I hear from parents all the time that their teen is nervous about going to youth group or they didn’t like it after one try. Here are some things to think about as parents and teens.
1. One visit to youth group is not enough. Every week can be different. Three weeks, contact with the staff and even trying a retreat or trip will help you and your teen to make a better decision.
2. There are no perfect youth groups. There are times teens go home with criticism but forget to see the value of worship, the Word, leaders, fellow Christian friends and the presence of God. An imperfect youth group is kind of the way we like it because that means humans can come 😉
3. Parents are in charge. If you say they need to go they should go. I recently had a parent tell me that her son reminds her it is time to go to youth group, that wasn’t always the case.
4. Get different perspectives. I have often seen a new student come and look like he or she is having a blast, but in that same night they go home and tell their parents it was terrible. Sometimes, teens had a good time and don’t want to admit their parents were right.
5. Connect with me or our youth leaders to share the anxiety, difficulty or battle. We want to help, if we can.
6. 6th-8th graders take longer to commit, but when 6th-8th graders do commit they typically never leave.
7. Include friends every week. Plan to have that friend come home with your teen after school for dinner and then go to youth group together.
8. Youth group isn’t for everyone. We are more concerned about a student and parent’s personal walk with God, not church attendance (of course both are important and church is beneficial). Unfortunately, some teens never commit. Don’t worry, we are not going to judge or look down upon you as a family. Hopefully, we can help you raise a teen who loves God through a different avenue, like one on one mentoring or Sunday school.
I hope this helps. If you have a personal story of success or tips you’ve learned from experience please post below! We would love for you to share this article and share your experience.