So, I have a confession to make.
I don’t usually tell people this but I think you ought to know (especially since I am not using my real name here). As a preschool small group leader, one of the biggest challenges I face is preparing for Sunday morning. Now, the actual preparation isn’t hard. I’m talking about whether or not to prepare AT ALL. ‘Cause, come on, we’re talking three-year-olds here. And I am AWESOME at retelling the story of Noah’s ark or David and Goliath for the umpteenth time. Do I really need to prepare?
Maybe you are the same way. With preschool, isn’t it so easy to just walk in and wing it? I mean, how hard can it be? And truly, the only part of the day we can even bank on them sitting still is snack time! (Which is a great time to tell or retell the Bible story, by the way.) So many times our preparation is for nothing because by the time we’re done, everyone has checked out to the kitchen area or the blocks station. So why prepare for that?
Here’s the rub: That little part of the Bible where Jesus said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Nothing. No. Thing. NOTHING. Not even lead a preschool small group.
And lots of times, our “winging it” means that we are attempting to teach and connect with preschoolers apart from Him.
Apart from His strength and power.
Apart from Him filling us and giving us the wisdom of what to say and what to do.
When we don’t prepare, I believe we are essentially saying, “I got this, God. I am sure they REALLY need you in the Middle School area.” And then the things we want to happen in our small groups don’t happen.
I have come to believe that truly connecting relationally with preschoolers, more often than not, is a supernatural thing. It is a GIFT. I know it sounds overly dramatic, but I truly believe it’s something God just does. We NEED Him to help us lead preschool small groups. The job is beyond us. Because apart from Him, we can do NOTHING.
What if we took the time to REALLY prepare and pray over our Sundays and our preschoolers and the small groups we lead?
What if, in our preparation, we made it clear to God that we NEED Him and WANT Him to do those things in our small groups that only He can do?
And what might God do in the lives of those precious children if we made it clear to Him that we are depending on HIM to do it?
What are some ways you have found to best prepare for small group time?