Leading a Children’s Small Group

Leading a Small Group:

This summer, I have been keeping careful track of every time I teach, so that I can accurately report it for my internship paperwork. While I have been teaching the large group of kids on Sunday mornings for about a month, I have also led a small group of 2nd-5th Grade boys several times this summer as well. I am sharing this outline of my small group time from a few weeks ago to help give both an example and a personal evaluation of what the children’s small group looked like that I was leading. Small group formats can be vastly different depending on the curriculum and the kids you are working with, but hopefully this will help share some ideas for your own children’s small groups!

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For the 11am children’s service, we followed this format:

Small Group

  • Welcome
  • Coloring Activity
  • Activity Page: “Save the Situation”
  • Pre-Lesson Activity: Trumpet, Pitcher, Torch game

Large Group

  • Tithe and Offering Time
  • Lesson Intro
  • Key Bible Verse
  • Bible Lesson
  • Song Time
  • Discussion Starter (transition to small groups)

Small Group

  • Discussion Starter Questions
  • Bible Story Review
  • Key Bible Verse Activity
  • Bible Story Activity

Description of Lesson:

The lesson today was on Judges 6-8 and the story of Gideon. The Big Picture question was: “How should we respond to God’s calling? We should obey God and trust Him to help us.” The Christ Connection was that “God used the judges to deliver His people from their enemies; Christ delivers people from the greatest enemy, Satan.” The key bible verse was Judges 2:18.

Small Group Activities:

  1. Our first activity (before the Large Group lesson) was a coloring page with a picture of Gideon and his men. Children would arrive and join this small group activity.
  2. The second activity was called “Save the Situation.” This was a children’s worksheet activity that led into a discussion about Jesus and His power to save us from sin.
  3. The third activity was Trumpet, Pitcher, Torch (following the model of Rock, Paper, Scissors). At the end of the game, I linked the game to the Bible lesson for that day by saying that the judge we would be looking at used all three items to defeat an army.
  4. After the Large Group lesson, I led our small group in the discussion questions, which began to look at the application of the story to their lives.
  5. The next activity after a few Discussion Starter Questions was the Bible Story Review. For this, we played a game and tried to answer questions about the Gideon story correctly.
  6. For the Key Bible Verse Activity, each child tried to recite the memory verse. If they did, they would get a gumball as a prize.
  7. The Bible Story Activity for this week was a team game in which each team would get a chance to roll a cube, answer a review question, and get points for their team.
  8. At the end of the small group, I went over the Christ Connection with my small group again.

Preparations:

For this children’s service, I led the volunteer meeting beforehand. To prepare for our small groups, we looked over the instructions for the small group activities and talked through the lesson. Since the materials for games and crafts are already prepared each week by an administrator, I simply pulled them out of the resource cart and showed them to the volunteers.

How I Led the Small Group:

My small group of 1st-5th grade boys went well. While normally the group is only 2nd-5th grade boys, I took several of the misbehaving 1st graders into my group. I kept my small group engaged by asking questions about the lesson and challenging them with the Bible Story Activity. Several times I had to stop the group because a child was misbehaving, but I was able to address the issue briefly and then continue leading my small group in our discussion and activities. The boys had several great questions today about our lesson. Overall, I think that the discussion time went very well.