The calendar page has turned. We’re in a new month. August. It’s a month that smells like sharpened pencils and fresh notebooks with a lingering scent of suntan lotion. The summer season is coming to an end and a new year is beginning.

Chances are, you as a small group leader are about to receive a fresh new list. At first this list is just a piece of paper with names, addresses, phone numbers. However, over the next year this list will become conversations, hugs, love… it will become relationships.

What have you done so far to prepare for these relationships? Yes, I said prepare. Because, you see, God has given you an opportunity with that list you hold in your hand. He has given you an opportunity to impact His kingdom in a HUGE way. So be prepared!

• Pray – The minute you get your list start praying. Pray for the names on the list. Pray for their parents. Pray for your church leadership. Pray that God would show up in your relationships.
• Contact – Your church may have a specific system for contacting children in your small group. Make sure you find out. You can write a postcard, make a phone call, send a text… just make sure you contact them in some way to make them feel welcome and introduce yourself.
• Review – Review the schedule and procedures for your ministry area. Do you all walk to large group together? How does that work? Is there a specific time for snack? Has the check-in system changed? Be familiar with your area so you can lead your group.
• Read – Make sure you take some time to read over the curriculum before Sunday (or whatever day you meet). Ten minutes before kids arrive is NOT enough time to know what’s expected. Read, reflect, and pray about what you will be sharing with the kids each week.
• Love – Be ready to share God’s love with each and every child that comes through your door. Some kids are harder to love than others, but EVERY child is loved by their Heavenly Father, and it’s up to you to show that love.

Taking some time now to prepare for the amazing relationships to come will help you make the most of the coming year.

That list. That opportunity. It will change your life.

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