Are things feeling stale at your friendship group? Working with our Friends is always an awesome thing, but for some Friends, any “change” in your group can be a challenge. Let’s face it, change for many of us can be a challenge!
I’ve paid visits to many Friendship programs and from time to time I observe how little some groups have changed. They’ve been singing the very same “playlist” for years or going through the same materials over and over. On the surface, this doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, but a closer look reveals some issues.
When your small group becomes stagnant, you will start to lose not just mentors, but Friends also. You’ll also start to realize that younger mentors are not volunteering. They’re looking for ways to keep up with worship and learning about God in the ways they’ve become accustomed to – digital media, Youtube, Instagram, or Facebook. How can we compete?
There are ways! But you first need to be willing to change. For example, realize that your Friends will be okay with a new song. They are capable of new songs! Use Youtube
to teach you if you don’t have a strong music person. Find someone with a computer skill set to help you. I’m not just talking about the Bible lessons and music, but social changes also. Our group is talking with our local residential services about starting a bingo night at our church on the same night as Friendship.
To me, I see an opportunity for our congregation to join in on the fun in a comfortable and supported way. Yes, it will mean one more night away from typical Bible lessons, but sharing God’s love in a different capacity is equally important. And as an added bonus, maybe we’ll get some desperately needed new volunteers!
So will you consider change? Perhaps it’s time for a new music playlist, Bible study curriculum, or group leader. Have you tried a ‘show and share’ night? A dance? Let’s get creative to mix things up! I promise you that your Friends will not leave your program if you try something new and your volunteers will love it, too.
What stays consistent is the love that is shared each week. Nothing is more awesome than that!
Friendship Ministries Canada