Groups are an incredibly convenient way to structure all pastoral care, reporting and follow up for your youth ministry. Let’s have a closer look at them!
Setting up a Group Category
Setting up a Group Category allows you to separate the Groups in your youth ministry from the rest of your church’s Groups. When setting up a Group Category, you have two main things to consider: what positions you want filled in the Group; and, who, when, and for what do you want to be notified.
By default, all Group categories will suggest a ‘Leader’ and ‘Assistant Leader’ position. Depending on the size of each group, however, you may wish to only have one Leader, or to divide the positions into different responsibilities (e.g. ‘Prayer/Care Leader’, and ‘Birthday Keeper’).
You’ll also have the opportunity to set up notifications. For when someone is added, or when a Group Report is submitted, you have two options: notify admins, and notify leaders. Your decision here normally comes down to whether any action needs to be taken when one of these things happens.
For example, if your Group Leaders are pretty autonomous, you may not be worried about being notified when a Group Report is submitted. But, if a Group Report is supposed to be followed up (potentially using a People Flow) a notification might be useful, so that the admin can check the relevant people flow in a few days to make sure that People are being progressed through the process.
My youth ministry doesn’t use small groups
If your youth ministry doesn’t use small groups, there are a few things to consider with whether you want to use Groups to structure at all. Often, though, it is still useful to breakdown your ministry into smaller, more manageable bits, so that no one misses out on your care.
If your pastoral care already runs like a well-oiled machine, then you may not need to worry about Groups. Or if pastoral care is deliberately not a part of your ministry, then you definitely don’t. Otherwise, taking the time to set up Groups will be very helpful.
Often the easiest way to do this is just by categorizing your youth by something simple: like age, gender, school, or school year (or any combination of these, if you have a larger ministry). Having one person with a defined group of people to care for will encourage a greater level of care, and prevent individuals from being left out.
For a step-by-step walkthrough on setting up a Group Category, visit this link.