When I consult with churches about their children’s ministry I’m often asked, “How do you organize your elementary small groups?” I recommend transitioning between large group & small groups at various times during your service to examine the Bible Story and maintain interaction within the groups. As you plan and develop your small group curriculum, make sure your small groups are in 3D:
DO – Elementary small groups need to be hands-on. Kids learn best when they make discoveries & explore truth by doing. The activities will vary from week to week but the value is that they “do” something. It involves active learning.
DISCUSS – Kids love to talk. Once they’ve discovered truth together, create space for them to discuss what they’ve learned. Divide your group into smaller groups of 3-5 kids to discuss what they have been taught. Let the kids talk about ways to apply what they’ve learned. Don’t feel like you always have to spoon feed them the answers. Give them freedom to discuss their own application. When you do this the small group leaders serve as facilitators of the discussion and guide the kids to apply God’s Word.
DEBRIEF – After they have had the opportunity to discuss God’s truth, bring them back together to share their collective learning with the larger group of kids. This can be driven from the stage in large group as part of the Bible Story. Or you can allow kids to debrief within their small groups by bringing the groups of 3-5 back into their larger group of 15 to share their collective learning.