josh treece has a great post about the kids you find in every small group. i think he’s right, IF the scope is narrowed to, “the kids you find in every middle school guys small group”:
The Late One– No matter what we’re doing; no matter what time it starts, this kid will be at least half an hour late. And, somehow, it’s never their fault. I could announce that I’d be giving away free monter trucks filled with money and they would be tardy.
The Human Tapeworm– Snack cannot come quickly enough for this kid. Nor can it come in a proper amount. Maybe it’s the Middle School growth spurt or that they go all day at school on nothing but a pack of Sour Skittles and a Dr. Pepper. Either way, when they raise their hand during group, they’re not wanting to ask about why Nehemiah wanted to rebuild the walls, they want to know when they can gnaw on some Oreos.
The Spleen– Whatever this kid ate before they came should be illegal. Make sure to have proper ventilation…
The Gun Jumper– Things you can’t use as a part of your teaching style around the Gun Jumper: rhetorical questions, stories that build to a point, or any idea that has more than one part. This one wants to ask the final point before you get to it. On the one hand, you want to applaud because of their ability to grasp what you’re talking about. But on the other hand, you want to throw your shoe at them for messing with your set-up that you’ve worked so hard on.
The Megaphone– This student talks… all the time… and loud. No matter what you try, short of surgical sutures, they won’t stop. They’re usually the ones you want to read the verse out loud…
The Quiet One– They could be shy… or mute. Who knows? You can’t get them to say anything! There’s a lot of variations of this type of student. My favorite is the one that you can never get to open up at group who then goes home to tell his folks that he can’t wait until next time because Small Group is his favorite part of the week.
The Alpha Student– A natural leader always emerges. Sometimes, they use their powers for good. Sometimes, they turn to the dark side. If you can hook them in, you’ve almost always got the rest of the group.