Our youth small groups are totally student-led, with "at-hand" adult leadership available in case of needs that are outside the ability of teens. When we started out, we had one large "youth group" that usually met on Sunday afternoon from 4:30 - 6:30.
We began to share the vision with our kids and began to show them how this could work for them to strengthen, encourage, evangelize, etc. Each week our teens would bring friends back for this "New Adventure" training. We would spend one hour doing in-depth teaching and the second hour we would allow the teens to break off into small groups with a trained adult group leader to help.
On the front end of this transition, it was adult-directed and facilitated. But teens catch on fast! Soon our adult leaders where handing off responsibility to teen group leaders; after about six weeks we let the kids go on their own. Then we transferred times. We began to let them meet on Sunday mornings, while some adult leaders where hanging around. Now they meet totally separate, and several have begun small groups from their school campus.
We have a youth leadership team made up of adult volunteers and led by a "Lay Adult Youth Veteran," Tony and Kim Yabro. They have been with us for four years working with teens to get them ready for what they are involved in now. Tony and Kim usually plan the small group activities outside their general weekly sessions. Tony and Kim are truly servants of teens. I have had a lot of "professional" youth people work with me over the last 22 years of being a pastor, but never have I seen such giving hearts as I have in Tony and Kim.
Our youth small groups have a small group servant, intern, and an assistant. We like having a three-person leadership team in each small ...