Jr. High - Preteen -

You’ll need this for your small group time —

By Becca Haines

Youth leaders coming to CIY’s weekend events Believe and SuperStart are encouraged to download “Convos” from the App Store to prepare for the next level of small group time.

The app serves as a platform on mobile devices that uses videos, questions, polls and other interactive elements that is placed in the middle of a group or passed around in a circle. Brian Sitton, CIY’s director of digital programming, said this year’s improvements to the experience help pave the way to amazing small group times ahead.

“One of the big wins for us this year is we found a way around moments when youth pastors weren’t getting a good phone signal at some of our venues,” Sitton said. “If you download the app at home and click through the slides, it will cache onto your phone. That way, even if you go into airplane mode, you’ll have access to the material. Another big change this year is we’ve created a third conversation students can take home to their parents.”

SuperStart’s “Convos” will be connected to a game that preteens can access long after the event has concluded. The app guides students through the game, which presents the Gospel message and invites parents into the conversation.

“This is something I’ve been hoping for ever since ‘Convos’ began,” Sitton said. “Inviting the parents into conversations students had at CIY events is priceless. For the preteen students, ‘Convos’ is fun and at the same time draws them into conversation and develops the communication skill. For junior high students at Believe, ‘Convos’ is more like a guide in the conversation, which helps them grow into more mature conversations they’ll eventually have at MOVE. The philosophy at CIY has been that discipleship happens in conversations. If we can get kids to engage through games, to bond with one another and to explore the Gospel, they’ll be able to have more Kingdom worker conversations throughout life.”

CIY has seen small group time shift from teaching recap and quizzes to more moments of discussion, storytelling and youth leaders learning more about what’s on students’ hearts and minds. In the future, Sitton said “Convos” will have the ability to allow students to submit answers anonymously during small group time – allowing more honest and safe zones where youth leaders can better connect to students to meet their spiritual needs.

“This is going to be a huge thing for small group time,” Sitton said. “In the future, youth leaders will be able to take the results and feedback gathered during ‘Convos’ and get a pulse on where their students are in their faith and where they stand on certain topics. As a group, they can talk about certain trends or answers they’ve seen from the app. It’s going to drive some excellent conversations, and better serve the needs of our youth leaders.”