It’s a brand new school year and you’ve got a fresh batch of Kindergartners. Many of these little people are adjusting to a new school, a new weekly routine and now a new church experience. The wonder of what they experience may emerge in ways you don’t expect.
At my church, our newest Kindergartners come from preschool rooms equipped with tables and chairs. But now they enter rooms with only rugs.
Their Preschool Large Group area was smaller in scale and a simple color scheme. Their new Large Group area is dramatically larger with neon colors and flashing lights.
Their Preschool Small Group rooms comprised of 4 walls and a door and housed a maximum of 3 small groups. Their new Small Group rooms house upwards of 15 small groups at one time.
The dynamics have changed.
And they need time to adjust.
As a SGL, the best gift you can give your new Kindergartners is patience, time & expectations as you help them adjust to their new world.
Kindergartners have an interesting way of expressing their uncertainty. Some seem to explode out of themselves as they bounce off the walls while others appear to want to fold up inside themselves as they take everything in. Remember that your smile, your calm voice, and your loving encouragement will draw them toward the behavior you want to see in them.
In the midst of this transition, it’s tempting to think you’re doing the impossible. When it feels as if you spend the majority of your Small Group time reminding your few to sit criss-cross-applesauce, it’s tough to believe anything spiritually valuable is taking place.
But remember time is your greatest asset. As your few settle into their school routine, they will settle into your routine as well. Don’t give up. Be predictably present and you’ll be amazed to see how they respond.
Don’t be afraid to set boundaries. They’re more helpful than you know. Kids want to know what is expected of them. And they will rise to the expectations you consistently set for them. So invest time teaching them how to actively listen, how to sit in a circle, or how to take turns sharing.
Your goal as a SGL is more than teaching them bible lessons. It’s about teaching them how to be in a small group. If we teach them how to be part of a small group today, we help them to continue that pattern as they grow up. And learning how to foster friendships within the context of a small group is a great foundation to invest in your few.