Why Your Youth Group Events Must Move Beyond Fun & Games

Fifteen years ago, it was pretty easy to get a big crowd to show up for a youth group event: Provide free pizza. Stock up on Mountain Dew. Bring in a band. Play some awesome games. Then open the doors and watch people pour in. Getting kids to youth group events was easy. Drawing them into continued involvement was the hard part.

But today, both parts are hard, and in many communities, big fun at youth group events isn’t working like it used to. Here’s why: If we’re planning to attract kids with fun and excitement, we must remember we’re not the only game in town anymore.

I’ll be throwing around a term I call Social Teenage Entertainment, or STE. I’m pretty sure I just made that up, so let me explain. STE encompasses the list of things that both entertain kids and let them be with their friends at the same time. It’s pretty simple. We do that at youth group. Students do that when they wander around the mall or play pickup basketball. You can think of dozens of examples on your own, I’m sure.

Students crave opportunities to:

1. Have fun.

2. With their friends.

So what do STE experiences have to do with the demise of “big fun” in the local youth group setting? Let’s start with a history lesson.

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Source: Church Leaders