Student-Led Small Groups

Is your model or philosophy of youth ministry structured to care for the wounded souls of today's youth?

I call this generation the "walking wounded" in search of the family they never had. Our young people have issues to deal with daily that many of us never had to face. Is your model or philosophy of youth ministry structured to care for these dear wounded souls?

There is a dramatic shift going on in youth ministry. We are transitioning from a program based, adult driven, personality-centered model of ministry to a relational model that incorporates student leaders, cell groups and long extended sets of meaningful, effective worship.

Cell-group youth ministries have been springing up all over the globe. There's a youth ministry in Bogata, Columbia (the cocaine capitol of the world) that has over 13,000 youth in student cell groups. I met one of their cell leaders, a 17-year-old girl. Speaking through an interpreter, she said that in four years her cell had multiplied 18 times. In South Africa, I met a 22-year-old youth worker who has more than 75 youth cells in his ministry. It is no longer uncommon in America to see 20, 50 or 100 cells.

How Cells Work

There are two primary focuses of student-led cell groups:

1. Evangelism - Equipped with well-planned strategies, student leaders reach out to their well-defined circle of friends. The outreach cell includes three types of students: Seekers, Hurting or New Believers, and Healthy Christians. In each cell, there is a student leader, a student co-leader, and a key adult to help ensure the success of the cell.

2. Leadership development and edification - The primary role of adult youth workers and volunteers is to pour their lives into the student leaders, not every member. The adults encourage, equip, hold accountable, mentor, disciple, and edify the student leaders. The student leaders, ...

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