Our philosophy from the beginning has been to not segregate small groups based on age or grade classification. LIke Titus 2 speaks of older people pouring into younger people – we even take that to the place of High School and Jr High. Sometimes, the Jr high student needs to see and hear from a Godly High School student – and visa versa. We believe that those students in Jr HIgh, unfortunately, these days are dealing with most of the very same issues and pressures those in HIgh School deal with. We do not hide our heads in the sand on this one. We wish students didn’t have to grow up in a very adult world and make very adult based decisions everyday – decisions most of them aren’t quite ready or equipped to deal with just yet- at their age. However, we feel strongly in the model of mixing the ages. It breeds encouragement, acceptance, accountability, discipleship, leadership, and an openness that we haven’t seen in many situations.
We also challenge each student pastor to bring 1 adult per 7 students. We then ask these adults to be ready to volunteer their life and time to being a small group leader. Newbie Adult leaders are always so scared of this at first, some – even with poor attitudes coming in to the week. However, in the years that we have been a part of 220, and implemented this model, we can’t think of one situation where God didn’t end up changing the lives of the adults, sometimes even more than that than the lives of students. These leaders come in scared – apprehensive, insecure, and flooded with so many emotions, however, they leave empowered, refreshed, restored even – and ready to walk the next mile with the students of their churches. Vision is born. Whole families have been changed… simply from the time spent together, talking about Jesus, praying, and processing through the move of God – in that small group application.
Community is the backbone
of the 220 ministry.
It will seem like a burden to you at first, when Johnny Youth Pastor begs you to be an adult sponsor, and then springs the ‘by the way – you’re also a SMALL GROUP leader’ on you… but, we promise – it’s painless, and it will be one of the most amazing adventures with God and students you will ever have. It will bless you, change you, make you see God differently, and the students of this generation and your church differently… and in most cases,… make you come alive