be ready for a great small group when you least expect it

my most recent middle school ministry column for youthworker journal is online now. i called it “the fifth week”, based on the rough approximation that 4 out of 5 weeks in my middle school guys small group feel nominally productive at best. but that fifth week…

the point of the article: be ready for a great time of deep discussion to show up when you least expect it.

here’s the first few ‘graphs:

I lead a small group of seventh grade guys in my home each Wednesday night. Four out of five weeks feel like we barely accomplish anything (whatever that means!).

That fifth week, though. Hmm! That’s the one that keeps me coming back week in and week out. It’s like the chip shot that magically drops in the hole—after the stinkiest round of golf in the history of links—and leads me to think, “I can do this!”

I had one of these “fifth weeks” recently. It started out looking like it was going to be the worst small group time of the month. I hadn’t prepared a thing. My co-leader had the DVD curriculum. After an uncommonly unruly 30 minutes of sharing highs and lows of our week, I turned to my co-leader and asked if we could pop in the DVD. “Uh, I think I left it at home,” he said. Time to punt!

click through to read the rest.

5 thoughts on “be ready for a great small group when you least expect it”

  1. We have the kids over for a night of Whale Wars and Euchre (odd combo, I know) every Friday night. A small group almost always, and organically, breaks out. The depth of discussion that occurs usually baffles me. We go from the Sea Shepherd to deciding trump to what it means to live missionally in a small town. It’s something that only God could orchestrate.

  2. My son came home that night and told me about that conversation-which led to more conversation between he and I. Impact was made and he was thinking, continuing to process. Thank Heavens for the “5th week”–and for youth workers willing to hang in there with 7th grade boys!!

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