Small Groups: Environments That Create Authentic Relationships

Small Groups: Environments That Create Authentic Relationships.

Recently I joined a book club. The book is Creating a Lead Small Culture: Make Your Church a Place Where Kids Belong. by Reggie Joiner (Author), Kristen Ivy (Author), Elle Campbell.

I am now about halfway through the book club. I have loved the collaboration and insight from so many other leaders. The book club is driven on Facebook so collaboration comes  easy. To learn more about the book club you can visit this link.

The book has opened my eyes to the importance that small groups play in our churches. In this post I want to begin a series on small groups. Small Groups: Environments That Create Authentic Relationships

The first post of our small group series is the importance of atmosphere.  Small groups  develop true community and relationships amongst our ministries not big groups aka THE CROWD. I have gained so much insights from the book club on Leading Small. As a student minister I know that small groups are needed as a element of the entire program.  I look at the energy and focus I place on events and mid week service compared to small groups.  It becomes clear that small groups in our student program are an element but not a priority.

Our current atmosphere communicates big group style ministry and a side of small groups. If small groups is what drives true community, relationships and disciples for Christ this becomes an unacceptable approach.

This past year our student leaders has been hard at work to make the atmosphere for students top notch. Our leadership team has painted, built a stage, installed lights, and much more for our big room space. The space that our students meet for small groups has had very little but some attention. Our small group decorations are posters on the wall and well thats about it. Here are some photos of the current rooms for our small groups.

Room 1IMG_7896

Room 2


Well you can see I have my work cut out if I am wanting to communicate we value small groups, relationships and community. The book has challenged me to rethink the entire process of our student ministry. It has reminded me what’s important.

Regardless of the style or size of your church, your greatest asset to building faith in the next generation is not your Bible study, worship band, facilities, or budget. The most valuable resources you have to help people see God are the people in your church who know God.

This line is so true. The book spoke a lot about the importance of investing in your small group leaders.

So if you want kids to know God, maybe one of the most important things you can do is to give them someone who will talk with them, hang out with them, and do life with them.

We have made some small changes to our rooms and they are a work in progress. I am not only making changes in the atmosphere of our classrooms. I am als0 devoting myself to invest in our small group leaders. Changing the atmosphere of our small group spaces will help us communicate  to small groups  they are valued.

get serious about influencing the hearts of this generation, you have to think about creating an actual, visible, consistent place where they know they belong

Right now our small group space does not communicate it’s a place to experience authentic relationships. They kinda of communicate – classroom and maybe to a student  ” I am about to get a lecture”. Small groups can meet at many different spaces such as starbucks, local coffee shops or a home. Our goal is to communicate to our church and our ministries we value authentic relationships by the spaces we provide at Church. I think a community of believers seeking to make and be devoted disciples is what Christ wants us to be as churches. I believe the church in Acts had this figured out too!

So maybe your asking what are your plans?

I have searched and googled ideas for small group spaces and I  find nothing, nadda. I did find a ton of big group space ideas though. My wife and I have began to brainstorm and begin to look through pins on pinterest and found some great ideas we plan to incorporate. So I want to share the board we’ve created. We are on a fixed budget too so we are trying to not only be creative but thrifty also.

I am pumped about this month’s series on leading small.

What We’ll Cover

– Equipping your small group leaders.

– Improving Structure

– Recruiting Small Group Leaders


Follow Brandon’s board youth space on Pinterest.


Comments And Thoughts  

 How well does your ministry communicate through your atmosphere  it values building authentic relationships through small groups?



Quotes:Joiner, Reggie; Ivy, Kristen; Campbell, Elle (2014-04-15). Creating a Lead Small Culture: Make Your Church a Place Where Kids Belong (Kindle Locations 545-547). Orange, a division of The reThink Group. Kindle Edition.

Originally posted 2015-02-04 10:00:00.

  • Brad Lee

    Great post Brandon! I agree! Our small group spaces often get overlooked. We are in the same situation.

    • I know The book lead small has really convicted me to apply the Same energy if not more to small groups in our ministry. Thanks for the comment bro