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4 Reasons Why We Have Youth Group on the Weekend

 —  December 7, 2011 — 6 Comments

I get asked a lot why we have youth group on the weekend – and honestly it is a good question since even context I’ve experiences both as a teenager and as a youth pastor before Saddleback was that we did youth group in the middle of the week. So why don’t we, and what are some things you should consider about moving to the weekend? I was answering just that question to a youth pastor over email this week and thought I should expand on those thoughts here on the blog.

Here’s the top 4 reasons that HSM has chosen a weekend service over services another night of the week:

… to make space for adults services
From what I understand historically (I wasn’t at Saddleback when this happened) Pastor Rick asked HSM to free up seats in the worship center for adults and to have youth group meeting simultaneously to the adult services. The main reason we shifted was basically to help the church accommodate significant growth and give it room to keep moving forward.

… Sunday is when visitors attend anyhow
If you don’t have youth services or a presence of some sort on the weekend – you are missing out on a potential audience. We’ve found that if a family is going to visit it is during Sunday services, so having youth group then gives us the chance to meet/connect them right from their first time through the doors.

… to offer youth group at a convenient time for parents
Without a doubt the best time for students to attend youth group is while their parents are already doing something at the church, too. I talked to a youth worker this week who was struggling with youth group meeting on Wednesday nights for this very reason. As students get older and can drive this becomes less of a big deal, but it at least is a factor in our decision when to have services, too.

… to not take out students out another night of the week
This one is similar to the one above, but tweaked a little. Everyone is super busy – me included! Having youth group as part of our church services help consolodate the ask that is made for time during the week.

I’ve done youth group on Wednesday nights, Saturday nights, Sunday mornings, Sunday night – they all work! But hoope these few reasons why we landed on the weekend helps your processing and vision, too!


Josh Griffin


6 responses to 4 Reasons Why We Have Youth Group on the Weekend

  1. Do you all not struggle with the fact that you are splitting many families up and not encouraging them to worship as a family (using a loose definition of family)? Are there any times through worship or small groups at Saddleback that students worship or study with families? I have struggled with both sides of this discussion of the years!

  2. I’m with Nate, the biggest block from moving that direction for us would be Students not in worship with their parents and seeking to understand and become part of the larger congregational body.

  3. Of course! I could have totally written up a post (and maybe should) about why this conversation is changing currently and where we may go in the future. To answer your specific questions, yes, we have opportunities to worship or serve together. This weekend is Good Neighbor weekend – a massive serve project for families of our church. We also have some missions opportunities together, and serve projects alongside adults. Worship (like a formal church service) is largely separate in our current model, but this month we’ll be joining the adults for 2 of the next 5 weekends and we’re making progress to have both specialized and combined worship opportunities.


  4. I just started at a church leading the Jr. High service on Sunday mornings. One of my biggest issues is trying to find leaders that are willing to miss out on Adult service to work with our teens. How do you get consistent leadership when it pulls them from Adult Services?

    How do you get around this? I would LOVE to see a post on this because it is something I really struggle with. Settling for scheduling leaders bi-monthly seems like it would stunt relational growth between them and the students.

  5. Benjamin Spears December 9, 2011 at 9:41 am

    There definitely isn’t any day that is some kind of magic fit– it really does depend on the needs of each particular church (which is why #1 is so key). For myself, forget the fact that our church doesn’t have the space of a Saddleback, I wouldn’t want to run our youth program on a Sunday morning because I find Sunday mornings to be an opportune time for teens to get plugged into church ministry. Over half of my teens are involved in aspects of the service (sound, music, media presenting), teaching Sunday School or working in the nursery. Their involvement definitely gives them a sense of church ownership and the simple truth is that getting teens serving early is a contributing factor to their sticking with church and being actively involved beyond high school.

  6. This blog post has mostly disappeared. Can you fix it?

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