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Youth Groups

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This is geared more towards the high school crowd, but since I know young adults hang out in youth groups too, I decided to post here rather than the High-School section.

How does your youth group function? Are there multiple leaders or just one leader? Is there a "hang out time" afterwards? What is the age range like? Where does it take place? What would your ideal youth group look like?

My youth group is called "Amplify" and meets every Wednesday night. From 6 to 7 there is an optional prayer time in which you can go into the youth room and pray. There is usually worship music blaring so nobody can really hear you pray, so it makes it a little more personal. Few people actually go in for prayer so usually the 6-7 time is spent talking with friends. As 7 rolls around we all gather in the youth room for a time of praise and worship. This can run anywhere from 15 minutes to half of an hour. This is usually followed by some quick announcements and a brief prayer by the pastor. From about 7:30 on to about 8 or 8:15, our youth pastor gives a message followed by "groups" in which the guys and girls separate and discuss the topic further. This time is usually monitored by our youth pastor while it is actually led by a Youth Leader. After thoroughly discussing the topic there is usually another quick prayer and then we are dismissed. We usually stay and talk outside for a bit before we head over to IHOP for some late night food.

As far as the leadership goes, we have two actual Youth Pastors. They are conveniently married so it makes things a bit easier to keep track of. The husband is the one who does most of the teaching while the wife does most of the business side of things. Underneath them are the youth leaders. For the males, we have two, while the females technically have 4 (but only two of them actually go). The leaders are expected to keep in contact with the students throughout the week. If the leaders don't then the pastors will.

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Not currently in a youth group, but I can tell you how my old one functioned.

 

Our youth nights we're after the evening Mass on Sundays. Church would end and everyone would head over to the youth building for dinner and mingling. Short praise and worship service (20 minutes tops I think) then a talk on the topic of the night. Sometimes that would lead into an activity but more often we were split into groups to discuss. Then we'd come back and do more worship until they kicked us out (and then we'd just kinda hang out in the parking lot).

 

There arn't really "youth pastors" with Catholics (Youth priests?) but we had about 2-3 Youth Ministers per age group (middle and highschool) and then another 8-10 core team members who were usually regular parent volunteers or (at the middle school level) highschool students.

 

There we're also other events througout the week. We had a night called "Into the Deep" where deeper church topics were discussed and every other Wednesday there was a worship/eucharistic adoration night. We also had at least one mini-retreat type thing a semester along with a big ACTS retreat once a year. Lots of volunteer projects going at any given time. A mission trip. A local mission trip. Plus twice a week some of us would meet for mass at 6:15am (no joke) for "Wake up with the King" which was mass, then donuts, then visiting, then going off to school.

 

I've grown somewhat critical of certain elements of Youth Groups but I can't deny that being part of the "St. Peters Posse" was essential in shaping my faith.

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Well for my highschool group we meet at my small group leaders house, we hang out for like half and hour, and we just talk about stuff going on in our lives, it's pretty chill/ On wensdays I teach one of the preteen small groups, and it's at the church building, they do worship, then they split into groups

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I was too much of a social outcast to be active in the youth group when I was a teenager. I started helping the Youth Director after I turned 18 and was eventually hooked into teaching every other week. We met on Sunday evenings before service for "discipleship training" which entailed nothing other than studying Scripture. Wednesday nights were the longer meetings with higher attendance and usually we had food and social time before Bible study. We organized trips that were meant to be both informative and "fun." 

 

Now I'm not active in them at all. My Pastor and his wife are the main ones teaching the youth at my current church. I'll probably chaperon to the Higher Things conference next year for totally selfish reasons as it has hours of liturgy over the course of a week. :3

Edited by Rayn

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We meet every friday at 7pm, we normally hang out until 7:30ish then have either a scavenger hunt, movie, bowling, games, etc. then at 8:45ish we start having our discussion/message. When that is done we have snacks and hang out until 9:30

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We meet up every other Friday (par when we have other things going on, such as the its the holidays), and we all sit around, read from the Bible, talk about it, go and do an activity that interprets what we have just read from the Bible, have a chat, then round about that time food gets served. After that, we all talk for a little more, and then depart home.

As for the age range, we have a youngest, and an oldest, with lots of people in the middle.

