Have you ever heard this statistic before?

Youth group should be running about 10% of the whole church attendance.

Well … it turns out to be a pretty decent rule of thumb. And while it certainly doesn’t hold up in every case, there is a range that seems to work out in most churches. Tony Morgan has done some great research in this area, and come up with several observations about the statistics as well. Here’s a clip, very much worth the effort to travel over that way for the rest:

Sunday Morning — It’s very difficult for churches to reach students if the programming in their Sunday worship services (teaching, music, media, etc.) doesn’t engage teenagers…and their parents.

Serving & Leading — Similar to adults, students will eventually checkout if all you expect them to do is attend “youth group.” Students will stick if they have opportunities to serve and lead.

Mimicking Services — On that note, it’s more challenging for some student ministries today. The teaching and music in many churches is strong on Sunday mornings. In those churches, you can’t just try to mimic the Sunday service on Wednesday night and expect students to show up…because they’ll probably get better teaching and music on Sunday morning. (Back when I was in student ministry, the better teaching and music was at youth group.)