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amazingly supportive church = growing youth group October 11, 2007

Posted by abi in just for fun, youth ministry.
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Last Sunday night we had a lot of fun with a big event called “Hunt for Red October”.  It was a local scavenger hunt that involved bringing back a lot of random stuff, a little bit of service (helping 3 people carry groceries to their cars, picking up a certain amount of trash), and taking some digital pictures to show me when they returned.   We had a great group of parent drivers who I asked to tell me if their team should receive bonus points for outstanding teamwork when they were finished.  It was a lot of fun to see how resourceful all the youth were and a good time of relationship building.   

It’s only October and we have already have several new youth and their families coming consistently to youth group happenings.  We have also had quite a few new visitors and I have been amazed each week at how many students are showing up.  The thing I’m more excited about than the numbers though, is the fact that my youth are so excited about being there and are inviting their friends to be a part of what’s going on.  And it’s not just the fun crazy activities – they are showing up on Bible study nights too!  In fact, on my beginning of the year survey, that’s what nearly all of my high schoolers wrote in – that they wanted more Bible study going on this year.  

I am so thankful that I am working at a church that is incredibly supportive of ministry to youth and also to me.  I know that the church community is a large part of what is attracting new youth and families.   I’m excited to see more of what God wants to do there!

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1. Me - October 16, 2007

Church support is a great thing to have! That’s so amazing for you, man.

Any tips, tricks, or advice for those of us with zero pastor/church support?

We have grown from 15 to 40 in 7th-12th grades and the youth are pumped about our upcoming evangelism training. Our pastor only gives pulpit lip service to the youth once or twice a year. We have no budget available for curriculum or to assist our many low income families – and we’ve been told we aren’t getting any more funds next year. Period. My husband and I buy everything but we just don’t have the funds in our personal budget either. Parents and other congregants exhibit the same attitude of the pastor, that is, the youth are invaluable because they are children and they don’t pay tithes like adults. The pastor keeps telling my husband that his job is just to preach on Wednesday night, not to develop the discipleship program that we have. (We’ve split our Sun School into guys/girls separate classes and have added a core Bible study for our highly committed students. There are 18 doing the core class every Sunday night!) Even after our kids come out of the woodwork to participate in deep, stretching discipleship, pastor still says that the teens just don’t care about spiritual things and they can’t understand them anyway, you know, because they are just children. Ergh. See the trend? We are in a serious up hill struggle against our own leadership. The youth are on fire and wanting deep things, but the pastor just pushes them down. They know it, too. Several will not come to the main service on Sun morning anymore “because they just can’t listen to that crap” (crap to them = never talking about Christ or salvation, only about Holy Spirit and what it means to be pentecostal, pentecostal, pentecostal). Yikes!

That’s a long story and unfortunately it only scratches the surface. But we would desperately love some seasoned advice. Heck, we might even take a tiny comfort in knowing we weren’t alone in this sickness, although we certainly don’t want anyone else in our situation.


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