How can small group ministry work with a service component?
Often small group ministry or covenant groups include a service component, which Peter Bowden calls "inspired group action." Service to the congregation or larger community helps keep the small group from becoming self-absorbed, too heady, and disconnected. Part of a growing spiritual life, service reminds participants of the importance of their roles in the congregational community. At the first meeting, be ready to let the group know if a service component is being considered. Bring several possibilities to prompt the group to discuss; however, youth might have great ideas for projects they would enjoy creating.
Service activities can include ongoing elements of congregational life as well as projects in the larger community. Deciding on the service to be provided should involve every member of the group. For the success and safety of the project, you may need to include additional adults in the actual implementation along with the advisors. This could be a way to include parents and other caregivers. If the service project is too large for youth alone, consider collaborating with an adult covenant group.