your phone and post the trip on your map!

Changes in routines, changes in schedules, changes in volunteers and changes leaders can all make summer stressful for kids as well as for leaders.  Counter that by putting extra emphasis on the FUN! No matter how you handle the logistics of your classroom, summer is the perfect opportunity to emphasize fun.  A great quote from Playing For Keeps is “Not everything in life is fun, but you have the opportunity every week to make something fun.”  Find that something each week and play it to the max!

Summer is short.   With a little planning, it can be a quick blast of fun, rather than a bump in your ministry path!

What ways have you made summer special for your few?

Barbara Graves July 29th, 2014 0 comments

Three Tips to a VERY Successful Sunday

When service is over and the last child has been dismissed to his parents, small group leaders breathe a sigh of relief and mentally recount the day.  There are just certain accomplishments that make some days feel like more of a success than others.  It’s always a great day when there is no name-calling and everyone participates in the memory verse game.  It’s a very

Barbara Graves July 8th, 2014

Not The Plan

One of the most amazing benefits of leading small, is when you get to lead your few with friends!  Recently, friends I lead small group with had taken a brief break as they welcomed their first baby.   I was so excited their first Sunday back. I wanted everything to go just right, because having a new baby is stressful, so I didn’t want our few

Gay Tucciarone June 13th, 2014 0 comments

Fully Present

You can’t see the forest for the trees. Keep the main thing the main thing. Stay on track. Keep your eye on the ball. 

All these are great idioms that remind us that life can be busy; we get distracted. It happens at home, at work, when we drive (yikes- better not do that in Atlanta where I live!). We even get distracted when we are leading

Gay Tucciarone May 13th, 2014 2 Comments

Parents on a Pedestal

One of the foundational roles of a small group leader is to partner with parents.  Often we think of this as only what we do outside of class time.  We text a parent to say we’re praying for them and their child that day.  Or we send a card to let parents know we care about them.  We chat with the parents as they pick

Barbara Graves May 6th, 2014 2 Comments

The Handoff

Most Sunday mornings find me leading my few preschoolers in some amazing adventures of life change – on their part and mine! Recently, I ended up on the other side of the lead small equation - as a family interfacing with small group leaders. On this particular day, three of my grandchildren, who are 18 months, 3 ½ years and 5 years olds were at

Gay Tucciarone March 24th, 2014 4 Comments

A Question of Trust

As we are helping our few lay a foundation for their faith, they take most of what we say as truth, because we are adults and they trust us.  But sometimes, they have questions.  And how we field those questions, even at a young age, determines whether they will ask us the next time a question arises in their mind.

Trust is a commodity that

Barbara Graves March 17th, 2014 0 comments

Move them out

How can it be almost Spring? Perhaps because the area I live in has had a much longer, colder winter than usual (2 snow events and many below freezing days... I know for those in the northeast and Midwest that doesn’t seem like much!), it seems like the calendar has suddenly fast forwarded. This brings me to a tough, but very necessary part of leading

Gay Tucciarone March 11th, 2014 0 comments

All the Stories

“We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there's nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.” – Oswald Chambers

They all have a story. Every one of them. Even as a preschooler that has only been in this world for

Danielle Schneller March 3rd, 2014 0 comments

Just The Facts

Often we hear exciting stories from other leaders and think, “Wow! That’s amazing.  I wonder why that not happening in my group.”   Sometimes we show up week  in and week out and our kids show up week in and week out and that appears to be all that’s happening.   It’s like those early morning drives when fog has settled in, you moving ahead slowly, following

Barbara Graves February 24th, 2014 0 comments