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 great day if there are no tears and random acts of sharing have been witnessed.  And we joyfully pull out our mental red pen and mark the Sunday that everyone is sitting calmly for prayer time when parents arrive to pick up their children.

While all these make for a successful class time, there are a few measures of success that can take a small group leader’s influence beyond that hour at church.  If an SGL will purpose to see these things accomplished each week, every Sunday will be a very successful Sunday:

1.  Make every child feel like he succeeded that day.

Set them up to win.  Do whatever it takes to let each child have the opportunity to do something right and to do it well.  This is crucial in the life of that one in your small group who is wired tighter than a garage door spring.   It may take plotting and planning, but set them up to be able to smile and say, “I did it!”

2.  Tell every parent one good thing that their child did that day.

“No news is good news” may be the standard for the week, but let your good news be standard for Sundays.  Don’t twist the truth or make something up, but do find something positive to say to each parent.  And not, “I’m positive he needs to be on medication”, no matter how true that statement may be! Watch for the good behavior as carefully as we watch for the bad.  When you see the good, tell the kids, too!  Let no good deed go unsung!

3.  Make at least one statement every Sunday that makes the parent a hero.

Parents have the most influence on a child’s life. They simply have more time with their child than you will have.  So, help your few see that their parents are the true heroes in their lives.  You, as the small group leader, are much more fun than parents.  Small group leaders play games and have snacks and are completely focused on the child.  Parents serve green veggies and reinforce bedtime.  It’s just not as much fun.  So if you, the cool, fun person in this child’s life, are consistently talking about how cool parents are, your few will begin to learn that even though they have rules, those rules are for a purpose and that purpose makes the child’s life better.

Give these three tips a try and watch your successful Sundays leap to very successful Sundays!

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Barbara Graves

Barbara loves God, children's ministry, coffee, the Braves, and her granddaughter Eden-Grace. She's been in ministry for over 30 years and wishes she didn't have to sleep so she could write, teach, and read a little more.

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