Secret Formula for Week 1!
The first week of Growth Groups, so what's the goal?
CREATE A COMPELLING EXPERIENCE WHERE YOUR STUDENTS WILL WANT TO COME BACK THE SECOND WEEK.
So what do you have to do in order to do this?
Have Food! There's nothing that makes our students feel more loved than giving them free food. The more the better.
Have Planned games: The meat of the first meeting should be tons of games, if you click here, I have given you possible games that would work great. Pick several and make sure you plan them out well. A mix of social games and physical games works well.
Break into your growth groups ask these questions:
How we can make this an amazing group?- We want out students to start envisioning what their community could look like. I will often have the students close their eyes as they start dreaming about what could be. Then, I go around the circle and have everyone answer.
What do we need to do in order for you to come every week?- This is a more practical question. We want our students to give us tools to make the group one in which they are excited to come every week.
Great! What rules do we need to set in place in order to make this happen?- The other two questions are set ups for them to realize that it in their power to make this group what they want. Have a leader or a student write out the answers to this question such as: "What is said here, stay here". "Listen first". "Be accepting".
It is through structure that our students thrive. Even better, if it's structure that the student's created themselves, they are much more interested in coming back the second week. If you can, condense the answers of the student's 3rd question into a document, and print it out. Before you get into the content every week, have a student read the rules they created. This sets the tone for every conversation. It works very well.
ORDER OF NIGHT OF THE 1ST WEEK
30 Minutes: Talk and eat snacks or dinner
30 Minutes: Social and physical Games
30 Minutes: Break into Group
I would encourage all of you to delegate the responsibilities of the first night BEFORE the night begins so that can be a compelling experience for every student.