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Weigh In: Volume 3 – YMCA Youth Group

 —  November 2, 2010 — 8 Comments

Every so often we take a question, perhaps an unanswered one from the Simply Youth Ministry Podcast, and pose it to you the MTDB community to answer instead of our show’s panel. Here’s a great one that came in — if you have some wisdom I hope you’ll share in the comments!

I’m brand new to the youth ministry world and would love your ideas, tips and thoughts on how we’re doing youth ministry. We are going to start our youth group soon and will be meeting in the local YMCA. It has lots of potential – full access to the pool, gym, weight and more. The problem is I’m not sure how to program each night to use this amazing building/facilities wisely. Help me out!

Now — weigh in!


Josh Griffin


8 responses to Weigh In: Volume 3 – YMCA Youth Group

  1. “It has lots of potential — full access to the poll, gym, weight and more. ”
    What would you use the poll for? Meet you at the poll night? It would be better if they had a pool you could use.

  2. Josh,

    Would this guy be willing to shoot me his phone number or email? We just started using our local y for our student ministry 2 months ago, and it has been a lot of fun and effective. Would love to bounce some ideas off of him. Thanks!


  3. I would love to have those facilities because of all the large group activities we could host, but I would encourage you to focus on how you make it personal and relational at the same time. While it’s tempting to use the space every week don’t feel like you have to. It’s important to create a vision and a system that’s going to grow no matter where you meet. If we let the space conduct how we do program then you’ll only limit the ministries potential. I suggest look into how you can do small groups (maybe the groups meet in different rooms and rotate rooms each week) as well as how you want to drive home a message or theme. I hope that helps.

  4. Travis Williams November 3, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Keep it simple. Keep it relational. The facility should not be the most attractive thing about your ministry either. Use the resource God gives you…but for the purpose of building relationships and growing w/ Christ. All of the programs need to point that direction.

  5. The first step is to pray about it all.

    Then, think about/designate who you’re going to reach out to first with these resources. The worst thing you could do is to put all your effort into a wasted/unwanted event.

    Try to get as much input, feedback, and physical help from the students you might already know. Start small and move from there.

  6. Hopefully, you have recruited several adult types to come aboard with you. This would be the first step. Everything said about the relationship part is so true, so be sure you have time to be mixing it up with the students and not always the one leading the activities. Find some or train some adults who would be good at leading activities at the Y. I would also just concentrate my activity in one area of the Y. Then from week to week you can create different themes depending on what activity you want to do. This way kids are not seperated into lots of different areas of a big building. This will allow you to promote community within your group.

  7. Seems to me the environment could provide you with TONS of object lessons to integrate into your teaching. That’s one thing I’ve been working on lately and being able to meet by the pool one week, in the basketball court the next, and then in the weight room the next could give lots of variety and creative-room to work with.

    That being said, it would also be a temptation to spend so much time being creative that youth group becomes an event to program rather than an opportunity to reach new students for Christ while building up those who already know Him.

    My two cents: 1. Be creative, and 2. Remember less is more. (3. Those aren’t contradictory)

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