There’s a GREAT article in today’s Christian Post about youth ministry. This is a must-read for youth workers … seriously, this is some pretty solid stuff. If you’ve wanted to know what church seniors are thinking, why they attend, what they want more of – well, here’s some data to think about. Lots of implications from these revelations, I might list them in a future post. Here’s a clip of the article – really, do yourself a favor and hit the link for the complete story.

Studying the current state of seniors and the type of students youth ministries are developing today, the College Transition Project received responses from high school students around the country for wave one of the milestone study. Surprisingly, the top reason students go to youth group is because of their youth pastor.

According to the responses received, 162 of which were usable, 68 percent said it is “very true” or “completely true” they go to youth group because they like their youth pastor. The second most popular reason was “I learn about God there,” which was followed by 58 percent who said “It’s fun.” Other reasons listed as “very true” or “completely true” by at least 50 percent of the students included “I feel comfortable there,” “I’ve always gone to church/youth group,” “It’s a place where I can learn to serve,” and “It feels like a real community.”Some youth workers expressed ambivalence about the top reason students listed but they also raised the question if it’s possible that the students have become “too dependent” on their youth pastors.”

Interestingly, seniors’ connections with their friends at youth group don’t rank as highly as many would have guessed,” noted the report. “By average score, seniors ranked the options regarding community and a sense of belonging seventh, eighth, and tenth.”The least likely reason students listed was that their parents make them
go or that they feel guilty if they don’t go.

Students were also asked what they wanted to see more of in youth ministry. At the top was the desire for more service projects. Following that, 70 percent of the respondents wanted more or much more time for deep conversation; 65 wanted more mission trips; 65 percent wanted more accountability; and 58 percent wanted more time to worship. Ranked last was the desire for more games.