Youth Group

Four Things that DON’T Grow Your Youth Group

4. Fun Games

It’s fun to play games at church or youth group. In fact, fun and laughter are great for building community in your group. But games don’t grow your youth group. In fact, if you play the wrong games, you can actually drive kids away who think they’re too childish, weird, or a waste of time.

3. Great Events

So many youth pastors fill their calendars with lots of events: lock-ins & all-nighters, video game tournaments, pizza parties, mud bowls, bigger-n-better, mall hunts, etc. These may be fun for your group to do once in a while. Your kids probably ask for them all the time and they might even bring a friend or two. But, events don’t grow your youth group. In fact, events actually take time and energy away from what you should be doing.

2. Awesome Trips

Camps, Conferences, mission trips, and retreats have incredible long-lasting effects on kids. Many kids commit their lives to Christ at camp. Many kids point to a conference as the single most significant experience of their lives. Many kids develop a life-long heart for serving others after going on a mission trip. However, these trips will not grow your youth group. They grow your kids (awesome!) but not your youth group. Your youth group will grow your trips.

1. Cool Youth Guy/Girl

You could be the coolest youth pastor around. You could relate to kids really well. You might even be able to gather a whole bunch of kids around in you. But being a cool youth guy or girl will not grow your youth group.

Six Things That DO Grow Your Youth Group

A quality weekly experience where teens

  1. Feel loved, accepted, and missed
  2. Find good relationships with other teens (small groups and a culture of kindness)
  3. Meet adults who truly care about them (small group leaders committed for the long-haul)
  4. Hear teaching that helps them know God and deal with life
  5. Have experiences that help them connect with God
  6. Feel like they want to invite their friends because it’s just such a good experience

Author: Jim Murphy

Associate Pastor | NextGen Ministries Covenant Church, Bemidji, MN

2 Replies to “What Grows Your Group?

  1. Great reminder to focus on what matters most, gonna share your points in my newsletter article 🙂

    1. Hi Nathan! Great, feel free to do so! Yeah, all these things can have a positive place in our youth ministries and may even contribute to the great experience that kids have. But, a great weekly experience with loving relationships where kids know that they’re missed when they’re gone, heartfelt worship, and helpful teaching that they don’t want to miss is the key to growth. Hope your summer’s going well!

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