Information, Expectations and Requirements of Small Group Leaders

Are you sensing a call to Small Group leadership at PYT 2016 or do you know someone who would be an asset to our team of talented and enthusiastic Small Group Leaders? If so, then carefully and prayerfully read through all of the following information where you will find:

  • an overview of the exciting, NEW! way we will be doing Small Groups in 2016
  • a comprehensive list of expectations and requirements we have for our Small Group Leaders
  • instructions for how to apply to be a Small Group Leader at PYT 2016


A NEW and exciting way of doing Small Groups!
Small Groups have always been “the pulse” of the PYT experience for our young people, and in 2016 this will not change. Small Group will continue to be a time set aside for youth to synthesize their experience, to form lasting friendships and to grow in their faith as followers of Jesus Christ . . . however, this time things will look a little different than they have in years past.

Rather than having two Small Group sessions per day, we will have one Small Group session and one Delegation Group time each day. Small Group will continue to function as it always has: youth from across delegations will be divided-up into their respective Small Groups for daily Bible study, reflection, conversation, recreation and prayer. New this year will be the addition of time set aside each day for Delegation Groups to gather, discuss, dream about and explore what happens after Triennium? Or Impact plans! What are we Going to do . . . in our churches, in our neighborhoods, at our schools and in the world?

The Delegation Group feature in the 2016 event is a direct response to the evaluations from 2010 and 2013 Trienniums where participants and leaders asked for more intentional time during the event to build community, pray together and think about how the event themes might be carried out after the event.

How this schedule affects and impacts Small Group leadership (See our PYT 2016 Schedule here.)

  1. Each Small Group Leader will facilitate the small group experiences of two different Small Groups each day.
    • For example, Jane the Small Group Leader might be assigned to Small Groups 1 and 101. On Wednesday Jane would facilitate Small Group 1 from 9:00 to 10:30 am. She would then have a short break (10:30 – 11:00 am) to clean-up, re-set and prepare for her next Small Group. Jane would then facilitate Small Group 101 from 11:00 – 12:30 pm using the same lesson plan from the Small Group Manual for this new group.
    • On the 2016 Triennium Schedule you will see the terms “Group A” and “Group B” being used. Group A refers to all Small Groups 1 – 100 and Group B refers to all Small Groups 101 – 200.
    • Using the example with Jane, on Thursday she would again have Small Group 1 from 9:00 – 10:30 am and Small Group 101 from 11:00 – 12:30 pm. On Friday Jane would have Small Group 1 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm and Small Group 101 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm.
  2. This new structure means that Small Group Leaders will encounter twice as many youth / new faces each day so the nature of Small Group leadership will look a bit different.
  3. Lastly, this new way of doing Small Groups means that we will be recruiting half as many Small Group Leaders as we have in previous years — about 100 Small Group Leaders vs. 200 — so the sooner your Small Group Application is filled out and returned the better!

Expectations and requirements of PYT 2016 Small Group Leaders
We are looking for Small Group Leaders who:

  • are experienced youth leaders (volunteer or professional)
  • are excited about accompanying young people on their PYT journey and are comfortable serving as group facilitators for Small Groups of 30+ high school-aged youth
  • ultimately value the experience our young people have — encountering God’s Word, forming Christian community and growing in faith a Triennium — more than their own “Small Group Leader experience”
  • embody the Fruit of the Spirit : love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self control
  • are 22 years old or older (by June 30, 2016)
  • will be available and fully present for Small Group Leader training Sunday, July 17 and Monday July 18, 2016 and for the Triennium event Tuesday, July 19 – Saturday, July 23, 2016
  • will abide by the PYT Community Guidelines

Apply to be a Small Group Leader for the 2016 Presbyterian Youth Triennium
To apply to be a Small Group Leader for PYT 2016, please follow these steps:

  1. Fill out a Small Group Leader Application. You can complete the digital application or download the pdf and email and return it to  [email protected] as soon as possible (by January 15, 2016). Remember, we will only be accepting about 100 Small Group Leaders this year so the sooner we hear from you, the better! Because we are committed to diverse leadership, we will work to fill Small Group leadership with adults from across the country, sponsoring denominations and from various cultural groups.
  2. Wait for one of the members of the Small Group Ministry Team to contact you after your references have been checked. This may take a few weeks as applications roll in but know that we will be back in touch with you once we have heard from both of your references.
  3. If you are selected to be a Small Group Leader for PYT 2016, we will then ask you to fill out a Participant Information Form and Medical and Event Release Form.
  4. Applicants who are selected to be a Small Group Leader for PYT 2016 will be given instructions for completing a required Background Check. Instructions for completing the online “Background Check Release Form” will be sent to small group leaders in early 2016 (if not before).


What is PYT Responsible For?

  • Covering the cost of the small group leader’s travel (airline ticket or mileage reimbursement).
  • Housing and meals during the event. Small Group Leaders will be housed with private room, bathroom and AC Housing at First Street Towers. Meals can be eaten at any assigned PYT Dining Court.
  • Most of the supplies for the Small Group experience (will be available onsite).
  • Preparing the Small Group Manual, the “Go Guide” and making the pdf available to the Small Group Leader.
  • Covering the cost of the required Background Check.
  • Arranging shuttle rides from the Indianapolis airport to Purdue (round trip).
  • Covering your conference registration fee.


What is the Small Group Leader Responsible For?

  • Meals, drinks and snacks purchased on travel days to and from Triennium.
  • Drinks and snacks during the event.
  • Printing out your own copy of the “Go Guide” and preparing your lessons prior to coming to Purdue for Orientation.
  • Contributing a $100.00 Personal Offset fee to help offset the costs associated with a large volunteer base and the deluxe housing.
  • Covering the cost of baggage both ways.
  • Bringing a few specialty supplies if asked by the Small Group Coordinator.
  • Embracing the call and responsibility of serving as a Small Group Leader to two unique and special groups – with energy, intelligence, imagination and love!

A Word About Travel for All PYT Volunteers and Leaders

In order to comply with travel and budget policies from the Presbyterian Mission Agency and the Board of Discipleship, and to be the best possible stewards of the very limited PYT resources all Triennium staff will be expected to do the following:

  • Receive mileage reimbursement only up to the cost of a flight that this leader could / would take.
  • Book itineraries that are the least expensive (this will involve very early departures in some cases and especially for long distance travelers; this might involve more connections!).
  • Make travel arrangements immediately upon receiving “PYT Staff Travel Booking”
  • Do all of the above with a joyful spirit and an extreme lack of ego, comfort and difficulty. Remembering that the invitation to “Go – into the world” comes with a major lack of glamour and control J


Programmatic and Application questions should be directed to Grier Richards: [email protected]

Travel and Housing questions should be directed to Heather Leoncini: [email protected]