Tips for a Successful Youth Group

Youth group is an important component in the lives of teens to instill the Christian faith, but it can sometimes feel difficult to manage effectively. Read on for tips and tricks to operate the most enriching youth group possible.

Set goals for the group

A successful youth pastor has a vision for the group. How many participants would you like to have? How long will the service be? What kind of activities are included? By having a goal for what you want the group to look like, you can measure your progress and make adjustments where necessary.

Welcome participants to the group

As a youth pastor, you want to have a successful youth group–and that means having people show up! By making the group a safe haven and a welcoming place, you are more likely to have your kids keep coming back. Consider not enforcing a strict dress code so teenagers feel more comfortable and feel more like themselves.

Encourage participants to bring friends

By encouraging your group to bring their friends, you are benefiting two-fold: 1) more kids are going to come to group, and 2) you’ll get a lot more participation out of those that are a bit more shy if they have someone with them they’re comfortable with.

Stay on the cutting edge

Teenagers are gurus of technology. To grab–and keep–their interest, invest in the technology they are comfortable with. Otherwise, you’re likely to lose their attention to their phones, where constant communication via text, instant message, and social media threatens to invade youth group time.

Have built-in social events–outside of the church

Youth group is about building strong relationships, and that can be done outside of church, too. Having events outside of church can help entice new members to join, and can give teens a change of scenery. Consider having dinner at a fast-casual restaurant like McDonald’s. ConsideringMcDonald’s prices, you might actually save some money on this activity as well.

Accept members for the imperfect people they are

Teenagers are young and are still learning and growing. They are going to make mistakes in their lives and say things without thinking. The purpose of youth group is to educate members and give them a safe space to learn and grow as Christians–not punish them for their choices. Teen drama will crop up time and again, and depending on the size of the group, it may need to be addressed. Have patience and try to be judgment-free.

The bottom line

Creating a successful youth group from scratch can be an intimidating mission, but a rewarding one as well for the right youth pastor who wants to celebrate teens and help them grow.