As small group leaders, it’s important to find ways to connect with your group that might not have occurred to you before. How? By knowing what interests your group.

I have three children who love the outdoors, play soccer, are huge GA Bulldog fans and are active in martial arts. When they’re not engaged in sports or playing outside, they’ve got this thing for technology.  They are fascinated with it.  If it’s got a screen, plugs into a wall or has batteries, they’re all over it.  Did I mention they’re all boys?  That could have something to do with it.

Quite frequently (meaning daily) I’m asked, “can I play on your iPhone?” Just yesterday, they requested that I download a new Disney app the moment they heard about it’s existence. It’s called Where’s My Perry? (a game that’s created by the same folks who designed Where’s My Water?). I’m beginning to think my boys believe my phone is just a gaming device.

Intrigued by the game, I decided to download it. Not just for my kids, but for me as well. I wanted to learn the game because I realized it was a way for me to connect with my sons. I’ve learned that when I show interest in what my boys like doing, they’re thrilled. It sparks conversations with them, and can often open the door for teachable moments.

Small group leaders can do this very thing, too. Listen to what your group is talking about when they enter your room each week. Learn what the kids like to do. It might mean you watch a Disney or Nickelodeon show you wouldn’t typically watch. Or, maybe you download a new app on your smartphone.

Is there a child in your group that eats, sleeps and breathes baseball? Go to one of his games.
Do you have a dancer in your midst? Consider attending her recital. Is there a child who’s passionate about music and dreams of one day trying out for American Idol?  Is there a child that absolutely loves Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift? Download their latest songs from iTunes and take a listen.

Do you have a shy kid who expresses himself through his drawings more than his words? Ask if you can take a look at his drawings sometime.

It’ll be worth your while to show interest in what interests your group of kids. Engage in their world a little bit. Who knows, you might enjoy it! I’m off to play Where’s My Perry? now. What? It’s fun for grown-ups, too!

What kinds of things interest your elementary school group?

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