Small Groups for the Win
There are 8,760 hours in a year. Trust me, I’ve done the math…with a calculator, and by “calculator,” I mean Google. At Oneighty, we have roughly 64 hours a year to make an eternal impact. Depending on their consistency, it could be even less than that. That’s no small task.
Something we’ve noticed, as I’m sure you have as well, is that students have more “stuff” vying for their time and attention than ever before. School, homework, sports, extracurricular activities, hobbies, family, friends, sleep, not to mention the plethora of entertainment choices readily accessible to them.
The reality is that because of their “busyness” they’ve scheduled church, youth group, even God right out of their lives. At best, youth group becomes increasingly more optional and less essential.
So how do we compete? Better yet, how do we win back our students?
At Oneighty, we don’t have it all figured out, and we don’t pretend to. We have much to learn. In fact, we have much to relearn and refocus on. For example, something that we are really honing in on is real, authentic relationships with our students. Elementary, I know! But haven’t you noticed that often times the simplest things are the most difficult to do and soon forgotten?
We’re recalibrating our focus on students. Not programming. Not activities. Not service flow. Not that any of those are terrible things. We need those things. But relationship with students is what we need most.
That’s why we’re launching student small groups around Tulsa and surrounding areas. We believe that small groups will help us win our students back.
Here’s what we’ve been thinking about, focusing on and preparing for:
REAL RELATIONSHIP IS THE BRIDGE TO REAL LIFE CHANGE
We believe that the most authentic and longest lasting life change comes through real relationships. Someone to walk with you through whatever you’re going through. Someone to challenge you to move one step forward in your faith.
GET OUTSIDE OUR WALLS AND INTO THEIR LIVES
We can no longer expect our students to come to our large group gatherings only, and get what they need spiritually. We must go to them, where they’re at and get involved on a personal level. We must invest the time, build the trust, and speak the Truth in love.
LEADERS WHO GIVE A CARE
We believe that real relationships are worth fighting for, they’re worth moving your schedule around for. If there is a real relationship between a Oneighty leader who cares and a student, when something comes up in the life of that student, they will be at group that week to talk about it. We are giving our leaders permission to care. To show up and be there for our students.
So, this is what we’ve been working on and focusing on. We launch in September and are super excited. What are your thoughts on small groups? What are you doing that’s working? We’d love to know!