Tag Archives: core groups

Evaluating Small Groups

Last week, I talked about the importance of Evaluating Programs, and I want to stress again that Evaluating the direction and purpose of a Ministry and its programs is one of the most Important things a Youth Pastor can do long term.

I mentioned how I try and do different levels of evaluation, whether its weekly and a quick few minutes after a service, or a more in depth evaluation every few months of the overall direction of the program or ministry.

This past weekend, our Youth Service was a big push for kids to sign up for Core groups, and I’m pretty pleased with the response we had when all is considered. And so over the next few weeks, we are going to be phasing those in, getting them started. And one of the things that will help us for the full launch next fall is the way we evaluate these small groups.

One of the ways we evaluate small groups is based on their effectiveness to their audience. So attached below are some files of a little 3×6 card that our small group leaders will fill out each week. These cards don’t go in to too much depth, but they leave enough room for the leaders to be aware of how deep the group got that night, and fill out to fill me in if something important is going on in the lives of one of the students.

They help us in evaluating because we can see “Alright, this group isn’t progressing, they are still just coming and goofing off, what do we need to change,” or to see “this group has great chemistry, how can we harness that for the betterment of the rest of the Youth Ministry.”

They also help because even though we have less than 30 kids, I can’t effectively minister to them as well as a team of us can, and so I can’t be Small group leader to every student. So it’s great to have on record when wins + losses happen (i.e. win, Joey got saved, win, Jake got his parents to come to church this past Sunday, loss, Rachel hasn’t been at small group in a few week, etc.) It’s also great to have the prayer requests on file for me to pray over, as well as to know what’s going on in the students lives.

These are a work in progress, I think we will be tweeking them for quite a while, but they still can be effective how they are, and if you want to tweek them, the photoshop files are available as well.


Evaluation card front

Evaluation card back

Photoshop file


Weekend in Review Volume #3

Series: 1-off week; Community

Sermon in a sentence: God designed us to need community with other people

Understandable Message: Being alone can sometimes be easier and what we’d prefer, but it gets boring real fast. God wired each of us to need relationships with other people, and not just surface level relationships, but deep ones. We all need a group of friends who are able to see our good and bad and love us all the same, who we let in so they can really “get” us.

Element of Fun: This week was primarily lesson, we played one REALLY quick game involving two students racing RC cars around the audience, but that was  maybe 2% of the time this week.

Music playlist: Better Together – Jack Johnson, Lay Down my Pride – Jeremy Camp, Make us One – Liberty University Praise Band, Fade Away – Lybecker, Come on – Rend Collective Experiment, Like You Do – Lybecker

Memorable Moment: Honestly, this one came Monday Morning when Sarah and I both woke up completely sore from playing so much kinect over the weekend.

Up Next: 1-off week; Guest Speaker Levi Hart. Sarah and I will be out of town at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference, so one of our Volunteers will be filling in, excited for him.

Why we’re launching Core Groups mid semester

I mentioned earlier that this Sunday is the last in a big push for our Youth to sign up for Core groups to be starting soon, but I also am aware that launching something like this in the middle of the year doesn’t really make much sense. But really its phase 2 in a soft launch that we have been doing all year.

I’ve mentioned before, but when I got here last year, the church really had no idea what Sustainable Youth Ministry looked like. They had had several volunteers, and I don’t know them, I am sure they did great work, but none of the kids they built up are still here, specifically, none of the kids in our youth ministry came from those past experiences.

This past Fall I did a push for small groups, got kids signed up, and then it toppled. I didn’t build up a system to be in place for it. I didn’t show kids how awesome Core groups were or could be. So it quickly died off.

The in October we did a soft launch with some sr. highers, and I posted earlier of how successful that has been going, that one of our goals with launching it was for them to not want to miss it and not to lose the community, and how last night really showed how important their small group is to them, without it coming off as cliquish.

Now, in March, were doing phase 2 of our soft launch, and gauging interest. At the most, I hope to get 4-6 more girls to sign up and 4-6 more guys to sign up for small groups. If more sign up, then great, but my hope is to have enough to have 3 groups going for now to be influential in the fall to encourage others to sign up.

So though it may seem weird to be starting Core groups mid year, I’m having to remind myself, leaders, and students, that this is just a trial and error phase. Just because it worked with one group, doesn’t mean we can make it work with more, so we will see how it goes.

%d bloggers like this: