Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Homework" for Small Groups??

Here's a quick question for those of you serving in student ministry.

Do you provide / require curriculum for students to do outside of the group time?

I had a discussion with a student last night who is a great kid but is very busy. He told me he didn't have 5 minutes a day to read a book we're using for curriculum for our small groups. I believe him. He does seek God through the Word consistently.

So, do you have curriculum that is to be done outside group time? How do students respond? Talk to me.


  1. I'm working for a para-church ministry to students now, but when I was on a local church staff as a youth pastor we had homework (for lack of a better word) in all of our high school small groups. But we found that this was our students' time in the Word as they were not previously engaged in it outside of this context.

    A HUGE issue in this discussion is the schedule of the students. Many of our students were driven acedemically, athletically, and socially and really struggled internally with how their time was invested.

  2. We have "homework" in small groups that students themselves elect to be a part of. Our other small groups have no "homework" requirements.

  3. So the question becomes, how hard should we push students to invest in their spiritual life? Joel, our groups are like yours, they are for students who have the time and desire to go deeper in their spiritual lives.

    I suppose I'm just struggling to push a student who is in the Word but doesn't want to read a book.

    What do ya'll think?

  4. We encourage our students to go deeper...we often will use a devotional that I create that we will do together as a community or small group, and then we will post thoughts, questions, what we are learning or struggling with on our private social community. It helps engagement when students and leaders can share as they go.

    not having 5 minutes a day? I don't question how busy a lot of kids are, but lets be honest, I can find ten minutes to read on the toilet. Usually when I say I don't have time for something, it is usually because I don't want to make time...

    I think encouragement & having the outside work or exercises be something of perceived value...and doing it as a community also helps...

    just a thought

  5. I agree with Dave on the time management thing. I have one group reading through the NT using the Community Bible Experience (CBE). They're doing this in 8 weeks. It's quite a reading load for a busy schedule.