Most churches today are like islands in a stormy sea of distracting pop-culture and competing ideas on faith. If we are to help our young people to withstand the assault our heart's desire must be for them to know God and truth.
We live in a culture where it is far too easy for us to become preoccupied with the distractions of the world. To break through the noise with the life-giving message of our faith we need to help young people by creating alternatives to the world. We as a church must help them to spend less time in the world and more time contemplating the things of God.
Church youth groups, when run well, can be just such a refuge - a place to find fellowship, acceptance, and learning that strengthens their faith. We often fail to realize that young people are targets in this cultural war and the casualties are increasing.
Standing Strong In The Face Of The Storm
A strong youth or young adult group can reinforce the right messages and help to relieve some a lot of the pressure faced by many our kids today. The world is constantly bombarding them with messages that run counter to their faith and to their own best interest - messages of immorality, greed, and violence are rampant.
If we loose our youth to the worldly Godless culture where will the church be in the future? What will our families, churches, and communities become if the majority of young people stop practicing their faith?
Taking The Right Steps - Starting A Group In Your Church
It may take some work and effort but the rewards of creating a well run and appealing youth group program in your church a worth it many times over. The following outline can help you start the process and guide your efforts.
To begin with, someone, a teen, young adult, parent, or church leader has to conclude that a youth or young adult ministry is important to the church.
Then that person or persons must secure a commitment from the pastor or elders both to support the ministry in spirit and resources. Resources may not mean money either - things like meeting rooms, announcements during a service, or even a willingness to participate can be very helpful.
Another important step is selecting the right leader or youth minister. It doesn't necessarily have to be pastor either; it can be a married couple willing to serve with the church leadership offering back up support when needed.
It's important to take time and develop a ministry plan just like you might prepare a business plan. This will help you think through the goals and objectives and answer logistical question about where and when the group will meet etc. Don't forget to support your planning process with lots of prayer. In fact, you should specifically seek out people in the church who will commit to praying regularly for the planning stage and the group itself after startup.