Take A Look At Your Youth Group

First Published October 1991 – The First Pair of Cleats

Take a look at your youth group.What do you see?Take a deep look at it with God’s eyes.Be careful, you might not like what you see.

We can look at our youth in one of three ways:

1.  They are all basically good kids. 

Time demands usually help us see this one.You are seeing the youth only from the surface.It takes all of your time, energy, and creativity just to run the youth program.As long as the youth are satisfied with that youth program, you think you’ve done the best thing for them.


In actuality, you’ve done a bandage job—and that is good.This is an affirmation to you.But true ministry to youth takes a deeper look than that.Youth are bringing to church some deep problems.A fight or betrayal by a friend is a very big and common problem to a youth, even the “good” ones.“The Troubled Journey:A Profile of American Youth” reports that more than 1/3 of girls in grades 10 to 12 report at least one incident of sexual and/or physical abuse.That means there is a very good chance every one out of three girls in your senior high youth are bringing this problem to youth group.They are basically good kids with deep needs that the church can minister to.

2.  They are all messed up and what can I do to help.

This is a feeling of being overwhelmed and feeling inadequate to even to attempt to minister to such needs.The trap that is often fallen into is then one of not attempting to get involved into youth’s lives or of even quitting the youth ministry.It just seems to be too much for you to handle.

In actuality, you have what the youth are seeking—someone who has “made it” to walk with them through these years.They want a paraclete.That is essentially what youth ministry is.Even if a problem is so deep it requires a referral, you have done a great ministry by waking with them to that referral.

3.  They are all loving and hurting teenagers.

With this view we can have an effective and lifechanging youth ministry.You could even up being that one adult that affects the whole future of that youth.I am sure you have had some adult who was not your parent that deeply touched your life and is a “hero” to you.

This is Wild Frontier ministry—entering an unknown territory to blaze some trails that will last into eternity.

All that is asked of you is that you are faithful to God.That is what Jesus asked of His disciples and look what happened. God used twelve ordinary men and changed the world.I’m sure the disciples had some sticky times but in being faithful to the call, great things happened.So it will be with you.