The Value of Small Groups

As we look at our Saviour’s life, we see that He used small groups in His ministry. In fact, much of the time we see Jesus was ministering to people in small groups. The following is an acronym that organ­ises some of the truths that demonstrate the value of a small group in a ministry setting.

Share your life

This happens as people share their struggles, joys, victories, sorrows, answers to prayer, what Jesus is teach­ing them, and what their relationship with Christ is like.


Many times other people can see their friends’ gifts before they do. Small groups are a great place to challenge each other to discover and use their spiritual gifts.


Small groups help us to be accountable in our spiritual walk, evaluating our spiritual discipline, challenging us to pray, memorize Scripture, and study God’s Word.

Listen and Learn

Being part of a small group can help develop the skill of truly listening to one another. God often speaks to us, or teaches through others experiences or revelations.


Because we share our lives together, the group is able to understand many needs in the lives of each of its members. We can pray for others and often meet a need.


God speaks to us through the Body of Christ. In small groups we grow in our Christian walk as others confront, encourage, or pray for us.


Small groups help us develop close, healthy, loving relationships with others. Deep friendships form quickly when you are in a small group that meets on a regular basis.


Small groups provide a wonderful opportunity to go deep with a few people, giving us a chance to be a part of what God is doing in the process of training leaders.


As small groups love and care for one another and work through conflict, the value of being united in love is displayed for all to see.


In a small group, people are willing to share much more deeply than if they are praying with oth­ers they don’t know well. Pray anywhere and anywhere. Pray often!

Here are just a few of the many opportu­nities to use small groups in Young Life:

  • cabin time
  • work crew
  • mission community
  • camp‑work crew, summer staff, assigned team
  • committee/sub‑committees
  • Bible studies
  • discipleship
  • staff meetings
  • club
  • leadership meetings
  • contact work
  • prayer groups
  • tutoring
  • mentoring
  • after‑school programs
  • Mummy & Me
  • visit a committee member’s home with a small group of kids
  • service project with a small group of kids
Download – The Value of Small Groups

Campaigners Book

We hope you find this Campaigners Book useful.

Once you have completed the YL 101 course, you’ll have access to it as well in the Lesson: Resources.

Please note that these resources are Copyright to Young Life Australia; this means that you can use them for your use as a Young Life leader, but they can not be distributed to other youth or church organisations without first seeking approval from the National Office.

Download – Campaigners Booklet

The Follow-up Ministry

In seeking to discover a workable bibli­cal model for the ministry of follow‑up, the example of Jesus ‑ both with the twelve disciples and with other interest­ed followers ‑ needs to be closely exam­ined. Only as we first look upon the Master’s ministry of working with believers can we effectively seek to fol­low‑up with those He has entrusted to our charge. Let’s enumerate some of the outstanding principles of the Lord Jesus:

He embodied all that He taught (He was their example).

We live in a day of an ever‑increasing proliferation of disci­pleship manuals, periodicals, standardised studies, overhead projectors, verse memorisation packets, and so on. These are tremendous tools, but they do not take the place of what has been discov­ered by psychologists to be the most important method to teaching/learning that the world has ever discovered ‑the model. Jesus did not send them off with a program or a manual ‑ He asked them to follow Him. The bulk of his training consisted in His disciples being with Him. A disciple is a follower first. Then and only then can he be a leader of others.

Jesus allowed experience to be a very important teacher.

Whether it was His commissioning of the disciples to preach and heal (Luke 10: 1‑20, Luke 12:1‑6), His patience with their slowness to understand (Mark 8:17‑21, Matthew 28:17), or through their failures (John 21: 15‑23), Jesus understood the impor­tance of allowing them the opportunity to learn from experience, and most of all, through their mistakes. In short, while Jesus would not tolerate a lack of com­mitment, He granted them the freedom to fail. He knew that their errors would result in immense growth if the disciple was loved and encouraged to learn from his mistakes. Hence, we must recognise the primacy of individual experience as the second greatest method of teaching/learning. Too often, our follow‑up with kids is con­fined to a lecture‑discussion relationship once a week. We must challenge them to step out into positions of genuine dependence upon God, just as Jesus did, and responsibly supervise, encourage and evaluate them before, during and after these experiences.

He focused upon the obedient and teachable ones.

We find no record of Jesus entertaining a follower who was not teachable. With all the fallacies of the disciples, from the stubbornness of Peter to the doubting of Thomas, they still listened intently to Jesus and underwent considerable sacrifices to follow Him. Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler in Mark 10 gives us the clear impression that He would not spend His time entertaining a spoiled disciple. He continually focused upon the importance of obedience (John 13:17, 14:21, 15:14; Luke 11:28). His emphasis upon men who were too busy for the Kingdom of God (Luke 14: 16‑24) count­ing the cost (Luke 14:26‑33), the narrow­ness of the door (Luke 13:23‑30) and countless other situations indicate to us His clear pointing to the need to decide without reserve to follow Jesus. An internationally well‑known Bible teacher once remarked, “I wish I could recapture the lost thousands of hours that I have wasted teaching peo­ple who were never hungry.” We find no Biblical precedent for force‑feeding new believers.

Jesus expected reproduction from His disciples.

A natural function of a healthy body is reproduction. This principle is fundamental to the plant and animal kingdom, as well as all of human life. So often, we are surprised when a young believer leads his friends to Christ. Hence, it happens all too seldom. We should consider something wrong unless a young believer has a great desire to reproduce. The parable of the sower in Mark 4 not only warns them that not all will respond to the Gospel, but significantly concludes that “the men who hear the message and accept it … do produce a crop ‑ thirty, sixty, even a hundred times as much as they received.”

