We all long for community. That’s one of the reasons this ministry exists: we long to bring teens + their communities closer to Christ through prayer, the sacraments, and fellowship.
In my own spiritual life, I have been most encouraged in prayer and holiness when I have been connected to a small group or community committed to prayer.
Starting back with your group – whether it’s your own personal small group, or your junior high or high school ministry – can be intimidating! But, it might be easier than you think.
Maybe you’ve been part of your own small group that recently fizzled. Maybe everything was going great and then COVID halted your progress. Maybe you’re the new ministry leader, and things are feeling a bit… weird as the pandemic looms around us.
Don’t let weird keep you from wonderful.
How to restart your group.
If you need some help getting started, we’ve got you covered with a few ideas!
1. Reach out in the regular way.
Does your group normally communicate through text? Facebook group? The parish bulletin?
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel or feel the need to do something bright and shiny. Whatever method you previously used to communicate with your group, stick to it. This is about reconnecting with your people.
2. Call it what it is.
You don’t have to pretend like it hasn’t been a while since you’ve been together, if that’s the case. Be upfront about it!
Some people, adults and youth alike, may be feeling insecure. Do your best to dismiss any fears or insecurities, and invite the new and old together.
3. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Consistency is key. Be consistent with when and where you meet as a group. This helps to limit confusion with both teens and adults.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Be realistic about how much you can take on. Whether your group meets every week, or once or twice a month, aim to meet on the same night, at the same location, and at the same time. Consistency will provide a sense of comfort and security for youth and adults alike.
4. Make it relevant.
When you are watching TV, scrolling through Insta, or simply browsing online, you typically skip over content that is not important or relevant to you. Teens are the same way. If something isn’t relevant to them, they won’t listen.
Keep the content relevant to what your group is experiencing. Having specific topics to gather around can help to break the ice and creates excitement about getting together again. Find a bible study, youth night, or liturgical devotion that your group can rally around, and dig in!
5. (re)Commit to prayer.
Finally, commit, or recommit, to prayer! Bookend your gatherings in prayer by opening and closing your get-together in prayer. But don’t limit prayer to the specific event. Begin praying for your people well in advance. Ask for their intentions so that you can pray for them until you all meet again – or simply offer up your Holy Hour/Mass/rosary/etc. for their needs and intentions.
And – ask for prayer, too! Ask your adult volunteers, teen leaders, parents and grandparents to pray for you and the group.
It takes effort to start and maintain a group, whether it be for adults or youth. It can take even greater effort to restart a group that was once thriving. But it.is.so.worth.it. Walking alongside others who also love the Lord and desire sanctity is a great gift.
So, send the text. Plan the date. Dig in. The others will thank you for it!
Join us for Beyond the Limits Jr. High Conference: March 5-6, 2022 and the Steubenville South High School Conference, June 24-26, 2022! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.