 

ProudToBeJesusFreak. :)

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Guest Mike Spero

For most, my last youth group schedule was like this:

 

Meet and play games or tell dirty jokes that would put 13 year old boys to shame: 7-7:30

Play a name game to kill time: 7:31-7:45

Have "worship" time that no one likes, to feel like you're holy: 7:46-7:48

Listen to a God-forsaken sermon from either of the young youth pastors (who've been Saved less than half a year and have absolutely no training or guidance in their teaching): 7:49-8:30

Split up into boys and girls and get horrible advice/counsel for your "struggles": 8:31-8:50

Tell more dirty jokes: 8:51-9

 

Or if you're that one furry kid who always looks like he's dying on the inside:

 

Get fed up at the stupid group and either bail during the "teaching" or put headphones in: 7-9

 

Basically, it looked something like this:

 

facewall-o.gif

 

The guy on the right nailed my role, bravissimo!

Edited by Mike Spero

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My youth group was a mess so I stopped going once I didn't have to anymore. Those getting baptized (me last year) had to go for some classes, and the children were rude and disruptive and NO ONE took action to try and make them be respectful in a house of God. many texted, cussed, etc. while there and it tried my patience SO MUCH.

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Guest Mike Spero

My youth group was a mess so I stopped going once I didn't have to anymore. Those getting baptized (me last year) had to go for some classes, and the children were rude and disruptive and NO ONE took action to try and make them be respectful in a house of God. many texted, cussed, etc. while there and it tried my patience SO MUCH.

Same here x.x'

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Eh. The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.

 

I think it's ill advised and unhelpful for leadership to be such a mess but with teens? Your just gonna get a lot of that kinda thing. Yea ya gotta move it forward but if you shake your finger at every minor cuss, slightly to short skirt or incidence of texting your just not gonna get anyone who needs to be there.

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Eh. The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.

I think it's ill advised and unhelpful for leadership to be such a mess but with teens? Your just gonna get a lot of that kinda thing. Yea ya gotta move it forward but if you shake your finger at every minor cuss, slightly to short skirt or incidence of texting your just not gonna get anyone who needs to be there.

Boom.

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Guest Mike Spero

It's not that you (or at least I) want the youth leaders to keep everyone on a perfectly tight leash. No one is perfect, and with that logic no one would be allowed in. But sometimes there's a tragic lack of any sort of discipline or standards on their part, and (in my group's case) they also preach pretty horrendous and offensive sermons. Many churches and youth groups go beyond "a gathering of loving, however flawed, Christians" to a tragically large train wreck. There's a difference between altogether prohibiting any sort of un-befitting speech and letting the kiddies run wild without any sort of restraint

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Oh I know. And I was just commenting. My issue is I've been on the other end of the stick unable to enter a youth group (or really a campus ministry, this was during my undergrad) because I constantly ended up feeling "less than." I've seen both extrememes but was personally very blessed with my high school youth group.

 

I just remember having this gal come up to me the one and only day I wore shorts to daily mass (I came from the gym, didn't have time to change) and tell me that I should think more carefully about what I wear in the house of the lord. Left a bad taste in my mouth.

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Guest Mike Spero

Oh I know. And I was just commenting. My issue is I've been on the other end of the stick unable to enter a youth group (or really a campus ministry, this was during my undergrad) because I constantly ended up feeling "less than." I've seen both extrememes but was personally very blessed with my high school youth group.

 

I just remember having this gal come up to me the one and only day I wore shorts to daily mass (I came from the gym, didn't have time to change) and tell me that I should think more carefully about what I wear in the house of the lord. Left a bad taste in my mouth.

Ha, I know what you mean. My last youth group was to an obvious extreme, and then I got a taste of the other one from this one site I stumbled onto... Oh wait

 

xp

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My church is super fun and we have two/three youth groups. We have one called 'Wildfire' which is 11-14. 'Vox' is 14-18 and I can't remember what it's called but there's one for 18-21.

On Sundays during service (after worship, announcements and offerings/tithes) my group (Wildfire) will all gather with our youth pastor and 2 youth leaders in a different room and just chill, eat and discuss whatever the devotional for that week is and finally pray.

On Tuesdays all of the youth meet from 7-9pm. We chill, play games, eat snacks and worship for an hour, then we go off into our respective groups (however on tuesdays we split into girls and boys of these groups) discuss the devotional further and pray.

On Fridays youth again meet up. I'm not quite sure what they do though because I've never managed to make it on a Friday.

I'm very happy with my youth group, as everyone actively participates without being rowdy or disrepectful and you can really feel that you're among a group of Christians. :)

Edited by ilovegodandnutella

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My youth group gathers every Wednesday to play games then worship and hear a sermon. We're growing pretty fast around are area. God is using are church to reach my city!

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