Jesus spent a great deal of time teaching them.

Earlier I mentioned the fact that a psy­chological study had indicated the exam­ple was the greatest method of teach­ing/learning, closely followed by experi­ence. The third greatest teacher is the didactic teaching method, whereby a teacher (Jesus) functions as an authoritative figure, but also as both a guide and a resource for students. In short, He fed them and taught them how to fish. A very important principle to note is that He kept it simple. Too often, we get carried away in waves of theological poignancy. If we can understand Jesus’ simple, picturesque language in articulating basic truths, we will not only be more effective disciple-­makers, we will also be more effective disciples ourselves.

Jesus articulated and exemplified the goal of every disciple: to love God.

If we cannot first grasp the prima­cy of loving God “with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind,” (Matthew 22:37) then certainly our young converts will never understand why Jesus pointed to this as the “greatest and first commandment”. It is apparent in the amount of time that Jesus took to be alone with the Father (Mark 1:35‑37), that the disciples very early came to understand without a word the truth of His total dependency upon the Father. The greatest gift we can ever impart to a new Christian is to show him by our lives and our words that the greatest blessing in life is to love God. Out of the being with Him, the doing for Him will come.

Download – The Follow-Up Ministry

What is Campaigners?

Campaigners (discipleship groups / small groups) are traditionally a group of students committed to growing in their relation­ship with Christ and sharing this rela­tionship with others.  Whilst going through this section, consider those young people you are currently working with.  Are there any that haven’t yet made a commitment, but are interested in finding out more?  Are there any you seen have leadership potential and enjoy being with you?  If you don’t have a group of young people who have made a commitment, consider starting a group with a group of young people who are willing and wanting to meet with you more regularly and model to them what a small group is all about – pray for them and see what The Lord does with you and them in the context of a small group.

Committed to a Group

God works through a group, a “body,” a team – His Church. We learn about our­selves and His love for others as we live and work together.

Committed to Growing

As leaders, we recognise that kids are in different places in their journey with Christ. Keeping this in mind, Campaigners is still for those who desire to grow in their faith. In club, we aim at the lowest common denominator. The club message is basic so the kid far­thest away might understand. In Campaigners, however, we are running with the big dogs. Although our Campaigners will be at various levels of commitment to Christ, this is still a time for those who want to be challenged to grow spiritually.

Committed to Sharing

Our growth in Christ will show itself in our love for others. Campaigners is more than simply gaining biblical knowledge, although it most definitely includes this. As we grow, we will want to reach out to others. Campaigners are our student leaders, the backbone for our club work.

Mark 12:28‑31: “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘of all the commandments, which is the most important?’”

“‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.””

The heart and soul of Campaigners should be to help students (and our­selves) obey the great commandment:

  • to love God above all else, and with everything we have and are
  • to love our neighbours ‑ families, friends, peers, those of various backgrounds and cultures, the less fortunate ‑ as ourselves

But this doesn’t just happen.

Good teachers take time to design lesson plans.

Good coaches take time to prepare their strategy for game day.

Good builders work closely with their blueprints.

Good Campaigner leaders

  • are motivated out of their love for Christ and His truth.

  • are going somewhere. They have a plan and are working on it.

  • are developing their own leader­ship and discipleship skills.

  • are prayerfully dependent on the Lord to produce His fruit.

Begin With the End in Mind

  • Your discipleship will take the shape of whatever you believe to be your goal.
  • For some this goal is informational. “If we can just get Campaigners to read the Bible and learn biblical truths, we have succeeded.
  • For others the goal is sharing. “Our teenagers need adults who create a safe place for them to be able to talk about what they are feeling in a non‑judgmen­tal setting.”
  • Still others may see the goal of Campaigners as building the Young Life club at their school. “Kids need a form of outreach to learn how to serve the Lord among their peers and club provided the opportunity.”

Each of these goals is worthwhile. Our discipleship needs to be marked by bibli­cal teaching, open sharing of who we are and the challenge to walk our talk among our friends and family. But none of these is the primary goal of our time together.

The primary goal of Campaigners is to help students love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and to love their neighbours as them­selves.

This is the great commandment. The great commandment warrants our great­est attention. It is the end that we must keep in mind as we set out.

How does Campaigners help us love God and others? By giving us a true understanding of the One we worship and our need for God (biblical literacy). By allow­ing us to know the Lord’s healing and compassion (honest sharing). And by giv­ing us opportunities to live out our faith in an unbelieving world (service and mis­sion).

When setting out to lead a Campaigner group, remember the end we have in mind is to love God with all that we are and to love others more. Keep asking yourself, “How does this help my friends love God and others more?” Begin with this end in mind!

Taken from the Campaigner Handbook.

Download – What is Campaigners?


Please note that these resources are Copyright to Young Life Australia; this means that you can use them for your use as a Young Life leader, but they can not be distributed to other youth or church organisations without first seeking approval from the National Office.

Download – Young Life Club Talks & Campaigner Lessons

Download – Young Life Club Talks – The Gospel Message

Download – Club Games Resource

Download – Course Material for YL 101

All our young people attending club should be registered on Care Monkey, which your Area Manager will allocate access for.  If  a child attending is unable to complete a Care Monkey profile, one of these forms must be completed by their parents / guardians. Your local Area Manager will collect the completed forms.

Download – Club Consent Form