Giving youth pastors the tools they need to make and shape disciples.

Summer School For Youth Workers: How To Get Your Youth Group Energized And Growing

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Today’s lesson idea is brought to you by my fellow Alabamian Samuel Colesgrove, and the class he would take right now is How Do I Grow And Energize My Group.

Great question, Onward.

Class Notes

Whenever I have gotten in trouble with by base of students, kids who are already coming, is when I leave them out of the planning process. We all assume (and that in itself is an assumption) that the students we pastor want the youth group to grow and this is not always true. Many youth groups and churches are perfect fine with the :”us four, no more” policy. And that’s probably how many kids they’ll eventually wind up with every week, 4.

One of my biggest mistakes was doing a bus ministry without a broader base of buy in. Just because it is a good idea and it furthers the gospel does not mean we just barge in and do it at any cost even if no one supports it. That works, if you do no work in the church-world or any other business for that matter. The goal is to find what our kids do care about, see if it lines up with what God is doing, and then do that. Unpacking our ideas suitcase and then trying to sell them is equivalent to a snake oil salesman riding through a town looking for suckers. There’s a better way.

4 Programming Launch Tips

1. Don’t launch until you’ve listened to, not necessarily agreed with, all the ideas. Let your kids speak up and help create what ever your idea is. Play stupid and and say, “Guys, I think this might work, but…I don’t know, what do you think?” Have a pad and pen ready.

2. Don’t launch until you have a broad(er) base of support from parents students, and your pastor. If you can get 60% buy in go ahead. You’ll attract some of the other 40% and the rest will just complain, but they complain about everything. You can read an article I wrote about a Collaboration Class I took HERE

3. Don’t launch until God says go. That is not to over-spiritualize the process, but timing is everything and God knows the time you should launch.


1. Give your kids 3×5 cards and let them share what they would like to do for an outreach, small group, etc. Let them share anonymously if they want to.

2. Let the kids take the ideas and put them in three piles “Do-able”, “Do-able with some work” and “Not Do-able, at the moment, unless…”

3. Let the kids take the Ideas in the do-able pile and arrange them by categories (outreach, discipleship, etc) or in order of importance (this is what we need now)

4. Ask your students,

“Which of these ideas can we do next month?”

“Is this just for us or is this for others outside the church?”

“To do this I will need your help, what role do you want in making this happen?”

If the idea is an outreach, use the free Get The Word Out Form on the freebies page.

5. Have prayer and manage the commitments made.

6. Watch my You Tube video on how I am getting my kids engaged and it may give you some ideas.

How are you energizing your students to be part of the programming process?

What youth ministry class, if offered right now, would sign up for?

I would love to hear your comments, so please leave yours below.

That’s it. Class dismissed.

On to Lesson 4: Communicating With Parents Beyond What Time and Where

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