Benchmarking: Kids Small Group Leaders

So we’ve been talking this week about who your team looks at when they think about who they want to be like.  Which organizations are you benchmarking your church agianst?  Rather than comparing against “Acrossthetown Baptist Church” or the latest McChurch trend why not find more creative organizations to point towards?

Instead of looking at what the teen maniacs over at Acquire the Fire are doing . . . why not ask your student ministry to consider learning from the decentralized, cause driven, advocacy organization Invisible Children about how to motivate and mobilize students?  You get the idea . . . right?

You can see this weeks earlier posts here and here.

The folks at Northpoint Ministries and the ReThink Group have done a great job raising the value of Small Group Leaders for children’s ministry.  I admire how they continue to keep church leaders focused on the value of great small group leaders and their partnership with parents in the spiritual development of kids.

But is anyone else actually living out this vision of high value interactions between leaders and kids?

There is an amazing organization in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada called CityKidz. Rather than me try to capture this organization in a few words . . . watch this video:

There is so much to admire about CityKidz.  But today I want to focus in on the incredible investment that their small group leaders make.  These incredible folks visit their small group weekly at their homes.  They walk the streets and drop by their homes to interact with the kids and their parents.  Sometimes the visits last 30 seconds . . . just saying hi! . . . or sometimes it lasts for hours simply living life together.

Don’t miss this . . . CityKidz isn’t asking their team of leaders to fill a slot a schedule . . . they are asking themselves to fill their lives with their group of kids.  The ask is huge.

I know that most people who are reading this blog don’t serve in under resourced communities.  It would really be easy to to write off CityKidz and say that they are just meeting the needs of families in their community and that if we asked our small group leaders to visit the homes of their kids they wouldn’t do it.  Or maybe even more insidiously, we somehow believe that kids in “our community” don’t need that level of engagement.

What would happen if we asked our kids small group leaders to actually get into the lives of their kids?  If we raised the bar to the point where it is basically a 10-15 hour a week part time we aren’t paying them for?

What about you? When you are training small group leaders in your organization . . . who do you point towards?  Would love to hear more! Comment now!

(BONUS: Have you heard of Friends of the Children?  They ask their volunteers to make an 18+ year commitment to their kids!  And people do it!)


  1. Great Post Rich,

    I have a couple in my youth ministry who are living out this City Kidz concept. They have one of their own students in the ministry, but have no become the “spiritual mom and dad” to about ten students. They have opened up their life to these students and they have them at their house a few times a week. The impact they have had on these students is amazing. Itis very organic and very little structure but the effectiveness is off the charts. Their home as becomes what Starbucks calls the “third place.”

    I have loved the benchmarking discussion.

    Keep the blog rolling.

    Jon Biggs
    Pastor of Student Ministries
    Centerville Community Church

  2. I want to add that I love in a very upper middle class to upper class community. The heart of it works anywhere.

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