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Summary: In a small youth group, there are 3 keys to growth... My Friends are essential

A few weeks ago we started talking about how to grow our youth group. This week I was reading a book. And the youth pastor that wrote the introduction was talking about how he went to 2 youth groups as a teenager.

The first one had only 1 couch. They had 3 or 4 teens that came. And outreach and growing was never talked about our encouraged. Then, he said his friend invited him to visit his youth group once and they had about 200 teens at their youth group.

And he talked about the differences in the 2 youth groups. With the small one, he knew everybody. The youth pastor had a really good relationship with everybody. BUT… they never grew to more than just the 3 or 4 teens.

With the big youth group, he said that he never really had a good relationship with the youth pastor and only hung out with about 10 guys. BUT… the youth group was making a big difference in the community and new people were always coming and hearing about Jesus.

I thought this was interesting. 3 and 200 are kind of the extremes. There are positives and negatives to each extreme. BUT… I think that new Christians and teens making a difference are more important than everybody being best friends with the youth pastor.

I’m not saying that it is bad that we all have good relationships, but there is more to church than just having a good relationship with your youth pastor.

One way that this has been remedied is with small groups. I know in my youth group when we went to small groups; I had a really good relationship with Rob, my small group leader. And even though he wasn’t the youth pastor, he was an adult who I could go to if I needed some wise counsel.

But I’m not here to talk about small groups. I am here to talk about how we are going to grow our group, so that we CAN make a difference in the North Wilmington/Claymont/Delaware County area.

Right now, are we making a difference in our community? Are we doing anything that is helping the community or changing lives? Not really

And as a youth group (as a church), this is what God has called us to do. We are to be lights on a hill to shine for God. Does this make sense?

I am not teaching about growing our youth group just so we have more teens to play games and to fill up this room. I want to grow our youth group to make a bigger difference in our little corner of the world.

And so, we started talking about the three essential ingredients to growing our youth group. And the first was ME. Each and every one of us have to be committed to being here and committed to seeing God work in our youth group. If you aren’t here, then that is less of a difference that we can make.

Imagine that you are on a basketball team. And you don’t show up to the games or practices. Are you helping or hurting your team? Hurting them. It takes a whole team to win a basketball game. In the same way, it takes a whole youth group to make a difference. And so, you have to be here and you have to be committed.

Then, last week we talked about how God is our only hope. We have to pray and completely rely on God to grow our youth group. We NEED God to change lives. We NEED God to give us a passion for our friends and the boldness to invite them.

And this week we are going to be looking at the third essential ingredient to growing our youth group, and that is my friends.

I need to be honest with you about this one. For me as a teenager, this was the hardest possible thing. Inviting my friends to church (or really anything) was really hard for me. It still is actually.

I have a fear of inconveniencing people. It’s true. I don’t like to call people on the phone. Why? Because I think it is an inconvenience to them to have to talk to me. I hate asking anyone to do anything. Why? Same reason. I hate asking people for help. Not because I don’t think I need help… but because I think that it will inconvenience them.

It’s just this weird fear that I have. Ask Keyla; it’s completely true.

The weird thing is that for me… if someone calls me, it’s not an inconvenience for me. Or if someone asks me to help them with something… not a problem. I have just had this fear my whole life and it’s something that really does affect me.

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