Tapestry of Faith: Sharing the Journey: A Small Group Ministry Program with Youth

Chapter 6: Sample Youth Conference Model

This is a model for using small group ministry within a youth conference. The theme for this example is "Same, But Different." Sessions can be facilitated by teams of a youth and an adult or by two youth. Session facilitators will need to review their sessions ahead of time.

Weekend Schedule, including Small Group Ministry Sessions



Introductions. Participants introduce themselves. Use a game or any format you like for the introductions. Then, explain the structure and schedule for the weekend. Introduce the concept of small group ministry (including how it differs from touch groups) and assign groups.

Food preparation sign-up. Announce that Saturday's dinner will be prepared in small groups. Each group should sign up for the portion of the meal they want to prepare. (Make sure the meal courses are simple to prepare so those with little or no cooking experience can be successful. Vegetable tacos or potato bars are easy and provide tasks for multiple groups.)

Session 1: Covenant (1 hour)

Games and/or free time



Session 2: Same (2 hours)

Free time



Session 3: Different (2 hours or more)

Free time. If youth will hold a worship service this evening or tomorrow morning, use this time to plan worship around the theme "Same, But Different."


Dinner. Prepare dinner in small groups according to the sign-ups from last night. Dine together.

Session 4: Same, But Different (2 hours)

Free time or game

Youth-led worship


Breakfast and final clean-up

Worship with host congregation

Pack, say goodbyes, and depart