Relationships 101

Something that I've learned in the past couple of years is that relationships are everything. Literally. Relationships make up the essence of life! To middle schoolers and high schoolers, friendships, relationships, and maintaining a social life is everything. And I mean everything. That's why it's so important that youth groups work on fostering relationships and healthy communication among their teens.  

One of the ways we like to foster healthy relationships here at RIOT is through small groups. We broke all of our teens up into groups of about 4 or 5 and assigned each of them a leader. Each leader's job is to ask the kids questions pertaining to what we've been learning. The questions are meant to get everyone thinking about how the lessons we've been learning pertain to our everyday lives. Small groups also open up opportunities for teens to share their hearts with one another. Vulnerability and trust leads to deeper connections and friendships that can last a lifetime.

Another way we like to encourage deeper connections among the teens is through our game time. I know- it sounds silly and sort of out of place. But I believe game time is a very relevant form of fellowship for kids. Choosing team-building games that allow kids to bond and work together is so pertinent in getting them to connect with one another. I found that when I was a teen, it was the team building exercises and team work that solidified my connections with the other kids. Doing games that require teamwork and problem-solving develops a sense of trust.

Taking the time to work on things that will allow the kids to connect on a deeper level is so vital in creating strong relationships in the youth group. By paying attention to the dynamics in our youth group and working with them, we can create an environment where the kids can effectively connect. These are relationships and memories that could last a lifetime. 

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