*at least not THAT kind of youth group.
Here is a challenging post on not segregating youth into youth ministry silos. Its catchy title: Blowing Up the Youth Group Model.
I recognize that people in in different age groups and generations do need to spend time with their peers. However, I’ve long thought that the typical youth group ministry aimed at “hooking” youth interest with entertaining, exciting, and often expensive programs led by a high-energy professional actually vaccinates youth against full participation in the church. Too often graduation from high school and from the youth group has also led to “graduation” from church.
While it might not feel like a blessing, it is indeed a blessing not to be able to have such a program. The small number of children who spend significant time being nurtured and mentored by mature Christian adults in a small faith community grow in discipleship, and they often end up being leaders themselves. When they move away to pursue education and careers, they can end up being the most mature leaders in a larger church because they grew up being active in the church’s ministry and not just consumers of the church’s ministry.