A Big Experiment
Part 2 of 2
If you haven’t read Part 1 of this series, this blog might not make much sense. You’ll definitely want to check it out HERE.
What is the Experiment?
This experiment is exclusively for our High School Ministry, Fusion.
As is further explained in Part 1, From January 4- February 22 (High School Snow Camp), Small Groups will be an optional addition to the end of the night at Fusion. We will be "done" at 7:00pm with all required programming, and students will be free to leave or remain in the SMC until their rides arrive.
What is the Reasoning?
We would love to see NYM grow. As far as we can tell, it is tough for students to invite their friends who are far from God to an environment like Small Groups - its small, close knit, and very personal. A guest could potentially feel like an outsider, rather than a welcomed guest because of the tight relational environment we intentionally cultivate. Also, because the groups are divided by grade and gender, students who invite a friend of the opposite gender actually have to separate from them for the Small Group time and hope it goes well for their guest - not exactly the ideal for invitation.
Who does this affect most?
This should technically only affect students who bring new people with them. If they don’t invite, they might never even notice the change (they’ll continue to attend Small Group like normal).
What are NYM's Concerns?
We are concerned that this experiment could unintentionally have an adverse affect on Small Group attendance and dynamic. Let's be honest - some students don't like Small Groups. In fact, you might have had discussions about that very thing in your home before. We know that reality exists. Thus, the fact that group would be optional could cause some students to take advantage of the system and simply not attend in order to avoid the environment they don't enjoy.
So, we'd encourage you, as a family, to have a discussion and set clear expectations about Small Group. If you want your child to attend small group, then we will do our best to make sure they don't abuse their freedom. (This is a GREAT chance to reach out to your child's small group leader HERE and let them know your decision).
But we won’t know what you expect and your student won’t know what you expect unless you have a frank conversation with them where you sit down and talk about these important issues. Your kids already know this change is happening - we’ve talked about it in Youth Group already. So chances are, they already have a strategy worked out in their mind.. but the question is - is it the one you hope they have?
Why is it called an experiment?
We love experiments around here at Northridge and NYM. We don’t pretend that we have this "More and Better" thing figured out. So we just put our best people together, come up with ideas, and then we just give ‘em a shot.
If this doesn’t work, we’ll change it back, and we’ll let you know.
If it’s a GREAT thing, we’ll keep it around for a while, and we’ll let you know.
But let’s keep the goal in mind - More and Better. We think this is going to help students feel comfortable inviting their friends. And soon - we’ll know if it worked! Would you pray for us?
Keep those questions and comments coming - we’re always a fan of parent feedback!