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The Leap from Youth Group to Big Church

 —  June 3, 2011 — 2 Comments

I thought that Kurt (my boss and Student Ministries Pastor here at Saddleback) may have posted his best blog post so far – this one not really about junior high ministry but about the idea to subtly shift youth ministry a little closer to the adult services so the leap isn’t impossible after graduation. Here’s a clip, definitely worth the click over for the rest:

- We are going to eliminate much of the “competing activities”. We currently do a whole lot of “youth versions” of things such as a youth version of our membership class, a youth version of missions trips, a youth version of deeper learning bible studies etc. We are going to take a close look at these and determine which ones we can eliminate and jump on board with the ones offered for adults.

– We are going to creatively look for ways to get our students to actually attend an adult service on a somewhat regular basis! The older the students, the more effort we will make. So we will work extremely hard to get our college kids in the adult services, work sorta hard to get high schoolers there, and work a little bit to get our junior highers there.

– We are going to create a few easy events that intentionally get our students to rub shoulders with the adults (the above strategies also do this…). For instance, I friend of mine just shared that his group invited the senior citizens in their church to a movie and popcorn night to watch the movie “UP”. He said it was one of the easiest, most effective things they have done in a long time.



Josh Griffin


2 responses to The Leap from Youth Group to Big Church

  1. Love the motivation. It’s been one of the things I’m trying to focus on for a few years now. I like the idea of the inter-generational activities. I’ve always wondered how you guys in the “big churches” dealt with this issue since you have youth worship at the same times that the adults worship. We have Bible Study/Small Group type stuff when the adults do, but we all worship together.
    Here’s my concern with Kurt’s plan…children, teens, and adults learn differently (brains work differently at different ages). So eliminating the youth version of “classes” doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. I would love to hear what other YPs think…maybe I should check out Kurt’s blog. :)

  2. Doug Fields said at Radicalis ’10 that “the biggest mistake I made was having youth service at the same time as Big Church.”

    For 12 years we have had students go through the same process of membership as adults. Never have I heard, “I don’t get it.” They do, however, appreciate the idea of being a part of the whole.

    The only dynamic that I see that would make this difficult in many churches is “Boring Big Church”. This is not a cut to anyone or any system, but look at your adult services through the lens of a middle school student. It’s a lot easier to say, “go be a part of the Big Church” when you know they are going to love it.

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