QUESTION: How do I get students involved in youth group?

Many of us have run into the frustrating problem of lack of student involvement in the youth group. We have these ideas and dreams of how awesome it would be to have more students involved in “blank,” but those dreams just aren’t becoming a reality. Over the years, my ministry has tried several ways to get our students involved (some with more success than others) and we have come out learning four big lessons:

Make it available
The first step is to create several ways for students to get plugged in. Your group is filled with students with all different kinds of gifts and talents, so try to create jobs and responsibilities that cater to all kinds of students. Set up a greeting team, a creative team, a set up/tear down team, maybe even a worship team… get creative!

Make it clear
We can have all the cool opportunities we want, but if students don’t know they are available to them, then it doesn’t really matter. Talk about serving opportunities from stage and encourage your small group leaders to do so in group. Over communicate the different ways that they can get involved and how they can do it.

Make it easy
A student looking to get involved is a student taking a risk. Don’t make it harder for them. In my own ministry, I’ve seen poor communication and lack of organization let students slip right through the cracks. Set up a system to make it easy for them to get in and get to work.

Make it significant
This one is going to be hard for the perfectionists out there, but to build involvement worth being a part of, you are going to have to give them a significant piece of your ministry. That means giving them the opportunity to fail. One of the most successful things our ministry does is give our students an entire service for them to plan and execute (with our guidance). By doing this, we are surely sacrificing quality, but the buy in from the students is too good to give up. Don’t baby your students. Push them to be great. Challenge them to take risks.

JG & Colton