If you work with students and adult leaders are the foundation of your strategy then you most likely meet with them from time to time.
In our student ministry there is very little that's more important than training and shepherding our small group leaders but it seems that often gatherings for them aren't thought through as well as they should be.
Here's an outline of a gathering we got right. I hope it helps.
4:45 - 5:00 Coffee / Dessert
5:00 - 5:20 Small Group discussion / prayer
Question is "We're 3 weeks in, how are things?"
5:20 - 5:25 Logistical Announcements
5:25 - 5:35 Devotion - Focus is importance of caring for your own heart.
The condition of your heart directly effects your ability to minister to students.
5:35 - 5:40 Prayer Around Tables (response to the devotion)
5:40 - 6:00 Training - Small group dynamics (3 simple points)
Come to your meeting time prepared
Listen and adjust to what is happening in the life of your students
Connecting with students outside group time impacts your group
We also discussed things like, "what happens when one person dominates the group" or "what do you do when no one in your group speaks up"? We put a white board by the coffee and asked our leaders to write questions or topics they wanted to discuss. These questions surfaced on our white board.
When going into small group leader meeting we want to listen to our leaders, help them know how important they are, care for their hearts and provide some quick simple training. The challenge for our staff team is similar to the challenge of our volunteer leaders, finding time to spend one on one to build and deepen relationship.
Hey, would love ideas of what you've done that's been effective. We're always refining and trying to get better.